Updated November 1, 2003
Planet X is the new kid on the solar system block. The “X” can either refer to the fact it would be the tenth planet of our solar system, or an unknown planet. In many respects, it is probably the former, in that there appears to be a great deal of information on this deep denizen -- at least from the runaway nature of the Internet and e-mail circuits. For example, one circulating e-mail provides an executive summary to wit: “Two things are certain: 1) Planet X exists, and 2) it is coming between May 15 and May 30 of 2003. The rest is speculation.” The emphasis is on speculation -- i.e. the good news is that this latest theory can likely be put to bed within the year -- or else it really won’t make any difference, in that:
“According to NASA scientists, the earth will stand still for about three days and then, in one hour, rotate a full 90 degrees (the geographical pole shift) during which time winds will be an average of 200 miles per hour. Every volcano on earth will erupt and of course there will be many earthquakes, so two thirds of earth's population will die in that one hour surprise. Then another 20% will starve to death during the next six months because the volcanic ash will cover the earth and keep out sunlight for six months. About 10% of the [world’s] population (about 600 million) will survive.
“NASA's top scientists wanted to go to Mars and survive but that didn't work out. So they are making a space station which will be able to maneuver itself on the other side of earth, using earth as a shield between the space station and Planet X. This way the top scientists will live. He said it is already affecting Neptune's gravitational pole and once it gets close to Pluto, it will take only three months to get here. Once near Pluto it will be a "red dot in the sky" which will gradually get bigger during several months, and can be seen with the naked eye six weeks before the pole shift. The northern inland part of the States is good; it is where the scientists are going. This will be near the equator after the shift.”
Now that we have your attention, we should also note that there are some comparatively rationally-based websites and reports on Planet X as well. A good website one might have once visited (but which now requires a password, i.e. limited access is: <http://www.yowusa.com/Archive/February2002/xkbo4/xkbo4.htm> (The “xkbo” reference, incidentally, is “an Unknown Kuiper Belt Object”, the latter being the supposed source of solar system comets and miscellaneous, careening objects.) This website was intended to keep one abreast of current developments in the coming year, but is now apparently intended to keep only certain select individuals abreast. [Why does that make me wonder -- and perhaps even worry a bit?]
is now apparently intended to keep only certain select individuals abreast. [Why does that make me wonder -- and perhaps even worry a bit?]
For purposes of additional background, an article by Joan d’Arc, entitled “Planet X: Is a Runaway Wrecking Ball Part of Our Solar System” is sufficiently interesting it is included here in its entirety -- with links to other webpages and websites added or highlighted.
Planet X: Is a Runaway Wrecking Ball Part of Our Solar System?
by Joan d'Arc
Ancient Sumerian texts indicate that the Earth (“Tiamat”) was struck by a large planet, which moved it into its present orbit, and created the Moon and the Asteroid Belt. In his books, The Twelfth Planet and The Cosmic Code, Zecharia Sitchin outlines this “celestial battle”, as described in the Babylonian text, the Enuma Elish [“Epic of Creation”].
The planet “Marduk” (the Sumerian “Nibiru”), as it came into the solar system on its clockwise elliptical course, struck Tiamat, which was moving in a counterclockwise orbit. One of Marduk’s satellites struck Tiamat first, followed by two more of Marduk’s moons. Then Marduk itself, an enormous planetary body, struck Tiamat, smashing one half of the planet into pieces, which became the Earth’s Moon and the “Great Band” (Asteroid Belt). The other half of the planet, which was struck by a smaller moon of Marduk, was moved into a new orbit, along with a chunk of material which became its moon. The new planet was then called “KI,” meaning “cleaved one.” The Earth’s original moons were dispersed, many changing the direction of their orbits. [more information in Annals of Earth]
Sitchin has also written in Divine Encounters, about the planet where God the creator resides and which is referred to in the Bible as Olamin, the plural of Olam. The meaning of “olam” in the ancient world was a measure of a really long time, specifically related to the span of time between the periodic disappearance and reappearance of the planet Marduk/Nibiru on its vast 3,600 year elliptical orbit. The domain of Olamin was described as a kingdom which encompasses many worlds.
According to Robert Temple, in The Sirius Mystery, the Dogon tribe of Mali call this planet “the egg of the world,” and they say it is the origin of all things. They say of this planet that it is “the center of all things and without its movement no other star could hold its course.” They say it is made of a heavy metallic compound called “sagala.” The Sumerians also wrote that this planetary “god,” Nibiru, “remade our solar system and remakes the Earth on its near passages.”
According to the web site http://xfacts.com, the 12th Planet’s periodic appearance and disappearance from Earth’s view confirms the assumption of its permanence in solar orbit. In this it acts like many comets. The writers then ask, why are our astronomers not aware of the existence of this planet? The answer is that even an orbit half as long as that of the comet Kohoutek (7,500 years) would take the 12th Planet about 6 times further away from us than Pluto. At this distance, the planet would not be visible from Earth. [See also, the Nibiru Cycle.] [You might also want to take a quick gander at http://xfacts.com, if only because of its very busy, artistic presentation!]
The ancient tale of Nibiru’s Celestial Battle is actually scientifically sophisticated, and current advances in astronomy have recently corroborated certain aspects of the Sumerian cosmogony, among them the following:
• The March 16, 1999 announcement by NASA at the 30th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston of the theory of the origin of Earth’s Moon as a catastrophic collision with a “Mars-size planet.”
• Hubble’s recent discovery of 18 (at last count) stars, and numerous Jupiter-size planets (last count 9) with highly elliptical and retrograde (counterclockwise) orbits. Such orbits are now understood to be quite the norm in nearby solar systems, although they are considered peculiar in our own.
• The 1994 announcement by NASA of a one-mile wide moon orbiting the 33-mile wide asteroid Ida, which follows the expectation that if a planetary body in this solar system exploded (or collided), the debris will be gravitationally bound in orbits around a primary body.
• The discovery of water, atmosphere and perhaps previous life on Mars, the Moon and Europa.
• Why there is a strange gravitational “pull” on Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, which indicates there is another body of significant size beyond it. Planet X – Myth or Fact?
In an article entitled “A History of Planet X – From the Present Day Search to the Seeding of Life on Earth”  Alan Alford writes that the discovery of new planets in the last two hundred years owes more to mathematics than to bigger telescopes. Mathematical irregularities in the orbits of the outer planets, in particular, strange wobbles and gravitational anomalies noted in the orbits of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, have prompted astronomers over the past hundred years to search for a large planetary body in the outer solar system. Based on this mathematical evidence, astronomers have been so sure of the reality of this planet that they named it Planet X. The name stands for the tenth planet, as well as the symbol for an unknown quantity. [His article at -- www2.eridu.co.uk/eridu/minisites/ planetx.html --is apparently no longer available! In fact there seems to be a definite trend on websites on this subject disappearing off the Inter Net. It's a goog thing we're not inclined toward Conspiracies!]
On June 17, 1982, a NASA press release from Ames Research Center officially recognized the possibility of “some kind of mystery object” beyond the outermost planets. Various press releases around this time confirmed that scientists were indeed looking for the infamous Planet X. For instance, Astronomy Magazine published an article in December of 1981 entitled “Search for the Tenth Planet,” and another article in October of 1982 entitled “Searching for a Tenth Planet.”
In addition, Newsweek covered the story of Planet X on June 28, 1982 in an article entitled “Does the Sun Have a Dark Companion?” This article implied that a tenth planet actually orbits a two sun (binary star) system, but we cannot see the other sun because it is a “dark” star. The article stated:
"A ‘dark companion’ could produce the unseen force that seems to tug at Uranus and Neptune, speeding them up at one point in their orbits and holding them back as they pass. …the best bet is a dark star orbiting at least 50 billion miles beyond Pluto… It is most likely either a brown dwarf, or a neutron star. Others suggest it is a tenth planet… since a companion star would tug at the other planets, not just Uranus and Neptune."
The Washington Post covered the story of Planet X on the front page on December 31, 1983 called “Mystery Heavenly Body Discovered.” This story reported that the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) detected heat from an object about fifty billion miles away. A report of an interview with chief scientist Gerry Neugebauer from Jet Propulsion Laboratories appeared in the story. The article stated:
"A heavenly body possibly as large as the giant planet Jupiter and possibly so close to Earth that it would be part of this solar system has been found in the direction of the constellation Orion by an orbiting telescope aboard the U.S. infrared astronomical satellite.… ‘All I can tell you is that we don’t know what it is,’ said Gerry Neugebauer, chief IRAS scientist."
The Post article went on to explain that this mysterious object has never been seen by optical telescopes on Earth or in space, but its infrared heat signature was detected twice by IRAS as it scanned the northern sky between January and November of 1983. The second infrared observation of the body, which is so cold it casts no light, noted that the body appeared not to have moved in six months. This suggested that the object is not a comet, since it probably would have moved. The article also explained that the infrared telescope aboard IRAS, which is able to detect very cold objects, calculated that the heavenly body was so cold that its temperature is about 459°F below zero.
Astronomers suggested it was a “giant gaseous planet, as large as Jupiter,” and is so close that “it would be the nearest heavenly body to Earth beyond the outermost planet Pluto.” This would make it part of our solar system. The article explained that there had been some speculation that the object “might be moving toward Earth.” However, Cal Tech’s Neugebauer was careful to “douse that idea with as much cold water as I can.” He pronounced with certainty that this object “is not incoming mail.”
The US News World Report on September 10, 1984 published an article called “Planet X – Is it Really Out There?” This article had the following to say about Planet X:
"Shrouded from the sun’s light, mysteriously tugging at the orbits of Uranus and Neptune, is an unseen force that astronomers suspect may be Planet X – a 10th resident of the Earth’s celestial neighborhood. Last year, the infrared astronomical satellite (IRAS), circling in a polar orbit 560 miles from the Earth, detected heat from an object about 50 billion miles away that is now the subject of intense speculation."
The article went on to say that scientists are hopeful that the Pioneer 10 and 11 space probes will locate the object, which they noted was possibly a “brown dwarf,” a protostar that never got hot enough to become a star. Others astronomers, however, argue that the object is a “dark, gaseous mass that is slowly evolving into a planet.” The article quoted Neugebauer as stating: “If we can show that our solar system is still creating planets, we’ll know that it’s happening around other stars, too.”
Contrary to this information, according to the ancient Sumerian texts, our solar system is not still creating planets, and this planet has been with us all along. It would appear that the media spin being put on Planet X is a clear attempt to call it something else besides “incoming mail.”
The media was quiet on the subject of Planet X for the next few years. Finally, an article by R. Harrington in The Astronomical Journal dated October 1988 supplied the details of continuing mathematical modeling of this planet. The article suggested the mysterious planet was three to four times the size of Earth, and its position was three times further from the Sun than Pluto. Mathematical modeling also suggested that Planet X had an extreme elliptical orbit [tilted at about] 30 degrees.
A NASA/ARC press release published in Newsweek on July 13, 1987 disclosed that “an eccentric 10th planet may – or may not – be orbiting the Sun.” The article stated that NASA research scientist John Anderson “has a hunch Planet X is out there, though nowhere near the other nine.” The article concluded, “if he is right, two of the most intriguing puzzles of space science might be solved: what caused mysterious irregularities in the orbits of Uranus and Neptune during the 19th Century? And what killed off the dinosaurs 26 million years ago.”
The reference to killing off the dinosaurs seems to indicate that something more is known about this planet than NASA is letting on. Is this in fact a reference to the planet Nibiru of ancient infamy, the planet which, according to ancient sources, did in fact strike the Earth (Tiamat) in ancient times, and gave us a moon for a thank you? Regardless of what NASA really knows, silence is golden, and, for the most part, mum was the word on the issue of Planet X during the 1990s. Instead, scientific journals began to debunk the issue of a tenth solar system planet.
In the 1990s, news stories began to dwell on “runaway planets” and “rebel planets” discovered in other solar systems. The issue of Planet X has now become entirely befuddled with recent discoveries of 18 nearby stars with Jupiter-class planets orbiting them (last count as of October, 1999). Locating any new developments regarding a tenth solar system planet is akin to finding a needle in a haystack, since it’s difficult to know which “new planet” they are talking about.
For instance, an October 23, 1996 AP article entitled “New rebel planet found outside the solar system,” disclosed the following:
“A new planet that breaks all the rules about how and where planets form has been identified in orbit of a twin star about 70 light years from Earth in a constellation commonly known as the Northern Cross. The new planet has a roller coaster like orbit that swoops down close to its central star and then swings far out into frigid fringes, following a strange egg-shaped orbit that is unlike that of any other known planet.”
Thus, the issue of Planet X became lost in the information shuffle. Due to the Hubble space probe, many distant galaxies, stars, planets and brown dwarfs are suddenly being discovered all at once. This situation affords NASA the opportunity to attempt to avoid the societal chaos that will surely ensue once everybody realizes that a sizable planet somewhere out there is actually destined to circle our own sun in the next couple of years (2003 according to one web site). After all, who would bother to go to work, go to school, pay their bills, play the stock market, be a loyal, taxpaying John and Jane “Doe,” if they thought the end of civilization was near?
Planet X – The Cover-Up
Contrary to what happens in Hollywood movies, where the government comes clean about comets (actually, in Deep Impact they waited almost a year after official knowledge to announce it to the public), wouldn’t it rather make sense that such an announcement would not be made public, at least too far in advance of D-day?
Tom van Flandern of the U.S. Naval Observatory, who was quoted in the 1982 Newsweek article, admits that a tenth planet is possible, but argues that it would have to be so huge that it should have been observed by now. We must admit there is a serious possibility that more details regarding Planet X are in fact known, but we are not being informed. Is there a major cover-up of Planet X?
This possibility was actually discussed in an article in the CCNet Digest on May 18, 1998 entitled “The Secrets of Asteroid Peril, British Media Smells a Rat.” This article claimed that a report in the London Daily Mail accused US astronomers of trying to cover up scientific data until NASA has a chance to look at the information. The report indicated that “earth-shattering” information, such as the discovery of incoming comets or asteroids, has been ordered to go through NASA first. The Daily Mail report of May 15, 1998 entitled “Delayed Impact, or the Secrets of Asteroid Peril,” stated the following:
"If a giant asteroid is hurtling in the general direction of our planet, we will be the last to know about it. For astronomers have decided that the news would be too earth shattering for ordinary mortals to handle, and would likely cause widespread panic. In a week that sees the release of the film Deep Impact, a fictional account of just such a catastrophe, astronomers funded by the American space agency NASA have now agreed to keep asteroid and comet discoveries to themselves for 48 hours while more detailed calculations are made. The findings would then go to NASA, which would wait another 24 hours before going public."
A Los Angeles AP article on May 19, 1998 also reported on this 72 hour delay rule imposed by NASA on announcements to the public of asteroids or comets by astronomers. The report indicated that these measures were undertaken to avoid the “doomsday alert” which occurred in March of 1998 with regard to an asteroid which was due to collide with Earth in 2028, and which was “soon found to be a mistake.” These new procedures, the article stated, are “not an attempt to hide anything but to make sure the information is accurate.” How can we be sure that if the information is found to be accurate, NASA will not (a) find it to be a “mistake,” or (b) withhold the message for a longer period of time?
X Marks the Spot
In February, 1999, J.B. Murray presented a paper to the Royal Astronomical Society entitled “Arguments for the Presence of a Distant Large Undiscovered Solar System Planet.” (http://www.blackwell-synergy.com). Murray’s paper explored various explanations for what he called a “non-random clustering of long-period comets,” which his research concluded are “aligned along a great circle inclined to both the elliptic and the Galactic plane.” His paper examined the possibility that this non-random clustering was due to “orbital perturbations by an undiscovered object orbiting within the… distances of 30,000 to 50,000 au from the Sun.” Murray’s mathematical modeling predicted that the object would have a retrograde orbit inclined at 120 degrees.
In an October 16, 1999 Economist article entitled “X Marks the Spot,” Drs. Murray and Matese, after looking at the orbits of approximately 300 long-period comets, have separately concluded that too many of them are coming from the same regions of space. They suggest that the galaxy’s “tidal wobble” is “being modulated by the gravity of something big within the Oort Cloud itself.”
The new object must be very faint, these astronomers suggest, or it would have been spotted. This means it’s not a star. They predict that the object is three times the size of Jupiter. They also suggest that the object is not a “proper planet,” because, take note: “its orbit appears to run in the opposite direction from those of the nine known planets.”
This is another factoid we can add to the above “anomalous” findings regarding the existence of Marduk/Nibiru. As the Enuma Elish tells us, the planet Marduk entered the solar system on its “clockwise, elliptical orbit,” and struck the Earth, which was moving in its “ordained counterclockwise orbit.” So the planet we are looking for will have an orbit which runs in the opposite direction from those of the nine known planets in our solar system. (Chalk another one up for Sitchin.)
According to the above Economist article, the orbit of this object also appears to be so unstable that it is unlikely that it could have maintained this orbit for the 4.5 billion year history of the solar system. Therefore, these astronomers suggest, it is more likely that the object is an extra-solar body that was captured by our sun’s gravity only “recently,” in astronomical terms. (Otherwise, it would have wreaked virtual havoc throughout the history of the solar system. Of course, we are presuming that our neck of the galactic woods is serene because we’ve been left here in peace to “evolve” for so long that Planet X would have to be a relative newcomer to fit into this preconceived scenario.) In any case, these astronomers predict we should be detecting Planet X soon, even if we have to wait for the next generation of infra-red space telescopes.
It’s interesting to note that many of the newly discovered extra-solar planets recently discovered have extremely “eccentric” orbits. It is suggested in “New Discoveries, A Planetary Mystery” that circular orbits may actually not be the rule in nearby solar systems. Nine of the extra-solar objects recently discovered travel in unusually elliptical orbits, “several of them plunging in relatively close to their stars and then swinging far out again.” Several of these planets may be three times as massive as Jupiter, and one is estimated at eleven times the mass of Jupiter.
What these new discoveries are teaching us is that our own solar system may be very unlike others. Even considering our catastrophic past, we may inhabit a relatively peaceful end of the cosmos, as far as galaxies go. As Dr. Geoffrey Marcy explains, powerful gravitational forces exerted over smaller planets by huge planets or passing stars are capable of upsetting their orbits. Likewise, two or more huge planets orbiting in close proximity can generate a “gravitational slingshot” effect, which could fling one of the objects off on an elongated orbit into the inner planetary system, while the other could at the same time fly off in the other direction, perhaps escaping into interstellar space. In another possible scenario, the planet’s own star (sun) could be part of a binary star system, locked in a gravitational embrace.
Although this discussion is being avoided in what little news there is on Planet X, the existence of a mysterious outer solar system planet suggests that we could be living in a two star solar system. What distant gravitational body is causing this planet to make such an enormous wayward loop? One thing is sure, such a companion star would be very capable of exerting a catastrophic influence on the orbits of the outer solar system planets.
As Dr. Marcy writes: “We are realizing that most of the Jupiter-like planets far from their stars tool around in elliptical orbits, not circular orbits, which are the rule in our solar system.” Why our largest planets remain in circular orbits is, therefore, a mystery. As Dr. Marcy notes:
"Jupiter sized bodies plunging toward and away from their stars are likely to sweep aside smaller worlds, sending them crashing into their star or flying out of orbit into interstellar space. Current technology is incapable of detecting Earth-size planets around other stars, but they almost certainly could not exist near their star’s warmth in a system so unsettled by large planets in wrecking orbits."
A huge planet on an elliptical orbit would probably scatter or destroy smaller planets as it crosses their paths time and again. As Dr. Marcy writes, “if our Jupiter were in an eccentric orbit, the Earth and Mars would likely be gravitationally scattered out of the solar system.” Therefore, our very existence, he writes, is dependent upon both Jupiter and Earth being in mutually stable and circular orbits. Lucky for us, we have no big bullies, no freewheeling wrecking balls, in our solar system. Or do we?
Enter Planet X
Interestingly, astronomer Tom Van Flandern wonders if Planet X has actually exploded. In his book, Dark Matter, Missing Planets and New Comets, Van Flandern wonders if this planet was responsible for disruption to the moons of Neptune. In his 1995 paper entitled “Origins of Trans-Neptunian Asteroids,” Van Flandern notes that a new asteroid belt has been discovered beyond Neptune, suggesting that Planet X may have exploded. (On the other hand, why wouldn’t this be the result of one of Planet X’s fly-bys?)
In his book, The Phoenix Solution, Alan Alford asks, if Planet X has exploded, why do the Mesopotamian texts imply that it was seen by the Sumerians during the 4th-3rd millennia BC? Alford suggests that the planet Nibiru was not actually seen, and is a “metaphysical” planet. He believes that the descent and ascent of the Egyptian ‘gods’ was metaphysical, and that the Egyptian religion was “an exploded planet cult.” The story of Osiris was based on this exploded planet; the deity Osiris had been mythologically “dismembered” and his body distributed among the other gods in the solar system. The resurrection of Osiris [continued in the Jesus myth] was based on his metaphysical journey to the stars, which restored the exploded planets to their primeval and pristine form; essentially a metaphysical trip back to “The First Time.”
Alford charges that Sitchin has misinterpreted the gods as interplanetary astronauts, and that Planet X actually did not come into the Earth vicinity, but was essentially a “play” or metaphysical replay of an even more ancient event. He also tries to incorrectly establish a Darwinian evolutionary trajectory that implies human evolution was “quickened” by this explosion of planets. This is in fact an anti-Darwinian thesis.
More importantly at this juncture, do I understand correctly that what IRAS spotted in 1983 was a metaphysical planet? So that means that what NASA officials mistook as a heavenly body in the direction of the constellation Orion, which they claimed was possibly as large as Jupiter, and close enough to Earth to be part of this solar system, was a mythological planet? And so the mysterious heavenly orb which mathematicians now predict may be three times the size of Jupiter, with a highly elliptical orbit that runs opposite the other nine planets in the solar system, and a retrograde orbit inclined at 120 degrees, is just the replay of an ancient event in the solar system? As the famous line in Oliver Stone’s JFK goes, “people, we’re through the looking glass here.”
2003© Copyright Dan Sewell Ward, All Rights Reserved [Feedback]