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Tom Van Flandern, Astronomer, and author of Dark Matter, Missing Planets & New Comets.


AN ASTRONOMER'S ANALYSIS OF THE AKKADIAN SEAL
by Tom Van Flandern

Referring to Figure 101, p. 205 of Sitchin's "Twelfth Planet": a large star symbol is in the center. It is way too small in diameter relative to the planets; but we might overlook that as artist's license, if only the planets were shown to scale.

Next we note that nine raised circular impressions ("orbs") surround the star in roughly a circle, located weaving in and out among the star's rays. However there is no obvious beginning or ending place along the circle. Nothing appears to mark the place where "Pluto" is followed by "Mercury". (Sitchin's arrow marker is not part of the original Seal.) Indeed, nothing identifies any of the orbs. Their identities must be guessed by inference. Two additional orbs appear farther out than the close circle of nine. Their relationship, if any, to the orbs in the inner circle is unclear.

It was said that the third orb could be identified with the Earth because it was accompanied by another orb which represented our Moon. This is far from obvious. First, there is nothing whatever to suggest that the orb at about one o'clock is the "third" in any sequence. Next, its diameter is distinctly smaller than the diameter of the next clockwise orb, which the text associates with Venus. Venus and Earth should be about the same size, or Earth slightly larger; but the Seal as interpreted has it the other way around.

The orb associated with the Moon is one of the two outer orbs, and the smallest overall. Although it is about the right size relative to the Earth (1/4), it's association with the Earth is not obvious, since its spacing from the Earth-orb is about the same as the spacing between any of the orbs. Specifically, it is farther from the Earth-orb than the Mercury-orb is from the Venus-orb. If the outer orbs are supposed to be moons, then "Mercury's" presence there would suggest that it was a moon of Venus. That might be acceptable, because there is some evidence that Mercury did start out that way billions of years ago. But in saying that I am clearly stretching to accommodate the depiction. Tighter logic would dictate that a Mercury-orb farther from the Sun than a Venus-orb, yet closer to the Venus-orb than the Moon-orb was to the Earth-orb, was simply incorrect in both respects.

Things do not improve after that. The Mars-orb is too large in diameter relative to both Venus and Earth: it should be half of Earth's diameter. Then we come to the three largest orbs more or less in a line, each progressively larger than the last. Associating Nibiru with the first of these is easy, since the solar system has a gap filled with asteroids there; so any orb whatever could be argued to be the missing parent of the asteroids. But we do not have that kind of freedom with the solar system's two giant planets. Jupiter is larger than Saturn in reality, but the reverse is true of the orbs. Moreover the relative sizes are way off. Jupiter should be over ten times the diameter of the Earth.

Both Jupiter and Saturn have other identifiers as well. Between them they have several of the solar system's largest moons. And Saturn has rings, arguably the most distinctive feature of any planet. But nothing whatever appears to support the association of these two orbs with the giant planets we know. The relative sizes are wrong with respect to the other planets and with respect to each other; and no moons or rings are suggested.

It doesn't get any better, because next we have an orb which does not correspond to anything known in the solar system, in a location which would be unstable for anything to form. Moreover the association of anything with Pluto is questionable, since Pluto would remain unknown even to advanced interstellar visitors, unless they carefully scanned the skies checking every tiny spot of light among hundreds of millions of brighter star images.

This is true even for advanced interstellar travelers. The volume enclosed by Pluto's orbit is so vast that the galaxy's 200,000,000,000 stars could be placed inside its orbit without touching! Pluto is smaller than many solar system moons (including our own), and in any case is a "double" object, since its moon Charon is fully half its diameter and relatively close. Pluto's orbit crosses Neptune's; and there is good reason to suspect that Pluto & Charon are escaped moons of Neptune, not true planets. Nothing about the Pluto-orb suggests an identification with Pluto. It is merely that both are "left over" after discussions of the eight major planets are done.

An association of the stray orb with asteroid or possible comet Chiron (not to be confused with Pluto's moon Charon), which is in an unstable orbit between Saturn and Uranus, would be easier to support than the Pluto identification. But from its relative size and spacing, why not associate this orb with Titan, Saturn's largest moon and the largest moon in the solar system? It seems as entitled to that status as is the orb associated with the Earth's moon. The non-uniqueness of any of the associations is plainly evident.

The orbs associated with Uranus and Neptune look about equally large, and are intermediate in size. That is as much as one can say for them, since the sizes relative to inner or other outer planets are not correct; and the next object around the circle is the Venus-orb.

In summary, the Seal does not, by itself, suggest anything more to an astronomer than an artistic rendition of a star surrounded by planets. There are simply no instances where consecutive identifications of orbs with real planets support one another. Each must be argued ad hoc, and each is problematic.

Given the lack of easy recognition of familiar solar system bodies, the extension to unfamiliar ones (based on the Seal alone) must be regarded as an act of pure faith. Perhaps the Akkadian Seal depicts some other planetary system around some other star; but it seems most unlikely to refer to our own solar system.


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