Have Astronomers Discovered Sky World?

Johannes Megapolensis, the Dutch colonist who captured the first known Mohawk creation story in 1644, probably would have been amazed that the Mohawks would continue to believe in it for more than three and a half centuries, but that is indeed what has happened.  

The story of creation, which has often been called by the more formal name of The Myth of the Earth Grasper, is still the foundation of not only traditional Mohawk beliefs, but those of our brother Iroquoians, just as it was in the time of Megapolensis.  It has evolved over time, as all great traditions do, but there are many important aspects of it that have survived virtually intact over the centuries.  One of them is the central premise that life on earth has extraterrestrial origins.  As Megapolensis said:

They think that there are more worlds than one, and that we came from another world.

That’s right, an integral part of Iroquoian spiritual beliefs is that life on earth was in part seeded from another planet.…a place known to us as Karonhià:ke, or Sky World.  It’s one of those areas where our traditional teachings agree with those of other peoples, for it was almost universal among the ancients that beings from the heavens were involved in creation.

For years, these “heavenly beings” were the basis of all of the world’s religions, but today we only associate the concept with one thing: little green men from Mars.

We owe this in part to Erich von Däniken, whose pseudo-scientific book Chariots of the Gods? Unsolved Mysteries of the Past reintroduced the concept of “ancient astronauts” into the public consciousness in1967.  Ancient astronauts have become a staple plot device of science fiction movies since then, but few scientists take the idea seriously.  As mysterious as the Great Pyramids of Giza are, there is no question that men made them, not alien gods, although their makers certainly had a rich cultural world that spoke of celestial gods and goddesses…the Star Wars of their time.

One scientist who does take the ancient astronauts seriously is Zecharia Sitchin, the Israeli scholar who authored The Twelfth Planet, The Stairway to Heaven, The Wars of Gods and Men, The Lost Realm, When Time Began, and The Cosmic Code.  These books are collectively known as The Earth Chronicles

Sumerian clay seal by Darren Bonaparte

Sumerian clay seal depicting ancient gods

Sitchin’s take on the ancient astronauts scenario is much more detailed and involved than von Däniken’s work, but it is not without its share of skeptics. At the heart of his theory is the belief that the ancient Sumerians knew of a tenth member of our solar system…the planet Nibiru, the birthplace of their gods.  Based on his reading of ancient Mesopotamian texts, Sitchin says that this “planet of the gods” has a massive orbit that brings it around the sun once every 3,600 years, and whenever it comes closer to the inner planets, it usually wreaks havoc.  This was the cause of the great flood talked about in the biblical story of Noah’s ark.

Although this planet’s orbit takes it quite a distance from the warmth of the sun, it apparently has a means of generating enough heat of its own to support life.  Sitchin says that the beings who lived on this planet-the Anunnaki, or “Those who from heaven to Earth came” -traveled here to mine for gold, but quickly grew tired of their toil.  A member of the Anunnaki royal family, a scientist named Ea, noticed that the planet already had a creature similar to themselves, and suggested a solution to the labor crisis: genetically engineer a “hybrid” from the DNA of these primitive beings and the gods themselves.  

Once perfected, the hybrids were immediately put to work to relieve the gods. Eventually they made enough of these new hybrids that the gods began to take some of them as wives.  The noise from all of this debauchery  angered Ea’s brother, Enlil, who decided that it was time for the end of this new creation.  When the Planet of the Gods came around for another visit, its gravitational pull caused a massive flood on earth that wiped out most of humanity.  Fortunately, Ea was able to prevent mankind’s total destruction by advising a chosen few to build an ark and save themselves.

If this sounds similar to the Book of Genesis in the Bible, it’s because Genesis is a regeneration of these earlier Near Eastern tales.  Yahweh (Jehovah) is an amalgamation of these two ancient Sumerian gods, Ea and Enlil. (Since the ancient Jews were nomadic, they had to travel light, both physically and spiritually, and that meant no idol worship and only one deity!)

I mention Sitchin’s theory because in the original Sumerian legends about the creation of man, they speak of the new worker being fashioned from clay mixed with the blood of a god.  Life is then “breathed into” the new creation, which Sitchin interprets as the mixing of Anunnaki DNA with that of our evolutionary predecessors.  It is reminiscent of how man was created in modern versions of our own creation story, such as the one found in the North American Indian Travelling College’s Traditional Teachings (1984):

When Teharonhiawako created all the waters, plants, trees, and animals of the world, he decided that he should create a being in his likeness from the natural world.

He wanted this being to have a superior mind so it would have the responsibility of looking after his creations.  Then he decided that it would be better if he created more than one being and give to each similar instructions and see if over a period of time, they would carry them through.

The first being Teharonhiawako made was from the bark of a tree; the second from the foam of the great salt water, the third from the black soil...

Now Teharonhiawako thought to himself, it is getting towards the end of the day and I have created three beings, since everything on this world exists in cycles of four, I will create one more being.  Thus he again looked for something different within the natural world and this time he found some reddish-brown earth.  With this he again combined other elements from the land and created a human form.  When he finished he observed that his form blended very well with the natural surroundings, especially against the setting sun, which gave the form a reddish color.

Are these “battling brothers,” the great flood, and the creation of man from clay just more examples of universal human archetypes, or could there be a more tangible connection between Ea and Enlil of the Sumerians and Teharonhiawá:kon and Tawískaron of our own creation story?  It was something I thought I would never know the answer to.

That all changed on July 29th, 2005, when a NASA website announced some surprising news:

“It’s definitely bigger than Pluto.” So says Dr. Mike Brown of the California Institute of Technology who announced today the discovery of a new planet in the outer solar system.

The planet, which hasn’t been officially named yet, was found by Brown and colleagues using the Samuel Oschin Telescope at Palomar Observatory near San Diego. It is currently about 97 times farther from the sun than Earth, or 97 Astronomical Units (AU). For comparison, Pluto is 40 AU from the sun.

This places the new planet more or less in the Kuiper Belt, a dark realm beyond Neptune where thousands of small icy bodies orbit the sun. The planet appears to be typical of Kuiper Belt objects-only much bigger. Its sheer size in relation to the nine known planets means that it can only be classified as a planet itself, Brown says.

One would expect that Zecharia Sitchin would be thrilled to hear that the existence of his “Planet of the Gods” had been confirmed by science, but as he stated on his website, he didn’t believe this “icy rock” was the same planet:

So is it Nibiru?  Have astronomers now found the planet from which, according to my understanding of Mesopotamian and biblical texts and illustrations, astronauts had come to Earth some 450,000 years ago?

Based on the sketchy information so far available, the answer is No.

This regrettable answer stems, first of all, from comparing the information released regarding the new object and the ancient data concerning Nibiru.  The latter was described as a radiating planet (i.e. one that has its own heat source and atmosphere), a planet that sustains life, home planet of the Anunnaki (“Those who from heaven to Earth came”) – the biblical Nefilim…It was not an “icy rock” in the Kuiper belt.

It seems doubtful that NASA is contemplating a manned space mission to the outer solar system to see if God is home, so it may be some time before we find out if this “tenth planet” is Sitchin’s Nibiru, the Planet of the Gods…or Karonhià:ke, the Sky World of the Iroquois.

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