How many times has Ancient Aliens plumbed the Anunnaki well? I’ve lost count, and I can’t imagine there is anything really new to say about a story concocted from Zecharia Sitchin’s fever dreams. All you really need to know about the Anunnaki is that they are vaguely-defined Mesopotamian deities who live both in heaven and under the earth and otherwise are most prominent in the Enuma Elish, where they build a still-extant Mesopotamian temple, the Esagila of Babylon, out of mud bricks and then complain to Marduk that it’s too much word making mud bricks—such great alien technology!
Everything else is an unwarranted marrying of the Anunnaki to the Jewish myth of the Watchers, from the Book of Enoch, derived from the Sons of God in Genesis 6:1-4. There is no reason to connect the two beyond a very vague similarity between the idea of Anunnaki as princely offspring of the original gods and the Watchers as sons of God; indeed the later Book of Giants specifies that among the Judaic giants, sons of the Watchers, is Gilgamesh, who is not a son of the Anunnaki in Mesopotamia. So much confusion!
What do you say about Sitchin’s Anunnaki story, which lacks any factual basis in the texts Sitchin claimed to translate?
Ancient Aliens S06E03 “The Anunnaki Connection” opens with the American invasion of Iraq and the looting of Baghdad’s museums, and Jason Martell claims that the thefts were conducted by a crack team of “men with earpieces” to suppress the truth about aliens. The program asks us whether the looting of the museums—and thus the whole Iraq War—was a conspiracy to suppress “forbidden knowledge,” something utterly ridiculous as we know the missing objects are missing because they have been catalogued, photographed, and described. But I’ll give the show credit: casting the Iraq War as a conspiracy is usually the work of liberals arguing for a hidden Christian apocalyptic or capitalist oil-based agenda, not an alien one.
A potted history of Sumer follows, with its various accomplishments, with some silly exaggerations. Martell, for example, suggests that Sumer popped into being “right out of the Stone Age” without antecedent. Since social organization could be found at Göbekli Tepe thousands of years earlier and a complex city at Çatalhöyük long before Sumer as well, this is hot air. Besides, I thought Ancient Aliens wanted us to believe that Egypt (no, wait, Puma Punku) was the first and oldest civilization on earth…
William Henry, who believes telephone booths are secret symbols for trans-dimensional portals, lies about Sumerian texts regarding the Anunnaki, claiming without evidence that they were described as humanoids who could “phase in” to human form, which cannot be found in any ancient text. David Childress claims that the Anunnaki are “described in great detail” in cuneiform texts, which is another lie… he is confusing them with the Watchers when he talks about their knowledge of arts and sciences.
Biblical archaeologist Robert Mullins probably should have stayed out of Ancient Aliens since the show uses the archaeologist’s words to provide a mainstream history of the Babylonian creation myth for the ancient astronaut theorists to build off of.
Erik Poltorak shows up next. He is described as a “Sumerian researcher” to (a) hide the fact that his day job was running a home-based fetish clothing company making costumes for “furries” and (b) hide the fact that his other job was serving as the longtime webmaster of Sitchin.com. Friends say Poltorak never let the two sides of his life touch. It is somewhat interesting that Sitchin acolytes Poltorak and Martell both had deep divisions in their lives and kept their day jobs (in Martell’s case, helping run GodTube.com, ChristianMingle, and JDate) completely separate from their alien obsessions. I feel weird about criticizing Poltorak because he was murdered last November, but the show feels no shame in exploiting Poltorak’s ghost the way they do that of the late Philip Coppens. Ancient Aliens is deeply morbid now, and soon more dead people than living people will be on it. It’s bizarre: A moribund show recycles ideas by exploiting dead people who are in turn exploiting dead cultures in an infinite cash spiral.
Poltorak, who knew nothing of history but what Sitchin told him, claimed that the Jews plagiarized the creation of Adam from Marduk’s creation of humans from divine blood but “left out” the best parts: the blood and guts. He also repeats Sitchin’s false etymology of the word Anunnaki, and he presents Sitchin’s creative but false translations of cuneiform texts.
Giorgio Tsoukalos, who is still living, claims that the Anunnaki had “giant” spaceships, based on not even a hint of textual support. M. J. Evans, another “Sitchin scholar,” again falsely claims that the Anunnaki genetically engineered humans, which makes no sense based on the alleged textual support since in the Eunma Elish, her source, Marduk is not an Anunnaki, and Marduk—not the Anunnaki—creates human beings. Only by rewriting the text can this be turned into anything resembling Sitchin’s fake version.
William Henry tells us that the Anunnaki “seeded” Noah and other biblical figures with “star seed” to give them extra-long lives, and Philip Coppens agrees. This seems a bit too rape-like to me, but I don’t think Henry meant it to sound as much like sodomy as it came out.
After beating around the bush, the show introduces the dead Zecharia Sitchin, making the third dead ancient astronaut theorist this hour. Clearly there is a conspiracy to kill off those who get too close to the truth, perhaps by those “men with earpieces” as mentioned by Sitchin’s other acolyte, Jason Martell. Martell explains that gold can be used to patch the holes in the atmosphere of the aliens’ planet, Nibiru, and that they created humans as a slave race to mine gold. It would be more efficient for a spacefaring race to extract gold from asteroids, but what do I know? Maybe the aliens just liked it here. For Linda Moulton Howe, the Anunnaki are a “global” phenomenon that goes beyond just gold to include the need for all our planet’s resources. William Henry, however, dissents and instead claims that the Anunnaki came through star gates (worm holes), not in ships.
The deceased Poltorak returns from the grave to tell us that an elongated Sumerian skull is proof of hybrid genes rather than hydrocephaly or head binding, and Evans says it contains “characteristics that allude to Anunnaki genes,” which would be quite a trick since she doesn’t know what Anunnaki genes would be, or what they looked like, and is basing this on science fiction versions of big-headed aliens. Mesopotamian art does not depict oversized heads as a trait of the gods. Childress says that the Anunnaki had “cone-head type skulls,” which the show illustrates with an image of Oannes, a man in a fish suit. The “cone” is the head of a fish. Oannes (also called Adapa) was not an Anunnaki but one of the Seven Sages, a son of Ea. Only Sitchin makes Ea an Anunnaki, which is why the late Philip Coppens tells us from the Netherworld that the skull can tell us “whether the Anunnaki were physically real”—quite a stretch from a man whose Ancient Alien Connection explained his belief that the “aliens” were pure spirit matter and not physical in nature.
The show, with an assist from Nick Redfern, Howe, and Henry, then falsely asserts that “one of the most common themes” in mythology is that the gods descended from the sky. Very few say that as explicitly as “The Call of Cthulhu” does; instead, most animist and traditional belief systems posit that the gods are inherent in the universe, part of nature, and coequal with it. For the Greeks, the gods were physically born in the Greek landscape, for example—Apollo on Delos, Dionysus on an unknown “Mt. Nysa,” Aphrodite from the sea-foam, and so on. In Mesopotamia, the gods aren’t all from the sky, or even most—in fact, the sky did not exist until Marduk (or another god, depending on the version) actually created the sky, which came after the eruption of the gods from primeval chaos. Elsewhere, as in Minoan belief, the gods came from under the earth because they were chthonic beings, not celestial ones.
After this we listen to the unproven link between the Anunnaki and the sons of God from Genesis 6, with Scotty Roberts claiming a connection that cannot be supported from archaeology or extent texts. (The Sons of God may well originate in polytheistic deities, but these cannot be shown to be the Anunnaki and are more likely related to Canaanite polytheism, as in the Ugaritic assembly of the seventy sons of El and Asherah.) The show connects this to Greek mythology and Zeus’s two “hybrid” sons, Perseus and Heracles (apparently Dionysus, Pirithous, Myrmidion, Helen, and other kids by mortal mothers don’t count), and also to the Watchers from Enoch. Jason Martell says that “every culture around the world” has heaven-sent beings that had half-divine offspring. Technically Gilgamesh was two-thirds god, so this confuses the genetic lineup a bit unless the Anunnaki had a menage à trois with his mother.
The show then suggests that Babylonian images of winged men were therefore the Anunnaki, but these late depictions are not associated with the Anunnaki. Instead, they are late forms of the lammasu, winged protective spirits having a king’s head, a lion’s body, and wings—later stylized into a man with wings. Another carving, of a bird-headed figure is also claimed as an Anunnaki even though this figure, called a griffin-demon in modern archaeological texts, is again not associated with the Anunnaki, whom, I will remind you, the show told us were “humanoid.” Jason Martell fails to distinguish between Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian, Babylonian, and other Mesopotamian cultures and simply declares them all “Sumerian,” as though nothing in the art changed across time.
Philip Coppens tells us that the Anunnaki have “age spans” far longer than anything humans could have, which is odd for immortal gods—and he simply lies about this being part of “Sumerian” texts, again confusing Mesopotamia’s many cultures, none of which considered Anunnaki to be mortal.
The show then tells us that the Great Flood wiped out all traces of the Anunnaki, yet somehow not the stories of their life and times, despite the death of everyone who knew anything about them. How convenient. The show reaches into the creationist well to claim that the Great Flood actually happened, that the Mesopotamian and Hebrew flood myths are real, and…well, this has been done to death on this show, and they have nothing new to add. Robert Schoch tries to tell us that “people have doubted the myths, doubted the legends” but sees a “genuine basis” for flood myths in great floods that submerged Mesopotamia. No, wait, I take it back: David Childress has a new-ish idea, which I remember reading a version of in a 1996 book about Martian ancient astronauts called Architects of the Underworld by Bruce Rux: Noah’s Ark was a space ship sent into orbit while the earth flooded.
Nick Redfern tells us that the Flood myth is universal. I recently republished James Frazer’s classic study of why that is not true, and you are welcome to read (print or ebook) his collection of nearly every global flood myth to see why.
The only interesting thing in this discussion is the way the show and its pundits bend over backwards to try to tell viewers that the Bible is true and they can still believe in all their favorite Bible myths as long as they replace God with an alien.
Oh, what a coincidence! I just mentioned Architects of the Underworld and its claim that Noah’s Ark came from Mars—Bruce Rux believed that humans originated there and the Flood was a memory of the surface of Mars breaking off in an asteroid bombardment and all the water shooting off into space—when Ancient Aliens takes us to Mars! The show suggests that the Anunnaki lived on Mars on the strength of Sitchin’s claim that it was an Anunnaki rest stop on the way to Earth. Childress tells us that he expects to see archaeological constructions, such as statues and dolmens, on Mars. So, these Anunnaki, are they not subject to the laws of physics? Are they equally adapted to every strength of gravity? Can they survive in every level of atmospheric pressure and at every temperature?
The show then asks if “global awareness” of our Anunnaki ancestry is forthcoming, and whether the Anunnaki will punish us for overstepping our bounds and sinning in the eyes of the gods. Poltorak, whose sexual fetishes may have predisposed him to enjoying punishment, seemed positively giddy about the idea that powerful beings would come down to spank people. William Henry, by contrast, thinks that the Anunnaki will have a “mass return” that will give us “new technology” by direct transfer to our consciousness.
I will point out to Giorgio Tsoukalos that he is wrong in claiming that “one common denominator” in world mythology is that the gods promised “to return.” The Anunnaki did no such thing, nor did the Greek gods, nor the Roman gods, nor those of most animist and traditional belief systems. How could they promise to return when, inherent in every facet of creation, they never left but were a part and parcel of everyday life? The Jews felt that the Watchers were condemned to eternal punishment and therefore would not be coming back. Tsoukalos tells us to just shut up and “accept” the reality of ancient astronauts because “hey, it’s OK.”
The show concludes by laying its creationist cards on the table: The narrator tells us that aliens are the reason why there is no “missing link” in “Darwin’s theory of evolution,” that aliens can reconcile science and religion, and that “the truth is too disturbing to contemplate” so mysterious conspiracies looted Iraqi museums to preserve evolution and secularism from the forces of religion.
Erich Von Blavatsky
10/15/2013 06:40:15 am
would you be interested in going on Art Bell's new show Dark Matter? Art would probably more open minded than Ancient Alien promoter George Noory on Coast to Coast AM. He's also interested in new guests. If so contact email@example.com
11/6/2013 07:24:16 am
That would be cool I mean it was awesome when Michael Heiser went on their and challenged Sitchins works to that crowd. Not an easy task considering the depth and breadth of the Sitchinites. Thankfully someone went on their to tackle the uncontested, at least to the Coast audience, claims. For instance I recently checked ou the 12th planet on Amazon and their are over 400 written reviews and over 4 stars for the book. It's refreshing to hear an armed and intelligent spanking of the heavily influential works.
10/15/2013 08:31:29 am
Come to think of it, the only god I know of who is traditionally believed to have descended upon our earth from the sky is...Freddy Mercury.
10/15/2013 09:18:44 am
Minoan religion is a tricky subject, and their exact beliefs are not at all clear. The conclusions about chthonic deities come from Martin Nilsson and Walter Burkert, who based their ideas on Minoan-Mycenaean art and suggestions from later Cretan cult practice, which associated even Olympian gods like Zeus with subterranean and underground sites. On the model of other Near Eastern cultures, many have suggested that before an influx of Indo-European beliefs they originally had an earth-based system where deities were associated with natural features and phenomena since the it is only around 800 BCE that we start to see all of the major gods carried up into the sky.
The Other J.
10/15/2013 10:20:30 am
So did Zeus start as a chthonic god and move upwards, or was he always a sky god who was just venerated in subterranean locations? Either way makes sense: Either it shows the development of a mythic god, or the underground veneration of a sky god shows a kind of union of sky and earth.
10/15/2013 10:36:30 am
Zeus on Crete is a merger of an indigenous deity (usually called Velchanos after a Greek name for this Zeus) with the Indo-European Zeus, who originated as the Indo-European god of the daytime sky Dyeus. Many Classical scholars believe that Velchanos was a dying-and-rising chthonic consort of the Mother Goddess, but why he was identified with Zeus is not so clear. It's possibly because the Greeks thought Zeus was born on Crete and thus identified him with the young boy-god of the island. Alternately, Zeus' birthplace was made Crete due to some special aspect of this god that is now forgotten.
10/15/2013 11:33:04 am
That's very interesting. Thank you.
The Other J.
10/16/2013 10:17:20 am
Yeah, echoing Shane, that is interesting, thanks.
10/15/2013 08:57:30 am
Every time I hear the Enuma Elish called a "Sumerian text" I die a little inside. Even the most cursory of research would tell these people that it is in fact Babylonian- 1500 years removed from Sumerian dominance of the region. But why do that when we can just read some Sitchin Fiction for all the truths of the world?
The Other J.
10/15/2013 10:17:02 am
So if the Annunaki breathe radon, and they're meant to return, I'm guessing they'll be returning to some basement or first-floor apartment. True believers might want to get one of those detectors and hang out someplace with high readings, although I wouldn't recommend it -- they better hope advanced Annunaki technology can cure lung cancer.
10/15/2013 12:07:03 pm
Firstly, presently, we are ignorant as to how the depleting atmpsphere of Nibiru could be healed by the use of gold dust without affecting the health of its inhabitants the Annunakai. Perhaps in time, as our knowledge increases and Earth's atmosphere has depleted, we may discover the value of gold dust in that light. (The Earth is not flat but round and an aeroplane is not too heavy to fly etc. etc.)
10/15/2013 09:29:25 am
As always great research Jason!
10/15/2013 09:40:50 am
He also produces cell phone apps for third-party clients through his Booya! Media. His technology business is how he made millions, which he uses to support his "Sitchin studies" work.
10/28/2013 08:27:31 pm
I know this is a late observation, but I find it strange that Martell would lead off the episode with "the American invasion of Iraq and the looting of Baghdad’s museums, and...that the thefts were conducted by a crack team of 'men with earpieces' to suppress the truth about aliens". On a link you provided that described him, there is this statement:
I have an incredibly open mind, and I even have the slight belief in an 'annunaki' race...but this episode, and Ancient Aliens in general has just become way to full of itself. George still literalizing everything as Aliens did it just like the meme. All you have to do is write a book with no literal facts to get on this show and speak your ideas and opinions, even go as far to say "THEY came in giant space ships and the humans depicted this as a divine message from above." "IT REALLY IS FUCKING ALIENS" -George Tsulikiususus
10/15/2013 04:39:18 pm
"William Henry, who believes telephone booths are secret symbols for trans-dimensional portals..."
10/15/2013 10:54:01 pm
Well, in Henry had it partially right, in America phone booths (not blue police boxes) are indeed used by aliens. Not as inter-dimensional transporters, but as changing rooms. It's where they strip off their human guise so to show their ultra... even "super"... powerful true form. Which is blue. And red. With a hints of yellow. And perfect hair.
10/17/2013 01:57:24 am
Unless you count those stoner kids, with their time traveling phone booth...
10/16/2013 10:02:47 am
10/16/2013 10:29:07 am
Thanks for your comment, Scotty, but no, I didn’t. The show quotes you as follows (in its entirety): “The Nephilim are described in some translations as being giants. The relationship between the Anunnaki and the Nephilim is really a story of two cultures but are related. The Anunnaki was the god caste who created primordial man to enslave them, while the Nephilim were the offspring of those who came down and intermingled with humans.” It’s obvious from the cuts that the show edited your statement, but I described correctly what you said: that the Anunnaki and Nephilim/Watchers are connected. You probably meant that the stories had similar functions, but coming in the middle of a segment in which the narrator declared the Nephilim to be a subset of the Anunnaki, the show used your quotation to support a different claim.
10/24/2013 10:27:40 pm
I came across a comment in an old post on the Fortean Times' message board that pretty much says it all concerning the outlandish claims that have been made by the pundits on this show.
12/31/2013 05:20:31 am
you are the most uninformed idiot I know on the subject, jerk!
12/31/2013 05:37:09 am
may you be visited by the ghosts of Sitchen and Poltorak for your blasphemy against them! whose buttering your bread, beotch?! the same ones that murdered Poltorak?! grrrrrrr!
4/1/2014 02:05:19 am
Prophet Adam, talks about Dyeus, in proto-indo-eurpean society dated to around -5o000BC. Later "Tengri", seems to be a gnostic in hindu religion (Indra), that talks about the same god. Which in Islam is by prophet Seth.
5/7/2014 09:55:05 pm
There is reason from Enoch to suspect the Watchers will return in the end times Hence Jude alludes to it and Revelation depicts it in Chapter 9.
5/17/2015 03:44:50 pm
So we see a story with Zues and being reborn into his son .... And then we have the story of God and his son Jesus .... Kinda along the same line right .... With an opened mind since we are talking theory here .... If the Anunnaki were created by a supior being to them and given a bible to live by and follow .... Then the story we are told of the Anunnaki King and son being sent to Earth to prove that he is just as good as his father and inherits a planet that he was never to be allowed on by his God ... Mother of all creation and the source of light that fills your soul with all good that is there .... For God the creator of good is a kind loving God that gave life to the light of eternal life which is what your soul is .... With all this in mind if Ea the son of Anu is here on earth and is making mankind into his ideal slave ( changing the DNA of our creators creation ) for his purposes to show his father that he is just as capable of creating a great Governmental Power and should be the King of the Anunnaki .... Then he would have used the same story line of creation from his bible and used it to his advantage to trick mankind over the years for his purpose and has failed many times and has killed off numerous amounts of people to start over changing the God he is each time to confuse later generation as to what previous man meant ... So in general the possibility of both stories and all myths from our past might all be saying the samething just different versions .... So in a sense the Bible is telling us the story of their creation from their God our God don't replace any words with anything for to change It is a sin ... But think in a more loving God who created creatures of all kinds in the great cosmic for light has no boundaries and light is what makes your eternal light your soul .... Ea just used the earth to create our bodies which has a life of it's own in it ... Blood which is why blood rituals were required it gives Him power and Jesus a son of another God was given on earth as a final blood sacrice for man's sins so man could better himself freely in the glory of the true creator of life ... and live happily lovingly compassionately together as other races do in the cosmic .... The devil given 2k years domain .... Niribu passes every 3,600 ... Close isn't it ... .. A lot of the stories on both sides of this add up into a straight line When looked at from above .... Who is our creator .... No one can answer that we don't know for sure only have stories handed down for centurie .... But according to time the planet if it does exist should be coming back around .... Soon and this child of Anu was supposed to have his government in place and in order by time his Father returns ..... We are pushing farther and farther into space not looking for Life watching to see how close the father is to his return and how much time he has to get this whole world under one governmental idea .... Not necessarily just one leader but idea of control ... Because he has realized the single control thing won't ever work because the people (slaves) will revoke and rebel against him again .....
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
Enter your email below to subscribe to my newsletter for updates on my latest projects, blog posts, and activities, and subscribe to Culture & Curiosities, my Substack newsletter.
Terms & Conditions
Please read all applicable terms and conditions before posting a comment on this blog. Posting a comment constitutes your agreement to abide by the terms and conditions linked herein.