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The 10th Planet

Benson C Saili

The region of space in which we dwell is known as the Solar System. It is a family comprising of  the Sun and nine planets. The planets are in two categories. Those closest to the Sun are known as the inner planets. The furtherest are known as the outer planets.

The inner planets are, in order of their orbital positions, Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. The outer planets are Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Of course Pluto was in 2006 stripped of  its status as a planet but that was sacrilegious: the ancients, who had a better grasp of cosmology than we do today, trust me, called it a planet. That’s what we too ought to.    

The Sun and its 9 planets – the familiar version – are called the Solar System (or Sun System) after the Sun itself. “Sol” is the Sun’s astronomical name.  Sun Systems are frequently forming in the universe. Our Sun System was formed about 5 billion years ago. That makes it a young, middle-age system. In 2010, a group of NASA astronomers discovered a newly formed star, as suns are also known, in the Perseus region of the universe,  about 800 light years away from the
Milky Way Galaxy.  They called it L1448 IRS 2E.

However, the 9 planets are what we can call native planets in that they are direct offspring of the Sun. For the fact of the matter is that there is actually a 10th planet in our Solar System. This planet is an immigrant from some other region of our cosmic neighborhood. It joined the Solar System fold   4 billion years ago. Among the UFO community, it is best known as Planet X. The Sumerians, however, called it Nibiru. They also referred to it as “The Imperishable Star”. The Babylonians referred to it as Marduk. The Egyptians called it “The Planet of a Million Years”. In the Bible, it goes by several names – Olam, The Star of Jacob,   and most notably “The Lord”.  Christians do not know how often the term “Lord” in the Old Testament actually refers to Nibiru. Even our own African cousins, the Zulus, knew about Nibiru. The legendary Zulu Shaman, Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa, says they called it “Mushoshonono”.

The Old Testament for one is replete with overt and covert references to Nibiru. The great Jewish Rabbi Gamaliel, a contemporary of Jesus who also trained the apostle Paul, made tell-tale hints about it.   Even the iconic scientist Isaac Newton was familiar with its existence and this was four centuries before the Hubble Telescope was invented.  And at least three to five Earth-born humans have been to it, some even settling there permanently!

What is ironic is that although NASA knows about Nibiru, they have never directly come to acknowledge its existence. Hints have been given all right but they have not been matter-of-fact. Some of the hints have in fact been withdrawn the day after being made. Why have official astronomers chosen to keep the existence of the planet under wraps?  

The planet Nibiru  has existed since days immemorial and is older than the Sun. In our day, the foremost illuminator on the planet’s existence no doubt has been my departed friend Zechariah Sitchin. Indeed, if it hadn’t been for the pioneering works of the Azerbaijan-born Israeli Sitchin, yours and my knowledge of Nibiru would be greatly diminished. In fact, it would border on zero. Sitchin, who was only one of a handful of experts in the ancient language of Sumer, devoted practically all his adult life to the study of myriads of Sumerian tablets. In these millennia-old clay tablets is etched the saga of the Anunnaki – the Nibiruian spacefarers  who created us.

In 1976, Sitchin published a book titled The 12th Planet, the first in a slew of more than a dozen that were to follow. In it,  he made the case that contrary to popular belief, the Solar System was not a family of only nine planets. There was a tenth planet called  Nibiru. Nibiru, Sitchin declared, was not a lifeless planet. It was an inhabited planet, and its inhabitants were a race of technologically advanced human-like beings the Sumerians, the world’s first-known civilisation that thrived in modern-day Iraq 6000 years ago, called the Anunnaki  and who fashioned mankind here on Earth about 300,000 years ago. It is these same Anunnaki  who the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) for the most part addresses as “God” – Jehovah or Yahweh.

Now, if such a planet indeed did exist, why hadn’t 20th century cosmology detected it? Anticipating such a question, Sitchin pointed out the reason why, which had to do with its elongated, comet-like orbit that sent it much deeper into outer space for the greater part of its around-the-Sun journey.    Nibiru, wrote Sitchin, took 3,600 years to make one complete revolution around the Sun. In other words, one year on Nibiru – which the Sumerians termed a shar – was equivalent to 3,600 years on earth. Taking the average lifespan on earth as 100 years, it meant Nibiru could be seen only once in 360 generations.     

Nibiru, Sitchin continued, had further peculiarities beyond an elongated orbit (as opposed to a generally circular one that typified all the other planets in the Solar System). It revolved around the Sun clockwise – like a comet – when the other planets save for Pluto  did so anticlockwise. Further, Nibiru generated its own heat through brisk volcanic activity to  compensate for its bleak weather conditions: it, for the greater part of its circuit,   languished in the cold and pitch darkness such was its distance from the Sun. .      

Sitchin went on to assert that although he was arguably the first to outrightly point the modern world to Nibiru’s existence, he wasn’t its discoverer: the planet was well-known by the Sumerians of  6,000 years ago. They wrote about it, depicted it, sang and recited venerational poetry in its honour, generally revered and extolled it. Modern cosmology  was way behind that of the Sumerians of yore. The likes of NASA, with their superfluously educated cadre of rocket scientists and their outsized IQs,  had precious much to learn from the Sumerians.   The 12th Planet was a bold statement indeed.       

Although Sitchin’s book overnight shot to the acmes of the international best seller list, the scientific community received it dismissively and even contemptuously. Charges flew thick and fast that his  was a shot in the dark, that as a mere researcher and not a trained astronomer or cosmologist Sitchin had no business poking his lay nose in a territory way beyond his ken. Even his acknowledged mastery of the Sumerian language now became the butt of unbridled vitriol. But was Sitchin as black as he was being painted? Was he nothing more than a cheap sensationalist whose only agenda was to make a quick buck, to reap where he did not at all sow?


It turned out that  unbeknown to most of the world, America’s scientific establishment had been searching for the tenth planet from as early as 1968. In that year, the National Security Agency (NSA) in a study of UFO phenomena pondered the possibility and aftermath of  “a confrontation between a technologically advanced  extraterrestrial society and an inferior one on Earth”, that is, us, to put it more bluntly. Would we stand a chance? Maybe it was time Earthlings launched a quest for just such a society lest we be taken unawares and dealt a preemptive, crushing blow. The starting point was south of the furthermost planets, Neptune and Pluto.

The sought-after  planet was dubbed “Planet X”, which epithet at once denoted its mysterious nature and its status, potentially,  as the Solar System’s tenth planet.  But why did Zechariah Sitchin call it the 12th planet?      Well,  Sitchin termed it as such in deference to the Sumerians. In the Sumerian cosmogony, there were ten literal planets and two putative   planets. The ten planets were the nine we know today plus Nibiru. The putative planets were the Sun and the moon. The Sumerians  knew the Sun was the Solar System’s parent star and the moon was simply a satellite of  planet Earth. But they banded the two with the ten planets because of the cosmic eminence of the  number 12 (which eminence we will explore in future). Hence, Sitchin’s preference for the term “12th  Planet”.

Now, are you getting the photo folks? The Sumerians knew, 6,000 years ago – before astronomy’s greatest luminaries like Galileo, Copernicus, and Kepler were born – that our Solar System comprised of  ten planets. Modern man actually only came to know about the nine  planets gradually. Whereas Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn have been known since no-one-knows-when (they can be seen with the naked eye as guises of  big bright stars),  Uranus was discovered in  1781, Neptune in 1846, and Pluto in 1930. Yet the Sumerians had knowledge of  all the nine  planets plus an extra one – Nibiru. Where did they get the knowledge from, the knowledge that even today we are yet to master in its fullness?

“We learnt all we know from the Anunnaki,” the Sumerians repeatedly and emphatically stated in the treasure trove of their clay tablets and cylinder seals.  The popular meaning of the term “Anunnaki” is, “Those Who From Heaven to Earth Came”. We will stick to this version for now. So what the Sumerians were saying was that they learnt all they knew from people who came from “Heaven”,  people they called their gods. By “Heaven”, they did not mean the spiritual dwelling place of God,  the First Source: that is a modern interpretation. To the ancients, Heaven was any place in outer space that housed their “gods” or “Goddess”, that is, the Anunnaki or the Orion Queen. In the main, Heaven was the Orion star system, the Sirius star system, and the planet Nibiru.  Nibiru means “The Planet of the Crossing”. Why they called it so we will explain in due course.  

Planetary bodies exert a force on each other called perturbation. Perturbation largely arises from the gravitational effect of one planetary body (such as Jupiter) on the other (such as Saturn). When the perturbation is much pronounced, it results in making the path of the neighbouring planets more erratic than steady.  In other words, the planets will from time to time veer from their regular orbit.     

Astronomers have used the phenomenon of perturbation to detect the existence of another planet hitherto unknown. For instance, Neptune was discovered  because of  perturbations in the orbit of Uranus, and Pluto’s existence had long been suspected  because of  the perturbations in the orbits both  of  Neptune and Uranus.      But when Pluto was discovered in 1930, it turned out to be too small to cause marked disturbances in the orbits of Uranus and Neptune. The orbits of  Uranus and Neptune are the most irregular in the Solar System. The two planets from time to time actually cross each other’s paths. So astronomers wondered thus: if Pluto was not responsible for perturbations in the orbits of Neptune and Uranus, what alternative force was?        

It was not until 1972 that astronomers came up with a definitive hypothesis. In that year, Joseph L Brady of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in California discovered as he worked on the anticipated trajectory of  Halley’s Comet that the  comet, which is seen only once in 75 years (it last appeared in 1986)  had a perturbed orbit. This and the perturbations in the orbits of Neptune and Uranus led him to suggest, by mathematical computations, the existence of one more planet beyond Pluto.   The planet was designated “Planet X” to denote both its unknown status and its tenth position in the Solar System. The search for Nibiru had in earnest begun.

In 1979, the US Naval Observatory’s two scientists Robert Harrington and Thomas Van Flandern joined in the search for Planet X, and in June 1982 NASA came on board too. NASA’s statement on June 17 1982 said: “Persistent irregularities in the orbits of  Uranus and Neptune strongly suggest that some kind of mystery object is really there – far beyond the outermost planets”.  NASA said it would use the infrastructure of the Pioneer spacecraft, which had been in orbit since 1958, to look for Planet X.    In September of the same year, the US Naval Observatory announced that they were seriously pursuing the search for Planet X, with Dr. Harrington saying   according to their observations, Planet X was “moving much more slowly than any of the planets that we know”. In other words, the planet had already been located. Meanwhile, Russia had silently joined the search: its cosmonauts aboard the Salyut space station were busy scanning the skies for the mysterious planet. NASA’s Pioneer-based search for Planet X was to be augmented by the all-sky searching Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS). IRAS was to trace Planet X by sensing the heat it had lost to space in the form of infrared radiation.

A joint US-British-Dutch venture, IRAS was launched into orbit 896 km above the Earth at the end of January 1983. It was equipped to sense a planet the size of Jupiter at a distance 277 times that of  the Earth from the Sun, or 277 Astronomical Units (AU).

On January 30, 1983, The New York Times, quoting Ray Reynolds of the Ames Research Centre,  reported that  “astronomers are so sure of the 10th planet that they think there’s nothing left  but to name it”.  The bold astronomers (the official response from NASA was still that no tenth planet had been found) characterised Planet X thus: it was the size of the planet Neptune; it had an elongated, not a circular orbit; and that it moved in a retrograde orbit, that is,   clockwise, not anticlockwise as the other planets did. Now, that is exactly the way the Sumerian clay tablets described Nibiru 6,000 years ago!  

Meanwhile, US papers were in January 1983 agog with the discovery of Planet X. Here is a sample of  the front page headlines: Mystery Body Found in Space; Heavenly Body Poses a Cosmic Riddle to Astronomers; At Solar System’s Edge, Giant Object is Mystery; Giant Object Mystifies Astronomers. The opening paragraphs of The Washington Post read thus:   “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 called IRAS … When IRAS scientists first saw the mystery body and calculated that it could be as close as 50 billion miles (80 billion kilometres) there was some speculation that it might be moving   toward Earth.”  

Zechariah Sitchin, who in  The 12th Planet  had persuasively put forward the case for the existence of the 10th planet was waltzing on cloud nine.  His phone rang non-stop as friends, fans and admirers tripped over each other to congratulate him.  On January 30, 1983, Sitchin wrote the following letter to the Planetary Society in Pasadena, California:

“In view of very recent reports in the press concerning the intensified search for the 10th planet, I am forwarding you copies of my exchanges on the subject with Dr. D. Anderson. According to The New York Times of this Sunday (see enclosure), ‘astronomers are so sure of the 10th planet they think there’s nothing left but to name it’. Well, the ancients had already named it: Nibiru in Sumerian, Marduk in Babylonian; and I believe I have the right to insist that it so be called.”

Sitchin never received a reply.  The rocket scientists, with their surfeit of grey matter, would never come to admit that lay, ordinary men 6,000 years removed knew something that they, the best brains of the modern world,  were just beginning to grapple with now. This Earth, My brother …



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The Daring Dozen at Bari

8th December 2020

Seventy-seven years ago, on the evening of December 2, 1943, the Germans launched a surprise air raid on allied shipping in the Italian port of Bari, which was then the key supply centre for the British 8th army’s advance in Italy.

The attack was spearheaded by 105 Junkers JU88 bombers under the overall command of the infamous Air Marshal Wolfram von Richthofen (who had initially achieved international notoriety during the Spanish Civil War for his aerial bombardment of Guernica). In a little over an hour the German aircraft succeeded in sinking 28 transport and cargo ships, while further inflicting massive damage to the harbour’s facilities, resulting in the port being effectively put out of action for two months.

Over two thousand ground personnel were killed during the raid, with the release of a secret supply of mustard gas aboard one of the destroyed ships contributing to the death toll, as well as subsequent military and civilian casualties. The extent of the later is a controversy due to the fact that the American and British governments subsequently covered up the presence of the gas for decades.

At least five Batswana were killed and seven critically wounded during the raid, with one of the wounded being miraculously rescued floating unconscious out to sea with a head wound. He had been given up for dead when he returned to his unit fourteen days later. The fatalities and casualties all occurred when the enemy hit an ammunition ship adjacent to where 24 Batswana members of the African Pioneer Corps (APC) 1979 Smoke Company where posted.

Thereafter, the dozen surviving members of the unit distinguished themselves for their efficiency in putting up and maintaining smokescreens in their sector, which was credited with saving additional shipping. For his personal heroism in rallying his men following the initial explosions Company Corporal Chitu Bakombi was awarded the British Empire Medal, while his superior officer, Lieutenant N.F. Moor was later given an M.B.E.

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A Strong Marriage Bond Needs Two

8th December 2020

Remember: bricks and cement are used to build a house, but mutual love, respect and companionship are used to build a HOME. And amongst His signs is this: He creates for you mates out of your own kind, so that you may find contentment (Sukoon) with them, and He engenders love and tenderness between you; in this behold, there are signs (messages) indeed for people who reflect and think (Quran 30:21).

This verse talks about contentment; this implies companionship, of their being together, sharing together, supporting one another and creating a home of peace. This verse also talks about love between them; this love is both physical and emotional. For love to exist it must be built on the foundation of a mutually supportive relationship guided by respect and tenderness. As the Quran says; ‘they are like garments for you, and you are garments for them (Quran 2:187)’. That means spouses should provide each other with comfort, intimacy and protection just as clothing protects, warms and dignifies the body.

In Islam marriage is considered an ‘ibaadah’, (an act of pleasing Allah) because it is about a commitment made to each other, that is built on mutual love, interdependence, integrity, trust, respect, companionship and harmony towards each other. It is about building of a home on an Islamic foundation in which peace and tranquillity reigns wherein your offspring are raised in an atmosphere conducive to a moral and upright upbringing so that when we all stand before Him (Allah) on that Promised Day, He will be pleased with them all.

Most marriages start out with great hopes and rosy dreams; spouses are truly committed to making their marriages work. However, as the pressures of life mount, many marriages change over time and it is quite common for some of them to run into problems and start to flounder as the reality of living with a spouse that does not meet with one’s pre-conceived ‘expectations’. However, with hard work and dedication, couples can keep their marriages strong and enjoyable. How is it done? What does it take to create a long-lasting, satisfying marriage?

Below are some of the points that have been taken from a marriage guidance article I read recently and adapted for this purposes.

Spouses should have far more positive than negative interactions. If there is too much negativity — criticizing, demanding, name-calling, holding grudges, etc. — the relationship will suffer. However, if there is never any negativity, it probably means that frustrations and grievances are not getting ‘air time’ and unresolved tension is accumulating inside one or both partners waiting to ‘explode’ one day.

“Let not some men among you laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor let some women laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames.” (49:11)

We all have our individual faults though we may not see them nor want to admit to them but we will easily identify them in others. The key is balance between the two extremes and being supportive of one another. To foster positivity in a marriage that help make them stable and happy, being affectionate, truly listening to each other, taking joy in each other’s achievements and being playful are just a few examples of positive interactions.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “The believers who show the most perfect faith are those who have the best character and the best of you are those who are best to their wives”


Another characteristic of happy marriages is empathy; understanding your spouses’ perspective by putting oneself in his or her shoes. By showing that understanding and identifying with your spouse is important for relationship satisfaction. Spouses are more likely to feel good about their marriage and if their partner expresses empathy towards them. Husbands and wives are more content in their relationships when they feel that their partners understand their thoughts and feelings.

Successful married couples grow with each other; it simply isn’t wise to put any person in charge of your happiness. You must be happy with yourself before anyone else can be.  You are responsible for your actions, your attitudes and your happiness. Your spouse just enhances those things in your life. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers.”


Successful marriages involve both spouses’ commitment to the relationship. The married couple should learn the art of compromise and this usually takes years. The largest parts of compromise are openness to the other’s point of view and good communication when differences arise.

When two people are truly dedicated to making their marriage work, despite the unavoidable challenges and obstacles that come, they are much more likely to have a relationship that lasts. Husbands and wives who only focus on themselves and their own desires are not as likely to find joy and satisfaction in their relationships.


Another basic need in a relationship is each partner wants to feel valued and respected. When people feel that their spouses truly accept them for who they are, they are usually more secure and confident in their relationships. Often, there is conflict in marriage because partners cannot accept the individual preferences of their spouses and try to demand change from one another. When one person tries to force change from another, he or she is usually met with resistance.

However, change is much more likely to occur when spouses respect differences and accept each other unconditionally. Basic acceptance is vital to a happy marriage. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “It is the generous (in character) who is good to women, and it is the wicked who insults them.”
“Overlook (any human faults) with gracious forgiveness.” (Quran 15:85)


Other important components of successful marriages are love, compassion and respect for each other. The fact is, as time passes and life becomes increasingly complicated, the marriage is often stressed and suffers as a result. A happy and successful marriage is based on equality. When one or the other dominates strongly, intimacy is replaced by fear of displeasing.

It is all too easy for spouses to lose touch with each other and neglect the love and romance that once came so easily. It is vital that husbands and wives continue to cultivate love and respect for each other throughout their lives. If they do, it is highly likely that their relationships will remain happy and satisfying. Move beyond the fantasy and unrealistic expectations and realize that marriage is about making a conscious choice to love and care for your spouse-even when you do not feel like it.

Seldom can one love someone for whom we have no respect. This also means that we have to learn to overlook and forgive the mistakes of one’s partner. In other words write the good about your partner in stone and the bad in dust, so that when the wind comes it blows away the bad and only the good remains.

Paramount of all, marriage must be based on the teachings of the Noble Qur’an and the teachings and guidance of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). To grow spiritually in your marriage requires that you learn to be less selfish and more loving, even during times of conflict. A marriage needs love, support, tolerance, honesty, respect, humility, realistic expectations and a sense of humour to be successful.

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Chronic Joblessness: How to Help Curtail it

30th November 2020
Motswana woman

The past week or two has been a mixed grill of briefs in so far as the national employment picture is concerned. BDC just injected a further P64 million in Kromberg & Schubert, the automotive cable manufacturer and exporter, to help keep it afloat in the face of the COVID-19-engendered global economic apocalypse. The financial lifeline, which follows an earlier P36 million way back in 2017, hopefully guarantees the jobs of 2500, maybe for another year or two.

It was also reported that a bulb manufacturing company, which is two years old and is youth-led, is making waves in Selibe Phikwe. Called Bulb Word, it is the only bulb manufacturing operation in Botswana and employs 60 people. The figure is not insignificant in a town that had 5000 jobs offloaded in one fell swoop when BCL closed shop in 2016 under seemingly contrived circumstances, so that as I write, two or three buyers have submitted bids to acquire and exhume it from its stage-managed grave.

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