David Kirkpatrick

January 23, 2010

Nibiru, “Planet X”, 2012 and other doomsday hokum

Filed under: et.al., Media, Science — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:15 pm

I’ve already blogged about how the movie “2012”‘s viral marketing campaign caused some irrational fear through fake sites purporting to be actual science organizations, and talk about “Planet X”, Nibiru, the Mayan calendar, the year 2012 and other doomsday scenarios continues.

Here’s a nice overview and quick take down of all that nonsense by astrobiologist David Morrison in the December 2009 Skeptical Inquirer.

From the second link:

As the story grows in complexity, many more doomsday scenarios are being suggested, often unrelated to Nibiru. These include a reversal of the Earth’s magnetic field, severe solar storms associated with the eleven-year solar cycle (which may peak in 2012), a reversal of Earth’s rotation axis, a 90 degree flip of the rotation axis, bombardment by large comets or asteroids, and bombardment by gamma rays or various unspecified lethal rays coming from the center of the Milky Way Galaxy or the “dark rift” seen in a nearby galactic spiral arm. A major theme has become celestial alignments, which fascinate laypersons. Supposedly, the Sun will align with the galactic center (or maybe with the Milky Way Dark Rift) on December 21, 2012, subjecting us to potentially deadly forces.


I continue to receive several email questions every day about Nibiru and 2012, sent to the NASA Web site “Ask an Astrobiologist”. See the sidebar for some examples received during just two weeks in May 2009. Many questioners are frightened, angry, or both. To my surprise, I have not seen much evidence that other scientists or skeptics are concerned about this growing outbreak of pseudoscience. More than a hundred past replies of mine are posted on the astrobiology Web site and also referenced on the NASA home page. A few news blogs such as Yahoo also provide truthful answers, but these are drowned out by the 2012 hysteria. I give credit to Wikipedia, which has several entries on Nibiru, including a very good overview of the pseudoscience under “Nibiru collision.” But questions keep streaming in, and I fear this will not be my last update on this subject.


  1. Hi David:
    I understand your logic about 2012 (above), but here are my concerns, because – like that old joke goes – ‘just because I’m paranoid, doesn’t mean that nobody is following me!’ Capice? Please open your mind and connect the dots concerning the following:
    1. The South Pole Telescope. Built by US gvt. and 7 universities 2006-2008 with NSF money – billions of dollars spent – similar to Manhattan Project 1943.
    121 flights of C-130 Air National Guard aircraft out of Watertown, NY carried a 160,000 sf building, a one-of-a-kind microwave telescope, 70 scientists, a coupla million pounds of stuff and a couple hundred workmen, to the South Pole. Midair refueling both ways, to avoid questions if refueling at Christ Church NZ. Nothing ever built directly on south pole, before. Other research stations 500 miles away on coast – NO ROADS. Awful conditions: 10,000′ altitude, -85F; built over two “summers” directly on pole. Fuel always a problem! Why build directly on pole? Because you need a telescope platform turning opposite to earth’s rotation in order to rock-solid observe an object coming out of space DIRECTLY AT YOU. SPT is this. Note that the only way you can tell an “incoming” over vast distance (too great for earthbound radar at this point) is to watch for the questionable object to EXPAND in your viewing field. Need non-moving platform over weeks/months because thing is coming at you through a very busy background of stars (Orion; Milky Way), and you’ve got to find it, before you can track it!
    2. Mayan calendar ends 12/21/2012 AD. But David, you already know that. So, ummm, what date begins the Mayan calendar? 8/11/3113 BC. Ummm…What happened then? Answer: Stonehenge was built as an astronomical observatory! Bet you didn’t know that! 3113 BC! Ditto Sumerians, Babylonians, Egyptians built observatories in later years. Mayan, Egyptian pyramids all oriented same toward the cardinal points. Noah’s Flood took place about this time; was it keyed by some astronomical collision?
    Now David, follow me here: If “Nibiru” is a comet on a long, long orbit of 5,125 years, and it’s coming back in 2012 concommitant with the solar maximum and the sort of galactic alighnment necessary to do “air traffic control” on the 400 million other stars of the Milky Way Galaxy – well then David, you should expect to see the furniture rearranged around here in about 1,000 days.

    Comment by Doug Kenney — January 23, 2010 @ 9:15 pm

  2. […] isn’t typically known for hyperbolic statements. OF course if we’re wiped out by “Planet X” in 2012 it’s a moot point […]

    Pingback by Massive space storm coming in 2013 according to NASA « David Kirkpatrick — June 16, 2010 @ 5:47 pm

  3. […] Cloud, Smithsonian Institute, University of Kansas — davidkirkpatrick @ 11:02 am I’ve covered this topic before and now there’s interesting research on the Earth’s 27 million year extinction […]

    Pingback by “Nemesis” considered, debunked « David Kirkpatrick — July 12, 2010 @ 11:02 am

  4. I’m new here, but I’m really into this sort of thing, and I like to help people understand what is truly going on,l and how you can prepare for it.

    I came across this site last week, and I think you could all benefit from it.


    Anyway, mods, if this in in the wrong section, please move it, or, if you must, delete it. I think that this info needs to be out there though.

    I hope some of you find this helpful. Good luck, and god bless you

    2012 Survival

    Comment by mayaprophetx — August 24, 2011 @ 10:58 am

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