It's no secret that I think MSNBC editor Alan Boyle's Cosmic Log is a great blog, and here's more proof why. Alan posts plenty of fascinating, 'hard science' stories, but he's also not afraid to explore the outer fringes as well. Case in point: yesterday's interview with Zecharia Sitchin about his new book There Were Giants Upon the Earth (Amazon US and UK:
The 90-year-old Sitchin was born in the Soviet Union, grew up in Palestine and now lives in a New York apartment. He has written 14 books about way-out subjects, starting out with claims that a "12th planet" named Nibiru swung past Earth thousands of years ago and dropped off alien visitors who were looked upon as gods by Middle Eastern cultures. Sitchin says these aliens were the Annunaki mentioned in Sumerian scriptures, and the Nephilim mentioned in the Bible.
Needless to say, Sitchin's ideas - like those of another ancient-astronaut author, Erich von Däniken - have been roundly scorned by the scientific community. But now Sitchin is asking that very community to help him with the mystery of Queen Puabi.
Alan treats Sitchin and the topic with plenty of respect, despite not believing "any of Sitchin's tales about alien astronauts or ancient demigods from the planet Nibiru". Plenty of comments following the story too - quite an inflammatory topic it seems.