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The website of ‘alternative history’ author Zecharia Sitchin has posted a statement announcing his passing at the age of 90:

We regret to inform you that Zecharia Sitchin passed away on the morning of October 9th. A small, private family funeral was held the next day.

The family asks that you respect its privacy during this difficult time and refrain from contacting family members directly. Instead, to offer tributes to Mr. Sitchin or to contact those handling his affairs, please email tributes@sitchin.com or send a letter to P.O. Box 577, New York, NY 10185.

We appreciate the support that you have given over the years. Please continue to monitor this website for further updates.

Sitchin had been busy earlier in the year promoting his latest book There Were Giants Upon the Earth, including an interview in June posted at Alan Boyle’s Cosmic Log. In July Sitchin had posted a note on his site regarding a hospital visit due to “an acute abdominal problem”, though he hoped to “return to full activity” after a short rest.

Zecharia Sitchin shot to fame (and notoriety amongst scientists) in the mid 1970s with his book The 12th Planet (‘Book One of the Earth Chronicles’), in which he put forward the hypothesis that Sumerian civilisation was ‘kick-started’ by the Anunnaki, a race of extra-terrestrials from a ‘lost’ planet in our own Solar System (on an elliptical orbit) called Nibiru. He went on to write a large number of books exploring these ideas further.

Sitchin was part of the ‘ancient astronaut’ genre which exploded in the 1970s via the works of authors such as Erich von Däniken (Chariots of the Gods) and Robert Temple (The Sirius Mystery).