Nibiru: How the nonsense Planet X Armageddon and Nasa fake news theories spread globally

N ibiru conspiracy theories about
the end of the world have been
circulating online for more than
two decades, with the latest dubious
prophecy predicting the apocalypse
on September 23, 2017.
Planet X, or Nibiru, refers to a
mythological planet in our solar
system that will supposedly crash into
Earth and wipe out the human race,
however it has been consistently
dismissed by Nasa and other experts
as an internet hoax.
Despite absolutely no scientific
evidence to back up the suggestions of
a rogue planet getting rapidly closer to
Earth, myths about Planet X continue
to be perpetuated online.
When do conspiracy theorists think
Planet X will strike Earth?
01 : 03 : 15 : 45
Of course, this isn't the first time time
harbingers of doom have predicted the
end of time; Nasa also had to deny the
existence of Nibiru in 2012.
Throughout history there have been
similar claims, but thankfully none of
them so far have been proved correct.
How did conspiracy theories
about Planet X start?
Online chatter about Nibiru began
back in 1995 when Wisconsin native
Nancy Lieder created the alien-
conspiracy website ZetaTalk.
Ms Lieder claims to be a conduit for
aliens from the Zeta Reticuli star
system, 39.17 light years from Earth,
who have warned her about the
Nibiru catastrophe.
The conspiracy theory hasn’t gone
away, with so-called Christian
numerologist David Meade claiming
Planet X is heading in our direction.
Meade believes October could see the
start The Rapture and a seven-year
tribulation period of widescale natural
Why September 23?
It has been claimed an unusual
celestial arrangement mirroring signs
from the Bible’s Book of Revelation on
September 23 will signal the start of
the end of the world.
However, the EarthSky blog notes
there will be “nothing unique” about
the sun, moon and planets on the
“In the past 1,000 years, this same
event has happened at least four times
already, in 1827, 1483, 1293, and
1056,” explains astronomer
Christopher M. Graney.
Haven’t we been here before?
Mars, with Earth visible in background CREDIT: GETTY
This isn't the first time the apocalypse
has been predicted:
American Baptist teacher William
Miller first shared publicly his belief
in the coming Second Advent of Jesus
Christ in 1833, predicting he would
return in the year 1843.
The Millerites were his followers and
Millerism became a national
movement, however when Jesus didn’t
arrive, October 22, 1844, became
known as the Great Disappointment.
Twenty years ago, 29 members of
Heaven’s Gate, a UFO religious
millenarian group, committed suicide
with the aim of boarding a UFO they
believed was hiding behind the Hale-
Bopp comet before the supposed end
of the world.
Planet X was also supposedly
discovered by the ancient Sumerian
people and was meant to hit Earth in
2003, but never arrived.
“This catastrophe was initially
predicted for May 2003, but when
nothing happened the doomsday date
was moved forward to December 2012
and linked to the end of one of the
cycles in the ancient Mayan calendar
at the winter solstice in 2012,” say
The end of the world was also
supposed to arrive on 21 May 2011,
with Christian doomsday
prophet Harold Camping predicting
the Rapture would begin at 18:00 in
each of the world's time zones, wiping
out nay-sayers with rolling
earthquakes as believers ascended to
Nasa had to debunk an ancient Maya
prophecy theory about the world
ending back in 2012.
The Mayan connection “was a
misconception from the very
beginning,” astrophysicist Dr. John
Carlson said at the time.
“The Maya calendar did not end on
Dec. 21, 2012, and there were no Maya
prophecies foretelling the end of the
world on that date."
Chris McCann, leader and founder of
the eBible fellowship, said the world
would be engulfed and destroyed by a
great fire on October 7.
McCann said he was "surprised" by
the outcome and wrote a blog post
entitled : "A response to being
incorrect with the prediction that, in
all likelihood, the world would end on
October 7."
What does Nasa say this time?
Nasa is confident the world won't end CREDIT: AFP
Nasa has definitively dismissed wild
theories about Nibiru as
pseudoscience, issuing a number of
statements denying its existence.
“Various people are ‘predicting’ that
world will end on September 23 when
another planet collides with Earth,”
say Nasa.
“The planet in question, Nibiru,
doesn't exist, so there will be no
collision. The story of Nibiru has been
around for years (as has the 'days of
darkness' tale) and is periodically
recycled into new apocalyptic fables.”
They add: “Nibiru and other stories
about wayward planets are an
internet hoax. There is no factual
basis for these claims. If Nibiru or
Planet X were real and headed for an
encounter with the Earth …
astronomers would have been tracking
it for at least the past decade, and it
would be visible by now to the naked
eye. Obviously, it does not exist.
“Eris is real, but it is a dwarf planet
similar to Pluto that will remain in the
outer solar system; the closest it can
come to Earth is about 4 billion
Nasa fake news and the days
of darkness tale
A fake news story being widely shared
online suggests Nasa has confirmed
Earth will experience 15 days of
complete darkness in November 2015.
Another fake news video claims that
Nasa has found Nibiru and confirmed
it is heading straight for us.
Debunking website Snopes explains
the “days of darkness” tale is a “bit of
fake news lifted from an older viral
They say that it “had already been
around the online block several times
before,” adding, “it has long since
become an evergreen online hoax — a
jape that is typically resurrected a few
times a year by dubious websites that
simply update the time span for the
alleged ‘period of darkness’ and send
it winging around the internet again.
What do other experts say?
Nick Pope, who used to investigate
UFOs and other mysteries for the
Ministry of Defence , says “Nibiru
doesn't exist”.
He adds: “The world won't end on
September 23. Shame on the people
promoting this hoax in the name of
evangelical Christianity.”
Mr Pope told The Telegraph: “I'm
certain Nibiru doesn't exist because if
there really was a rogue planet
heading for Earth, due to hit on
Saturday, it would be visible to
the naked eye by now.
“Furthermore, astronomers would
have been aware of its presence for
years, both through direct observation
and through gravitational effects on
other planets in the solar system.”
Why are some people so keen
to promote this conspiracy?
“The people promoting this prediction
seem to be doing so because of
religious belief, tenuously linking the
recent eclipse with Biblical passages,
including one from the Book of
Revelations,” Pope says.
“I suspect the reasons include self-
publicity and the desire to promote
their particular brand of evangelical
Is there anything we should be
worried about?
“All this isn't to say that there aren't
some existential threats out there, but
if people want to worry about
something, they should probably
worry about North Korean missiles, or
about Iran acquiring nuclear weapons,
not about Nibiru,” Pope adds.
“There have been countless previous
predictions of the end of the world.
Self-evidently all these predictions
were false. September 23 will pass
without incident, just as we safely
negotiated all the previous dates that
had been put forward as doomsday.”

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