However, it seems that Merklinger's sources were incorrect. Below are several replies I have already received from other guests of the Cosmic Connections Conference.
Offered by Tim.
I received a further communication from Zecharia Sitchin, which included this paragraph: "The Return is a complex matter of a significance that goes beyond me telling one fan. The answer is VERY complex, and I have touched on it [during] the the Q&A period in Sedona. As a guide I will tell you that the return of the Anunnaki need not and probably does not coincide with the return of the planet. As to 'May 15 2003' I have no idea what the date signifies." From this response, it would appear to me that he really doesn't expect the planet back anytime soon, and that whatever contacts he has had with Tom Van Flandern and Richard Hoagland have not convinced him otherwise.
While Mr. Sitchin did address the possible return of Nibiru at the Cosmic Connections Conference, I certainly DO NOT feel he said that it would be within 2 years time from now. He NEVER makes such comments with dates or hints of dates. I've known him for over 8 years and have never heard him to make such a specific reference. What he DID say was that contact from Nibiru's Anunnaki inhabitants, if via space craft, would NOT come when Nibiru was at its closest to the Sun as the planet moves faster at that time; such visits would come EITHER while the planet was INCOMING towards the inner Solar System, OR while it was OUTGOING from its innermost point. We do have a 3-audio tape set of his entire lecture available by mail order for $30 if you want to verify exactly what he said. Do not contact me by e-mail for ordering but either phone (928) 204-1962 or send me your "US mail" address and I will send you the audio tape mail order form. I am experiencing e-mail problems (a worm virus!) and may not receive any more email this week. I hope that this reply comes with no problems to you.
Chet Snow Ph.D.
As I recall from listening to Zecharia Sitchin's Sedona lecture earlier this month, he had NO idea when Nibiru would be returning, and responded to several written questions from the audience to the effect that calculating its return would be difficult, if not impossible. To verify his statements regarding this question, I suggest you either obtain a copy of his recorded address from Dr. Chet Snow, who hosted the event, or contact Mr. Sitchin directly via his web-site.
Sincerely, Frank Joseph
Editor of Ancient American Magazine