[The following is an extract from an email dated 15 Dec 2001 from a graduate student of Near Eastern Studies at a US university who has added more details to one of the case studies in my What's in a Shem paper commenting on Sitchin's linguistics. He has asked to remain anonymous but his expertise speaks for itself.]

...Most recently, I have finished translating the Anzu Epic, which Sitchin makes note of in The Twelfth Planet. The relevant portion is, as you quoted, when Sitchin says "as Zu fled in his MU (translated name but indicating a flying machine)". In looking at the text of the epic, however, I must tell you that the sign MU never appears. The line that describes Anzu's flight is, in Akkadian:

I 83. an-zu-u ip-pa-ri$-ma KUR-us-su ig-gu$ (where the $ = the 'sh' sound, usually marked with an 's' with a circumflex over it).

The KUR sign, which is a Sumerogram and isn't an Akkadian word, represents either the Akkadian mat-, "land" or $ad-, "mountain". In this case, the word for mountain is better, so it's best to read: "Anzu flew and went off to his mountain".

Nowhere is the means of Anzu's flight mentioned, nor do we find reference to a "name" or, in Sumerian, a MU. It's possible that Sitchin, in looking at a copy of the tablet, mistook the KUR for a MU, since the two are similar (they are similarly shaped, though confusing them is not common). However, reading MU-us-su just doesn't make any sense in the context. Literally, the text is "Anzu flew and (ippari$ma) went towards (iggu$) his KUR/MU". In either case, the KUR/MU isn't the means of the flying, as Sitchin translates. Instead, it's WHERE he is going, as noted by the -us-, which is actually -um-, the locative indicator, plus -$u-, the possessive (i.e. "his"), which, when put together, assimilate into -ussu-, or "to his X". And to say that he "went to his rocket ship and flew" (thus twisting the word order) is impossible, since the verb napri$u (Akkadian verb "to fly") is followed by the conjunction -ma, "and", thus the flying is clearly the first action; the "going towards" (in Akkadian naga$) is second. And of course, one doesn't fly and then go to the ship: one goes to the ship and then flies, a translation that, given the grammar, just isn't possible.

What distresses me is that ancient Mesopotamia has a lot to offer modern Western culture, and it's a shame to see it warped like this...