The idea of the Nibiru encounter originated with Nancy Lieder, a Wisconsin woman who claims that as a girl she was contacted by gray extraterrestrialscalled Zetas, who implanted a communications device in her brain. In 1995, she founded the website ZetaTalk to disseminate her ideas. Lieder first came to public attention on Internet newsgroups during the build-up to Comet Hale-Bopp's 1997 perihelion. She stated, speaking as the Zetas, that "The Hale-Bopp comet does not exist. It is a fraud, perpetrated by those who would have the teeming masses quiescent until it is too late. Hale-Bopp is nothing more than a distant star, and will draw no closer."She claimed that the Hale-Bopp story was manufactured to distract people from the imminent arrival of a large planetary object, "Planet X", which would soon pass by Earth and destroy civilization.After Hale-Bopp's perihelion revealed it as one of the brightest and longest-observed comets of the last century,Lieder removed the first two sentences of her initial statement from her site, though they can still be found in Google's archives. Her claims eventually made the New York Times.
Lieder described Planet X as roughly four times the size of the Earth, and said that its closest approach would occur on May 27, 2003, resulting in the Earth's rotation ceasing for exactly 5.9 terrestrial days. This would be followed by the Earth's pole destabilising in a pole shift (a physical pole shift, with the Earth's pole physically moving, rather than a geomagnetic reversal) caused by magnetic attraction between the Earth's core and the magnetism of the passing planet. This in turn would disrupt the Earth's magnetic core and lead to subsequent displacement of the Earth's crust.
Lieder's Planet X idea first spread beyond her website in 2001, when Mark Hazlewood, a former member of the ZetaTalk community, took her ideas and published them in a book: Blindsided: Planet X Passes in 2003. Lieder would later accuse him of being a confidence trickster. A Japanese cult called thePana Wave Laboratory, which blocked off roads and rivers with white cloths to protect itself from electromagnetic attacks, also warned that the world would end in May 2003 after the approach of a tenth planet.
Roughly a week before the supposed arrival of Planet X, Lieder appeared on KROQ-FM radio in Los Angeles, and advised listeners to put their pets down in anticipation of the event. When asked if she had done so, she replied that she had, and that "The puppies are in a happy place." She also advised that "A dog makes a good meal". After the 2003 date passed without incident, Lieder said that it was merely a "White Lie ... to fool the establishment,"and said that to disclose the true date would give those in power enough time to declare martial law and trap people in cities during the shift, leading to their deaths.
Many Internet sites continue to proclaim that Lieder's object is en route to Earth, often citing its arrival date as December, 2012. This date has gathered many apocalyptic associations, as it is the end of the current cycle (baktun) in the long count in the Mayan calendar. Several writers have published books connecting the collision with 2012