The Dogons and The Sirius Mystery

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The Dogons and The Sirius Mystery

Postby ochre » Wed Jul 19, 2006 9:52 am

Well, since Zep graciously complimented my Collins/MJ-12 "scoop" I might as well pass along another tidbit from the Fortean Times of November 2000. I chose this one because I've never believed it (a tribe in Mali, Egyptian wisdom, Graecizised (oooh, I hope I spelled that right!) Babylonian gods... eh...):

DOGON SHAME

Did ancient gods from the Sirius star system visit an African tribe 5,000 years ago? FILIP COPPENS reviews new evidence that deals a devastating blow to what was considered to be the best case for extraterrestrial visitation.

The story that the Dogon, a tribe in Mali, West Africa, had possessed in their antiquity extraordinary knowledge of the star system Sirius achieved worldwide publicity in 1976 through Robert Temple's extraordinary book The Sirius Mystery. It was compellingly argued and became one of the most influential books of the 1970s 'ancient astronauts' genre.

Sirius is the brightest star in the sky, a star that became the marker of an important ancient Egyptian calendar, and a star that is said to be at the centre of beliefs held by the Freemasons. According to some cultures, Sirius is where the forefathers of the human race might have originated. Temple claimed that the Dogon knew about two smaller stars that are closely related to Sirius – Sirius B and Sirius C. The mystery was how they had obtained this knowledge, as these companion stars cannot be seen by the unaided eye. Temple's solution referred to legends of a mythical creature, the god Oannes, who might have been an extraterrestrial, described as descending to Earth from the stars to bring civilising wisdom to the Dogon forefathers.

In 1998, Temple republished the book with the subtitle "new scientific evidence of alien contact 5,000 years ago." The book's reputation was first dented in 1999, when Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince published The Stargate Conspiracy, in which they allege that Temple’s thinking had been heavily influenced by his mentor, Arthur M. Young. Young was a fervent believer in "the Council of Nine," a mysterious group of channelled entities that claim to be the nine creator gods of ancient Egypt. 'The Nine' became part of the UFO and New Age mythology and many claim to be in contact with them. 'The Nine' also claim to be extraterrestrial beings from the star Sirius. In 1952, Young was one of nine people present during the "first contact" with the 'Council', an event initiated by Andrija Puharich, the man who brought Israeli spoonbender Uri Geller to America.

In 1965, Arthur Young gave Robert Temple a French article on the secret star lore of the Dogon, an article written by two French anthropologists Marcel Griaule and Germaine Dieterlen. In 1966, Temple – then aged 21 – became Secretary of Young's Foundation for the Study of Consciousness. In 1967, Temple began work on the thesis that became The Sirius Mystery. As Picknett and Prince have been able to show, Temple's arguments are often based on erroneous readings of encyclopædia entries and misrepresentations of ancient Egyptian mythology. They conclude that Temple was very keen to please his mentor, who believed in extraterrestrial beings from Sirius.

Though Temple's work was challenged, at its core lay the original anthropological study of the Dogon by Griaule and Dieterlen, who describe the secret knowledge of Sirius B and Sirius C in their own book The Pale Fox. But now, in another recent publication – Ancient Mysteries by Peter James and Nick Thorpe – this "mystery" is also uncloaked as a hoax or a lie perpetrated by Griaule.

To recapitulate: Griaule claimed to have been initiated into the secret mysteries of the male Dogon, during which they allegedly told him of Sirius (sigu tolo in their language) and its two invisible companions. In the 1930s, when their research was carried out, Sirius B was known to have existed, even though it was only photographed in 1970. It was very unlikely that the Dogon had learned of this star’s existence from Westerners prior to the visit by Griaule and Dieterlen.

Griaule and Dieterlen first described their findings in an article published in French in 1950, but they included no comment about how extraordinary the Dogon knowledge of the 'invisible companions' was. This step was taken by others, particularly Temple, in the Sixties and Seventies. To quote Ancient Mysteries: "While Temple, following Griaule, assumes that to polo is the invisible star Sirius B, the Dogon themselves, as reported by Griaule, say something quite different." To quote the Dogon: "When Digitaria (to polo) is close to Sirius, the latter becomes brighter; when it is at its most distant from Sirius, Digitaria gives off a twinkling effect, suggesting several stars to the observer." This description of a very visible effect causes James and Thorpe to wonder – as anyone reading this should do – whether to polo is therefore an ordinary star near Sirius, not an invisible companion, as Griaule and Temple suggest.

The biggest challenge to Griaule, however, came from anthropologist Walter Van Beek. He points out that Griaule and Dieterlen stand alone in their claims about the Dogon secret knowledge. No other anthropologist supports their opinions. In 1991, Van Beek led a team of anthropologists to Mali and declared that they found absolutely no trace of the detailed Sirius lore reported by the French anthropologists. James and Thorpe understate the problem when they say "this is very worrying." Griaule claimed that about 15 per cent of the Dogon tribe possessed this secret knowledge, but Van Beek could find no trace of it in the decade he spent with the Dogon. Van Beek actually spoke to some of Griaule's original informants; he noted that "though they do speak about sigu tolo [interpreted by Griaule as their name for Sirius itself], they disagree completely with each other as to which star is meant; for some, it is an invisible star that should rise to announce the sigu [festival], for another it is Venus that, through a different position, appears as sigu tolo. All agree, however, that they learned about the star from Griaule." Van Beek states that this creates a major problem for Griaule's claims.

Although he was an anthropologist, Griaule was keenly interested in astronomy and had studied it in Paris. As James and Thorpe point out, he took star maps along with him on his field trips as a way of prompting his informants to divulge their knowledge of the stars. Griaule himself was aware of the discovery of Sirius B and in the 1920s – before he visited the Dogon – there were also unconfirmed sightings of Sirius C. The Dogon were well aware of the brightest star in the sky but, as Van Beek learned, they do not call it sigu tolo, as Griaule claimed, but dana tolo. To quote James and Thorpe: "As for Sirius B, only Griaule's informants had ever heard of it." Was Griaule told by his informants what he wanted to believe; did he misinterpret the Dogon responses to his questions? Either way, the original purity of the Dogon-Sirius story is itself a myth as it is highly likely that Griaule contaminated their knowledge with his own.

With this, the Dogon mystery comes crashing down. For more then 20 years, The Sirius Mystery has influenced speculation about the possibility that our 'forefathers' came from the stars. In his 1998 revised edition, Temple was quick to point out the new discussions in scientific circles about the possible existence of Sirius C, which seemed to make Griaule'’s claims even more spectacular and accurate. But it is apparent that Temple was not aware of Van Beek's devastating research.

From the findings of Van Beek and the authors of Ancient Mysteries, it is clear that Griaule himself was responsible for the creation of a modern myth; one which, in retrospect, has created such an industry and near-religious belief that the scope and intensity of it can hardly be fathomed. Nigel Appleby – whose book Hall of the Gods was withdrawn from publication – has admitted to being tremendously influenced by Temple's Sirius Mystery. He has written of Temple's belief that present-day authorities are unwilling to set aside the blinkers of orthodoxy, unable to admit the validity of anything that lies outside their field or that offers a challenge to the status quo. Appleby also believes there existes a modern arrogance that cannot countenance the idea that ancient civilisations might have been scientifically superior.

But it seems that Griaule, a scientist, wanted to attribute to earlier civilisations more knowledge than they actually possessed. Credulous scholars, like Young and Temple, were taken in and, through them a whole generation has swallowed the false mythology of aliens from "the Dark Sirius Companion."


OK, children - discuss.
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Postby ryguy » Wed Jul 19, 2006 2:10 pm

Neat link. **Mental note - excellent lunchtime reading material***

I'm not familiar with this story, but it is much like this one about the Dropa tribe "in the mountains of Baian-Kara-Ula, the remote, uninviting slopes located on the border that divides China and Tibet."

For those not familiar with the story, an archaeological expedition discovered a number of cave burial sites. These sites included skeletons "measuring a little more than four feet tall, were found "frail and spindly" with "disproportionately large" skulls." In the caves were also found:

On the walls carved pictograms of the heavens were found. The Earth, the sun, the moon, and the stars were there, and all were connected by pea-sized dots. It was obvious that the pictures were meant to be a map or chart of some kind, and that they were created by intelligent beings.


And they found stone disks:

The team then made what was called "the most incredible discovery of all." Half buried in the dirt floor of each cave they found unusual disks, originally referred to as "odd stone disks" and described as "obviously fashioned by the hand of an intelligent creature." These disks were approximately nine inches in diameter and three-quarters of an inch thick. In the exact center was a perfectly round 3/4 inch hole, and etched into its face was a fine groove spiraling out from the center to the rim, making the disk look like some kind of "primitive phonograph record."


The story you posted reminded me of this one - but I've not travelled far down the road of alien contact with ancient civilizations... I haven't read much on this story, so I don't know if their findings were ever verified or not.

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Postby Zep Tepi » Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:38 pm

Another good article Ochre :)
The Dogon / Sirius connection had always fascinated me and I must say I was extremely disappointed when I first read about it being a hoax :(

Cheers,
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Postby Almeirhria » Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:21 pm

One odd thing I saw with regards to the Dropa stones recently was an analysis of Nasa shuttle footage. A couple of the objects which the video states must be UFOs are the same shape as the Dropa stones.

Find these 'ancient proofs' to be legitimate or fraudulent and you'll move closer to either side of the equation.
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Postby ochre » Thu Jul 20, 2006 2:44 pm

Sorry to disappoint you, Zep. 'Twasn't my intention at all. Hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me?

But even though I liked the Dogon story when I first heard it as a child, I never did truly believe it. Already I knew too much about Mesopotamian mythology, so even if some Egyptian influence could have filtered its way to the Dogon, I failed to see how Mesopotamian stuff could quite get there. Especially such stuff in Greek form from Berossus. And I didn't understand how the Dogon could retain the exact name (Oannes) through a couple of millennia without their own language influencing anything.

Then again, it was a few ages since I last actually read the book, so maybe I'm remembering stuff a bit loosely.

Lastly, I highly recommend Fortean Times for the fun factor alone. (Disclaimer: I am not, nor have I ever been, in their employ, and etc, and so on, and so forth, however the legalese goes; I just like the paper.)
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Re: The Dogons and The Sirius Mystery

Postby IsaacKoi » Sun Dec 07, 2008 11:57 pm

Hi,

I've written a rather lengthy and skeptical article on this topic due to a concern that some rather one-sided material is still being posted on the Internet.

The gist of my article is probably adequately indicated by its title: Dogon Alien 'Mystery' Demystified.

It can be found on ATS at the link below:
http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread326227/pg1

I realise that the relationship between ATS and this forum is somewhat, um, less than amicable - so I am happy for a moderator to delete the link to my article if links to relevant posts on ATS are not welcome. I can post a summary instead, or I'm perfectly happy with someone simply reposting the entire thing (or any parts of it) here.

All the best,

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Re: The Dogons and The Sirius Mystery

Postby ryguy » Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:00 pm

No, that's fine. Unlike ATS owners, we don't try to alter links from one forum to another, they're either allowed or they're not - we don't play those kind of immature games.

For now, links to and from ATS are allowed. Thanks for the updates by the way - I always enjoy reading your posts.

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Re: The Dogons and The Sirius Mystery

Postby mavn » Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:07 am

For what it is worth - There is a rock art site in Southeastern Washington State that has been determined to be at least 10,000 years old. It is most unusual and shows a battle taking place at a specific time when the stars were lined up a particular way. This rock art site is on the Snake River at a place called Buffalo Eddy. Another rock art site I can think of shows a figure wearing what almost looks like a space helmet and it is about 100 miles north of Buffalo Eddy. So personally I think something major happened and who really knows? The Dogon might have been pagans like the Egyptians however I'm sure they were perfectly capable of borrowing (or stealing) information from ancient sources. Just my opinion - :)
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Re: The Dogons and The Sirius Mystery

Postby ryguy » Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:09 am

Who interprets the head-gear as a "space helmet," and not a form of head armor?
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Re: The Dogons and The Sirius Mystery

Postby mavn » Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:34 am

If you could see the rock art yourself that would be best but if not you could perhaps find a copy of James D. Keyser's book "Indian Rock Art of the Columbia Plateau". There are several examples of this type of figure in his book. The one I am referring to is the most detailed though and located near the Little Spokane River. There is a definite circle drawn around the head with other symbolic marks. All rock art is open to one's own interpretation however I grew up in the Northwest and know it is a much different type of rock art then is found elsewhere.
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Re: The Dogons and The Sirius Mystery

Postby Access Denied » Sun Feb 08, 2009 6:41 am

What does that have to do with the Dogon hoax?
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Re: The Dogons and The Sirius Mystery

Postby mavn » Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:58 am

Perhaps the Dogon are the descendents of a much older tribe who left their stargate report in North America at least 10,000 years ago. Thus, personally I do not believe the Dogon Hoax is really a hoax but rather the inability for modern academia to wrap it's arms around concepts that force one to think outside of the box.
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Re: The Dogons and The Sirius Mystery

Postby ryguy » Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:03 pm

mavn wrote: The one I am referring to is the most detailed though and located near the Little Spokane River. There is a definite circle drawn around the head with other symbolic marks.


I suppose one could interpret that as a version of a "halo" then as well? I have't seen it but I'll check out the documentation you mention.

All rock art is open to one's own interpretation however I grew up in the Northwest and know it is a much different type of rock art then is found elsewhere.


I'm curious, how do you date rock art? I mean how do you know one sample is authentic from a particular time period, and not a more contemporary reproduction?
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Re: The Dogons and The Sirius Mystery

Postby mavn » Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:56 am

It seems archeologists can date petroglyphs by determing the age of the patina and whether or not it has been repatrinated or not at the time the drawings were made. I will usually refer to more than one opinion about the dating of a site then determine an average timeframe. By the way if you access the crystal links petroglyph website (I tried to establish a link here but got logged off for some reason) and scroll down there are a couple of good photos of the Buffalo Eddy site with an interpretation of the rock art relating it's origin to a cosmic encounter.
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Re: The Dogons and The Sirius Mystery

Postby Access Denied » Wed Feb 11, 2009 5:30 pm

mavn wrote:Perhaps the Dogon are the descendents of a much older tribe who left their stargate report in North America at least 10,000 years ago. Thus, personally I do not believe the Dogon Hoax is really a hoax but rather the inability for modern academia to wrap it's arms around concepts that force one to think outside of the box.

Well, I don’t follow your logic. There’s no evidence the Dogon knew anything about the Sirius star system before they came in contact with someone who did and I think you’re confusing academia with religion but…

Speaking of “thinking outside the box”, why would space aliens (“ancient astronauts”) be wearing space helmets like “modern” humans use? Don’t you think they would have come up with something a little more sophisticated?

And speaking of “academia”, are you familiar with the study of symbolism and iconography in art history? Do you really believe Jesus walked around with a golden halo floating over his head?
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