THE CURSE OF THE VICTORIANS
Victorian historians started the tradition of dismissing the legends and folklore of indigenous people. This may have been a deliberate attempt to reduce the value of these tribes and nations and thus justify the extensive colonisation that was taking place at the time. The concept of devaluing conquered people is as old as the hills, but the British Victorians and their European counterparts definitely perfected it.
Oral traditions and artefacts that went against the accepted view were cast aside or at least ignored. Examples of this behaviour are everywhere including the walls of the great British Museum in London. For example, the tablets of Gilgamesh clearly record a great flood predating the old testament tradition. Genesis stories of Adam and Eve can now be traced to ancient Sumerian records and the first depictions of angels, the Anunnaki, most definitely predate the Abrahamic record.
This tradition of denigrating historical findings that don’t fit the accepted doctrine continues to this day. Ancient sculptures depicting otherworldly beings, unexplained patterns that can only be seen from the sky and entire civilisations that simply disappeared are all consigned to the ‘we don’t know’ box and thus nobody else can know either. This is especially true of the Dogon Tribe of Mali.
IMPOSSIBLE CELESTIAL KNOWLEDGE
In 1950, ethnologists Germain Dieterlain and Marcel Griaule recorded in a small article that, while researching the life of a small Dogon tribe, they discovered that these indigenous people had extraordinary knowledge of the distant star system known as Sirius. Although these folks did have contact with the wider world, they were still largely a culturally independent communal society.
The Dogon people still live in a long a section of sandstone cliffs roughly 100 miles in length with peaks reaching as high as 1,500 feet. This area is known as the Bandiagara Escarpment. It bears a remarkable resemblance to the dwellings of the first nation American tribe – the Anasazi – who also claim to have had contact with beings from the sky and have recorded these contacts in their petroglyphs and other rock art.
The Dogon people explained to the researchers that the “beautiful star of Sigui” is located in the “heavenly heights”. Around it, according to their information, another star revolves – Po tolo. “Po” in the language of the tribe means “grain of bread.”
Interestingly, in modern astronomical literature, this star is called the Latin word Digitaria, which also means “grain of bread”. Digitaria is the heaviest star in the Sirius system, it is invisible to the human eye, and its orbital period around Sigui is 50 years. The Dogon also report that the Sirius system includes two more stars. They call one of them Emma I. She is larger than Digitaria, but four times lighter. Another satellite of Sigui is located very far from it and rotates in the opposite direction.
The most surprising thing is that the information that the Dogon have at their disposal largely coincides with modern scientific ideas. Already in 1934, the American scientist Clarke discovered the first satellite of Sirius, which later astronomers began to call Sirius-B, or Digitaria.
In 1970, Sirius-B was photographed. The period of its revolution around Sirius was calculated – 51 years. The diameter of Digitaria is approximately equal to that of the Earth, but its mass is unusually large.
Until recently, scientists believed that the Sirius system consists of only two stars: Sirius-A and Digitaria (Sirius-B). However, in 1997 the French astronomers Bonnet-Bidault and Gris suggested that Sirius-A had two more satellites: Sirius-C and Sirius -D. It should be noted that in addition to Sirius, the Dogon were also aware of other stars and planets. For example, they already understood the existence of Jupiter and that Saturn had rings.
THE SIRIUS MYSTERY
In 1976, astronomer Robert Temple published his book: The Sirius Mystery based on the legends and knowledge of the Dogon. He offers a number of theories including the existence of ancient civilisations or paleo-extra-terrestrial contact.
There is no consensus among modern scientists regarding the information received from the Dogon. Some believe that everything stated by the original scientists is so incredible that it simply cannot be true. Some critics have accused Griaule and Dieterlen of a hoax. Others have claimed, incorrectly, that all the celestial objects mentioned by the Dogon can be seen with the naked eye.
Robert Temple proposes that it is possible that in very ancient times the inhabitants of Sirius, or one of the planets included in this star system, arrived on Earth. It can be assumed, that, having met intelligent beings on the “blue planet”, the messengers of a distant star passed on some of their knowledge.
A popular theory is that the Dogon actually gained their ancient knowledge from recent explorers and rapidly assimilated it into their origin myths. This would be a good explanation except for the fact that this celestial information has been incorporated into Dogon art and artefacts some of which date back four hundred years and easily predate contact with Europeans who might have inadvertently passed on the knowledge.
The DOGON, NOT ALONE IN THEIR BELIEFS
The Dogon aren’t alone in their belief that they were visited by otherworldly beings. This legend is repeated all over the world from the Sumerians of the Middle East to the Mayans of Central America. The Anasazi of North America, the Indians of the Indus Valley, the ancient Greeks, and the Aztecs of South America all talk of sky beings as part of their written and oral histories. Even the Abrahamic religions such as Christianity talk of messengers from the sky and miraculous chariots powered by fire.
The Dogon certainly believe their legends are incredibly old. Every 60 years Sirius marks a cycle in its orbit by appearing between two mountain peaks. When this happens, the Dogon hold a festival known as Sigui. The younger males take themselves away from the main group and live together apparently speaking a secret language. On their return they seem renewed in the knowledge of their legends and more aware of their place in the universe. Some of the knowledge they are prepared to share but it also appears as if there is other information learned that it kept secret from outsiders.
In keeping with Victorian traditions, many scientists are simply not prepared to consider the implications that the Dogon anomaly could have for modern science and our understand of human evolution. Those that do are ridiculed by their educated peers and never dare do it again. It’s a tragedy that so many origin legends are dismissed without genuine investigation.