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Originally posted by neil wilkes
There is an excellent - although sadly long since out-of-print - book on this subject from Robert Temple, called "The Sirius Mystery".
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.
Originally posted by NGC2736
Could these backward people have heard of these strange things and incorperated them into their myths in the near past?
The Dogon are strongly oriented toward harmony, and this harmony is reflected in many of their rituals. For instance, in one of their most important rituals, the women praise the men, the men thank the women, the young express appreciation for the old, and the old recognize the contributions of the young.Wiki
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.
Originally posted by Essan
...obviously if this goes against what you want to believe in then you'll dismiss it. But that's religion for you...
However, daughter and colleague of Marcel Griaule, Genevieve Calame-Griaule, came to defend the project, dismissing Van Beek's criticism as misguided speculation and being rooted in an apparent ignorance of esoteric tradition. There are also several unexplained aspects of the reported Dogon culture that still remain. The assertion that the Dogon knew of another star in the Sirius system, Emme Ya, or "larger than Sirus B but lighter and dim in magnitude" has particularly baffled critics. In 1995, gravitational studies showed the presence of a brown dwarf star circling around Sirius. Neither does an external cause seem to explain the 400-year old Dogon artifact that apparently depicts the Sirius configuration, or reports that the Dogon were aware of the super dense nature of the white dwarf star, Sirius B, since this was only postulated not long before the Dogon came in contact with the anthropologists. Space journalist and skeptic James Oberg collected claims that have appeared concerning Dogon mythology in his 1982 book and concedes that such assumptions of recent acquisition is "entirely circumstantial" and has no foundation in documented evidence and concludes that it seems likely that the Sirius mystery will remain exactly what its title implies; a mystery.
Through the extended critique of Lettens (1971), the signal essays of Jamin (1982b) and Clifford (1988), and Hountondji’s attack against ethnophilosophy (1983), Griaule became a favorite target, personifying the violence and duplicity of colonial ethnography and its mystification of cultural traditions. With his substantive research on Dogon deep knowledge questioned on empirical grounds (van Beek 1991a), his interpretive focus on secrecy and hidden meaning—what he called “la parole claire”—has become iconic of the colonial imagination at large (Mudimbe 1988).