In ancient times, aliens passed on advanced astronomical knowledge to the Dogon tribe

(ORDO NEWS) — Skeptics and proponents of the theory of ancient aliens have confronted each other for decades over the supposedly advanced astronomical knowledge of the Dogon tribe.

Here’s a look at some of the arguments on both sides regarding this tribe from Mali, Africa, and their supposed knowledge of the motion of a star not visible on Earth without modern telescopes.

What the Dogon knew

Sirius is the brightest star in the sky and featured prominently in many ancient cultures. Sirius, which is about 8.7 light-years from Earth, has a companion star, the white dwarf Sirius B.

Sirius B cannot be seen with the naked eye, and astronomers first guessed its existence in the 1830s. Later, in the 19th century, they developed a theoretical model for an orbit around Sirius (now called Sirius A).

Astronomers knew that Sirius B must be made of superdense matter, but the specific details were beyond their grasp until quantum physics helped explain it in 1926.

In 1894, irregularities in the motion of Sirius B led astronomers to speculate that a third star, Sirius C, might exist and influence the orbit of Sirius B. Whether Sirius C exists or not is still a matter of debate.

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Sirius A and Sirius B in the field of view of the Hubble Space Telescope. The white dwarf is visible at the bottom left

It is believed that the Dogon knew all this many centuries before Western astronomers began to think about it. For them, Sirius is a three-star system.

They allegedly accurately describe Sirius B: they say that it is a companion star of Sirius invisible from Earth, that it has a 50-year orbital period, that it moves around Sirius A in an elliptical trajectory and consists of a heavy substance that does not occur on Earth.

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Dogon diagram depicting the elliptical orbit of Sirius B around Sirius A

It is believed that the Dogon also understood that the Earth and other planets rotate on their axis, that they revolve around the Sun, that Jupiter has four moons, and Saturn has a ring around it.

NASA‘s Chandra Observatory article states: “Carl Sagan, in his book Broca’s Brain, noted that the conclusion about planetary orbits, although a rare insight, can be achieved without high technology, as demonstrated by some Greeks and Copernicus”.

As for the moons of Jupiter and the ring of Saturn, with exceptional vision and a perfectly clear sky, they can be seen without a telescope.”

Could the Dogon somehow see Sirius B for themselves?

But skeptics and proponents of ancient aliens generally agree that the Dogon could not themselves observe Sirius B or its orbit around Sirius A.

According to Liam McDaid, professor of astronomy at Sacramento City College and senior fellow at the nonprofit Society of Skeptics, Sirius B could only have been visible to the Dogon (and all other cultures) if it was a red giant a few thousand years ago.

If that were the case, then anyone could easily observe both Sirius A and Sirius B in action. Some argue that the ancients did indeed describe Sirius as a red giant.

But, as McDade explained in an article written for the community: “One of the problems with this idea is that Sirius B has been a white dwarf for at least tens of thousands of years.

If Sirius B was a red giant just a few thousand years ago, around even today there would be a bright and noticeable planetary nebula in it. Such a nebula is not visible. ”

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X-ray image of the Sirius star system

“The second problem is that the ancient authors seem to have used color to represent stars differently than we do (they described Pollux, Arcturus and Capella as ‘red’ – a modern observer would call them yellow-orange, orange and yellow, respectively. ).

“Finally, even if Sirius B had been a visible red giant a few thousand years ago, how would the Dogon know that Sirius B still exists after it became a white dwarf?” McDaid concluded, as did the famous research scientist.

McDade, like the famous astronomer Carl Sagan, concluded that the Dogon knowledge of Sirius B must have come from an advanced culture. Sagan and McDade argue that it must have come from contemporary Western culture, others say it is unlikely.

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Hogon, spiritual leader of the Dogon

What are the chances of getting this knowledge as a result of contact with the West?

The theory that the Dogon had advanced knowledge of Sirius B is based on the anthropological accounts of Dr. Germain Dieterlen, General Secretary of the Society of Africanists at the Museum of Man in Paris, and Dr. Marcel Griol, who visited the tribe together in the 1930s.

Robert Temple’s Sirius Mystery, published in 1976, popularized the ancient alien theory as an explanation for Dogon knowledge. He refuted Sagan’s arguments about why the Dogon could have gained astronomical knowledge through contact with the Western world.

In an open letter to Sagan written in 1981, Temple states: “Because [Dr. Dieterlen] has lived most of her life with the Dogon and knows them and their traditions as intimately as anyone else, her opinion on the possible Western origin of the Dogon Sirian traditions is paramount.” She answers such suggestions with one word: “Absurd!”

During an interview for a BBC special, she showed a 400-year-old Dogon artifact depicting the three stars of the Sirius system. According to Temple, this part was cut from the American broadcast, so perhaps American skeptics did not pay attention to this evidence and Dieterlen’s testimony.

In a sober and lucid interview for the rather odd show “Talk Psychic,” Temple stated, “If you ask the Dogon, they’ll tell you, and that’s what no one wants to hear. They say their ancestors got information from visitors from the Sirius star system.”

Temple says that knowledge of the Sirius system is widespread in Dogon culture, “embodied in … hundreds or thousands of objects, symbols, woven bedspreads, carved statues, and so on.”

He considers it impossible that this knowledge could so quickly seep into culture from the time Western astronomers made these discoveries until the time when Dieterlen and Griol began their research in 1931.

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‘Master of slanted eyes’. An anthropomorphic image, probably the figure of an ancestor of the Dogon

“And how these hundreds or thousands of items were supposed to be expertly crafted forgeries that betray their centuries of age… puzzles me even more,” he continued.

“It is these and many other considerations (such as the tribal sacredness of the tradition, which makes it unlikely that it could come from Western intruders who would not be highly respected or trusted by meticulous and traditional priests) that lead Dr. Dieterlen to dismiss the suggestion of a Western origin as “absurd” “.

In 1979-1980, the anthropologist Walter van Beek studied the Dogon. He found that the Dogon cosmology differed significantly from that reported by Griol and Dieterlen.

Van Beek said that the Dogon understanding of the Sirius system was not clear or unified. He received various explanations from different Dogon sources, and some of them said that what they know about this system came to them from Griol.

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Dogon village

Griole has been criticized for using leading questions and instilling astronomical knowledge among the Dogon.

Griolet has been criticized for using leading questions and implanting astronomical knowledge among the Dogon, and Griolet’s daughter Geneviève Calame-Griolet has also criticized van Beek’s methods.

It is unclear whether the changes that have taken place in the Dogon since the 1930s can explain van Beek’s findings.

Contacts of the Dogon with Western society, with people who might know about the discoveries of the astronomer, were limited in the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century.

However, some contacts did take place, so it is possible that they came into contact with information in this way. However, even if this is the case, is it possible that they already had such an understanding of the Sirius system?


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