How could a primitive African tribe, cut off from most of the modern world have a detailed knowledge of astronomy? Aliens, of course!
Like many African tribes, the Dogon people of the Republic of Mali have a shadowed past. They settled on the Bandiagara Plateau, where they now live, sometime between the 13th and 16th centuries.
Although most anthropologists would classify them as “primitive”, the two million people who make up the Dogon and surrounding tribes would not agree with this characterization.
Outsiders who have lived with them, and learned to accept the simplicity of their lives, speak of them as a happy, fulfilled people whose attitude to the essential values of life dates back millennia.
However, the tribe does make one very bizarre claim about their long history. They say that they were originally taught and “‘civilised” by creatures from outer space – specifically, from the star system Sirius, which is nearly 9 light years away.
They back up this claim with what seems to be extraordinarily detailed knowledge of astronomy for such a “primitive” and isolated tribe.
Notably, they know that Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, has a companion star, invisible to the naked eye, which is small, dense, and extremely heavy. This is 100% accurate.
But its existence was not even suspected by Western astronomers until the middle of the 19th century; and it was not described in detail until the 1920s. In fact, since it is so dim, the star, now known as Sirius B, had not even been photographed until 1970.
So how could the Dogon have known about its existence for centuries?
Anthropologists who “discovered” the tribe, and lived among them in the 30s and 40s, confirmed that their shocking knowledge of the stars could not have come from any other outside sources, as no one – not missionaries, or anyone else from the west, had ever encountered the tribe before them. They believe that what they learned living among the Dogon, is the best evidence yet that humans have been visited by aliens in our distant past.
The published works by the two anthropologists — Marcel Griaule and Germaine Dieterlen — make it overwhelmingly clear that the Dogon belief system is indeed based on a surprisingly accurate knowledge of astronomy, mingled with a form of astrology. Lying at the heart of it is Sirius, and the various stars and planets that they believe orbit around this star.
The Dogon’s advanced knowledge of astronomy did not stop with Sirius. They told Griaule and Dieterlen that the Moon was “dry and dead like dry dead blood.” They knew that planets revolved round the sun, and recorded the movements of Venus in their sacred architecture. They even knew of Jupiter’s four “major moons.” Their drawings of the planet Saturn even had a ring round it!
So how did the Dogon come to have this unearthly knowledge? So far as the Dogon priests are concerned, there is no ambiguity whatsoever in the answer to this question. They believe profoundly that amphibious creatures from a planet within the Sirius system landed on Earth in the distant past and passed on the information to their tribal mystics, who in turn handed it down over the centuries.
They call the creatures Nommo, and worship them as “the monitors of the universe, the fathers of mankind, guardians of its spiritual principles, dispensers of rain and masters of the water.”