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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2001 > Jan > Jan 11

Re: Serious Flaws In Sirius Mystery

From: Nick Balaskas <nikolaos@yorku.ca>
Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2001 14:10:01 -0500 (Eastern Standard Time)
Fwd Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2001 15:32:39 +0000
Subject: Re: Serious Flaws In Sirius Mystery

Greetings everyone.

Below is an e-mail from James Oberg which I think will be of
interest to many UFO UpDates readers since it sets the record
straight regarding the Dogons and the knowledge they allegedly
obtained through E.T.s from Sirius.

As for the numerous other alleged accounts of E.T. contact
recorded in our short human history (eg. the accounts of
Anunnaki who came from Heaven to Earth as documented in Zecharia
Sitchin's well researched books), these should not be considered
to be as similarly dubious as the Dogon tale, especially since
other skeptics such as the late astronomer Carl Sagan thought it
that is was quite probable that we would find evidence of direct
E.T. contact with us in our ancient documents.

Nick Balaskas


Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2000 10:46:32 EST
From: JamesOberg@aol.com

The Sirius Lie
Extract of a Lecture for the Turn of the Millennium


Scientists learn that the Dogon do not possess secret knowledge
about the star Sirius and its companions. What some consider to
be the best evidence for extraterrestrial beings coming from
Sirius is therefore dealt a devastating blow.

In 1976, two major books on extra-terrestrial visitation were
published: Zecharia Sitchin's The Twelfth Planet and Robert
Temple's The Sirius Mystery. Of the two, the latter became by
far more famous and even attained the status of a
semi-scientific work, as many were impressed with the
scientific-looking train of logic of the book. Temple stated
that the Dogon, a tribe in Africa, possessed extraordinary
knowledge on the star system Sirius, the brightest star in the
sky, the star which became the marker of an important ancient
Egyptian calendar, the star which according to some is at the
centre of beliefs held by the Freemasons, the star which
according to some is where the forefathers of the human race
might have come from.

Temple claimed that the Dogon possessed knowledge on Sirius B and
Sirius C, companion stars to Sirius that are, however, invisible
to the naked eye. How did the Dogon know about their existence?
Temple referred to legends of a mythical creature Oannes, who
might have been an extraterrestrial being descending on Earth
from the stars, to bring wisdom to our forefathers. In 1998,
Temple republished the book with the subtitle "new scientific
evidence of alien contact 5,000 years ago".

The book's glory came crashing down earlier this summer, when
Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince published The Stargate
Conspiracy. That book stated that Temple had been highly
influenced in his thinking by his mentor, Arthur M. Young. Young
was a fervent believer in "the Council of Nine", a group of
channelled entities that claim they are the nine creator gods of
ancient Egypt. "The Nine" are part of the UFO and New Age 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 the nine people present during the "first contact"
with the Council, where contact was initiated by Andrija
Puharich, the man who brought the Israeli spoonbender and
presumed psychic Uri Geller to America. It was Young who gave
Temple in 1965 a French article on the secret star lore of the
Dogon, an article written by Griaule and Dieterlen. In 1966,
Temple, at the impressionable age of 21, became Secretary of of
Young's Foundation for the Study of Consciousness. In 1967,
Temple began work on what would eventually become The Sirius
Mystery. As Picknett and Prince have been able to show, Temple's
arguments are often based on erroneous readings of encyclopaedic
entries and misrepresentations of ancient Egyptian mythology.
They conclude that Temple very much wanted to please his mentor.
It is, however, a fact that the end result is indeed a book that
would have pleased Young and his beliefs in extraterrestrial
beings from Sirius very much, whether or not this was the
intention of Temple.

Though Temple's work is now therefore definitely challenged, the
core of the mystery remained intact. At the centre of this
enigma is the work of Marcel Griaule and Germaine Dieterlen, two
French anthropologists, who wrote down the secret knowledge on
"Sirius B" and "Sirius C" in their 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 was initiated in the secret mysteries
of the male Dogon, who allegedly told him the secrets of Sirius'
invisible companions. Sirius (sigu tolo in their language) had
two star companions. This was revealed in an article that was
published by Griaule and Dieterlen in the French language in

In the 1930s, when their research occurred, Sirius B was known
to have existed, even though it was only photographed in 1970.
There was little if no possibility that the Dogon had learned
this knowledge from Westerners that had visited them prior to
Griaule and Dieterlen.

Griaule and Dieterlen published their findings on the Sirius
companions without any reference or comment on how
extra-ordinary the Dogon knowledge was. It would be others,
particularly Temple in the sixties and seventies, who would zoom
in on that aspect. 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."
James and Thorpe 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 the world in their claims on the
secrets of the Dogon. No other anthropologist supports their
opinion's or claims.

In 1991, Van Beek led a team of anthropologists who declared
that they could find absolutely no trace of the detailed Sirius
lore reported by the French anthropologists. James and Thorpe
understate the problem when they say that "this is very

Griaule had stated that about fifteen percent of the Dogon tribe
knew about this secret knowledge, but Van Beek could, in a
decade of research with the Dogon, find not a single trace of
this knowledge. Van Beek was initially keen to find evidence for
Griaule's claims, but had to admit that there may have been a
major problem with Griaule's claims.

Even more worrying is Griaule's background. Though an
anthropologist, Griaule was interested in astronomy, which he
had studied 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 it is quite likely that he overinterpreted the Dogon
responses to his questions. In the 1920s, before Griaule went to
the Dogon, there were also unconfirmed sightings of Sirius C.
Was Griaule told by his informants what he wanted to believe? It
seems, alas, that the truth is even worse, at least for
Griaule's reputation.

Van Beek actually spoke to the original informants of Griaule,
who stated: "though they do speak about sigu tolo [interpreted
by Griaule as their name for Sirius], 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."

So whatever knowledge they possessed, it was knowledge coming
from Griaule, not knowledge native to the Dogon tribe. Van Beek
also discovered that the Dogon are of course aware of the
brightest star in the sky, which they do not, however, call 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."

With this, the Dogon mystery comes to a crashing halt. The
Sirius Mystery influenced more than twenty years of thinking
about our possible ancestry from "forefathers" who have come
from the stars. In 1996, Temple was quick to point out the new
speculation in scientific circles on the possible existence of
Sirius C, which made the claims by Griaule even more spectacular
and accurate. But Temple was apparently not aware of Van Beek's
recent research. With this new research of both Van Beek and the
authors of Ancient Mysteries, we uncover how Griaule himself was
responsible for the creation of a modern myth, which, in
retrospect, has created such an industry and almost religious
belief that the scope and intensity can hardly be fathomed.
Nigel Appleby, in his withdrawn publication Hall of the Gods,
which was, according to Appleby himself, tremendously influenced
by Temple's book, Appleby spoke about how Temple believed that
present-day authorities were apparently unwilling to set aside
the blinkers of orthodoxy or were unable to admit the validity
of anything that lies outside their field or offers a challenge
to its status quo. He further wondered whether there was also a
modern arrogance that could not countenance the possible
scientific superiority of earlier civilisations. It seems, alas,
that Griaule, a scientist, wanted to give earlier civilisations
more knowledge than they actually possessed. And various popular
authors and readers have since been led into a modern mythology,
the "Age of the Dark Sirius Companion".

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