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The Dogon

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Things to beware of in 1997:

Sudden outbreaks of hostility, racial and otherwise, which seem to 
just as suddenly be quelled.  Some may notice a fine drizzlelike
mist preceding these events.



From: (Richard Dolan)
Date: 10 Jul 95 16:58:21 GMT
Organization: University of Rochester - Rochester, New York
Message-ID: <>
Newsgroups: alt.paranet.ufo,alt.alien.visitors

Not many people are familiar with the Dogon people, who live in the West
African country of Mali. About 90 percent of Mali's population is Muslim,
but the Dogon, who comprise about 4 percent of the Mali's population, are
among the few people who continue to maintain traditional African religious
practices and beliefs. I remember watching a television documentary about
the Dogon a few years back which discussed their cosmology. I thought it was
intriguing, but did not give the matter any attention after that.

Recently, I was browsing through a coffee-table book called "Strange Amazing
and Mysterious Places" (Collins Publishers, 1993). It's mostly nice for the
beautiful photographs taken from around the world. But it also contains a
brief essay on the Dogon, most of which I've reprinted. Here it is:

"The Dogon live in the remote Hombori mountains of southern Mali. Their land
is arid, their life is hard, and their farming methods are those of Iron
Age. Their myths, on the other hand, are entirely Space Age.

"In their most secret religious teachings the Dogon record a curious story
of visitors from another star system. The star people, called Nommos, and
also the Instructors, came down to earth in a spinning ship. It made a great
noise and wind and spurted blood when it landed. Something came out of the
ship: it had four legs and dragged the ship to a hollow. The hollow filled
with water and then the Nommos came out. They looked more like fish than
humans, and they needed to stay in water. These Nommos were saviors and
guardians for all of human kind. They gave advice. They gave their bodies
for men to eat, and in the end they were crucified and will return to earth
again one day with human bodies.

"All this might be nothing more than one of the world's peculiar creation
myths, which teem with beings visiting the earth from other worlds. But
there is a difference: the Dogon's story is constructed around precise
mathematical information about th star system the Nommos came from, near the
bright star Sirius. The Nommos said that Sirius had a small companion star.
It was white in color, very small, and immensely heavy. It rotated on its
own axis and made an elliptical orbit of Sirius once every fifty years. All
this is precisely true.

"Until fairly recently, Western astronomers knew nothing about a white dwarf
star circling around Sirius. They first suspected that Sirius might have
such a companion in 1844, when small disturbances in the star's movement
were detected. Then, in 1928, astronomers understood that although Sirius'
companion is very small (it is classed technically as a white swarf and is
called Sirius B), it is composed of extremely dense matter and therefore has
enough mass to explain the effects. In 1970 the first photographs of the
star were taken. The star's orbit, as the Dogon say, is elliptical and is
completed in 50.04 years--a little more than two weeks longer than the Dogon

"Astronomers admit that the kind of knowledge the Dogon have about Sirius
can only be obtained with advanced telescopes, which the Dogon have never
possessed. They attempt to account for the Dogon's knowledge by a series of
rationalizations. Sometime after 1928, a Westerner with a compulsion to
impart obscure knowledge must have visited the tribe and told them about the
discovery of Sirius' satellite. Then, just for the pleasure of confounding
the French anthropologist who collected the stories in 1934, the Dogon
claimed they had the information for centuries, and that it had been given
to them by fish-like people from the stars. Even more ingenuously, the Dogon
seem to have remembered a very ancient Babylonian story and modeled their
ridiculous tale of the Nommos on it. This story, recorded in the 3rd century
B.C., tells how an egg-shaped vehicle landed in the Red Sea, and how out of
it came an amphibious people called the Oannes. They looked terrible--half
fish and half human--but they gave the people all the information needed to
become civilized."

Interesting, isn't it?

The next posting on this subject concerns my reading of an original Dogon
source, first published in 1948: "Conversations with Ogotemmeli."

Rich Dolan

... No one--no government agency has jurisdiction over the truth.--Mulder

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