By Robertino Solàrion

Texas, 25 October 2000

The Sirius Mystery

By Robert K. G. Temple


Excerpt, pp. 79-81

Sirius was the most important star in the sky to the ancient Egyptians. The ancient Egyptian calendar was based on the rising of Sirius. It is established for certain that Sirius was sometimes identified by the ancient Egyptians with their chief goddess Isis.

The companion of Isis was Osiris, the chief Egyptian god. The 'companion' of the constellation of the Great Dog (which includes Sirius) was the constellation of Orion. Since Isis is equated with Sirius, the companion of Isis must be equated, equally, with the companion of Sirius. Osiris is thus equated on occasion with the constellation Orion.

We know that the 'companion of Sirius' is in reality Sirius B. It is conceivable that Osiris-as-Orion, 'the companion of Sirius,' is a stand-in for the invisible true companion Sirius B.

'The oldest and simplest form of the name' of Osiris, we are told, is a hieroglyph of a throne and an eye. The 'eye' aspect of Osiris is thus fundamental. The Bozo tribe of Mali, related to the Dogon, call Sirius B 'the eye star'. Since Osiris is represented by an eye and is sometimes considered 'the companion of Sirius', this is equivalent to saying that Osiris is 'the eye star', provided only that one grants the premise that the existence of Sirius B really was known to the ancient Egyptians and that 'the companion of Sirius' therefore could ultimately refer to it.

The meanings of the Egyptian hieroglyphs and names for Isis and Osiris were unknown to the earliest dynastic Egyptians themselves, and the names and signs appear to have a pre-dynastic origin -- which means around or before 3200 B.C., in other words 5,000 years ago at least. There has been no living traditional explanation for the meanings of the names and signs for Isis and Osiris since at least 2800 B.C. at the very latest.

'The Dog Star' is a common designation of Sirius throughout known history. The ancient god Anubis was a 'dog god', that is, he had a man's body and a dog's head.

In discussing Egyptian beliefs, Plutarch says that Anubis was really the son of Nephthys, sister to Isis, although he was said to be the son of Isis. Nephthys was 'invisible', Isis was 'visible'. (In other words, the visible mother was the stand-in for the invisible mother, who was the true mother, for the simple reason that the invisible mother could not be perceived.)

Plutarch said that Anubis was a 'horizontal circle, which divides the invisible part ... which they call Nephthys, from the visible, to which they give the name Isis; and as this circle equally touches upon the confines of both light and darkness, it may be looked upon as common to them both.'

This is as clear an ancient description as one could expect of a circular orbit (called 'Anubis') of a dark and invisible star (called 'Nephthys') around its 'sister', a light and visible star (called 'Isis) -- and we know Isis to have been equated with Sirius. What is missing here are the following specific points which must be at this stage still our assumptions: (a) The circle is actually an orbit. (b) The divine characters are actually stars, specifically in this context.

Actually, Anubis and Osiris were sometimes identified with one another. Osiris, the companion of Isis who is sometimes 'the companion of Sirius' is also sometimes identified with the orbit of the companion of Sirius, and this is reasonable and to be expected.

Isis-as-Sirius was customarily portrayed by the ancient Egyptians in their paintings as travelling with two companions in the same celestial boat. And as we know, Sirius does, according to some astronomers, have two companions, Sirius B and Sirius C.

To the Arabs, a companion-star to Sirius (in the same constellation of the Great Dog) was named 'Weight' and was supposed to be extremely heavy -- almost too heavy to rise over the horizon. 'Ideler calls this an astonishing star-name', we are told, not surprisingly.

The true companion-star of Sirius, Sirius B, is made of super-dense matter which is heavier than any normal matter in the universe and the weight of this tiny star is the same as that of a gigantic normal star.

The Dogon also, as we know, say that Sirius B is 'heavy' and they speak of its 'weight'.

The Arabs also applied the name 'Weight' to the star Canopus in the constellation Argo. The Argo was a ship in mythology which carried Danaos and his fifty daughters to Rhodes. The Argo had fifty oarsmen under Jason, called Argonauts. There were fifty oars to the Argo, each with its oarsman-Argonaut. The divine oarsman was an ancient Mediterranean motif with sacred meanings.

The orbit of Sirius B around Sirius A takes fifty years, which may be related to the use of the number fifty to describe aspects of the Argo.

There are many divine names and other points in common between ancient Egypt and ancient Sumer (Babylonia). The Sumerians seem to have called Egypt by the name of 'Magan' and to have been in contact with it.

The chief god of Sumer, named Anu, was pictured as a jackal, which is a variation of the dog motif and was used also in Egypt for Anubis, the dog and the jackal apparently being interchangeable as symbols. The Egyptian form of the name Anubis is 'Anpu' and is similar to the Sumerian 'Anu', and both are jackal-gods.

The famous Egyptologist Wallis Budge was convinced that Sumer and Egypt both derived their own cultures from a common source which was 'exceedingly ancient'.

Anu is also called An (a variation) by the Sumerians. In Egypt Osiris is called An also.

Remembering that Plutarch said that Anubis (Anpu in Egyptian) was a circle, it is interesting to note that in Sanskrit the word Anda means 'ellipse'. This may be a coincidence.

Wallis Budge says that Anubis represents time. The combined meanings of 'time' and 'circle' for Anubis hint strongly at 'circular motion'.

The worship of Anubis was a secret mystery religion restricted to initiates (and we thus do not know its content). Plutarch who writes of Anubis, was an initiate of several mystery religions, and there is reason to believe his information was from well-informed sources. (Plutarch himself was a Greek living under the Roman Empire.) A variant translation of Plutarch's description of Anubis is that Anubis was 'a combined relation' between Isis and Nephthys. This has overtones which help in thinking of 'the circle' as an orbit -- a 'combined relation' between the star orbiting and the star orbited.

The Egyptians used the name Horus to describe 'the power which is assigned to direct the revolution of the sun', according to Plutarch. Thus the Egyptians conceived of and named such specific dynamics -- an essential point.

Plutarch says Anubis guarded like a dog and attended on Isis. This fact, plus Anubis being 'time' and 'a circle', suggests even more an orbital concept -- the ideal form of attendance of the prowling guard dog.

Aristotle's friend Eudoxus (who visited Egypt) said that the Egyptians had a tradition that Zeus (chief god of the Greeks whose name is used by Eudoxus to refer to his Egyptian equivalent, which leaves us wondering which Egyptian god is meant -- presumably Osiris) could not walk because 'his legs were grown together'. This sounds like an amphibious creature with a tail for swimming instead of legs for walking. It is like the semi-divine creature Oannes, reputed to have brought civilization to the Sumerians, who was amphibious, had a tail instead of legs, and retired to the sea at night.

Plutarch relates Isis to the Greek goddess Athena (daughter of Zeus) and says of them they were both described as 'coming from themselves', and as 'self-impelled motion'. Athena supervised the Argo and placed in its prow the guiding oak timber from Dodona (which is where the Greek ark landed, with the Greek version of the Biblical Noah, Deukalion, and his wife Pyrrha). The Argo thus obtained a distinctive 'self-impelled motion' from Athena, whom Plutarch specifically relates to Isis in this capacity.

The earliest versions of the Argo epic which were written before the time of Homer are unfortunately lost. The surviving version of the epic is good reading but relatively recent (third century B.C.).

The Sumerians had 'fifty heroes', 'fifty great gods', etc., just as the later Greeks with their Argo had 'fifty heroes' and the Argo carried 'fifty daughters of Donaos'.

An Egyptian papyrus says the companion of Isis is 'Lord in the perfect black'. This sounds like the invisible Sirius B. Isis's companion Osiris 'is a dark god'.

The Trismegistic treatise 'The Virgin of the World' from Egypt refers to 'the Black Rite', connected with the 'black' Osiris, as the highest degree of secret initiation possible in the ancient Egyptian religion -- it is the ultimate secret of the mysteries of Isis.

This treatise says Hermes came to earth to teach men civilization and then again 'mounted to the stars', going back to his home and leaving behind the mystery religion of Egypt with its celestial secrets which were some day to be decoded.

There is evidence that 'the Black Rite' did deal with astronomical matters. Hence the Black Rite concerned astronomical matters, the black Osiris, and Isis. The evidence mounts that it may thus have concerned the existence of Sirius B.

A prophecy in the treatise 'The Virgin of the World' maintains that only when men concern themselves with the heavenly bodies and 'chase after them into the height' can men hope to understand the subject-matter of the Black Rite. The understanding of astronomy of today's space age now qualifies us to comprehend the true subject of the Black Rite, if that subject is what we suspect it may be.

This was impossible earlier in the history of our planet. It must be remembered that without our present knowledge of white dwarf stars which are invisible except with modern telescopes, our knowledge of super-dense matter from atomic physics with all its complicated technology, etc., none of our discussion of the Sirius system would be possible; it would not be possible to propose such an explanation of the Black Rite at all -- we could not propound the Sirius question.

Much material about the Sumerians and Babylonians has only been circulated since the late 1950s and during the 1960s, and our knowledge of pulsars is even more recent than that. It is doubtful that this book could have been written much earlier than the present. The author began work in earnest in 1967 and finished the book in 1974.

Even so, he feels the lack of much needed information: sites remain unexcavated, texts untranslated from various ancient languages, astronomical investigations are perpetually incomplete. The author has also found it difficult to master material from so many different fields and wishes he were much better qualified. The Sirius question could not realistically have been posed much earlier, and future discoveries in many fields will be essential to its full consideration.


RIAP Bulletin Volume 4, Number 4 October-December 1998


An Essay By Vladimir V. Rubtsov
Chairman Research Institute On Anomalous Phenomena (RIAP)
Kharkov, UKRAINE


When studying the question of possible ancient visits of alien beings to the Earth, a researcher sometimes encounters data which cannot be interpreted as yet in a strictly scientific manner, but which, at the same time, are interesting enough to be regarded seriously and unbiasedly. Such data can be found, in particular, in the well-known "mythological astronomy" of the Dogon, an African people, living mainly in the West African Republic of Mali.

The Dogon believe that the Universe is "infinite, but measurable" and is filled with "spiral stellar worlds" (yalu ulo), one of which contains the Sun. This world may be seen in the sky as the Milky Way. The majority of heavenly bodies represent the "external" star system, whose influence on terrestrial life is, according to the Dogon, relatively small.

There exists, however, also the "internal" system, which "participates directly in the life and development of men on the Earth". It includes Orion, Sirius, Pleiades and some other stars. These celestial bodies form the "support of the seat of the world". It is Sirius that occupies the main position among them, being called the "navel of the world".

Sirius is considered by the Dogon as a triple stellar system, consisting of the stars Sigi tolo (our Sirius A), Po tolo (Sirius B, a white dwarf) and Emme ya tolo (the hypothetical Sirius C, yet to be discovered). Close similarity between the characteristics of Po tolo and Sirius B (both bodies are white, small, very heavy, with fifty-year periods of revolution around the main star) stimulated a lively discussion on the pages of scientific -- and not so scientific -- journals about 20 years ago.

Robert Temple, in his book The Sirius Mystery [1], and Eric Guerrier in his Essai sur La Cosmogonie des Dogon [2] supposed that these data (as well as other astronomical information possessed by the Dogon) were brought to the Earth by cosmic visitors. However, their reasons could not break through the "armour of denial" of established science. The hypothesis of a recent adoption of this knowledge from Europeans appeared convincing for most scientists.

It is natural that other components of the Dogon mythology, which have little in common with modern scientific knowledge, attracted even less scholarly interest. Yes, this is a real mythology, almost pure and not very simple. To analyze its content is not an easy task, and the results are not self-evident. Nonetheless, it is possible that we can derive from such an analysis some important information. Let us recall very briefly the main points of this mythology.

The supreme god Amma made the whole Universe within a grain of po, which is the Dogon name for fonio, the smallest kind of millet. This grain was located inside the "egg of the world", it "spun and scattered the particles of matter in a sonorous and luminous motion", remaining, however, "inaudible and invisible" [3, p. l30]. Having opened this 'egg', Amma let the spiral stellar worlds out, and it was thus that the Universe was realized.

Then the god created the first living being -- Nommo anagonno. This being is described either as a half-man, half-snake having flexible limbs, without any joints, red eyes and forked tongue, or just as a fish, namely a Silurus, sheat-fish, or cat-fish. This Nommo multiplied, and there appeared four Nommos: Nommo die, Nommo titiyayne, O Nommo and, at last, Ogo, a very harmful creature.

As distinct from other Nommos, he is never represented as a fish. Instead of awaiting patiently the completion of the Amma's work, he hurriedly made an "ark" and rushed into space, wishing "to look at the world". Thus, he took disorder into the young world. After several voyages, Ogo landed on the Earth and turned into the pale fox or fennec, named Yurugu.

Made indignant by Ogo's escapades, Amma took everything he had created and put it back into the grain of po. To "purify" the Universe, he had to sacrifice one of the Nommos. After that "by whirling and ... acting as a spring, the po ... distributed all things in the Universe" [3, p. 423]. The empty shell of the grain became the star Po. In "the first year of the life of man on Earth" this star exploded, and its brightness decreased slowly during 240 years until it completely faded.

It is interesting that there is in the Dogon mythology another image of the Sirius system. According to it, the main star represents the Ogo's female twin, Yasigui, whom he chased with some dubious intentions. One of its satellites is Ogo himself, doomed to revolve eternally around his sister, remaining at a respectful distance from her.

Of course, this is only an outline of this very complicated genesis story. I am citing it here just as the basis for further considerations. Can this story be useful for paleovisitological studies?

Some time ago the present author suggested the idea of astroengineering interference by a cosmic supercivilization in the evolution of the Sirius system. This assumption was based on the Indo-European myth of the heavenly blacksmiths, who are fighting and chaining up the monstrous Dog, dangerous for the Universe, as well as on some astrophysical data from the history of Sirius (see: [4]).

It is known in astronomy that a white dwarf arises from a red giant as this loses its mass. This process is usually accompanied by a slow ejection of a planetary nebula which eventually dissipates into space. But sometimes the remaining core of the red giant can retain a mass exceeding the so-called Chandrasekhar limit (about 1.3 Sun masses). This leads inevitably to disastrous self-compression of the core and its explosion as a Supernova. As a result, powerful streams of matter and radiation are ejected into the surrounding space.

If such an event had ever happened in the Sirius system, at a small (on the cosmic scale) distance from the Solar system, it might have been fatal for the terrestrial biosphere. My idea was that some highly developed supercivilization could have tried to remove the excess of stellar matter from Sirius B, thus saving life and civilization on Earth.

Really, the only thing we know for sure about the evolution of the Sirius system is the fact that Sirius B was once a red giant whose mass exceeded that of Sirius A (that's why the former evolved more rapidly). The initial orbit of Sirius B was, most likely, circular; now it is a highly elongated ellipse. This suggests that the mass loss was accompanied by some considerable disturbances. Some part of the "lost" matter probably contaminated the atmosphere of Sirius A (see: [5]).

But the real course of events is still very unclear. The situation will seem even more in-volved if we bear in mind the possible presence of the second satellite in this system, as is asserted by the Dogon and confirmed by recent astrophysical data (see: [6]).

It would be certainly very helpful to study thoroughly the Sirius system with modern astronomical equipment (say, by radio interferometers with a very long baseline). But it appears that relevant (and rather interesting) information can also be found in those vestiges of the great mythologies of Europe, Asia and Africa which have survived till now, however odd and strange they may appear to us.

This information cannot be taken at face value, for the myth is a very special form of thinking and knowledge, much different from our modern mentality. We should carefully analyze and interpret mythological stories and characters to understand their profound sense and real significance. There are on this road many pitfalls and false turnings, but there may also be found some road-signs and important hints. Let us go through some of them.

It is well known that the most common (though not the only) name for Sirius in the ancient world was "The Dog" (with the variants: the wolf, the fox, the jackal). The ancient Egyptians called it, in particular, the Starry Dog and identified the star with Anubis, the jackal -- or dog-headed god of the dead. The North American Indian Cherokee tribe believed that this Dog awaited the souls of the dead on the Milky Way; the Blackfeet Indians named the star "Dog-face".

The oldest Hindu name for Sirius was Sarama, "one of the Twin Watch-dogs of the Milky Way" [7, p. 119]. The Chinese knew this star as the Heavenly Wolf, and the Greeks as the Dog of Orion, or more specifically, as the dog Orthrus, a son of the monster Typhon. The Romans saw in it the Southern Cerberus, a watch-dog of their hell. As for the fennec Ogo, it is the smallest wild animal in the dog family (which hints probably at the small size of Sirius B).

What is more, Sirius represented not a decent house dog, but a terrible beast, monstrous and dangerous for everyone. It was related to death, hell and disaster. Orphrus' father Typhon was identified with the Egyptian evil god Seth (who, incidentally, was sometimes portrayed as a dog-headed creature) and was regarded as one of the monstrous adversaries of Zeus. The latter fought with Typhon and defeated him with much difficulty. Finally, Ogo himself is, as we know, a very harmful character in the Dogon mythology.

The worship of a dangerous dog was widespread in the ancient world, and this is rather strange: the dog was in fact the "first friend" of ancient man and played a very important part in his everyday life. Nonetheless, the fact remains: dogs (as well as wolves and jackals, which seems much more natural) were regarded as chthonian animals, guardians of the underworld. The "Inmost Story" of the Mongols contains a motif of monstrous metal dogs who feed on human flesh. The terrible dog Yarchuk, from Slavic mythology, had a wolf tooth in his mouth and two vipers under his lower lip. According to a Russian belief, a Solar eclipse happens when the heavenly wolf swallows the Sun (this idea was not unfamiliar to many other peoples).

The Ukrainians believed that Ursa Major was a team of horses with harness; "every night a black dog tries to bite through the harness, in order to destroy the world, but he does not achieve his disastrous aim: at dawn, when he runs to drink from a spring, the harness renews itself" [8, p. 168].

Another version of this story states that a dog was chained beside Ursa Minor; he tries in every way to gnaw through his iron chain, and when this happens, the world will perish. According to the famous ancient Greek philosopher Proclus, who lived in the 5th century A.D., "the fox star nibbles continuously at the thong of the yoke which holds together heaven and Earth"; the Germans added that "when the fox succeeds, the world will come to its end" [9, p.385].

One can find some interesting details of this future event in the Nordic mythology. It has been called "Ragnaroek", and the wolf Fenrir, together with the great dog Garm, play leading parts in it. Having snapped his fetters (which, incidentally, were made of nothing), Fenrir will devour the Sun and the supreme god Odin.

These fetters are of much importance for our subject. As was ascertained by the Russian philologist Dr. Vyacheslav Ivanov, the motif of the fight against the dragon in Slavic mythology grew out of an older motif of the hero-blacksmiths, chaining up a terrible dog. What is still more essential, "over the whole territory of Eurasia, this mythological complex is associated both with the Great Bear ..., with a star near it as a dog which is dangerous for the Universe, and also with blacksmiths ..." [10, p. 210]. One should remember that, although Sirius is far from this constellation in the firmament, it belongs to the same star-cluster.

Now, let us pay some attention to other Sirius names. There exists in mythology some kind of "principle of complementarity": you can describe a complex phenomenon, using a set of quite different, even incompatible, images. Thus, the first satellite of Sirius is at the same time an empty husk of a millet grain, and the Pale Fox himself. Just as much, Sirius may have been represented as the Dog, the Arrow, the Triangle, as well as in many other ways. This star was either the tip of the arrow (in Mesopotamia and Persia), or its target (in China, as well as in Ancient Egypt).

The Chinese mythical emperor Huang-ti was both a smith and an archer; on an ancient picture he aims at the celestial jackal, located beside another star, which represent, probably, the A and B components of this system [9, ill. between pp. 216 and 217]. I would like to recall in this connection the hypothesis of the Russian scholar Dr. Igor Lissievich about possible paleovisits at the early stages of China's history. Huang-ti was the main character of these hypothetical events (see: [11]).

The Iranian mythology personified Sirius as Tishtrya, the divine archer (the corresponding character in the Vedic myths was Tishya). The name "Tishtrya" goes back to the Sanskrit term "three stars" and to an older Indo-European one of the same meaning. Some scholars prefer to see here a designation of the Belt of Orion, but it seems to be just an ad hoc conjecture. On the other hand, the name "three stars" is quite justified in terms of the Dogon concept of this stellar system. There is, by the way, a direct relationship between the word "Tishtrya" and the name of the hellish dog Cerberus.

Thus, there are in various parts of the world some traces of an ancient -- and rather clear -- concept of Sirius as a dangerous stellar system, consisting of three stars. Its transformation has been described, first, as the transition from Typhon (a fiery monster in rage, that is a red giant before its change into a Supernova) to Orphrus (a dangerous but suppressed beast, that is the core of the red giant in the process of its "calm" turning into a white dwarf).

Second, the Dog is usually chained up by sacred blacksmiths, which can be interpreted as a description of astroengineering activity by a supercivilization. Nommos are also considered as heavenly blacksmiths, but they do not chain up the Fox; they simply circumcise him. This rather unexpected metaphor expresses very clearly the main point: it was necessary to remove the excess of stellar matter from Sirius B. The 240 years of increased brightness of the star looks like a slow explosion of this "cosmic bomb".

When did all this happen? Astrophysical data suggest that the lifetime of Sirius B as a white dwarf has been 30 to 100 million years. However, some classical authors, such as Ptolemy and Seneca, described Sirius as red, which is very different from its present white-bluish appearance. For instance, Seneca wrote: "... The redness of the Dog star is deeper, that of Mars milder, that of Jupiter nothing at all."

This enigma has been discussed by astronomers since the 18th century up to now, and it remains still unsolved. It is astrophysically very unlikely that Sirius B could have been a red giant as recently as 2000 years ago; but we cannot rule out entirely the possibility of lasting astroengineering works in this system. In any case, attempts to explain the red color of Sirius by some atmospheric causes are not very convincing. There is some evidence that the epithet "red" was not unusual for Sirius in the past.

Thus, Tistrya was called "aurusha", what can be translated either as "white", or as "red". In Egyptian hieroglyphic writing, Sirius was depicted as a red triangle with a small semicircle and a five-pointed star near it (see Ref. 12). The Babylonians referenced to the star as "shining like copper". Finally, the Dogon represent Po tolo by a red stone (let us note it is precisely Po tolo, not Sigi tolo or Emme ya tolo, which is represented in such a way!).

In a recent work [13] R. Ceragioli has made an attempt to solve the riddle of Sirius' redness in the context of classical philology: the color red was in antiquity a token of danger. The most typical cultural pattern for Sirius connected it with fire, fever, rage, bloodshed, heat and other perils; that is why it may have been called red even in spite of evidence.

It is questionable, however, if Ptolemy and Seneca were so much devoted to the cultural tradition that they did not trust their own eyes and took a color of Sirius' scintillations for the intrinsic color of the star. It seems more appropriate to assume that they did in fact see Sirius as red, even though this can have been just a temporary reddening related to some physical (or astroengineering?) processes in this stellar system (cf. [14]).

What is even more important, the solution suggested by R. Ceragioli does not provide the answer to the main question: why the ancients attached so great "negative" importance to Sirius? Egyptian priests watched this star closely at its heliacal risings, believing that its bright and white color presaged abundance, and its redness betokened war.

The inhabitants of the Greek island of Ceos, when expecting Sirius' rising "prayed for the north winds to cool the 'Dog's' heat, which in their myths had once threatened to burn the world" [13, p. 615]. All that fits well with the "astroengineering hypothesis", raising at the same time some doubts: was "the cosmic bomb" discharged completely? Let us remember that the myth of the Dogon tells us that the blacksmiths only chained up the Dog, but it does not mean they rendered it quite harmless.

Therefore, we can suppose that alien astroengineering activities inside the Sirius system were finished only recently (if at all). Yet, they could have started in a much earlier epoch, even a few millions of years ago. However strange this may sound, we have another evidence of a fantastically deep historical memory of the Dogon: they know quite well that the Lake Bosumtwi in Ghana was formed when a giant meteorite fell on the Earth [2, p. 1961].

According to the results of a special investigation, this infall happened not later than 1.3, or even 1.6, million years ago. It is rather doubtful that somebody, living then on our planet (it was the epoch of Homo habilis and maybe of the early Pithecanthropus), could have retained this information and conveyed it to the future Homo sapiens. This knowledge may also be of paleovisit origin. Of course, we should not understand the Dogon mention of the "first year of the life of man on Earth", when, as they believe, Sirius B exploded, too literally, but it would be a mistake to reject these data a priori.

Now, what can we conclude from all that has been said above? The astroengineering hypothesis seems to be worthy of further investigation. It can hardly be proved just on the basis of mythological studies, but such studies can lead us to a preliminary outline of those distant (in time, as well as in space) events. Mythology may be regarded as a special language, which has preserved for us fragmentary data from the dawn of the world.

I mean here by the "world" not only the Earth, but rather all our region of the cosmos -- which has been called by the Dogon the "internal system of the stars". Events, that once took place in various parts of this region, were "projected" onto the firmament with its visible luminaries, becoming subsequently the subjects of mythological stories. These stories have interacted and become partly confused, so that it is now almost impossible to go this way back and reach the initial point. It only remains to rely on human imagination as another instrument of knowledge.

At the same time, we should be very careful when trying to prove our assumptions. Usually they are more temporary tools than faithful models of reality. Thus, the concept of paleovisits as arrivals of extraterrestrial starships whose crews taught our ancestors to the fundamentals of civilized life and science, may prove to be uncritical adoption from science fiction stories, whereas the real situation was much more complicated.

There can have been some events in the history of the "internal star system", which we can neither understand as yet, nor even assume. There are, for example, in the Dogon mythology some hints at the multidimensional structure of the Universe. Moreover, Nommos seem to be not a "simple" supercivilization whose origin is similar to that of our civilization, only the level of development being much higher, but rather an independent branch of evolution of cosmic intelligent beings, very different from such planetary offspring as we humans are. It is very important to go from questions to reliable facts and convincing answers, but it may be still more important to go from answers to new questions.


1. R.K.G. Temple. The Sirius Mystery. London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1976.

2. E. Guerrier. Essai sur La Cosmogonie des Dogon: L 'Arche du Nommo. Paris: Robert Laffont, 1975.

3. M. Griaule, G. Dieterlen. The Pale Fox. Chino Valley: Continuum Foundation, 1986.

4. V. Rubtsov. "Beyond the Sirius Lore". Ancient Skies, 1985, Vol. 12, No.4.

5. F. D'Antona. "The Binary System Sirius in the Context of Stellar Evolution". Astronomy and Astrophysics, 1982, Vol. 114, No.2.

6. V.N. Arskiy. "The Address of a Civilization?" Zemlya i Vselennaya, 1989, No.5 (in Russian).

7. R.H. Allen. Star-Names and Their Meaning. N.Y., 1899.

8. A.N. Afanasyev. The Life Tree. Moscow: Sovre-mennik, 1983 (in Russian).

9. G. de Santillana, H. von Dechend. Hamlet's Mill. Boston:D.R.Godine, 1983.

10. V.V. Ivanov. "The ancient Balkan and all-Indo-European text of the myth of the hero-killer of the Dog and some Eurasian parallels". Slavyanskoye I Balkanskoye Yazykoznaniye. Moscow:Nauka, 1977 (in Russian).

11. I.S. Lissevich. Le vol interstellaire dans les légendes et les myths anciens. J. Bergier, G.H. Gallet (Eds.) Le Livre des Anciens Astronautes. Paris: Albin Michel, 1977.

12. A. Stentzel. Aegyptische Zeugnisse fuer die Farbe des Sirius im Altertum. Astronomische Nachrichten, 1927, Bd. 231, Nr. 5542.

13. R. Ceragioli. 'Behind the "Red Sirius" Myth'. Sky and Telescope, 1992, Vol.83, No.6.

14. F. D'Antona, I. Mazzitelli. "Constraints on the corona model for Sirius B". Nature, 1978, Vol.275, No. 5682.

The Sirius Lie
Extract Of A Lecture For The Turn Of The Millennium
by Filip Coppins

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 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 1950.

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 -- 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 worrying".

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 civilizations. It seems, alas, that Griaule, a scientist, wanted to give earlier civilizations 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.

continue to "Sirius Supplementary Information"