by Robert Temple
The Sirius Mystery
How could the ancient and secret traditions of an African tribe contain highly precise astrophysical information about invisible stars in the Sirius star system? Some of it has only been discovered very recently by modern scientists, half a century after it was recorded by anthropologists studying the tribe.
The situation regarding The Sirius Mystery has changed completely since the initial edition of the book was published in 1976.1 At that time the Dogon tribal tradition insisted upon the existence of a third star in the system of Sirius which modern astronomers could not confirm. Some critics said this proved the hypothesis of the book to be false.
If the Earth had been visited by intelligent
beings from the system of the star Sirius in the distant past, and
they had left behind all this precise information about their star
system, the fact that they described the existence of a third star,
a Sirius C, whose existence could not be confirmed by modern
astronomy rendered the whole account untrustworthy. However, the
existence of Sirius C has now been confirmed after all.
This has now happened. In 1995
the French astronomers Daniel Benest and J. L. Duvent published the
results of years of study in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics
stating that a small red dwarf star, Sirius C, seems to exist in the
system of the star Sirius.2 They have detected a perturbation which
cannot be explained by any other means.
What is the hypothesis, then, which
has been so startlingly confirmed in the best traditions of science?
This book seems to have founded a genre of books, and there are several bearing the names of Sirius or Orion in their titles. In the 1970s it was the 'New Agers' who were the first to adopt the sentiments of The Sirius Mystery, and my phrase 'cosmic trigger' even became the title of one of several books discussing such issues at great length. (See Bibliography for Robert Anton Wilson.)
I was recently surprised to learn that the Internet has many web sites discussing The Sirius Mystery, and there seems to be a whole Sirius Industry out there in cyberspace somewhere. A friend recently asked me: 'Don't you ever use a search engine to look up "Sirius", "Dogon", etc.?'
I have to admit I don't. Although I do use the
Internet, I don't have time to consult websites discussing my own
work - I leave that to others - but I am glad to learn that the
interest is so large, and I just hope that they've got all the
took his suggestion seriously, as you can see.
instance, an older woman with whom I had had what I thought was a
close friendship for years, turned her back on me completely after
publication of The Sirius Mystery, and mutual friends said it was
because I had published something about spacemen, which she thought
was simply an appalling thing to do. A number of British scholars
whom I knew used to ridicule the fact that I had discussed something
as lowbrow as spacemen, and I was therefore clearly not a
But the book then went on to become a worldwide best seller, even in such unexpected places as the former Yugoslavia. The country where it was most appreciated was Germany, where it was on the bestseller list for more than six months. Soon after initial publication, the book was favorably reviewed in a lead review by a professor of astronomy for Nature magazine. Later it was reviewed in Time Magazine. It was featured on a Horizon program on BBC Television (also a Nova program on PBS in the USA).
The British astronomical community, which is not an arrogant community, seemed relatively unshocked by my book. This was possibly because a number of leading astronomers knew me, and I had 'done the right thing' by first airing the subject matter in The Observatory, published by the Royal Greenwich Observatory.3 This had gained the personal support and backing of Professor William McCrea, who as a President of the Royal Astronomical Society, Gold Medal winner, and one of the nicest people in England, commanded universal respect and affection amongst his colleagues.
So much was I accepted as part of the background radiation, albeit a rather aberrant part of it, that some good-humored joking about me appeared in The Observatory. I was thrilled when a spoof appeared in their joke issue of October, 1977,4 as I enjoy anything of that kind. In Germany some of the cartoons about the Sirius Mystery appeared in the newspapers, and that delighted me too. A newspaper cartoonist in America spoofed the Sirius Mystery, and Faith Hubley, an Oscar-winning film animator, did some charming fey animated films inspired by it (only generally inspired, so no income alas).
I remember going to see her in New York and holding her three Oscars all at once - how many people have three Oscars on view in their sitting rooms?
I certainly met a
lot of interesting characters through the Sirius Mystery. But others
I avoided. For instance, the late Timothy Leary was very keen for me
to join him in California for some joint grooving on the subject of
Sirius, after he got out of prison, but the idea of such a thing was
so repellant to me that it still makes me shudder. There is nothing
I hate quite so much as drugs and the drug-culture.
To give an example, I was co-editing a magazine at one time and decided to join the Foreign Press Association (FPA) in London so that I could have lunch there and get a press pass. I was told I needed two members to recommend me, and was given the names of two American journalists in London who should be happy to do so. So I asked Bonnie Angelo of Time-Life, and she was delighted. (I later wrote for her London bureau for several years and did British science reporting for Discover magazine.)
I then went to another man who was equally friendly and he said he would, and signed my form. That particular man, whom I do not wish to identify, had certain connections in Washington, if you take my meaning.
A few hours later, Catherine Postlethwaite, the Secretary of the FPA, told me she had a hysterical phone call from a man insisting that he wanted to use his blackball against me and stop me from joining the FPA. She was completely astonished and said to him he had just signed my form and now on the same day he was trying to blackball me, and how could he possibly explain that?
He refused to explain, but was relentlessly insistent.
She and the Council took the view in the end that the man was acting unreasonably, for whatever motives, and they overruled his blackball. But I recognized a pattern of behavior which has assailed me on many occasions. There was another time, for instance, when I had commenced what was meant to be a profitable association with a man I knew to make several series of corporate videos, with me as writer and co-producer and his company providing the finance and facilities. We made one video and suddenly everything stopped mysteriously.
After some time he told me:
him for being so honest with me.
He hadn't meant to tell me this, but he slipped up when chatting over tea and said by way of being pleasant how interesting The Sirius Mystery was.
When I expressed astonishment that he had read something so far from all his other interests, he first said that he had read every word meticulously, as if that explained everything. When I protested that this was quite unbelievable, he had to explain why he had done so. He was so sheepish and embarrassed that I spared him further questioning so that he wouldn't have to spend the rest of his life with a security breach on his conscience.
Another old friend, whom I had known when he was a policeman in a panda car and who is now a famous police commissioner, said he had been approached by MI5 to do a security report on me. He had found it disturbing that there was such suspicion attached to me, and he couldn't explain it, since he wasn't given an explanation himself. He tried to tell them there was nothing at all suspicious about me and that he knew me well, and he wrote up everything he could find about me trying to demonstrate that I was harmless.
But they didn't seem to
want to be told that and were obviously unsatisfied, which disturbed
him even more.
Bob Freitag and I met through Arthur C.
Clarke and when he came to London, Bob and I would often meet for
dinner, as we were both very keen on good food and I would try to
find something unusual, such as a Hungarian restaurant. On a visit
to Washington I called in to see Bob Freitag and he said he had a
very bright fellow who worked for him called Jesco von Puttkamer,
whom he wanted me to meet. He called him in and I told both of them
about The Sirius Mystery.
The letter said (11 July 1977) of me (my translation) that,
Von Puttkamer went on
to say that he was available to give a lecture in Frankfurt if they
wanted him to.
Bob Freitag was not pleased by von Puttkamer's behavior, and Bob wrote to me on September 16,1977, saying of von Puttkamer:
Von Puttkamer followed with a letter dated October 7,1977, saying of his views:
He also said that he had not meant to attack me personally.
Despite being a NASA scientist he had put forward a very weird hypothesis, astronomically impossible, that Sirius B had once been visible to the naked eye. Such ignorance of astrophysics surprised me; his statement completely ignored the parallax which would prevent Sirius B, whatever kind of star it was earlier in its history, from being differentiated from Sirius A by the naked eye.
So much for Jesco von Puttkamer, who never entered the frey again.
Arthur said he thought I ought to know this because he
had the impression that the man was contacting quite a lot of other
people in the same way, one of whom was Isaac Asimov (whom I knew
only slightly). He believed there were half a dozen other people 'of
equal importance and stature' to whom this man was maligning me.
Graham did an incredible demolition job on von Daniken; I did not prepare that material, but worked only on my own subject matter. The last fifteen minutes of the program were devoted to the Sirius Mystery, which Graham treated very fairly indeed, contrasting it as a 'respectable theory' with what he considered the nonsense of von Daniken.
From the script, which I have, I see that the narration of the program states of myself that,
While the program was being prepared, Graham kept getting phone calls from a stranger in America. Finally Graham told me about them. He said the man was ranting and saying 'you must not let Robert Temple on television'. (Also, it appeared that the man in question was available for an interview himself at anytime!)
Graham told me:
The man apparently kept mentioning that he worked for NASA, and Graham was doubly annoyed that there seemed to be the implication that the American authorities did not think I should receive media attention.
The man was the same one who had phoned
Arthur Clarke. NASA was
never disassociated from this man's activities and attacks against
As far as I know, I was the first person to publish West's theories on the subject. From 1978 to1980 I was co-editor of an American magazine called Second Look, and my co-editor Randy Fitzgerald and I agreed to publish West's interesting article 'Metaphysics by Design. Harmony and Proportion in Ancient Egypt', in which West first aired the matter of the water erosion. I recently gave a copy of this to West, who had none and had forgotten all about it. The article appeared in the June 1979 issue.7
Later in the same year, West's book Serpent in the Sky: The High Wisdom of Ancient Egypt appeared.8
West's book was very badly edited and constructed, as I have told him personally, and it did not make the impact it should have done with the public. A surprisingly large proportion of the book consisted of disconnected quotations from a variety of books which were not integrated into the text nor subject to any kind of comment; thee were all placed in a very large margin which ran throughout the book.
A large amount of material about the Dogon appeared in this fashion, and two pages of marginalia relating to The Sirius Mystery.9
Though suggestive, all of this material was not marshalled [sic] towards any kind of a thesis. It is best therefore to give West's actual thesis in his own words:
therefore suggests that Egyptian civilization cannot be less than
25,000 years old, and may be 32,000 years old.
However, at that point we diverge, because West makes it very plain that he believes the legacy came from a lost 'Atlantis'-type of early civilization native to this planet, and he dismisses people who drag in 'extra-galactic' origins to explain the Egyptian civilization. West and I are in agreement about many things, such as admiration for the Egyptologist Schwaller de Lubicz and enthusiasm for Pythagorean studies. We tend to agree about many aspects of pyramid measurements, and a host of other things.
Also, he is well aware that I always suggested in The Sirius Mystery that an 'Atlantis'-type of explanation was certainly an alternative possibility to the extraterrestrial hypothesis. The trouble is that I do not personally believe in the viability of the 'Atlantis' theory as presently articulated: it implies an absence of extraterrestrial contact. A number of people including West cannot bring themselves to think seriously about extraterrestrials, because their minds do not run that way, I suppose.
This is a kind of natural divide which I believe rests on psychological disposition than intellectual choice. I am friendly with a number of authors who currently advocate the 'Atlantis' hypothesis of a high civilization in the Earth's past where all advanced science was of purely human origin and there was no contact with beings from any other world. I do not support this, and we have had perfectly amicable discussions about our variance of interpretation of origins.
At least one of
them sees perfectly clearly the strength of the extraterrestrial
hypothesis, and realizes he might one day have to amend his
interpretation to accommodate it.
John Anthony West's suggestion leaves a 'blank' of between 22,000 and 27,000 years! I cannot accept such suggestions.
Nor can I accept that the Sphinx is 12,500 years old, even though I believe it and the pyramids were probably built long before the lifetimes of the Pharaoh Cheops and Khephren. But these things are all a matter of degree. In my view, there was an ancient extraterrestrial contact with Earth. And I believe that the period of interaction with extraterrestrials and the founding of Egyptian and Sumerian civilization with their help probably fell between 5000 and 3000 BC. We can call the time of this interaction, whenever it was, the Contact Period.
I believe that the pyramids and the Sphinx were probably built by the extraterrestrials themselves during the Contact Period, and that the Step Pyramid of Saqqara was a later and magnificent attempt by men working unaided under the human architect Imhotep - since the extraterrestrials had long since vanished - to match those mysterious earlier achievements and show that humans could do such things too.
Many of the other Egyptian pyramids then imitated the Step Pyramid, but it can be seen that a lot of them have crumbled into dust and were not very well constructed.
Eventually the Egyptians gave up trying to build large pyramids and
the so-called 'Pyramid Age' ended altogether.
I believe that these ancient maps do preserve such important ancient knowledge, and they are priceless evidence of advanced science in antiquity. But I do not interpret them as evidence of 'Atlantis'; I see them as yet more survivals of knowledge left by visiting extraterrestrials, who were able to map the Earth from space, and who were able to detect the true continental outline of Antarctica through the ice by orbiting space observations in the same way that we can do today.
This knowledge was meant to be part of the legacy left behind when the extraterrestrials departed. The whole point is that some of this evidence from the Contact Period was meant to survive and be recognized by men at such time as we developed enough science and technology to be able to do so. I am convinced that we are meant to piece together the mystery ourselves from the few clues which have survived.
The extraterrestrials do not want to return until we have figured out that they are there. For they are worried about our morale.
They do not want to announce
themselves without warning - they want us to detect them. Then they
will come. It is all part of the ethics of galactic species
In discussing the Sphinx in general, he speaks of 'that Sphinx whose leonine body, except for the head, shows indisputable signs of aquatic erosion'. To this passing remark he appends a footnote which states:
These were the remarks which sent the very observant John Anthony West forth on his quest.
West is somewhat at
variance with Schwaller de Lubicz about the winds, since the latter
stresses that the prevailing desert winds come from the west, but
West is more concerned with the seasonal khamsin winds which he says
blow from the south ('the fierce desert wind blowing from the South
in the month of April').13 In any case, West is at pains to assure
us that the Sphinx is entirely sheltered from this wind by the
Sphinx Temple,14 so all is well.
Other aspects of the theory are a separate discussion into which I have never entered, and I do not intend to start now, apart from what I said about the ancient maps a moment ago. I published discussions of the technology of the Olmecs (the pre-Maya inhabitants of Mexico and Guatemala) in the 1970s, and in the 1960s I was corresponding with the widow of Arthur Posnansky about Tiahuanaco in Bolivia; I knew Peter Allan, who did the studies of the Tiahuanaco 'Sun Gate', personally.
I was puzzling over
the Nazca Lines in Peru by 1963. I
am familiar with many of these fields even though I have not
mentioned them here. I have thought about them for more years than
many current authors have been active. I do not dismiss them at all
lightly as evidence of an 'Atlantis'. Nor is there any reason to
believe that there will not be extraordinary further discoveries in
relation to Tiahuanaco, for instance.
The Dogon and
Egyptians spoke of civilization coming from the Sirius System, and
the Babylonians spoke of it coming from the heavens; the Dogon and
the Babylonians agreed on the amphibious nature of the beings who
the discovery of
Sirius C has in any case rendered most criticism obsolete.
I am amazed
that the Egyptologists have fallen so readily into the trap of
denying the water erosion at the Sphinx, thinking thereby to rid
themselves of the heinous notion of a Sphinx 12,500 years old. For
they have in that way put a noose around their own necks.
However, it is
not at all necessary to assume that if you acknowledge the existence
of water erosion at the Sphinx, you have to admit that it was caused
more than 10,000 years ago by rain in a previous, less dry era!
There are still people
alive who remember when the Sphinx was only a head sticking out of
the sand. The Sphinx had been cleared in 1816,in 1853,and in 1888,15
but was half-covered again by 1898, as I see from a photo of that
date which I found amongst my grandmother's papers. In 1916 it was
again fully covered by sand except for the head.16
I have seen on an archaeologists' plan
the indication of an ancient well in either the Sphinx Temple or the
Valley temple which is beside it, and the presence of water on the Giza Plateau was substantiated also by the excavation of a number of
stone water conduits in 1995 and 1996 (which have now been covered
over again, but were photographed before that was done). We also
know from ancient texts that the Nile used to rise very high indeed,
causing floods nearly to the level of the Giza Plateau, in ancient
In his Book II, Herodotus discusses the pyramids at some length but does not mention the Sphinx at all. It is therefore practically a certainty that the Sphinx was buried in sand at the time of his visit.
This is an important point to remember when we attempt to interpret the remarks he recorded about water on the Giza Plateau. First, in considering the environs of the Great Pyramid, Herodotus strangely states that he was told the following by his Egyptian informants:
This passage has largely been ignored by Egyptologists. But before we consider its implications, let us consider three further passages in Herodotus:
And further still:
From all these passages we can see quite clearly that in the fifth century BC, when Herodotus was an eye-witness, large stretches of water were far more important in Egypt than we assume today. The amazing account of the Great Labyrinth, of the three unidentified pyramids of considerable size adjoining it, and of the artificial lake, are astonishing in themselves, and have never been satisfactorily explained to my knowledge.
Certainly the huge artificial lake sounds like a very good base for visiting amphibians, and is the sort of thing amphibians rather than men would have constructed. But since no one today seems to have much idea of where on earth the ruins of all this are to be found (although the Egyptologist Sayce thought it might be near the Pyramid of Hawara23), we shall not detain ourselves with speculations on this subject here.
I have mentioned it in order to
gather together Herodotus's various statements about substantial
hydraulic engineering works bringing Nile water in by channels to
dry places, and the extent to which the flooded Nile and a huge lake
spread water over Egypt to the foot of the pyramids.
The first thing to be pointed out is that the testimony explicitly contradicts any notion that King Cheops intended himself to be buried inside the Great Pyramid! Herodotus clearly states that the king intended himself to be buried in the underground chambers on the hill whereon the pyramids stand, meaning underground chambers in the Giza Plateau, not underneath or within any actual pyramid.
This very clear evidence appears to have
been willfully neglected by the Egyptological community, who insist
that Cheops was the builder of the Great Pyramid and that he
intended it as his own tomb. But they are overtly contradicted in
this by Herodotus.
Now let us look at the second passage from Herodotus, where he speaks of water from the Nile which,
Is this not absolutely clear?
The Sphinx bears the face of the Pharaoh, and if encircled by water in the retaining-pit, the Pharaoh lies there, just as the Egyptians said, in an island surrounded by water. Whether the face is of Cheops or his brother Khephren matters little, and the two could be easily confused.
Although Herodotus says it is Cheops who lies in the island surrounded by water, he does so in the section where he is really discussing Khephren, having dealt with Cheops, and immediately afterwards he states:
If we disentangle all of these secondhand accounts recorded by Herodotus, we have a clear tradition in the fifth century BC in Egypt that somewhere on the Giza Plateau (a place where the body of the Sphinx could not be seen) there was at the time of Cheops and Khephren an island surrounded by water in which the Pharaoh lay.
Since the body of the Sphinx would be covered by water and only the head of the Pharaoh would protrude from the water at that time, it was literally correct to say this. The Pharaoh did indeed lie on an island surrounded by water, if the retaining-pit of the Sphinx was full of water, which we suggest that it was.
If it were not, then
where is the island on the Giza Plateau? Does anybody know of any
I suggest therefore that from the Nile, from the well in the
Temple or Valley Temple, or by the stone water-conduits excavated on
the Giza Plateau in 1995 and 1996,for much of its history the pit
around the Sphinx was a moat, and that the Sphinx was kept
artificially surrounded by water. Apparently there is still some
water beneath the Sphinx today, a fact which has puzzled modern
If the Sphinx was sitting in a moat for much of its history over thousands of years, this could explain its significant water erosion. The winds on the plateau would have whipped up the water and caused a sloshing motion on countless occasions. This could have been rendered far more erosive by the fact that sand would have blown continually into the water and, in churning with the water, would have had a significant scouring effect on the stone.
The moat would have had to be dredged frequently to clear it of the sand, and in the dredging process, great quantities of raised water would pour back down along the sides, not uniformly but at certain points. This corresponds with the observation that the subsurface weathering of the limestone floor of the sphinx pit is greater in some places than others.
The fact that there is less sub surface weathering at the rear of the Sphinx could also be explained by the possibility that as the space there is narrow, drifting sand may have regularly accumulated in the water there more readily and to a greater depth, faster than in the more spread-out regions in other directions. It would have been a kind of sand-trap.
And the effect would have been to insulate the limestone floor at that point from water action. It should be noted also that the head of the Sphinx is considerably less eroded than the body; the reason for this could be that it was never submerged in water.
(If the 'ancient rain' theory were true,
the head of the Sphinx would be eroded to the same extent as the
It may be shocking to some people, but to me there is nothing unusual in postulating that an extraterrestrial visitation was responsible for kick-starting high civilization on Earth. It is not really unusual if you believe that the Universe must be filled with life, some of it intelligent. And I believe that that visitation to our planet came from the system of the star Sirius, as the ancient peoples as well as the Dogon have tried to tell us.
And since the accounts are of aquatic beings from a watery planet there, it may well be that the reason why the Sphinx - which I believe to have been a statue of Anubis - was sitting in water, was because the visitors from the planet in the system of the star Sirius were amphibious. If the chambers said to have been discovered by geologists beneath the Sphinx are filled with water, this may be no accident. If it be true that they are filled with indications or records of some kind, as many enthusiasts of the 'Hall of Records' idea believe (a suggestion made in this book in 1976, by the way), it would make sense that aquatic beings would prefer to leave some traces of that kind in watery chambers rather than in dry ones.
And the moat around the Sphinx might then be seen as a simple but brilliant protection device, since only with diving suits could tomb-robbers hope to break in and steal anything preserved in water-filled chambers beneath the Sphinx moat. These chambers, on the other hand, could readily be entered by amphibians.
So I put
forward the possibility that this was all done by design.
It has been suggested by many writers that the Great Pyramid represents the Earth's Northern Hemisphere, and that is quite likely to be one of the things it represents. It also appears to incorporate or express the values of pi (3.1416) and another natural constant, phi (1.618), which is connected with the Golden Section and a series of numbers called the Fibonacci Series. All of this has been discussed by many previous investigators.
I am suggesting new insights into the pyramids which
should be viewed as additional to those I just mentioned, and which
do not rule out any of the above.
To me this was a normal way to think, but to most people it was unusual. Robert Bauval, who has paid generous tribute to my work on many occasions, readily fell in with this manner of thinking and also looked for a stellar pattern displayed on the ground. The result forms the basis for his fascinating book The Orion Mystery (1994), in which he points out that the layout of the three main pyramids at Giza corresponds with the three stars of Orion's belt.26
Orion and Argo, which we see to
have these symbolic presences on Egyptian soil, are two
constellations most associated with Sirius.
Couldn't the two pyramids represent by some key measurement of theirs the relative masses of our sun and Sirius B?
However, it was not possible to pursue this notion in the 1970s because at that time the mass of Sirius B was incorrectly believed to be 0.98 that of our own sun,28 and such relative measurements did not correspond to the two pyramids. However, that situation has now changed.
According to the
new figures, Sirius B has a mass 1.053 that of our sun.29 The new
figures also suggest that Sirius B has a radius 0.0078 that of our
As for the Great Pyramid, Edwards says that the original measurements of the four sides of the base were: North: 755.43 feet, South: 756.08 feet, East: 755.88 feet, and West: 755.77 feet.32
The mean of these four measurements is 755.79 feet. If we compare the mean side of the base of the Great Pyramid with the side of the base of the Pyramid of Khephren, we find that the larger measurement is 1.0678 that of the smaller. We know from the new astrophysical data that the mass of Sirius B is 1.053 that of our sun. The correspondence is thus accurate to 0.014.
this tiny discrepancy may be highly significant. For 0.0136 (which
rounded off is 0.014) is the precise discrepancy between the
mathematics of the octave and the mathematics of the fifth in
harmonic theory, where 1.0136 is referred to as the
Pythagoras, and was known to the ancient Greeks who are said to have
obtained knowledge of it from Egypt.
The ratio is not computed in the text either, but if we carry out the division we obtain the number 1.013643265, namely, the Comma of Pythagoras expressed to nine decimal places. The Greek text is coy in the extreme, giving the information in such an obscure manner that only someone initiated into its significance could be expected to have any idea what was being said.
The only explanatory comment earlier in the passage is:
One has to be fairly well educated in these matters to have any idea at all of what the author means!
Andre Barbera, the immensely learned modern editor and translator of this text, has apparently not noticed that this passage, which he has translated from no less than three separate versions, in fact presents obliquely the mystery of the Comma of Pythagoras. He does not mention the Coma, has evidently never carried out the necessary multiplication and division to arrive at it, and gives no indication whatever that he is aware of the special significance of the passage.34
If Barbera, who is probably the world's expert on this
text, has no inkling of its true importance, then it is no wonder
that no one else until now has either.
But some of the content, and in particular the sly reference to the Comma of Pythagoras, appear to come from very ancient and unidentified Pythagorean sources which cannot be traced today. There seems to have been an actual, and typically Pythagorean, attempt to state but conceal the main mystery. No overt statement of the important number is given, and even its computation requires two successive arithmetical operations, the carrying out of which would not even occur to anyone who didn't know what he was looking for in the first place.
The nine-decimal value of the universal constant, the Comma of Pythagoras, is therefore concealed in this ancient text in a kind of code, but one which is entirely unambiguous once it has been recognized as such. The ancient text is so extraordinarily dry, technical and boring, that only expert musical theorists would ever have read it, and of those, only a handful of initiates would have deciphered the purposely concealed reference to one of the greatest discoveries ever made in ancient science and mathematics.
The text therefore seems to have been
intended, amongst its other, more mundane discussions, to preserve
this secret Pythagorean (and originally Egyptian) knowledge whilst
hiding it so carefully that its preservation would await discovery
by the right kind of person.
I believe the numerical coefficient of this Particle, 136, is related to the 136 degrees of freedom of the electron discussed by the famous physicist, the late Sir Arthur Eddington,37 and that the number plus one gives the Fine Structure Constant of nuclear physics, which is 137.38 (The Fine Structure Constant is a universal natural constantly greatly beloved by physicists, although hardly anyone else has ever heard of it.)
I have discovered relationships between this natural constant and several others such as phi, e, and pi. However, such discussions are too lengthy and distracting for inclusion here. I mention this only so readers will understand how important the Particle of Pythagoras really is. Essentially, one could say that it expresses the minute discrepancy between the ideal and the real.
For the pyramid builders to incorporate it as the identical discrepancy just discussed in the Sirius and pyramid correlation should be interpreted as their way of signaling to us:
Musical theorists will be well aware that the discrepancy 0.0136
necessitates the tuning technique known as 'equal tempering'. I have
published an account of the invention of the Equal Temperament
system elsewhere.39 As if to tease us, the builders of the pyramids
appear to have left a microscopic discrepancy in the correlation
precisely equal to a universal numerical constant. For the Comma of
Pythagoras is implicit in the structure of the Universe itself, and
is absolute throughout the cosmos.
One must ask how it is that this precise value of 1.053, which we see is astrophysically the precise ratio between the masses of Sirius B and our sun, was mentioned so frequently in the works of writers dealing in esoteric astronomical lore in ancient times, one of whom (Macrobius) is prominently identified with the heliocentric theory, and another of whom (Proclus) appears to have been initiated into the Sirius Mystery and specifically mentions the existence of important but invisible heavenly bodies.
Especially in the case of Proclus, who appears to have known of the existence of Sirius B, to have him also mentioning this number, exact to three decimal places, specifying its mass stretches credulity beyond its limits. Surely the coincidences are multiplying to an impossible degree if we are to view this as all being by chance.
As regards him, I recently discovered the following passage in an old book about the pyramids:
Unfortunately, this has come to light just before going to press, so
I have not been able to locate the passage in the works of Proclus.
For the fraction 256/243 of which 1.053 is the decimal expression does appear to have a universal harmonic status. So by stumbling upon this coincidence we may have uncovered some hitherto unsuspected astrophysical harmonical value in operation between two neighboring stars.
I don't believe anyone before has found a precise numerical correlation which could extend the notion of a 'harmony of spheres' beyond our solar system, to link it with a neighboring one. But this appears to be the case here. Perhaps it has something to do with the inherent nature of white dwarf stars and their dimensions vis 'a vis normal stars like our sun, and this ratio would thus occur throughout the Universe frequently. It makes more sense to view the correlation as one which appeals to underlying fundamentals of cosmic structures than to view it as a special case applying only to Sirius B and our sun.
But even so, the correlation is extraordinary and so precise that it suggests whole avenues of research and offers hope of absolute numerical expressions recurring in the cosmos where none had been suspected. And by discovering this, we can only be pleased, since it enables us to discern some scaling elements of concealed structure which may be cosmic in scope.
I hope cosmologists will not neglect this observation. I believe it demonstrates that the Universe has more structure than we thought, and that that structure can be so precisely articulated that it can generate an exact value of this kid as a ratio between neighboring stellar bodies. For Sirius Band our sun, in terms of the cosmos, are certainly neighbors. And it all comes down to the question: how is it that two stars 8.7 light-years apart can have a mass ratio which is not random but which expresses a universal harmonic value which is precise to three decimal points? It can only be because the astrophysics of stars and their evolutionary development (such as in the formation of a white dwarf) follow certain harmonic laws which we have not yet suspected, much less expressed.
And we should not overlook the fact that the universal harmonic fraction concerned is not one which today receives a lot of attention. This in turn indicates that it is ancient harmonic theory that should be dusted off and studied for clues as to what is going on. Many of us have believed this for years, even without this evidence.42
One of my 'hobbies' is trying
to get to grips with ancient harmonic theory, which is why I took
the fraction seriously enough to work out its decimal expression and
notice its importance; needless to say, the decimal value of the
fraction does not appear in Macrobius, and only someone actually
doing the division and holding up the result beside the mass ratio
value of Sirius B and our sun for comparison would ever have noticed
anything at all.
This will probably be found to be relevant to the concept of the 'stellar mass function' which astrophysicists speculate about. It may be found, for instance, that the difficulties of star formation in the first place are regularly overcome by some kind of binary-star formation; in our own solar system we could view the planet Jupiter as an incipient brown dwarf star in the making.
And in 1983 I published an account of the possible existence of the possible existence of another actual small invisible star in our own solar system, which was first suggested in 1977 by the radio-astronomer E. R. Harrison because of a perturbation which he discovered that our solar system was exercising on six particular pulsars in a small region of the sky.43
Star formation might thus
involve a binary process in far more cases than we think, possibly
in all. Binary stars may only be able to coexist according to
specific harmonic relations, just as certain musical notes when
struck together are consonant when they are in specific proportions
such as the musical fifth or fourth.
And if that is the case, then we know from Complexity Theory that a strange form of what resembles 'instantaneous communication' subsists in such 'cells' whereby huge macro-regions of space behave as if their elements were not separated by spatial or temporal distance, and the 'cell' engages in what is called 'self-organization'.
Such a 'cell'
turns into what is called by scientists a "dissipative structure'
which turns disorder into order.
This enormous expansion of order is equivalent to one fifth of the population of Britain suddenly and spontaneously adopting the same body posture at the same instant while having no direct contact with one another. Imagine ten million people suddenly standing on their heads for no apparent reason. An outside observer might call this uncontrollable turbulence, for a hairdresser doing this would start cutting toenails, drivers would lose control of their vehicles, tennis players would invariably hit the net ... It would be chaos.
But nevertheless, it would not be denied that ten million people had stood on their heads at the same time due to some mysterious long-range ordering principle which extended across the whole country. This turbulent chaos is in fact a spontaneous creation of complexity. For a moment the ten million people had nothing in common about their posture, but now there is no denying that there is an immense complexity in existence - a connection suddenly exists which did not previously exist - a coherence is established.
Ten million simultaneous, complex,
intricate and criss-crossing links exist: the ten million have all
suddenly stood on their heads all just like each other. This is
analogous to what actually happens in a Bénard Cell, where ten
million molecules instantaneously align.
I propose to call it the Anubis Cell.
The Anubis Cell clearly has long-range order extending over at least 8.7 light-years. Since all such structures increase their order and eliminate their disorder, a continuous ordering process must have been in operation inside the Anubis Cell since at least the formation of either our sun or Sirius B's condensation as a white dwarf, whichever was later. Long-range order has thus operated between the systems presumably for billions of years. Under such circumstances, both solar systems must have a shared movement in relation to the Galaxy.
The two systems must also be in continuous harmonic resonance with one another. It may be presumed that a significant perturbation of one would affect the other, and that this could apply to very high frequency events including the 'mental', 'thought' or 'information' events. Membership of the same cosmic cell implies the potential for the modulation of some shared field (of an unknown type, but possibly not unlike the 'quantum potential' proposed by my friend the late David Bohm to solve the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Paradox in physics - a subject we cannot go into here!) for the purposes of communication between systems. Let us call it here the 'cell potential'.
In other words, electromagnetic amplitude modulation such as radio, for signaling in the traditional manner, may be unnecessary. The strange aspects of long-range order may mean that in some way yet to be discovered by us, instantaneous communication between systems might be possible, which would seem to overcome the limitations of the speed of light for communication between them.45
Psychic communication and even nonmaterial interactions of souls might be possible. The ancient Egyptians said that the Sirius system was where people go when they die. The Dogon say the same thing, and perhaps the Sirius system is the actual location of 'the Other World' in more senses than one.
Inspiration may even come to humans on Earth from the Sirius system
by harmonic resonance articulated by the (still undefined) Anubis
Field of the Anubis Cell, and this might be instantaneously
'transmitted' not as a signal but by harmonic resonance response
within the continuous Anubis Field subsisting within this cosmic
If a simple sponge can defy time and space at the bottom of the sea, surely the Anubis Cell can do so within the Galaxy. The Anubis Cell may be analogous to a macroscopic 'neuron' seen from the point of view of Galactic scale. And this brings us to another possibility: the Anubis Cell may be alive.
The vast Ordering Principle may be an Entity.
Even if it were not an Entity to start with, it must long ago have spontaneously generated considerable consciousness, if only by weighted connections in parallel distributed processing.47
And we can be sure
that it has had a few billion years to do its thinking.
One could then say that the builders were
only intending to express the latter, ignorant of the astrophysical
ratio, but the following additional correlations relating to the
Sirius system discourage such a notion.
Turning to a different form of measure, the slope angles of the respective pyramids, we find that the sides of the Great Pyramid originally had slope angles of about 51° 51' to the ground, according to Edwards,48 which is equal to 51.866°, whereas the Pyramid of Khephren had slightly steeper slopes of 52°20'according to Edwards,49 with is equal to 52.333°.
The slope of the Great Pyramid is thus 0.0089 less than the slope of the Pyramid of Khephren, which yields a value equivalent to the relative radius of Sirius B to that of our sun accurate to 0.0011. The appearance of these two correspondences act as a kind of cross-correlation on each other, since one is accurate to0.014 and the other is accurate to0.0011.
This significantly reduces the
chance of coincidence being at work in these correlations, as there
is not only one such correlation but a pair. However, there are two
more to come.
Using one of the simple length measures of the kind which seemed to indicate the relative masses of Sirius B and our sun, the mass of Sirius C may be indicated by the height of the missing pyramidion (top point) of the Great Pyramid.
For it was 31 feet and the original total height of
the pyramid was 481.4 feet, according to Edwards,51 so that the
height of the pyramidion was 0.0643 of the total height of the
pyramid, corresponding to within 0.01 of the 0.05 of solar mass
suggested for Sirius C in1995.
Edwards says that the Pyramid of Mycerinus originally had a height of 218 feet.52 The height of the Pyramid of Khephren was originally 471 feet, according to Edwards.53 The ratio of these two heights is 2.160. We note from Benest and Duvant that the latest estimates of the ratio of the masses of our sun and Sirius A is 2.14.54 The correspondence is thus accurate to within 0.02.
a fourth possible correspondence.
They all seem to be there, accurate to
the second or third decimal. Nor is that likely to exhaust the
possibilities. But any further discussions will have to be left for
I then suggested that perhaps the whole thing was so difficult that such expeditions were often one-way trips from which there was no return. And that led me to the important suggestion that perhaps the ancient visitors to our planet never really went home. All the traditions seem agreed that they 'ascended to the heavens' and left Earth. But there is no guarantee that they went back to Sirius.
In fact, anyone capable of mastering
the technology of suspended animation for an interstellar voyage
would find it a simple matter to re-enter that state and then simply
to stay put. So that the Nommos may very well still be somewhere in
the solar system, either asleep or slowly bestirring themselves now
that things are getting more interesting down here.
For the Dogon differentiate very clearly between the fiery, roaring landing craft which they describe as bringing the Nommos to Earth, and the new star which appeared in the sky while they were here which would seem to be a reference to their larger based parked in orbit. This is called 'the star of the tenth moon'.
The Dogon do three drawings of
it, showing it in different phases which seem to imply that it could
be expanded and contracted as a sphere at will.
It has a retrograde orbit around Saturn wildly different from all the other Saturnian moons, so that when our space probe photographed the moons of Saturn, Phoebe was the only significant one which was not close enough to give a good photo. (At the time I suggested Phoebe as a possible artificial body it was several years before this space probe, and I was deeply disappointed that the probe was unable to produce much more information about Phoebe.)
Phoebe is about 160 kilometers in diameter, but its mass still seems to be unknown, so that we cannot make statements about its composition. It orbits Saturn every 523 days, 15.6 hours. In 1982, following the Voyager results, I asked Brad Smith of the University of Arizona Astronomy Department about Phoebe and he said 'as far as we can see it is perfectly round'.
He also pointed out that it was too large to be a
degenerate cometary nucleus. He said it had only 3% reflectivity.
Could this be a reference to an amphibian in suspended animation?
There is at least one occasion in Sumerian literature (fourth to third millennium BC) where the god Enki is described as behaving like an amphibian:
The context indicates that this is his normal position, since he continues to lie stretched out in the swampland for a considerable time while his vizier goes in and out. There are two things which are puzzling here: why would Enki lie stretched out, and why in a swampland? If he were assumed to be one of the amphibious fish-tailed beings, that could explain both features.
As far as I know, no scholar has ever addressed these
problems of Enki lying stretched out in a swampland, and it has just
been ignored. But as Enki was generally described as inhabiting the
Abzu, which is filled with water, if you think about it, someone who
actually lives in the water really does need a fishtail to get
Certainly some oddities were discovered at Saturn, such as leading and trailing co-orbital satellites, plus two satellites which periodically exchange orbits with each other, as well as a satellite about the same size as Phoebe (a 'twin'?) which moves along the leading triangular libration point of the moon Dione. Phoebe was the only one of the eighteen Saturnian satellites unobserved by Voyager I, and it may be a long time before that situation improves. I hope it will finally be observed by the Cassini probe which reaches Saturn in the year 2004.
Phoebe is the tenth satellite of Saturn in terms of size. It is also the tenth proper satellite of Saturn, disregarding the eight small inner satellites and considering them as debris associated with the rings. In short, it might well be the 'star of the tenth moon' of Dogon tradition. If so, it might have been put into its strange orbit both to call attention to itself and to keep it away from the other moons of Saturn both for the sake of safety and to ensure that any photographic missions such as Voyagers I and II would not crack its secrets too soon, since celestial mechanics would prohibit an early probe to the planet and the other moons which could possibly study Phoebe at the same time.
And the aliens would know that no one on Earth would send a probe all the way to Saturn to study Phoebe alone, until the rest of the Saturn system had first been studied. Following that logic, it could be that Voyager I might have triggered a local alarm by entering the Saturn system, and thus awakening the Nommos. The whole design might have been that simple and elegant. It avoids artificial or questionable criteria and sets as its absolute threshold entering of the Saturn system by an artificial probe (of whatever kind, since this plan would enable an alarm to be triggered by an extraterrestrial as well as by an Earth probe).
The entering of the
Saturn system would thus constitute a tripwire which would have
activated the Nommos in 1981.
He said he thought that Pluto's eccentric orbit might be artificial, rather in the way I have suggested for Phoebe, and have come about as a result of extraterrestrials visiting our solar system. He also suggested the existence of 'space arks' full of extraterrestrials who never went home but continued to breed generations of descendents as they traveled for hundreds of thousands of years through interstellar space.
His notion is that such an 'ark' is parked in our outer solar
system and that it may have mined and largely stripped the planet
Pluto for raw materials. This is eerily similar to my own
suggestion. It puzzled me that Stephenson could make a suggestion
similar to my own and not be held up to ridicule for it, whereas for
making the same sort of suggestion I underwent years of virulent
attacks. But I was delighted by Stephenson's imaginative
contribution to the debate, and he makes a lot of sense.
The first indication of their return, say the Dogon, will be that a new star will appear in the sky - the 'star of the tenth moon' will have returned. Elements which are at the moment retracted inside this body will then re-emerge. Then the Nommos will land on the Earth again in their Ark - the landing craft which makes a lot of noise and emits fire.
From this will emerge 'the mythical ancestors', namely the very same personalities who figure in all the myths. This reinforces the notion that they never died and never left the solar system. After their return, this group of Nommos 'will rule from the waters'. So there will presumable be considerable political implications to their arrival!
However, it is most unlikely that they will be hostile to humans, since they have invested so much of their efforts in trying to help this planet develop civilization thousands of years ago that they won't want to see all of their work go to waste. They would doubtless be helpful, therefore, but not a little distressed.
As aquatic beings, one doesn't have to be a genius to realize that the present state of the world's oceans will greatly upset them, and they might take drastic steps about that. Can you imagine yourself as a Nommo swimming in the sea, coming up for air only to have a plastic bottle bump against your nose? And number one on their list would probably be the control of oil spills at sea.
Think like a Nommo: what would they want most? Clean seas, of course.
They are bound to have advanced technologies for cleaning
up the seas very promptly. So they will be very popular with
environmentalists and will probably form alliances with the world's
'green' parties. Maybe it is the future friends of the Nommos who
will be the true 'little green men'.
And I think that a lot of other people must think so too. I thought NASA was supposed to be broke, and now suddenly they are sending ten Mars missions in ten years, and the Russians are joining in. What's going on here? The announcement of the life forms in Martian meteorites seemed pretty orchestrated to me. The first announcements were that evidence of bacteria had been found.
This then escalated to worms when nobody shot himself. Then we heard of ice on the far side of the Moon, of water on Europa (one of Jupiter's moons), of all kinds of possibilities of simple life forms on Mars in the distant past, and now of huge floods having swept that planet. More recently still, we are told Mars once had an ocean larger than the Pacific. Still no riots in the streets!
These announcements seem to be released as if a doctor were taking the patient's temperature to see if the dose can be increased. By the time this book is in print, doubtless other levels in an escalating series of revelations will have been reached. Who is to say that the Mars [Observer] Orbiter really broke down after all? Perhaps it sent back incontrovertible evidence to the official folk who are in charge of such information, and they pretended that the probe malfunctioned to buy time while they formulated a policy of slow leaks, carefully judged in case of public hysteria.
But by now those
officials will have realized that a lot of (Martian flood?) water
has passed under the bridge since those heady days of 1938 when
Orson Welles's radio broadcast about the Martian landing sent a
nation into panic and precipitated suicides. The public is now well
and truly conditioned: bring on the extraterrestrials, please!
The only people likely to get really upset about extraterrestrial contact will probably be the religious fanatics, who are in any case always upset about something. The very people who can without the slightest qualm believe in blood oozing out of holy statues are going to be the last to accept that religious beliefs can extend beyond this planet, and they will take great exception to the religious centre of the Universe shifting in a kind of theological Copernican upheaval.
the other hand, some of us may find this concept rather comforting
and exciting and draw strength from it.
I hope this present version of the book
proves useful to those who are interested in these matters, which
may affect us all sooner than we think.