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#1 Damo2600

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 03:08 PM

Marcel Griaule, a French anthropolgist, in 1947 whilst in West Africa was told by the Dogon tribe about two suns orbiting Sirius. The tribe explained to Marcel that the Earth revolved on axis whilst orbiting the sun in eliptical orbits as do the other planets within our solar system. They understood the moon to be waterless and barren and that jupiter had rings around it. The Dogon tribe knew the galaxy to be a spiral galaxy of stars. They had stated that Sirius B was a dense dwarf star which orbited the mother star once every 50 years. The second star, in orbit, they had described was one quarter the density of sirius B and known to the Dogon as Emme yen (the sun of women)

A letter from the Superior of the White Fathers in Mali confirmed in a letter that no missionaries had vistied the Dogon tribe before 1949.

Astronomers at the time had known about sirius B orbiting sirius since early in the 20th century however they had not known about the second sun.

In 1995 two astronomers found pertubations in the Sirius system that could be explained by the existence of a third sun. The third sun described would have to be 0.05 % of the sirius B star. It is so small that it cannot be seen. Scientists are in argument as to whether it is actually there.

How did the Dogon tribe, a group of hill-dwelling people, know about all this? The tribe explained the 'Nommo', who were 'mermaid-like' amphibian creatures, had described the universe to the ancient babylonian and egyptian societies, who were, the forefathers of the dogon. A picture produced by the Dogon leader resembled pictures drawn in egypt of 'mermaid-like' creatures. The amphibians according to the Dogon could only suvive out of water for brief periods of time.

The Nommo apparently came to earth amid flame and thunder, a mere 8 million light years distance, in order to explain the mysteries of the universe.

This author finds this story to be an interesting tale of the unexplained. :xx:

"I for one welcome our new amphibian overlords..." Kent Brockman

#2 bumab

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 03:40 PM

Very interesting, and the Simpsons quote is especially nice.

#3 Tormod

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 03:59 PM

This sounds all nice and dandy, but sadly is not a mystery at all, but a faked myth.

http://skepdic.com/dogon.html

#4 bumab

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 04:02 PM

Pretty funny though. "Telescopic vision... :)"

#5 Tormod

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 04:25 PM

Imagine going into Africa, hearing a dodgy story which you have to translate for some hotshot explorer from far away, and then thinking "oh what the heck, I'll use that story my brother pulled on me last week". :xx:

#6 bumab

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 05:21 PM

I do that all the time to telemarkers.... :xx:

#7 Robust

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 05:51 PM

Most interesting, Domo. I do think it would be a mistake to believe that we today are the most advanced creatues to ever inhabit the planet.

#8 Damo2600

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 10:33 PM

Skeptics are rather quick to attack a persons motives when dealing with the unexplained. Marcel Griaule was an anthropologist and once he had found out about the two orbiting suns he sent a letter to Paris and requesting an astronomical atlas. When the Atlas arrived he found there were no suns orbiting the system. He realised that the Atlas was old and sought out a more recent atlas and found that a single sun had been orbiting Sirius. How could he possibly fabricate a story on information he himself was not aware of.

The fact that Belgium Walter van Beek had not been able to gain the information from the Dogon tribe is not unexplainable due to the fact that the information was secret even to the members of the tribe themselves. Marcel Griaule became a much adored person by the tribe and as such the tribe members who knew about the secrets of the universe divulged their knowledge.

So all that is left is European visitors who came between 1925 and 1931 as Marcel had lived among the Dogon tribe for 16 years. This cannot be known.

Skeptic societies are a special breed because by virtue of stating 'I am a skeptic' this means any information that cannot be explained is automatically disbelieved. I am neither a skeptic nor do I base my knowledge on beliefs alone. I'd much prefer to question information being given to me and that includes skeptics themselves.

Josephine

#9 Buffy

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 10:53 PM

This has many linguistic mysteries. While the languages of such small tribes can be rich in words refering to the natural environment (the Inuits have dozens of different words for snow), they can be extremely limited with respect to other things and tend not to have many words associated with abstract concepts. I learned Swahili in high school, and was amazed at how few original words there were in the language and how it had in practice had added so many words in English to accomodate concepts that most speakers did not have to deal with more than 50 or so years ago. The languages of the "hill tribes" are even more limited, and frequently with African languages anything above 10 is simply refered to as "many" how did they relate "8 million" or "light years"? What words did they use to distinguish "revolve" from "orbit"? Primitive tribes especially--but even up to a few hundred years ago in civilized culture--did not recognize the differences between heavenly bodies other than by theirmovemnts. What did they use to convey that these were "stars" rather than "planets" or "moons"? How did they distinguish between "circular" and "elliptical"? How did they convey the concept of "density" and did they understand fractions?

Still questioning,
Buffy

#10 Damo2600

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 12:09 AM

I do not know and neither do you.

The information divulged was not common knowledge and subsequently not based on common tongue in West Africa certainly. Perhaps they had their own terms to describe the information passed on from their ancestors. (Now I look back I wrote 8 million which is definately not true. When I stated the distance is 8 light years I did not mean to state this was their understanding. I was pointing out that the amphibian creatures had travelled from sirius which I know of as 8 light years. I assumed that would be obvious so I apologise for the confusion.) Any information could be discerned from their own language through explanation and drawings they had produced in the sand.

The fact of this matter remains that we do not know how this tribe gained this information. How did they know about Sirius C?

I'm feeling comfortable, unlike the skeptics, with this remaining an unexplained phenomenom. This all may have been a misunderstanding or information passed on by Eastern visitors. We just do not know...

Josephine

#11 Buffy

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 12:51 AM

I do not know and neither do you.

Gee, I was only asking questions... I didn't say I knew anything other than my familiarity with these languages indicates they would have a lot of trouble indicating with much specificity what they meant, and if it was a rare language of a tribe with basically no contact with the outside world, it would take years to discern the meaning of "unknown" words. It would be good to consider the ramifications of the questions instead of dismissing them out of hand... Antrhopologists also would want to investigate the provenance of the information: who else was on the expedition? Were tapes made? Were the drawings photographed? Were there pictographs or pottery or etchings with pictures of the legend? What are the basic beliefs of their religion? Is it mono- or polytheistic? Animistic? Zoroastrian (very common in northern Africa, even in remote locations)?

I'm feeling comfortable, unlike the skeptics, with this remaining an unexplained phenomenom.

Cool! It just sounded a whole lot more authoritative in your original post....I'm not sure too many people would not consider it unexplained, even including the skeptics, without the questions I've asked being investigated. Maybe its best just leaving it a mystery and not try to explain it at all? Okay...

Cheers,
Buffy

#12 Damo2600

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 01:55 AM

Cool! It just sounded a whole lot more authoritative in your original post....I'm not sure too many people would not consider it unexplained, even including the skeptics, without the questions I've asked being investigated. Maybe its best just leaving it a mystery and not try to explain it at all? Okay..


Skeptics would consider it explainable in any case that is why they are titled 'skeptics'. The skeptics sites make suggestions that are contradictions of the original story yet can be explained by the original story. I am not about to travel to West Africa as I have bigger fish to fry which is why I stated in my original post 'An interesting tale of the unexplained' followed by a Simpsons quote. Really authoratative Buffy. I merely stated the story.

However don't let my lack of time to research this 'strange story' stop you. West Africa would be rather nice this time of year I'm sure. If your goal is to not accept this story, and not research it, then I am sure you can allow other people to hear it and know it, within your own heart, to be an untruth.

Peace
Josephine

#13 Tormod

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 02:16 AM

Moved to strange claims.

Josephine, you are required - as are everyone else - to follow our site rules (previously a part of the FAQ).

Your repeated failure to accept that people here will discuss your posts with counterarguments and counter-evidence then you are in the wrong place.

#14 Damo2600

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 03:11 AM

I didn't claim this to be a proven story. I didn't state that Buffy's explanation was wrong. I hvae no problem with counter arguements nor counter evidence. The evidence that was produced I commented on and with regard to the information I was not aware of I stated I did not know. Buffy asked a question to which she herself did not conclusively know the answer to. This is just an example of the unexplained as my post stated.

If you would like to show me evidence conclusive that this strange claim made by the Dogon tribe is untrue then I would like to hear it. Carl Sagan suggested that the native africans have vision greater than the hubble telescope. Now that is a strange claim. There is evidence that this strange claim could be true (on some level) and none to absolutely suggest that it is not true so I have little doubt as to why it seems to have ended up here.

My post stated facts as I had read them.

Josephine

#15 Tormod

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 04:47 AM

Carl Sagan suggested that the native africans have vision greater than the hubble telescope. Now that is a strange claim.


He did what? Where? Sources, please.

My post stated facts as I had read them.


No, it stated hearsay as you had read it from unprovided sources.

You just pointed out on the previous page that you are not a skeptic but like to question the information you are given...why then do you call these things "fact" when you obviously don't think they are?

#16 Damo2600

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 06:09 AM

In the link you posted it stated Carl Sagan said due to increased melanin the eyes of the natives were so powerful that they could see Sirius C. Today the Hubble telescope itself can not see it. Carl Sagan could not see it with a telescope either. It's funny Tormod.

I never stated that amphibians from out of space were a fact. It is a fact, as far as I can tell, that the Dogons made these strange claims. Marcel Griaule himself stated that even he doubted the claims. The skeptic sites offered no conclusive evidence of it not being a fact and even contradict the actual facts of the story. IF anyone wants to find out about it I gave enough information they can google. Just because a skeptic says van Beek didn't experience the same thing as Marcel does not make it untrue. IT took Marcel 16 years before they divulged this secret information. Do you think van Beek is just going to waltz in and they would explain it to him? Because Marcel was enthusiastic about Africa does not mean he fabricated the whole story. Finally a language barrier does not mean two people cannot conduct a conversation conclusively. The explanation given by skeptics does not fit the original story as a possibility. This is outlined by myself throughout the post.

If the Dogon wanted to express that the earth rotated then this could be explained through diagrams. IF they wished to describe the Earth orbiting the sun they could explain (pointing)'Sun Sun' ( point to the sun) - 'Earth, Earth' (wave their hands over the Earth) - draw a circle around the sun in the sand. If they wished to explain an eliptical orbit they would draw an elipse around the sun. If they wish to explain that sirius were a star then it would be compared to the sun and not Earth. They can count to fifty I am guessing so they can explain 50 years. I don't know if they have a word for density or how they would explain this. I am guessing they were native not retarded. Marcel spent sixteen years to these people so I am guessing if he managed misunderstand so much after this amount of time then he would need to be a little retarded too. But he was an antropologist so I'm guessing he had some intelligence. If this was the conclusion that he came to from the conversation and he was mistaken and the Dogon were actually discussing how much they liked coconuts and berrys and how it was nice to bathe in the sun on a warm sunday afternoon then I see something extremely wrong with this. The story does not match up that the skeptics put forward. It is way too much to be a simple language barrier. The fact he did not know that sirius had one orbiting sun, let alone two, was a little coincindental if he had made it all up to save Africa.

Perhaps it does have a reasonable expanation. But the facts state otherwise. You can say what you like however the post is now in Strange claims and I suppose that is where it is going to stay. So it all matters not now.

Josephine

#17 Tormod

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 06:19 AM

In the link you posted it stated Carl Sagan said due to increased melanin the eyes of the natives were so powerful that they could see Sirius C. Today the Hubble telescope itself can not see it. Carl Sagan could not see it with a telescope either. It's funny Tormod.


I think you need to reread that article. It is not a known fact that the Dogons claimed anything. The melanin suggestion had nothing to do with Carl Sagan.

Carl Sagan suggested it was all a misunderstanding based on wishful thinking:

Carl Sagan agreed with Temple that the Dogon could not have acquired their knowledge without contact with an advanced technological civilization. Sagan suggests, however, that that civilization was terrestrial rather than extraterrestrial. Perhaps the source was Temple himself and his loose speculations on what he learned from Griaule, who based his account on an interview with one person, Ambara, and an interpreter.

According to Sagan, western Africa has had many visitors from technological societies located on planet earth. The Dogon have a traditional interest in the sky and astronomical phenomena. If a European had visited the Dogon in the 1920's and 1930's, conversation would likely have turned to astronomical matters, including Sirius, the brightest star in the sky and the center of Dogon mythology.