In the Sirius Mystery (1976), Robert Temple makes many extreme claims about an African tribe called the Dogon on the basis of anthropological work conducted by Marcel Griaule and Germain Dieterlen in the 1930s and 1940s. Griaule claimed that Dogon elders had shared with him knowledge about the star Sirius being a triple star, with its second star being a small dwarf with a 50-year orbit. Although much of this information had been known to science since 1862, Temple claimed that the Dogon could have learned it only from space aliens. (Science does not recognize a third star in the Sirius system.) When anthropologist Walter Van Beek attempted to confirm this story in the 1980s, he discovered no evidence that the Dogon had any special knowledge of Sirius, or that the stories Griaule reported were known to the Dogon. Many skeptics have concluded that Griaule unintentionally contaminated his research by unconsciously feeding his own knowledge of Sirius back to the Dogon. I have elsewhere reported on the failures of Temple’s scholarship that led him from this question to a faulty hypothesis of dissemination from Mesopotamia via the Argonauts.
What makes for more of a classic episode of Ancient Aliens than a parade of ignoramuses confidently endorsing long-debunked claims founded on bad scholarship and wild speculation from the mid-twentieth century? It’s the tuna casserole of ancient astronautics: comforting, familiar, and slightly bland. It’s basically the perfect episode to run on this first night of the summer edition of Alien Con, which opened this morning. It is also a petty effort to avoid crediting Temple with his only real claim to fame, exposing a fault line in the incestuous world of ancient astronautics.
The show opens with Griaule’s anthropological work with the Dogon, whom the show repeatedly describe as “mysterious.” Since they have stock footage of the Dogon, they can’t be that mysterious. In a better show, they might have spoken to some actual Dogon people, but instead the show perpetuates a colonialist idea that African tribes are “mysterious” and primitive, strange beings that in their evolutionary simplicity are closer to the state of nature and thus the gods.
The show rehearses the argument of the Sirius Mystery, though without attributing the argument to Temple. They freely omit parts of Griaule’s reportage that do not conform to modern observations. For example, the Dogon were said to have imagined Sirius as a triple star, but the show omits this in order to better make the Dogon’s claims align with the scientific conclusion that Sirius is binary—made up of two stars orbiting each other. Most of the familiar talking heads repeat elements of The Sirius Mystery, completely uncritically and without acknowledgement, and it is strange that the Dogon are spoken of only in the past tense, even though the Dogon are currently living in Mali. Physicist Michio Kaku prostitutes himself again by asserting that it “can’t be ruled out” that the Dogon gained secret knowledge from space aliens. Since they do not have special knowledge of Sirius beyond what Griaule gave them, Kaku is simply accepting the premise without a moment’s consideration of the facts.
The show discusses what they see as a global myth of fish-people, such as the Dogon’s Nommos, and then they talk about statues of lizard-people found in Sierra Leone. Although the statues are prima facie not 17,000 years old as the show claims, they allege that the statues were found buried so deep that they had to be deeply ancient. The statues are believed to date from the 1500s CE, but the show relies instead on an article quoting Erich von Däniken’s friend Klaus Dona to radically revise their age.
The second segment tells us that visiting space aliens from the Sirius system resembled alligators standing on their hind legs, and the show alleges that the Nomo of the Dogon are the same as the Nomoli of Sierra Leone. One of the Nomoli statues contains a sphere of chromium, according to the show, though the standard claim in internet articles about the alleged sphere is that it is chromium and steel. Since Nomoli statues were made for centuries, I’m not really sure that there is much of an anomaly here. It is probably a recent statue.
The show next tries to connect the Dogon to the famous stele containing Hammurabi’s Code. Hammurabi attributed the code to divine inspiration, so naturally Giorgio Tsoukalos calls this an alien intervention. The show next speculates whether the Dogon are connected to the Philistine god Dagon, but it completely misunderstands Dagon, following a long-outdated belief that Dagon was a fish-man, a claim derived from a biblical confusion. As I wrote years ago, “The real Dagon, however, was not a fish god but an agrarian god. The confusion stemmed from a medieval rabbinical tradition that linked Dagon to the Hebrew word ‘dag,’ or fish. This traditional led early researchers to misidentify the Babylonian fish-god Oannes (the Sumerian Adapa) as Dagon.” The fish-man of Near East mythology was Oannes, who was later conflated with Dagon due to the influence of biblical translation. Based on this confusion, Tsoukalos proposes that peoples, places, and gods containing the syllable “Da” are all derived from the ethnonym of Sirius space aliens.
The third segment returns to an ancient astronaut theory classic—the claim that ancient Japanese figurines look like aliens in space suits from the 1960s version of the Outer Limits. It also repeats claims from earlier episodes that the Japanese imperial family’s claim to have a divine origin suggests alien origins. They add that Japanese mythological dragons are really amphibious aliens. The show professes to express shock that the word for “dragon” is almost the same from Portugal to Japan. No shit, Sherlock. The Indo-European languages all share similar roots, and as for China and Japan—well, the show straight-up lied. The actual word used in Mandarin for dragon is lóng. The traditional Japanese word for dragon was ryū, derived from the Chinese, and the more common modern name, doragun, is just a transliteration of the English word. Similarly, the Basque word is a loan from Classical languages.
In the fourth segment, the show relates a legend from Sierra Leone that the sky turned to stone and rained down when the Nomoli came from the heavens. In Sierra Leone, some very blue stones, first seen by Westerners in 1991, have been associated with the myth, and the show is interested in the rocks because they claim that the stones are not natural and could be “from another planet.” Past analyses have returned different results about the stones’ composition, including claims that the stones are made of pure oxygen (a misunderstanding popular online of its chemical composition) and claims that they contain organic compounds. David Childress has a sample of the rock tested at a laboratory at the University of Washington, and we go to commercial with a promise of results after the break.
The geologist at the University of Washington, Peter Ward, tells Childress that the rock gave him “the creeps” because of its unusual composition, which contains a large amount of nitrogen. The show trims Ward’s comments to nothing, giving us no actual information about the stone’s geological makeup except that there was an “organic” component, though the show cut any discussion of what it might be. As best I can tell, Ward suggested that the stone may have been from a meteorite, but his comments are so truncated that it is impossible to judge what he really meant.
Having created what seems very much to be a deceptive conclusion based on heavily edited “evidence,” the show speeds along to Newgrange in order to allege that the ancient Irish site is aligned to Sirius, and the show repeats several times the idea that gods whose names start with Dog- or Dag- must be from Sirius. One of the gods of Ireland was Dagda, the leader of the Tuatha Dé Danann, and therefore the show speculates that Dagda was from Sirius and Newgrange was an “alien outpost.” That this contradicts Tsoukalos’s long-held claim that Puma Punku in Bolivia is the only ancient site built by aliens is passed over in silence. It is also not clear what aliens would want with a big stone tomb.
The sixth segment repeats the same claims from earlier segments, and Tsoukalos endorses the silly idea that the various names for dragon all connected to the Indo-European original represent a word given to early humans around the world by space aliens from Sirius. William Henry tells us that the word “dog” was given to English by space aliens, derived from their ethnonym. But if they did, they did it very late. “Dog” enters English only late in Old English, gradually forcing out the Germanic original, hund. The Old English version, docga, is indeed of unknown origin, but as you can see, contrary to Ancient Aliens’ claims, the extra consonant in the middle means it is not cognate with Dagon or the Dogon.
6/21/2019 11:18:55 pm
I don't know how anyone sits through this crap. It's cool to see places like, Puma Punku but, you have to listen to DHC say the word "blocks" like, he's having a visceral moment. The Leonardo's alien knowledge episode was the last one, I remember sitting through. I laughed so hard, I cried. They added glowing eyes to a "hood". The only interesting idea was the "Custodial Race" hypothesis from "Gods of Eden".
6/21/2019 11:35:12 pm
The way that you use commas caused me to have a “visceral moment.”
6/22/2019 12:03:48 am
Anthony is a walking "visceral moment". Did you know that he has used two to five commas a day, every day, for the last 42 years? He was also statewide Homecoming Queen for five years running and is the real-world source for the story about Rod Stewart and the soccer team.
6/22/2019 12:35:14 am
It's my phone. Constantly adds apostrophes, and comas. Sometimes, I catch it. This time, I didn't. Phone will not let me spell "were". ALWAYS automatically changes to "we're".
6/22/2019 02:26:49 am
Sounds like a lie to me.
6/22/2019 09:58:35 am
6/22/2019 12:39:26 pm
12/8/2019 07:38:36 am
I very much appreciate your information to this show, as I watched it myself and had HUGE questions about the information as well. I just wanted to know if there is such a thing in which Sirus B is real ?!
6/22/2019 01:14:35 am
There is a breed of dogs (great dane, bulldog) that is called "dogge" in German. In some German dialects that is pronounced like "doggae". Which seems reasonably similar to the Old English word "docga".
The ineluctable modality of the visible
6/22/2019 01:22:52 am
I used a “dogge bag” to take home the remains of the cheese ravioli that I couldn’t finish at the local Olive Garden earlier this evening. Is that what you meant?
6/22/2019 11:15:24 am
Docga would have been pronounced something like"dodge-a" and likely described a certain breed of dog. So at some point in English history one could have owned a doghound.
6/22/2019 02:03:38 pm
Fun Fact: The etymological relationship between "Dogon" and "doggone". One of my college professors pulled me aside and clued me in because I bought him beer and he recognized what a street smart stud I was. Some called me the Vanilla Ice of Commas. He also gave me clues to the mystical mythical meaning of the constellation Urethra.
6/22/2019 05:05:13 pm
Did Michio Kaku actually sign off on this, or have they used his interview out of context? He didn't seem that into ancient aliens before.
6/27/2019 06:42:09 pm
I didn't watch the show, nor did I read the article I come here for the wonderful comments.
6/22/2019 05:54:46 pm
What a retarded and obtuse article.
6/22/2019 06:37:27 pm
Don't sell yourself short, you're not just an article.
Sirius about Sirius
6/22/2019 06:00:25 pm
The NOVA version of the 1970s documentary "The Case of the Ancient Astronauts" was about 15 minutes shorter than the BBC version,
6/22/2019 06:36:06 pm
There is so much nonsense here. I don't even care about figuring out where to begin.
Sirius about Sirius
6/22/2019 07:17:35 pm
The ending of the BBC Documentary is missing from the NOVA version, that was edited. A radio signal was sent to Sirius without receiving any response. "That's it, we cannot go any further. This story is now finished", said the astronomer.
6/22/2019 07:24:22 pm
I get that you think you're trying to make a point, but...you're failing at an Anthony Warren level.
6/22/2019 07:29:19 pm
So did the show stay focused on this dude for seventeen years listening to his receiver?
SIRIUS ABOUT SIRIUS
6/22/2019 07:33:52 pm
Only repeating what was shown on the BBC documentary.
Show the fact
6/22/2019 10:22:54 pm
Show me the evidence where it says it takes 17 years to send a radio signal from Earth to Sirius
6/22/2019 11:01:06 pm
This was one thing that Robert Temple was never gonna do - send a radio signal to Sirius.
6/22/2019 11:08:07 pm
If Robert Temple sends a radio signal to Sirius today he would be 91 years old by the time it gets there (assuming it takes 17 years) - but then again, the occupants of Sirius could have been wiped out in an intergalactic war with the Anunnaki.
6/22/2019 11:24:34 pm
What about 8.6 years each way? Doubt he was using a quantum receiver.
SIRIUS ABOUT SIRIUS
6/22/2019 11:42:51 pm
6/23/2019 12:00:28 am
Failing at an Anthony Warren level.
ON THE KENT LEVEL
6/23/2019 04:07:51 am
SIRIUS ABOUT SIRIUS
6/23/2019 04:17:16 am
There are also contributions from Isaac Asimov and Germaine Dieterlen in the BBC version of "The Case of The Ancient Astronauts" that were edited out by NOVA.
Released on Video and DVD
6/23/2019 04:20:46 am
Because America has a population of hundreds of millions of people it can release videos and DVDs of documentaries without losing money.
Another Point (repeated again)
6/22/2019 07:27:34 pm
Fortune tellers predictions - only the bits that fit are remembered. The bits that were wrong are forgotten.
6/22/2019 10:24:51 pm
"The show professes to express shock that the word for “dragon” is almost the same from Portugal to Japan. No shit, Sherlock."
6/22/2019 11:58:06 pm
Well the word for dragon isn't the same in Tibet or China or India so there's that.
6/23/2019 12:47:35 am
What’s the Russian word for “garbage”?
6/23/2019 01:58:16 am
I would have to look that up. You can do it as easily as I.
6/23/2019 10:14:42 am
Russian word for garbage is Scott Wolter
6/23/2019 10:23:22 am
English word for Bible Historians is LIARS
6/25/2019 12:21:37 pm
Similar to the resident Coma, Coma Comedians, AA lacks imagination. They have even stolen storylines from "The Six Million Dollar Man". IF, they actually had any imagination, certain similarities would be expounded upon, and the show would seem less like "Groundhog Day".
6/25/2019 12:58:16 pm
Though it's admirable for you to point out the nonsensical nature of Ancient Aliens, doing so with even more nonsense is not the way to go about it. I understand though. You are an imbecile, and therefore do not know any better; and as such have become a constant distraction here. Where you do not belong.
6/25/2019 01:20:24 pm
Beat me to it. Our Anthony is indeed the king of all idiots. All his information comes from "one of my professors", "two guys named Doc" or "a book I can't remember". I've despaired of getting an answer to the question "What books did you read today and yesterday?" although I'd still like to know what he did that was severe enough to allow "zealots" to take away his Yahoo! email account.
6/25/2019 02:02:21 pm
What, I have read in the past 2 weeks...
6/25/2019 02:07:29 pm
Autocorrect changed "Pirates" to "Please".
6/25/2019 02:22:40 pm
"If I distract you from ridiculing people, I am right where I belong..."
6/25/2019 02:43:43 pm
I forgot to mention...
6/25/2019 03:31:06 pm
So 21 books in 14 days. Not exactly the "2 to 5 books a day, every day for 42 years" that you have claimed. You alluded to Uriel's Machine on January 8 and March 30 of this year which fuels my quite reasonable belief that you use the word "read" where most people would use the words "saw" or "thought of". Even if true you've presented the reading list of a mental patient which is of course no surprise. Oooh though! You also read FIVE blogs and "links". Would you like to add a list of food labels and stop signs you've read? Does PRNDL count as a book?
6/25/2019 04:09:47 pm
Due to Father's Day, and spinal injections, I didn't read books everyday.
6/25/2019 04:47:12 pm
Okay so NOT 2 to 5 books a day as you previously claimed, lying.
6/25/2019 05:16:28 pm
"I will normally read Stellar Theology & Masonic Astronomy at least once a week, however, my copy has disappeared."
6/26/2019 12:49:07 am
My copy of Stellar Theology has likely been used by my stepson as a tray to roll a joint. Therefore, it is most likely in his room. I would rather go scuba diving in a septic tank than go into his room.
6/26/2019 12:56:51 pm
That's doing it the hard way, both in your stepson's case and w/regard to the lenths you will go to formulate an excuse.
6/26/2019 01:31:15 pm
Now, you sound like my wife. "With all of these books, how can you possibly tell one is missing?" Like I told her, I've caught him rolling joints on it before. Plus, I read it weekly.
6/26/2019 02:12:17 pm
I'm familiar with your claim to read "2 to 5 books a day, every day for 42 years."
9/26/2019 06:34:12 pm
You guys all have it backwards. AA is a comedy show, a mockumentary. I never laughed so much at Seinfeld or Friends. These days, the minute this Giorgios guy or Childress appears on screen, I burst out laughing. AA just doesn't have a laugh track like The Office.
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I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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