The Sirius Mystery: You Don’t Need Columbo For This One

[[UPDATE: Talk about good timing!  I guess the person who wrote this article, dated today, does need Columbo; –MSH]]

I’m hoping my reference to the venerable TV detective doesn’t date me too much here!

Way back in 2009 I wrote the only post on this blog about the so-called “Sirius Mystery.” This mystery has to do with how a primitive African tribe, the Dogon, had advanced knowledge of a system of stars that make up what we see with the naked eye as one star — Sirius. My post was brief, directing readers’ attention to another brief, but well done, post on the Bad Archaeology website devoted to the subject, as well as two articles on how the Dogon could have visually seen “beyond” the single star Sirius. (After all, that is the issue — how did they know that naked eye Sirius is actually a cluster of stars?) It doesn’t take much imagination to discern that this is serious (pardon the pun) fodder for ancient astronaut believers.

It’s time to revisit the “Sirius Mystery” in a bit more detail. There has been some additional recent work on the subject by anthropologists to which I want to draw your attention. But to make it easier to follow, let’s start at the beginning.

The Dogon and Sirius

The Bad Archaeology page on the Sirius Mystery has summarize the basic details well:

In 1976, Robert K G Temple (born 1945), an American living in the UK, published what was to become a seminal work of Bad Archaeology, The Sirius Mystery. A revised edition was published in 1998 with the new subtitle New scientific evidence of alien contact 5,000 years ago…. Temple begins with the work of Marcel Griaule (1898-1956) and Germaine Dieterlen (1903-1999), a pair of French anthropologists who worked in what is now Mali from 1931 to 1956. They reported an apparently anomalous knowledge of astronomy that formed part of the traditional lore of the Dogon, a people of the central plateau of Mali. This knowledge is alleged to include accounts of the rings of Saturn, the presence of four moons orbiting Jupiter and, most surprisingly of all, an account of two companions of the star Sirius. Griaule first published this data in Dieu d’eau (‘God of Water’, 1948), in which he records his conversations with a blind hunter, Ogotemmêli, who claimed to have extensive knowledge of Dogon lore, much of which was restricted to certain tribal elders. Griaule and Dieterlen were able to synthesise the cosmogony from Ogotemmêli’s statements. Temple was most impressed by the Dogon belief in a complex system of stars making up what we see as the single star, Sirius. This is the brightest star in our skies and, according to the Dogon, as reported by Griaule and Dieterlen, is actually a bright star with several smaller (even ‘invisible’) companions. Focusing especially on a representation of the system drawn by Ogotemmêli (who, it must be remembered, was blind), Temple recognised the highly elliptical orbit of Sirius B, a white dwarf first photographed in 1970, around the principal star of the system, Sirius A. Moreover, Temple found reference to a third component of the system, dubbed Sirius C by the astronomers who accepted its existence (its existence had been suggested but never observed). According to the Dogon, this knowledge had been imparted by the Nommo, fish-like water spirits, in the distant past.

From this information, Temple goes on to theorize that the “fish-like water spirits” were extraterrestrials. He finds proof for his notion from the Babylonian writer Berosssus who wrote of a hybrid fish-man who “emerged from the Persian Gulf to teach humanity various arts of civilisation. This creature is thought to be the Uan (or Uanna) of Babylonian myth, sometimes identified with Adapa, the equally mythical first king of Eridu, also identified by some with Atrahasis, the hero of the Babylonian version of the flood legend.” (Bad Archaeology)

While this string of non-sequiturs on the ancient Mesopotamian material is interesting enough, I want to stick to the item that started Temple down this rabbit hole: the Dogon knowledge of Sirius.

Recent Work on the Dogon and Sirius: 1980s and 1990s

In my earlier post on this subject, I linked readers to two essays from the book Blacks in Science: Ancient & Modern (Journal of African Civilizations), by Ivan Van Sertima (Transaction Publishers, 1983). The first essay speculated about whether the Dogon may have had a primitive optical instrument and, more importantly, how early Chinese records indicated that astronomers had been able to make naked eye observations of one of Jupiter’s moons. Another example came from an 1852 letter from a missionary who documented the same observation. Further, under optimal conditions, people in contemporary times with good visual acuity can see two galaxies (M31, the Andromeda) and M33 (a spiral galaxy in the constellation Triangulum) with the naked eye. These examples are concrete, secure parallels to the Dogon knowledge of the Sirius cluster. No aliens needed. The article went on to discuss techniques used by ancients for making such observations (called “dark eye” techniques). The second essay discusses how the Dogon may have been able to see Sirius B, a star in the cluster that, due to its high magnitude, should not be viewable to the naked eye. Collectively, these essays show there is no reason to suspect that a member of the ancient Dogon tribe, or others at any other place on the globe, thousands of years ago, could not see these things. This undermines the entire premise of Temple and his Sirius Mystery.

The Bad Archaeology site notes:

… by the time Temple had published the second edition of The Sirius Mystery in 1998, the whole question of the Dogon’s apparently inexplicable knowledge of Sirius had been blown apart. No-one had questioned Griaule and Dieterlen’s findings until the early 1990s. And this is where the problems for the hypothesis began. In 1991, the anthropologist Walter van Beek undertook fieldwork among the Dogon, hoping to find evidence for their knowledge of Sirius. As the earlier authors had indicated that aorund 15% of the adult males were initiated into the Sirius lore, this ought to have been a relatively easy task. However, van Beek was unable to find anyone who knew about Sirius B. As ought to have been obvious from the outset, Griaule and Dieterlen’s reliance on a single informant – Ogotemmêli – severely compromises the validity of their data. But it gets worse. The Dogon themselves do not agree that Sigu tolo is Sirius: it is the bright star that appears to announce the beginning of a festival (sigu), which some identify with Venus, while others claim it is invisible. To polo is not Sirius B, as it sometimes approaches Sigu tolo, making it brighter, while it is sometimes more distant, when it appears as a group of twinkling stars (which sounds like a description of the Pleiades). All in all, the ‘inexplicable’ astronomical knowledge turns out to be too confused to bear the interpretation put on it by Griaule and Dieterlen.

The research of van Beek (and co-authors) alluded to above can be found in this 1991 article:

Walter E. A. van Beek, R. M. A. Bedaux, Suzanne Preston Blier, Jacky Bouju, PeterIan Crawford, Mary Douglas, Paul Lane, Claude Meillassoux, “The Dogon Restudied: A Field Evaluation of the Work of Marcel Griaule [and Comments and Replies],” Current Anthropology Vol. 32, No. 2 (Apr., 1991), pp. 139-167

The abstract of the article notes:

“This restudy of the Dogon of Mali asks whether the texts produced by Marcel Griaule depict a society that is recognizable to the re- searcher and to the Dogon today and answers the question more or less in the negative. The picture of Dogon religion presented in Dieu d’eau and Le renard pale proved impossible to replicate in the field, even as the shadowy remnant of a largely forgotten past. The reasons for this, it is suggested, lie in the particular field situation of Griaule’s research, including features of the ethnographer’s approach, the political setting, the experience and predilections of the informants, and the values of Dogon culture.”

Note: In what follows, van Beek uses the following abbreviations for books written by Griaule on the Dogon:

DE = In Dieu d’eau: Entretiens avec Ogotemmeli [“God of Water: Conversations with Ogotemmeli”]  (Griaule 1948, hereafter DE); this is the book that made Griaule world-famous. It was published before his collaboration with Dieterlen — the next book:

RP = Le renard pale [“The Pale Fox”] (Griaule and Dieterlen I965, hereafter RP); this book is the one referred to by Bad Archaeology. It is the one that contains most of the material about Sirius and the Dogon.

I recommend the article to readers, as it has a very good summary of Dogon cosmology (pp. 140-141, 148-151), drawing on DE and RP, and the fact that the cosmological recounting of the single informant of Griaule and Dieterlen (Ogotemmêli) differs from all other Dogon accounts. This means that, among other issues, the source upon which Robert Temple based his ancient astronaut speculations are quite idiosyncratic, as the Bad Archaeology site noted. Van Beek goes even further than that, though. Quoting from his re-study, Van Beek notes that the views of Ogotemmêli are simply not recognizable to those leaders he talked to (p. 148) and “that Sirius is a double star is unknown; astronomy is of very little importance in religion. Dogon society has no initiatory secrets beyond the complete mastery of publicly known texts . . . The water spirit Nommo is not a central figure in Dogon thought and has none of the characteristics of a creator or a redeemer … Cosmological symbolism is not the basis of any Dogon cultural institutions . . . Confronted with parts of the stories provided by Ogotemmeli or given in the Renard pale, my informants emphatically state that they have never heard of them.” (p. 148)

On page 149 van Beek adds:

Is Sirius a double star? The ethnographic facts are quite straightforward. The Dogon, of course, know Sirius as a star (it is after all the brightest in the sky), calling it dana tolo, the hunter’s star (the game and the dogs are represented by Orion’s belt). Knowledge of the stars is not important either in daily life or in ritual. The position of the sun and the phases of the moon are more pertinent for Dogon reckoning. No Dogon outside the circle of Griaule’s informants had ever heard of sigu tolo or p6 tolo, nor had any Dogon even heard of eme ya tolo (according to Griaule in RP Dogon names for Sirius and its star companions). Most important, no one, even within the circle of Griaule informants, had ever heard or understood that Sirius was a double star (or, according to RP, even a triple one, with B and C orbiting A). Consequently, the purported knowledge of the mass of Sirius B or the orbiting time was absent. The scheduling of the sigu ritual is done in several ways in Yugo Doguru, none of which has to do with the stars.” (pp. 149-150)

In a nutshell, the foundation of Robert Temple’s Sirius Mystery (and the nonsense that has accrued to it since its publication) consists of three conversations with one Dogon tribesman, whose ideas differ from all subsequent Dogon elders interviewed to date. (And then there are the flaws in what Temple does with this idiosyncratic musings). Nice. A word like “flimsy” doesn’t begin to tell the story.

Contemporary Work on the Dogon: 2004

In 2004 Dr. van Beek published an essay in a scholarly journal that is, in essence, a retrospect of his work on Griaule of 1991 and the Sirius silliness:

Walter E. A. van Beek, “Haunting Griaule: Experiences from the Restudy of the Dogon,” History in Africa 31 (2004), pp. 43-68

Van Beek begins the article whimsically:

“It really was a chance occasion, just before Christmas 2003. On my way to the Dogon area I had greeted my friends in Sangha, and was speaking with a Dutch friend, when a French tourist lady suddenly barged into the hall of the hotel and asked me: “There should be a cav- ern with a mural depicting Sirius and the position of all the planets. I saw it in a book. Where is it?”. My friend smiled wrily, amused by the irony of situation: by chance the lady had fallen upon the one who had spent decennia to disprove this kind of “information”. “In what book?” I asked, and named a few. It was none of these, and she could not tell me. Cautiously (maybe she had planned her whole trip around this Sirius “experience”) I explained to her that though there was a lot to see, this particular mural did not exist. She left immediately, proba- bly convinced she stumbled on a real ignoramus.”

I wonder what book the lady had read (!)

Van Beek’s essay tells the reader how his decades-long interest in the Dogon began (it had nothing to do with Griaule) and how that interest drew him into pop (cult, fringe) archeology and anthropology. It’s an interesting, light read for the most part. Some excerpts are worth citing for our purposes here:

But at the time-we are writing 1979 for the start of my own field- work-the Griaule ethnography had already come under criticism. The most severe came from a Belgian dissertation by Dirk Lettens, defended at Nijmegen University under Albert Trouwborst (Lettens 1971). Later, after the publication of my Current Anthropology article, Trouwborst-with whom I shared many interuniversity committees, as well as the board of the Dutch Africanist Association-confided me that at the time he thought Lettens overly critical: surely it could not have been that bad. But Lettens was right on target. His title, Mythagogie et Mystification, still is unsurpassed as a characterization of Griaule’s post-1948 writings. Although criticism was given in many countries, (Saccone 1984), the discussion through David Tait (1950), Mary Douglas (1967, 1968) and eventually James Clifford (1983) was to be much more influential. (p. 48)

One wonders why Robert Temple’s work on the “Sirius Mystery” fails to interact with these criticisms of Griaule. Simply put, that isn’t how scholarship is done.

Van Beek continues:

All these discussions, however, were based on secondary sources. It was astonishing how little genuine fieldwork had been done after Griaule’s untimely death in 1956. The publication of Le Renard pale was clearly the outcome of his own work, finished by Germaine Dieterlen. She was still publishing, wholly within his tradition. The same holds for the only other major publication based on field data, the work of Genevieve Calame-Griaule, his daughter. She published a major study on Dogon language cum culture, in which she combined her father’s approach with the results of her own linguistic research. . . . The problem started with what is still the best known publication of Griaule, his small book describing his talks with a blind Dogon elder Ogotemmelli, under the title Dieu d’eau (Griaule 1948) (=DE above), translated in English under its French subtitle: Conversations with Ogotemmelli. . . . The book was a tremendous success and was translated into over twenty languages. (p. 49)

Griaule’s ethnography proved to be incoherent. Griaule’s later publications, which incidentally never could match his first success nor receive the wide circulation and renown of Ogotemmelli, depicted yet another Dogon culture. The posthumously published Le Renard pale (Griaule/Dieterlen 1956) and the articles leading up to it (Griaule 1954, Griaule/Dieterlen 1950) came up with even “deeper” myths, systems of classification, and a totally different creation story, at least with a totally different construction of the myth. These two sets of creation myths, of 1948 and 1956, are totally incon- sistent with each other … (p. 50)

Renard pale (= RP above) picked up one major following, somewhat to the embarrassment of Dieterlen. One of its spectacular “findings” had to do with astronomy. The Dogon ritual calendar allegedly was dominat- ed by a star system, that of Sirius, the main star in the constellation of Canis Major. The message of the book was that Sirius had a small white dwarf companion, Sirius B, whose revolving time punctuated the long-term rhythm of Dogon ritual life, such as the famous sigi cycle. An even smaller companion (the presumed Sirius C) then circled Sirius B. The notion of Sirius as a double star is an astronomical fact (though Sirius C is not known and has never been observed). But then, how did the Dogon know this? The naked eye cannot detect the white dwarf. The most extended treatment of this problem was given by Robert Temple in a book that has long haunted popular astronomy, The Sirius Mystery, published in 1976, (reprinted in 1999). Temple took the Dogon data as unvarnished truth and questioned how this knowledge arrived at the Bandiagara cliff. He found the answers in Egypt, and thus became a kind of trailblazer for a whole generation of authors who were even less restrained.  For those convinced of extra-terrestrial visits to the planet Earth, an idea very much in vogue during the late seventies … “Cosmonautologists” like von Diniken [sic], Guerrier (1975) and many others of their ilk had a field day with this material and the Dogon enigma quickly became established as one of the pillars in their empir- ical grounding of the “flying saucer vision” and extraterrestrial inter- pretations of the pyramids. In their reasoning the implications of the Dogon “facts” were clear: there was no way the Dogon without any astronomical instruments could know these exotic facts. Definitely this implied that they must have been taught these astronomical lessons by extraterrestrials. Thus, the Dogon notion of Sirius B (C was conve- niently forgotten) came on a par with the riddles of the Gizeh pyra- mids, the Nazca lines and Stonehenge. (pp. 50-51)

The article has a good deal else. I especially like the part where, after years spent becoming accepted by the Dogon, he began to carefully expose them to the ideas that Griaule had “learned” from Ogotemmelli, only to have his Dogon friends burst out laughing! One of the major services is van Beek’s lengthy descriptions (with illustrations) of how Griaule came to create the myths of the Dogon himself (which were uncritically absorbed by Temple and passed on to the populace in his book). Basically, there was a good amount of cultural mis-communication. Van Beek relates several anecdotes you can read for yourself, but his own epiphany in this regard is worth quoting here:

Recently, in her excellent study of Dogon masks, Anne Doquet has zoomed in on one aspect I rather neglected, i.e. the conversations with Ogotemmelli themselves, and the fieldwork genesis of the first “Griaulian myths” (Doquet 1999:90-91). Analyzing Griaule’s field notes in detail from microfiches, she noticed the two-fold influence Griaule had exerted on the material he collected with the old man. This period, from 20 October 1946 to 2 December 1946, marked his famous conversations. The field notes are a haphazard collection of ref- erences to Dogon symbols and pieces of mythology, a veritable bricolage of odds and ends, without coherence or internal consistency. However, the book gives an account of a series of systematic revela- tions, each startling myth and intricate symbol tying in nicely with the great revelations of the former day, and logically leading to the revela- tions yet to come. Recently, in her excellent study of Dogon masks, Anne Doquet has zoomed in on one aspect I rather neglected, i.e. the conversations with Ogotemmelli themselves, and the fieldwork genesis of the first “Griaulian myths” (Doquet 1999:90-91). Analyzing Griaule’s field notes in detail from microfiches, she noticed the two-fold influence Griaule had exerted on the material he collected with the old man. This period, from 20 October 1946 to 2 December 1946, marked his famous conversations. The field notes are a haphazard collection of ref- erences to Dogon symbols and pieces of mythology, a veritable brico- lage of odds and ends, without coherence or internal consistency. However, the book gives an account of a series of systematic revela- tions, each startling myth and intricate symbol tying in nicely with the great revelations of the former day, and logically leading to the revela- tions yet to come. (p. 59)

Van Beek’s account of how his 1991 critique of Griaule and his co-author Dieterlen was received — by Dieterlen herself — is also of interest:

Before submitting it to the editor, I decided to give Dieterlen a chance at first reaction. She read English only with difficulty, as I knew, so I translated the article into French, sent her a copy, and made an appointment. When I arrived at her apartment in Paris, she received me as gracefully as ever. She had been expecting a publication for some time, and appreciated my effort to give her the chance at a first reaction and my effort at making a (passable) French version. She had also admired the French version of the Time-Life book (Pern/Alexander/van Beek 1982) I had sent her some time before. In that publication I had avoided the question of Griaulian validity, as a book for the general public should not be burdened with a detailed academic debate. I braced myself for a long critique, but she had just one question: “Pourqois le publier?” Only that, why publish? She had no answer to my arguments, in fact during our two-hour conversation that followed she never ventured into the content of the article at all, but just pleaded not to publish it. It was, evidently, also the most difficult question to answer, and one I had been reflecting on very long. I answered, truth- fully I think, that publishing is the very soul of science, and that debate is the way to proceed in getting closer to the truth. She had no comments on that, but instead started reminiscing on the past. (pp. 62-63; emphasis mine – MSH)

Think about that. The only other person alive who could rebut van Beek’s criticisms of the Dogon “knowledge” had nothing to say in rebuttal, even in private. All she wanted was for the criticisms not to be published.

How telling.

151 thoughts on “The Sirius Mystery: You Don’t Need Columbo For This One

  1. A well reasoned and logical response showing integrity I thought beyond you, and thanks for finally asking my position.

    1. The Dogon were not visited by extraterrestrials: affirm it or deny it?

    AGREED

    2. Dogon astronomy has nothing to do with extraterrestrials: affirm it or deny it?

    AGREED

    3. Extraterrestrials did not assist in building the pyramids and other megalithic architecture from antiquity: affirm it or deny it?

    AGREED

    However, I do believe (and I’m not so sure you’ll agree with me here) that there have been advanced/modern humans on Earth for longer than percieved by mainstream science. I’m not talking about Atlantis or anything like that. I’m not talking millions of years ago. I’m not referring to anything bible related. I’m not talking about anything beyond the realms of what we have today, and I certainly believe knowledge has been lost, though nothing ridiculous like anti-gravity or any of the other fringe ideas thrown out there, just simple inginuity that we in our advanced and ignorant era would easily overlook. I mean, they survived an ice age, right?

    There are couple of things I don’t agree with in the mainstream, or that arent satisfactorily answered in my opinion. I would like it very much if you could give your opinion on these, though you are not obliged. A short list of those would be:

    1. Estimated time of construction for the Pyramids.
    Not much more to say here but if current theories are correct they must have had one hell of an army building these (I CANNOT overstate how fast they would have had to have worked).

    2. Pyramids all over the world.
    The chances of many countries in the same time span constructing similar pyramids are very, very slim without some form of global communication (don’t assume I believe the last part). Have you any ideas how this global design may have been globalized?

    3. Age of the Giza pyramids.
    Water damage indicates a much older age for the pyramids. The sahara desert has been one of the most arid places on Earth since it dried up several thousands of years ago. This makes me think they must have been built when the Sahara was more of a savannah. There are several other thing I don’t have time to go in to regarding the pyramids age (direction of leo/sphinx during spring equinox around 10,500BC et cetera, can elabourate at a later date if required). Are you firmly in line with the mainstream age of the pyramids, or are you, like me, open to the possibility that they might pre-date all previously preconcieved notions?

    4. Trilithon stone at Baalbek, Lebanon
    I don’t really feel this needs much elabouration. I would like to hear any mainstream opinion of how a block over 1000 metric tons was quarried and moved in prehistoric times. Not saying it’s impossible, just gathering opinions and ideas as I personally am not intelligent enough to think of a way this could be done. All kinds of problems here with such a shear weight, and evenly distributing the weight to avoid over stressing.

    As I say, I’m looking for your opinions so there is no wrong answer, and I apologize in advance if I wasn’t clear about anything as I’m a little busy.

    Regards,
    Luke

    • now you’re done, for the insulting tone. And busy doesn’t even begin to describe my own life.

  2. I began exploring your website because my husband is very enamored with any “outside the box” explanation of anthropological / archeological / sociological / religious “stuff.” I’m a skeptic regarding such claims but willing to look (marital harmony, mutual respect, love…). My strategy (time limitations being a factor) is to examine sites positing claims and those with counter claims. I was very impressed by the organizational structure & documentation provided one this site; however, I was puzzled by the responses to “Luke” above, particularly the last one which seemed very resonable and respectful. Since you have provided several links to assist in searches for reputable information (for the benefit of those of us who are not “academics”), I don’t understand why you seemed so offended by his post. I would appreciate seeing the links myself (may be posted elsewhere on the site but a link from here would be helpful). I would really like to share the website info. with my husband, but do feel that the heat of your responses (such as to “Luke”) may give him an argument for bias on your part. Would you reconsider, and give a more dispassionate response?

    • You have to reproduce specifically what it is you’d like me to answer. I have roughly a half hour a day for my blogs (that’s a real number, as I’m one of these people whose life circumstances [actually, over-commitments] force me to be able to account for every half hour of every day. Consequently, when I asked Luke to produce evidence for an alien view, I never got a clear “that isn’t what I think” until the last comment of length. I then wanted to be sure, so I gave him the affirmations and denials (yes or no options). He was clear there, but not before being an ass. The bottom line is I have neither the time nor the disposition to put up with that. I’m barely able to keep my blogs going with my schedule, so I can’t let people monopolize a discussion. I need direct and to-the-point responses. And when people want to be uppity, it’s my blog, and I;m not required by any law or principle to give them air time. If he doesn’t like it, he can start his own blog. Just trying to be honest with you. If I had all day, I could dissect long comments and parse every item, lingering over the prose and interacting with everything. It just isn’t going to happen.

    • And incidentally, I would respond to something clear and concise, and we could go on from there.

      And for the record, if you don’t realize that pretty much all I do on the web is not for my fellow scholars (the guild) but *is* for non-specialists, than you need to explore the blogs and sites more. I regularly struggle with whether I ought to be more like my guild friends, who either think blogging is a waste of their time, or if they do blog, do so for their own peers. There are a few exceptions, but that’s how academics are. I know from experience that their time is limited, but I think many could and ought to do more for the non-specialist.

  3. I think it is Sitchin who tried to make suckin jews in power. lol.

    It’s a Great Deception of all time, misleading truthseekers all around the world. That our origins are “aliens” (previously “demon”), and we are slaves (how enlighting), and “The Master Anunnaki” is coming. lmao.

    I’m not a Christian, but it sounds Antichrist’s deception to me. In line with Reagan’s speech at the UN (actually he said it 6x in different events), that “common threat from outer space would unite the world as one”. The question is, who’ll be in charge? Isn’t it “the suckin jews in power”? lmao.

    Anyway, as an openminded guy, I am willing to accept Sitchin’s claims re 12 planets, ancient astronauts, etc etc. The story is very exotic, I love that.. But it stays to be a pure fiction, for it’s not what the Sumerians said in the tablet. Reality bites! 😀

    I understood why MSH is very persistant in this subject. No matter how heartbreaking, Sitchin’s claims are simply not right (except proven otherwise, which I openmindedly expected, but never happened for a decade).

    Thank you, MSH. Keep up the good work. GBU..

  4. For the religious out their that are Jew haters, remember, Jesus was a Jew.

    Also remember, it was the Romans (the predecessors of today’s Catholic Church) that scourged and crucified Jesus not the Jews.
    Joh 19:23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.

    As for Sitchins claims, maybe you need to read the Bible. As to whether the Bible is referring to the Annanaki or not is another question.

    Read:

    2 Samuel 22 (Psalms 18).

    2Sam 22:11 And he came riding upon a cherub and came flying;
    And he was visible upon the wings of a spirit…………..
    15 And he kept sending out arrows, that he might scatter them;
    Lightning, that he might throw them into confusion.
    16 And the streambeds of the sea became visible,
    The foundations of the productive land became uncovered

    Read in Ezekiel about the Cherubs.

    Ezekiel 3:12 And a spirit proceeded to bear me along and I began to hear behind me the sound of a great rushing: “Blessed be the glory of Jehovah from his place.” 13 And there was the sound of the wings of the living creatures that were closely touching each other, and the sound of the wheels close beside them, and the sound of a great rushing. 14 And [the] spirit bore me along and proceeded to take me, so that I went bitterly in the rage of my spirit, and the hand of Jehovah upon me was strong. 15 So I entered in among the exiled people at Tel-a?bib, who were dwelling by the river Che?bar, and I began to dwell where they were dwelling; and I kept dwelling there for seven days, stunned in the midst of them.

    What did the Israelites follow through the desert for forty years.
    A Pillar of Cloud (Cylindrical shaped object).
    A real water vapour cloud, Yeah! sure mate.
    Exodus 13:21-22. Exodus 14:24. Numbers 14:14. Deuteronomy 1:33. Nehemiah 9:12. Nehemiah 9:19.

    2 Kings 2:11 And it came about that as they were walking along, speaking as they walked, why, look! a fiery war chariot and fiery horses, and they proceeded to make a separation between them both; and E•li?jah went ascending in the windstorm to the heavens.

    (Elijah does not die at this time, nor does he go into the invisible spirit realm, but he is transferred to another prophetic assignment. This is shown by the fact that Elisha does not hold any period of mourning for his master. A number of years after his ascension in the windstorm Elijah is still alive and active as a prophet, this time to the king of Judah. Because of the wicked course taken by King Jehoram of Judah, Elijah writes him a letter expressing Jehovah’s condemnation, which is fulfilled shortly thereafter.—2Ch 21:12-15)

    Psalms 68:17 The war chariots of God are in tens of thousands, thousands over and over again.
    Jehovah himself has come from Si?nai into the holy place.

    Sorry, but these scriptures do not refer to a literal cloud. Dreamland material.

    Daniel 7:13 “I kept on beholding in the visions of the night, and, see there! with the clouds of the heavens someone like a son of man happened to be coming; and to the Ancient of Days he gained access, and they brought him up close even before that One

    Acts 1:9 And after he had said these things, while they were looking on, he was lifted up and a cloud caught him up from their vision.

    Luke 21:27 And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

    There are many references in the Bible to Flying craft.

    One8one
    “When Captain James Cook showed my people the map of New Zealand they told him it was wrong. My people navigated all over.”

    Cook was an excellent map maker, attested to worldwide. He probably only sailed around New Zealand once with very few mistakes.

    • There is no proof in the Bible for “flying CRAFT” – you have to read that into the chariot metaphors and words like “clouds.” It’s called “over-literalizing” (and then ignoring the pre-scientific comments found elsewhere in the Bible).

  5. I was replying to a post up there which said MSH “make suckin jews in power”. :)

    I don’t hate Jews. The tribe of “righteous people” like Moses, David, Solomon, Jesus, to name a few. Actually some people can’t tell the difference between “jews” and “zionist”. Not all jews are zionist, and not all zionists are jews. But that’s not the context of this thread, I’m just replying a post using the same word (“jews”).

  6. I’m sorry to follow up on the Egyptian pyramid topic, but I’m a curious man.
    What do you make of the gridlines and the people who make claims that our ancestors (often aliens, lol) got together to build many, many giant temples across the world (and often refer to energy) with such precision? I think it’s a crock to further the agendas, whatever they may be, several in fact, but that’s my opinion, it’s not my field of study. This is pure interest from a more educated scholar on such topics than myself. We all have our own specialties.

    Also, perhaps a mundane question, I’m trying to show people the astronomyphysics conflicts of Nibiru (as a destroyer) to scared people. I feel as psychologist and critical thinker it’s my duty to try to lead people away from the man made hoax.
    What is the best way to show uneducated and vulnerable people facts? (I may have answered my own question, perturbations blows it all out of the water, but people are stearing away from science and into this ‘New Age’ propaganda, I refer to the human belief sytem)
    Many cults! People often link all alien frauds together… I’m sure you’ve seen it. Billy Meiers, David Icke, the Annunaki… I’m having trouble mostly with David Icke’s reptilian shapeshifting, I know of the human conscious limitations, but it’s so hard to teach people. Please help me and others like me to find CLEAR discrepencies that can’t be refuted. I can’t watch his conferences without laughing like a child, and can’t make it past 5 to 10 minutes. I know, I’m terrible, but it’s so ridiculous! I have RH- blood type, and people are attacking that as well, lol.
    People seeking answers to the unknown in the wrong places… A common theme throughout history. Perhaps I am wrong.

    • gridlines are achievable by simple math (and the will to do all the work to lay them out). It’s basic 360 degree math, and that we know existed in antiquity (even though they didn’t know the earth was a globe, there is good evidence that they considered it round and flat, surrounded by water).

      I’ve heard all the Anunnaki / reptilian nonsense. For what I think with the data you ask for, you need to spend the time going through my sitchiniswrong.com site and the ancient astronauts topic archive here on this blog. There’s a lot of stuff already online.

  7. I apologize, I did not read what Luke said, please don’t take my questions too seriously. I admire your work, and only wish to disambuaute. Many people are so scared, all over Youtube and in forums/blogs, so many people, my empathy is very high. I have 2 sons and can’t live with the fact that parents are asking the wrong people (hoaxers and eneducated people with their own agendas) about how to deal with Nibiru as a Destroyer. I know it’s garbage.
    As for the pyramids, I only wanted simple input from what you know about the GRIDS,and the crazy math involved. I see no answers in sight. Feel free to only answer questions that you feel are good questions. I will not be offended, and please don’t be offended. I didn’t realize that other guy had pushed your buttons, I made a mistake in not reading all of the posts, I admit that, my timing was clearly bad.
    I wanted to sum up my questions without unnecesary controversy. I’m not a controversial man. The name I chose says it all.

    Thanks for your dedication:)

  8. Mr. Heiser,
    I have enjoyed looking at your site. I am however new to your blog and your other site and do understand your limited time available to answer questions. I would like to know if you debunk or investigate other theories or just ones relating to ET’s, bible related positions? I also believe in the bible and find it refreshing to find christian scholars willing to answer or provide evidence to debunk some of these theories which do not have a sound basis. Do you have in this blog or your other site your opinions or research on what the previous blogger asked about 1. The Pyramids, 2. The String Theory-(Jim Gates) 3. The Book- The Earths Hidden Secrets, that I have found many non-christians throw up and expect an explanation to, this is how I actually came across your site when I started researching to see if any of what is in that book is true and have found so far some of it to be based on fraudlent claims like the Ica Stones. Here is the link to this book: http://www.scribd.com/doc/8957766/Earths-Forbidden-Secrets-Part-One. What are you thoughts on Operation Bluebeam and HAARP? I have researched Dr. Nick Begich’s work and find it seems credible what is your opinion? I think it is very interesting that Bill Cooper was killed after he basically said he was intentionally mislead about the UFO’s by the govt. and other persons of interest. What is your opinion on him, Art Bell and Coast to Coast, do you only believe the agenda is for entertainment and nothing more? Thank you in advance for your consideration and response. Susan

    • pyramids, megaliths, and various material involving ancient astronauts are all accessible via the topic archives on the front page of the blog.

      Bluebeam is of interest, as is HAARP. The latter was part of a plotline in my novel, The Facade. The former will get some play in a sequel.

      I think the alien-UFO idea has little evidence in its favor, and am inclined to think it was useful during the Cold War as part of what one UFO govt document called psychological warfare (the memo suggested the UFO idea could be useful for that). Several important “alien” abduction researchers I know (most recently Leah Haley) opt for a military / psychological / propaganda explanation, and I think there is good circumstantial evidence for that angle (for a large portion of such reports). I don’t really do UFO stuff on this blog, though, unless it’s ancient alien nonsense. For the UFO stuff, see my UFO Religions blog. I do biblical studies and biblical theology at the Naked Bible blog.

  9. Thanks for replying, I didn’t realize your site had so much about other topics, I will look here more often.
    My attempts to prove Nancy Lieder and Sitchin wrong about Nibiru as a celestial doomsday event lead me here for more detailed information. BIG bonus, and I’ve made sure to corroborate anything I claim with other sources and my own common sense and critical thinking… I’ve seen no incongruities on your site beyond unreliable/unknown third parties and speculation on biased websites. I didn’t need memes to notice Nancy was full of it or delusional. She needs a new plasma battery in her imaginary implant!

    I’ve given the History Channel a new name: Bad Science Speculation channel. Nothing like some “what ifs” and “maybes” about baloney to put ideas in people’s heads! Our brains eat it up, so curious we are. Some people start to build belief structures with it. This New Age stuff is getting old age. I don’t like Pseudoscience either, I absolutely hate it!

    I’m not a religious man, I can’t even find a title beyond Agnostic for myself. Okay, so maybe I’m an Altruist; I believe in positivity, and avoid negativity if possible. People try to label me, it’s quite the scenario! Buddhist, Athiest, Anti-Theist, etc. People need to truly delve into defintions more thoroughly before attempting futile argument or just plain attempts at intellectual bashing. That being said, I know you are Christian, and I won’t ask stupid questions about your beliefs or denomination, and I won’t be a ‘bad comment apologizer’ (an inside joke my friend and I use refering to uneducated comments/assertions and assumptions about somebody’s belief(s). I’ve seen a few directed at you in here. I hope you get the pun… LOL).

    I don’t intend to waste your time with puns and comedy, I do hope it made you smile, you must get sick of nonsense! I often do, staying rational is important with idiotic statements and claims surrounding us. I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir.

    I came to ask what your input is of Lloyd Pie and his ‘star child’ head. I’m sure you can point me in the right direction and save me a few days or weeks, I’m also busy; I think it’s fraudulent. I’m making assumptions about him, but at least they’re educated assumptions. He worked off of Sitchin’s work back in the late 90’s (‘Everything we know is wrong’). I’m no archaeologist, I forget how to spell it often, I don’t use spellcheck. I’m having trouble with biased websites and unreliable sources. I’m hoping you have came across this topic and can point me to the right source(s), thank you kindly. It means a lot to me, I’m not a believer of aliens on Earth, obviously. I don’t point at lights (example) and make instictive conclusions. I’m a skeptic, as my example points out obvious man made technology, aliens don’t travel light years to graffiti a crop field! GEEZ!
    I have an open mind, but I know how our perception and intuition fools us.
    Psychology is a good tool.

    Sincerely,
    Anonymous Bad Science Apologizer (LOL)

    I truly hope you get that joke:)
    Have a good day Mike. Thanks for everything!

    • I hear you; I call the History Channel the Fantasy Channel.

      On Lloyd Pye, I don’t believe he has something alien. You’d need a fuller DNA analysis (which he admits). I’ve had one geneticist look at the DNA reports he has on his site and, to say the least, he isn’t impressed. I won’t say more as I’m saving that exchange for when Pye announces something else, or when something is allegedly “proven” when it isn’t.

  10. I 100% support your ideas. I will look into your book, and probably read it asap.
    I keep posting before reading other comments; that was right on the money! I see it still happening today, but the internet has made it viral… It doesn’t take years of psychology and human brain studies to see it.
    I do wonder about David Icke’s role, as I’ve pointed him out, but I continue to find stuff. He can’t vibrate through everything…
    We will never see infrared or microwaves with naked eyes; we have evolved to survive on this ‘middle’ plain, we can’t see on the quantum level! That’s ludicrous. That alone should make people question his integrity.
    He suggests he evolved overnight and the word vibrations is his common tool. He is not as wise as he claims, nor as clever as he sounds, yet he says those who defy him are quote: “clever without wisdom”. An obvious deflection/dodge.

    People leap over a couple basic facts: he called his wife a shapeshifting reptile, and he claimed to be Jesus. “He overcame his adversities” and, “It was a metaphor” are typical naive or uneducated statements people use to maintain their construct. Quite the hole a lot of people are falling in. Following people with such obvious delusions and visions of grandeur is detrimental.

    Him using ‘ancient ancestor(s)’ is like Sitchin and Robert Morningsky…

    Here is a good site for you Sitchin believers and ESP believers:

    http://www.newagefraud.org/smf/index.php?topic=130.0

    Facts are better than theories and brain psych outs. I doubt many of you will even look, your choices are influenced, and you don’t even realize it. I dare you to step outside the box.

    I just got goosebumps! (an instinctive response) It was just a fly! Intuition is intinctive, not conscious reasoning. Our brains are far from perfect, although we think we are better. Ego…

    Baby steps…

  11. I have just found your website and want to thank you for the excellent presentation of facts about matters people are so deluded about. I have read through several of the “conversations” you have had with people who don’t understand that just because an “expert” says something does not mean it is true. Evidence is not believe or faith nor is the fact someone has written a book evidence.

    I can remember reading van Daniken’s first book as a young person and buying into his nonsense about ancient people did not have x-ray machines so how could they have known about the human skeleton until another book pointed out human bodies decay and skeletons become obvious.

    Again thank you for bringing commonsense to these arguments and ideas.

    • Part of the reason I’m into these things is that I have a similar history. I was really absorbed as a kid by a lot of the stuff I poke fun at now. As I maintained my interest and read more deeply into lots of these things, I came to see how careless and feckless the “research” promoting them really was. But it’s still fun.

  12. I am having a lot of problems with the Kolbrin Bible. I need to have better sources… Here’s ONE reason why:
    Comments on my Nibiru debunked video from 1 individual:

    “1/2 There are lots of lies on your video,[ and that does not mean i am a believer or non believer of planet x, nibiru i am a researcher on the subject.] the planet x story did not start with NANCY LEIDER. There are several references to an “ancient” book called the Kolbrin Bible. It’s supposedly composed of about 12 manuscripts and was written starting around 1500BC by Egyptian scholars and finished sometime during the 12 -14th centuries by the Keltic monks. If, and I stress if the [ con`t ]”
    “2/2 time line were valid then the information contained in it is at least fascinating and at most one of the most important books ever written. The earliest historical reference that I can find appears in the late 19th century when it was “rescued” from a monastery fire somewhere in Briton. Is anyone familiar with the book and is there any credible evidence of its authenticity? It all started by the Gvernment and NASA the same people who FUNDS NANCY LIEDER the scapegoat to debunk NIBIRU.”

    Part of what somebody said about my youtube video… I didn’t lie… I have links to the 1983 Washington Post showing it’s flaws and premature release, I also have lots of other links that show Sitchin’s errors. I open it up with Nancy Lieder for obvious reasons. Her lack of credibility should be obvious. I continue to explain how it came about, Sitchin’s involvement, everything factual.

    I come to you for directions, please help. I need concrete proof of Marshall Masters’ BS beyond his obvious use of pseudoscience, and/or a few links that may help me put that Kolbrin Bible crap to rest. *(main point)*
    I’m a psychology guy, this is NOT my specialty, but I know there is no “Dark object” as he claimed earlier before I asked him for facts beyond speculation, I told him “there are no perturbations, and to provide corroborated facts including mass, orbit, density, and location from credible sources.” (not verbatim, it was much more professional) He didn’t, that was his reply. He also claims NASA is hiding facts, etc. etc. (extreme conspiracy theorist, they call me a shill regularly…)
    Regardless of his obvious nonsensical retorts, it would be VERY helpful. I’m serious, I have looked very hard for concrete evidence to make it easy for the uneducated masses to see the fallacies easily.

    I need better replies. I’m not making money off of my videos, I’m trying to help people not be scared! I’m not a religious man, but I have empathy, I’m an altruist if anything.
    I did reply about Masters, I also said it’s all been debunked, pseudoscience, etc… but I didn’t feel at all confident much past that and discrediting him for not doing what my question asked.

    Thanks again Mike. I really need a pointer:)

    PS I’d leave you a link to my channel, but not in public, and you don’t have time as you stated. It promotes psychology and critical thinking. If you want it, you may be surprised at my research on some things, I can email it to you. I also show people how to read the Sumerian texts via the Assyrian dictionary (your video) and left a LOT of information to make it easy, and links to credible sources about other astrotheological bad science, also included links to use the ETCSL. I had to ambiguaute (is that a word, lol) the title to get views, people don’t want facts… They want fiction.

  13. I found it wasn’t that hard to find the fallacies of the Kolbrin (bible), plus have found more evidence of fraud. I don’t know if you recieved my email with my channel link. I know this isn’t exactly the right thread, but I do expose the Dogon crap…

    Here is my video ( YOUR video, but I have made several links in other topics exosing bad science and pseudoscience). The information under the video is important, and I plan on making a much longer and in depth video when can get more concrete facts.
    I’m not a speculator, I start with what I can prove/disprove. There is a real science to truthseeking most people don’t understand. I’m sure you know exactly what I speak of.
    It seems people are scared to like it… I forgot to turn on likes/dislikes, I made a mistake. 2 likes,0 dislikes, about 800(?) views… Hmmm… :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faTeQ4XeWmg

    Give me your input please:) also, I was wondering why I couldn’t get any hits on the ETSCL…. Thanks for the new page update.

    Big fan, Tomas.

  14. I have read some of your commits. Though you seam like you speak the truth. I can tell that you don’t think there is an ET race out there that’s your opinion. I am in a knowing that they exist. your a man of science I don’t trust the system when it comes to history or medical people cause we all know their the warlords of old. I will continue to read your commits. I can tell you that Sitchin wouldn’t write you back if I was him I wouldn’t write you back either because you would criticize everything hes speaking of. There is something Mother Teresa said and it makes sense. I would never support an anti war movement if you had a peace movement then I would come. It just sounds like you have a lot of Hate and using science and your degree to justify what you belief is the truth. What comes from within is your truth but to say another is wrong is being Judgmental. We should allow people to view the truth as they see it. In Sitchin’s case you should forgive not hate like your web site says hate over and over. I have no Education But I exist so there for I’m as smart as the man that has a PH D.
    Love and Light,
    Eric

    • if you have proof of ET why haven’t you given it to science for review? (or the world, or the mass media, or something?)

  15. @Eric
    I believe in the obvious possibility of aliens in the universe somewhere, but searching for any real truth to aliens on Earth or in any texts has been inconclusive. There is simply no REAL data that I have found, and trust me, I have looked everywhere I could so far, and still am looking into some claims, but they keep being baseless, inconclusive, and/or fabrications/conjecture. As a child I wondered the possibilities of aliens as Gods… No real corrobated proof.
    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence– Carl Sagan.

    If you understood how science is done, you would understand that there are right ways to find truth and wrong ways. There are over 500 different types of science. I don’t like philosophy of science (Google it), as people use science advancements to degrade the best tool we have right now as a human race to find truth in everything. You demonstrated poor linguistics, that is a form of science… No offense, I was making a reference to the importance of good science…

    Very typical for people to make assumptions based on a few comments. I don’t like pseudoscience, simple definitions elude people. My mind is open, is just isn’t on the floor. I don’t conform by the consesus or majority, I’m apprehensive in my beliefs and stay objective. Not to be assumed as narrowminded… That would be a brain error.

    You can always self educate yourself, but never presume to know more than others simply because you are human. That can be easily taken the wrong way. It’s actually attacking people and their life studies, you may not realize it, or are you just another troll? You say you’re not educated, but you claim to know as much as a PHD? That’s arrogance. Again, no offense! It’s 100% fact and can be corroborated by experts.
    There is always more to learn.

    As for the end of your comment, very revealing where your studies are. It’s okay to be religious! Just don’t use it as a moral highground or any type of highground. That’s counterproductive, and as a psychology guy, I see right through it. It doesn’t take Columbo! (pun)

    BTW Mike, I changed my channel on Youtube, and found what I was looking for. It’s pretty sad I don’t have a religious label beyond a skeptic, possibly Agnostic (Atheism makes absolutely no sense to me, no proof, no God? Dismiss/reject all possibilities? That’s not how science is done…) and I’m not exactly a humanitarian, but I still spread truth about the doomsday hoaxes (Planet X/Nibiru mainly). The lack of empathy and the disregard of possible undesirable repricussions of other human beings’ lives is very disturbing.

  16. @Eric
    I forgot to add: you LIED, I never had nor have ‘hate’ in my Youtube channel. I prove doomsdayers wrong. It’s really easy, there just aren’t any real facts to any of it; they are out to make money and have no cares for the consequences. How do you contribute beyond opinions?

    Please, continue to read our comments. It seems you need good mentors.

  17. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O79Vkz8a5Y8

    Could I possibly make it easier?
    Here’s my new channel, this is a tutorial video (you narrated the video) of how to read the texts 2 ways, and shows the obvious Dogon/Sirius discrepencies in the info (and the Kobrin false claims and a few other things)
    Sorry for the spam. I hope you enjoy seeing others research and spread facts and truth, I have much more, too much to fit in the information box to corroborate if I make a long video with all my findings thus far.

  18. I’ll always be civil. It’s professional courtesy to maintain integrity of your blog; sometimes things need to be made clear, as much as I get tired of explaining simple things.

    Have a good day,
    Tomas

  19. Pingback: The Sirius Mystery | Ancient Aliens Debunked

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