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Feb. 6th, 2007

02:18 pm

Fall phenomena

Meteorite which fell in Wisconsin in 1868 (Full image)
Meteorite which fell in Wisconsin in 1868 (Full image)

Most meteoroids disintegrate when entering the Earth's atmosphere. However an estimated 500 meteorites ranging in size from marbles to basketballs or larger do reach the surface each year; only 5 or 6 of these are typically recovered and made known to scientists. Few meteorites are large enough to create impact craters. Instead, they typically arrive at the surface at their terminal velocity (free-fall) and, at most, create a small pit. Even so, falling meteorites have caused damage to property, livestock, and even people.

Campo del Cielo iron meteorite with natural hole
Campo del Cielo iron meteorite with natural hole

Very large meteoroids may strike the ground with a significant fraction of their cosmic velocity, leaving behind a hypervelocity impact crater. The kind of crater will depend on the size, composition, degree of fragmentation, and incoming angle of the impactor. The force of such collisions has the potential to cause widespread destruction.[6][7] The most frequent hypervelocity cratering events on the Earth are caused by iron meteoroids, which are most easily able to transit the atmosphere intact. Examples of craters caused by iron meteoroids include Barringer Meteor Crater, Odessa Meteor Crater, Wabar craters, and Wolfe Creek crater; iron meteorites are found in association with all of these craters. In contrast, even relatively large stony or icy bodies like small comets or asteroids, up to millions of tons, are disrupted in the atmosphere, and do not make impact craters.[8] Although such disruption events are uncommon, they can cause a considerable concussion to occur; the famed Tunguska event probably resulted from such an incident. Very large stony objects, hundreds of meters in diameter or more, weighing tens-of-millions of tons or more, can reach the surface and cause large craters, but are very rare. Such events are generally so energetic that the impactor is completely destroyed, leaving no meteorites. (The very first example of a stony meteorite found in association with a large impact crater, the Morokweng Crater in South Africa, was reported in May, 2006.[9])

Several phenomena are well-documented during witnessed meteorite falls too small to produce hypervelocity craters. [10] The fireball that occurs as the meteoroid passes through the atmosphere can appear to be very bright, rivaling the sun in intensity, although most are far dimmer and may not even be noticed during daytime. Various colors have been reported, including yellow, green and red. Flashes and bursts of light can occur as the object breaks up. Explosions, detonations, and rumblings are often heard during meteorite falls, which can be caused by sonic booms as well as shock waves resulting from major fragmentation events. These sounds can be heard over wide areas, up to many thousands of square km. Whistling and hissing sounds are also sometimes heard, but are poorly understood. Following passage of the fireball, it is not unusual for a dust trail to linger in the atmosphere for some time.

As meteoroids are heated during passage through the atmosphere, their surfaces melt and experience ablation. They can be sculpted into various shapes during this process, sometimes resulting in deep "thumb-print" like indentations on their surfaces called regmaglypts. If the meteoroid maintains a fixed orientation for some time, without tumbling, it may develop a conical "nose cone" or "heat shield" shape. As it decelerates, eventually the molten surface layer solidifies into a thin fusion crust, which on most meteorites is black (on some achondrites, the fusion crust may be very light colored). On stony meteorites, the heat-affected zone is at most a few mm deep; in iron meteorites, which are more thermally conductive, the structure of the metal may be affected by heat up to 1 cm below the surface. Meteorites are sometimes reported to be warm to the touch when they land, but they are never hot. Reports, however, vary greatly, with some meteorites being reported as "burning hot to the touch" upon landing, and others forming a frost upon their surface.

Meteoroids that experience disruption in the atmosphere may fall as meteorite showers, which can range from only a few up to thousands of separate individuals. The area over which a meteorite shower falls is known as its strewn field. Strewn fields are commonly elliptical in shape, with the major axis parallel to the direction of flight. In most cases, the largest meteorites in a shower are found farthest down-range in the strewn field.

Meteorite types

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About 86% of the meteorites that fall on Earth are chondrites,[4][11][12] which are named for the small, round particles they contain. These particles, or chondrules, are composed mostly of silicate minerals that appear to have been melted while they were free-floating objects in space. Chondrites also contain small amounts of organic matter, including amino acids, and presolar grains. Chondrites are typically about 4.55 billion years old and are thought to represent material from the asteroid belt that never formed into large bodies. Like comets, chondritic asteroids are some of the oldest and most primitive materials in the solar system. Chondrites are often considered to be "the building blocks of the planets."

Slice of meteorite on display at the Vanderbilt Museum, New York.
Slice of meteorite on display at the Vanderbilt Museum, New York.

About 8% of the meteorites that fall on Earth are achondrites, some of which appear to be similar to terrestrial mafic igneous rocks. Most achondrites are also ancient rocks, and are thought to represent crustal material of asteroids. One large family of achondrites (the HED meteorites) may have originated on the asteroid 4 Vesta. Others derive from different asteroids. Two small groups of achondrites are special, as they are younger and do not appear to come from the asteroid belt. One of these groups comes from the Moon, and includes rocks similar to those brought back to Earth by Apollo and Luna programs. The other group is almost certainly from Mars and are the only materials from other planets ever recovered by man.

About 5% of meteorites that fall are iron meteorites with intergrowths of iron-nickel alloys, such as kamacite and taenite. Most iron meteorites are thought to come from the core of a number of asteroids that were once molten. As on Earth, the denser metal separated from silicate material and sank toward the center of the asteroid, forming a core. After the asteroid solidified, it broke up in a collision with another asteroid. Due to the near absence of irons from finds in collection areas such as Antarctica, where little, if any meteoric material that has fallen is not found, it is thought that, although irons constitute approximately 5% of recovered falls, they might actually be considerably less common than previously supposed.

Stony-iron meteorites constitute the remaining 1%. They are a mixture of iron-nickel metal and silicate minerals. One type, called pallasites, is thought to have originated in the boundary zone above the core regions where iron meteorites originated. The other major type of stony-iron meteorites is the mesosiderites.

Tektites (from Greek tektos, molten) are not themselves meteorites, but are rather natural glass objects up to a few centimeters in size which were formed--according to most scientists--by the impacts of large meteorites on Earth's surface. A few researchers have favored Tektites originating from the Moon as volcanic ejecta, but this theory has lost much of its support over the last few decades.

Meteorite recovery

Falls

Most meteorite falls are recovered on the basis of eye-witness accounts of the fireball or the actual impact of the object on the ground, or both. Therefore, despite the fact that meteorites actually fall with virtually equal probability everywhere on Earth, verified meteorite falls tend to be concentrated in areas with high human population densities such as Europe, Japan, and northern India.

A small number of meteorite falls have been observed with automated cameras and recovered following calculation of the impact point. The first of these was the Pribram meteorite, which fell in Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) in 1959.[13] In this case, two cameras used to photograph meteors captured images of the fireball. The images were used both to determine the location of the stones on the ground and, more significantly, to calculate for the first time an accurate orbit for a recovered meteorite.

Following the Pribram fall, other nations established automated observing programs aimed at studying infalling meteorites. One of these was the Prairie Network, operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory from 1963 to 1975 in the midwestern US. This program also observed a meteorite fall, the Lost City chondrite, allowing its recovery and a calculation of its orbit.[14] Another program in Canada, the Meteorite Observation and Recovery Project, ran from 1971 to 1985. It too recovered a single meteorite, Innisfree, in 1977.[15] Finally, observations by the European Fireball Network, a descendant of the original Czech program that recovered Pribram, led to the discovery and orbit calculations for the Neuschwanstein meteorite in 2002.[16]

Finds

Meteorite hunters Steve Arnold and Geoff Notkin recovering an 82-pound pallasite meteorite in Brenham, Kansas, 2006
Meteorite hunters Steve Arnold and Geoff Notkin recovering an 82-pound pallasite meteorite in Brenham, Kansas, 2006

Until the 20th century, only a few hundred meteorite finds had ever been discovered. Over 80% of these were iron and stony-iron meteorites, which are easily distinguished from local rocks. To this day, few stony meteorites are reported each year that can be considered to be "accidental" finds. The reason there are now over 30,000 meteorite finds in the world's collections started with the discovery by a man named Harvey H. Nininger that many meteorites may be found if you know how and where to look.

The Great Plains of the US

Nininger's strategy was to search for meteorites in the Great Plains of the United States, where the land was largely cultivated and the soil contained few rocks. Between the late 1920s and the 1950s, he traveled across the region, educating local people about what meteorites looked like and what to do if they thought they had found one, for example, in the course of clearing a field. The result was the discovery of over 200 new meteorites, mostly stony types.[17]

In the late 1960s, Roosevelt County, New Mexico in the Great Plains was found to be a particularly good place to find meteorites. After the discovery of a few meteorites in 1967, a public awareness campaign resulted in the finding of nearly 100 new specimens in the next few years, with many being found by a single person, Mr. Ivan Wilson. In total, nearly 140 meteorites were found in the region since 1967. In the area of the finds, the ground was originally covered by a shallow, loose soil sitting atop a hardpan layer. During the dustbowl era, the loose soil was blown off, leaving any rocks and meteorites that were present stranded on the exposed surface.[18]

Antarctica

A few meteorites had been found by field parties in Antarctica between 1912 and 1964. Then in 1969, the 10th Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition found nine meteorites on a blue ice field near the Yamato Mountains. With this discovery, came the realization that movement of ice sheets might act to concentrate meteorites in certain areas. After a dozen other specimens were found in the same place in 1973, a Japanese expedition was launched in 1974 dedicated to the search for meteorites. This team recovered nearly 700 meteorites. Shortly thereafter, the United States began its own program to search for Antarctic meteorites, operating along the Transantarctic Mountains on the other side of the continent: the ANtarctic Search for METeorites (ANSMET) program. European teams, starting with a consortium called "EUROMET" in the late 1980s, and continuing with a program by the Italian Programma Nazionale di Ricerche in Antartide have also conducted systematic searches for Antarctic meteorites. Most recently, a Chinese program, the Antarctic Scientific Exploration of China, has conducted highly successful meteorite searches since the year 2000. The combined efforts of all of these expeditions have produced over 23,000 classified meteorite specimens since 1974, with thousands more that have not yet been classified. For more information see the article by Harvey (2003).[19]

Australia

At about the same time as meteorite concentrations were being discovered in the cold desert of Antarctica, collectors discovered that many meteorites could also be found in the hot desert of Australia. Several dozen meteorites had already been found in the Nullarbor region of Western and South Australia. Systematic searches between about 1971 and the present recovered over 500 more[20], ~300 of which are currently well characterized. The meteorites can be found in this region because the land presents a flat, featureless, plain covered by limestone. In the extremely arid climate, there has been relatively little weathering or sedimentation on the surface for tens of thousands of years, allowing meteorites to accumulate without being buried or destroyed. The dark colored meteorites can then be recognized among the very different looking limestone pebbles and rocks.

The Sahara and rising commercialization

In 1986-1987, a German team installing a network of seismic stations while prospecting for oil discovered about 65 meteorites on a flat, desert plain about 100 km southeast of Dirj (Daraj), Libya. These were the first hint that vast numbers of meteorites could be found in certain parts of the Sahara. A few years later, an anonymous engineer who was a desert enthusiast saw photographs of meteorites being recovered in Antarctica, and thought he had seen similar occurrences on Jeep adventure tours he had organized in north Africa. In 1989, he returned to Algeria and recovered about 100 meteorites from at least 5 locations. Over the next four years, he and others who followed found at least 400 more meteorites at the same locations, plus new areas in Algeria and Libya. The find locations were generally in regions known as regs or hamadas, flat, featureless areas covered only by small pebbles and minor amounts of sand.[21] Dark-colored meteorites can be easily spotted in these places, where they have been well-preserved due to the arid climate.

Although meteorites had been sold commercially and collected by hobbyists for many decades, up to the time of the Saharan finds of the late 1980s and early 1990s, most meteorites were deposited in or purchased by museums and similar institutions where they were exhibited and made available for scientific research. The sudden availability of large numbers of meteorites that could be found with relative ease in places that were readily accessible (especially compared to Antarctica), led to a rapid rise in commercial collection of meteorites. This process was accelerated when, in 1997, meteorites coming from both the Moon and Mars were found in Libya. By the late 1990s, private meteorite-collecting expeditions had been launched throughout the Sahara. Specimens of the meteorites recovered in this way are still deposited in research collections, but most of the material is sold to private collectors. These expeditions have now brought the total number of well-described meteorites found in Algeria and Libya to over 2000.

As word spread in Saharan countries about the growing profitibility of the meteorite trade, meteorite markets came into existence, especially in Morocco, fed by nomads and local people who combed the deserts looking for specimens to sell. Many thousands of meteorites have been distributed in this way, most of which lack any information about how, when, or where they were discovered. These are the so-called "Northwest Africa" meteorites.

Oman

In 1999, meteorite hunters discovered that the desert in southern and central Oman were also favorable for the collection of many specimens. The gravel plains in the Dhofar and Al Wusta regions of Oman, south of the sandy deserts of the Rub' al Khali, had yielded about 2000 meteorites as of mid-2006. Included among these are a large number of lunar and martian meteorites, making Oman a particularly important area both for scientists and collectors. Early expeditions to Oman were mainly done by commercial meteorite dealers, however international teams of Omani and European scientists have also now collected specimens.

Meteorites in history

One of the leading theories for the cause of the Cretaceous-tertiary mass extinction that included the dinosaurs is a large meteorite impact. There has been a lively scientific debate as to whether other major extinctions, including the ones at the end of the Permian and Triassic periods might also have been the result of large impact events, but the evidence is much less compelling than for the end Cretaceous extinction.

The Willamette Meteorite, the largest ever to be found in the United States
The Willamette Meteorite, the largest ever to be found in the United States

A famous case is the alleged Chinguetti meteorite, a find reputed to come from a large unconfirmed 'iron mountain' in Africa.

The only reported fatality from meteorite impacts is an Egyptian dog who was killed in 1911, although this report is disputed. The meteorites that struck this area were identified in the 1980s as Martian in origin.

The first known modern case of a human hit by a space rock [1] occurred on November 30, 1954 in Sylacauga, Alabama. There a 4 kg stone chondrite [2] crashed through a roof and hit Ann Hodges in her living room after it bounced off her radio. She was badly bruised. Several persons have since claimed [3] to have been struck by 'meteorites' but no verifiable meteorites have resulted.

Indigenous peoples often prized iron-nickel meteorites as an easy, if limited, source of iron metal. For example, the Inuit used chips of the Cape York meteorite to form cutting edges for tools and spear tips.

Other Native Americans treated meteorites as ceremonial objects. In 1915, a 135-pound iron meteorite was found in a Sinagua (c.1100-1200 AD) burial cyst near Camp Verde, Arizona, respectfully wrapped in a feather cloth. [22] A small pallasite was found in a pottery jar in an old burial found at Pojoaque Pueble, New Mexico. Nininger reports several other such instances, in the Southwest US and elsewhere.

Notable meteorites

Apart from meteorites fallen onto the Earth, "Heat Shield Rock" is a meteorite which was found on Mars, and two tiny fragments of asteroids were found among the samples collected on the Moon by Apollo 12 (1969) and Apollo 15 (1971) astronauts [4].

Meteorite-related news

See also

References

  1. ^ McSween, H.Y. Jr. (1976) A new type of chondritic meteorite found in lunar soil. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 31, 193-199
  2. ^ Rubin, A. E. (1997) The Hadley Rille enstatite chondrite and its agglutinate-like rim: Impact melting during accretion to the Moon. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 32, 135-141 NASA ADS
  3. ^ "Opportunity Rover Finds an Iron Meteorite on Mars", JPL, January 19, 2005. Retrieved on 2006-12-12.
  4. ^ a b Meteoritical Bulletin Database
  5. ^ Meteoritical Society Guidelines for Meteorite Nomenclature
  6. ^ Chapman et al. (2001)
  7. ^ Make your own impact at the University of Arizona
  8. ^ Bland P.A. and Artemieva, N A. (2006) The rate of small impacts on Earth. Meteoritics and Planetary Science 41, 607-631.
  9. ^ Maier, W.D. et al. (2006) Discovery of a 25-cm asteroid clast in the giant Morokweng impact crater, South Africa. Nature 441, 203-206
  10. ^ Sears, D. W. (1978) The Nature and Origin of Meteorites, Oxford Univ. Press, New York
  11. ^ The NHM Catalogue of Meteorites
  12. ^ MetBase
  13. ^ Ceplecha, Z. (1961) Multiple fall of Pribram meteorites photographed. Bull. Astron. Inst. Czechoslovakia, 12, 21-46 NASA ADS
  14. ^ McCrosky, R.E. et al. (1971) J. Geophys. Res. 76, 4090-4108
  15. ^ Campbell-Brown, M. D. and Hildebrand, A. (2005) A new analysis of fireball data from the Meteorite Observation and Recovery Project (MORP). Earth, Moon, and Planets 95, 489 - 499
  16. ^ Oberst, J. et al. (2004) The multiple meteorite fall of Neuschwanstein: Circumstances of the event and meteorite search campaigns. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 39, 1627-1641 NASA ADS
  17. ^ Website by A. Mitterling
  18. ^ Huss, G.I. and Wilson, I.E. (1973) A census of the meteorites of Roosevely County, New Mexico. Meteoritics 8, 287-290 NASA ADS
  19. ^ Harvey, Ralph (2003) The origin and significance of Antarctic meteorites Chemie der Erde 63, 93-147
  20. ^ Bevan, A.W.R. and Binns, R.A. (1989) Meteorites from the Nullarbor region, Western Australia: I. A review of past recoveries and a procedure for naming new finds. Meteorites 24, 127-133 NASA ADS
  21. ^ Bischoff A. and Geiger T. (1995) Meteorites from the Sahara: find locations, shock classification, degree of weathering and pairing. Meteoritics 30, 113-122. ADS
  22. ^ H.H. Nininger, 1972, Catch a Falling Star (autobiography), New York, Paul S. Erikson

02:10 pm

More than 200,000 people who flocked to see the “naga fireballs” in Nong Khai, were disฌappointed by an unusually poor show – and endured a soaking in a twohourlong heavy downpour with strong winds to boot.

“We drove four hours from Maha Sarakham to come here, only to get wet,” said one visitor in Phon Phisai, a small district in Nong Khai. “It’s so disappointing because I expected to see many fireballs, like in the movie,” the visitor said, referring to the recently released film “Mekong Full Moon Party”, whose plot revolves around the phenomenon.

The first few fireballs were seen at 6pm, before the rain began. They continued appearing after the downpour, but only about 40 had been spotted by 10pm.

Called “Bung Fai Phaya Naga” by locals, the naga fireballs are an annual phenomenon in which reddishpink balls of light – usuฌally in their thousands – shoot skywards out of the Mekong River. It usually occurs every year on the full moon night of the 11th lunar month (last night, in this year’s calendar) in Nong Khai, a small province on the Mekong River in northeastern Thailand.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand reported 150,000 visiฌtors flocked to Nong Khai to see the fireballs last October, and the number was nearly double yesterฌday, following the publicity surฌrounding “Mekong Full Moon Party”.

“We travelled on the last train from Bangkok last night after watching the movie,” said Roi Havar, an American volunteer. “Luckily I saw them, though there were only a few. Now I don’t want to think about [how I’m going to get] out of this place.”

The usually peaceful town of Phon Phisai has been in turmoil since Sunday, when the crowds of visitors began to arrive.

“The traffic has been jammed terribly since this morning, and was at a complete standstill for hours in the afternoon,” said a police officer in Phon Phisai. “All 25 parking lots in Phon Phisai are overcrowded, and late arrivals have been forced to leave their cars on the street.”

More than 10,000 visitors had no option but to sleep in temple grounds and even in graveyards, because all hotel rooms and other accommodation were taken.

“Obviously, there are a lot more visitors than last year, and that might be due to the movie hype,” said Boonthan Netmuk, a resident of Nam Pe village, one of the most popular spots for viewing the fireballs. “It’s all curiosity – whether it’s a miracle or manmade. They want to see it with their own eyes.”

The fireball craze did spice up local business, at least for a day or two. Many villagers turned their backyards into car parks; others offered the use of their toilets for a fee.

However, the local people prefer to believe that the fireballs are sent up by mythical nagas (serpents) in the river to celebrate the end of the Buddhist Lent.

Feb. 5th, 2007

11:12 am

Our fotos of expedition in Thailand:


http://ngoclub.org/library/thailand/

http://ngoclub.org/library/thailand/expedition1/

http://ngoclub.org/library/thailand/expedition2/

http://ngoclub.org/library/thailand/expedition5/


Leonid

Jan. 30th, 2007

03:56 pm

“O Lord, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim... listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to insult the living God...”

In the same year as his disastrous attack on Jerusalem, Sennacherib faced the latest in a long-running series of rebellions by his appointees in the city of Babylon. This time his soldiers brutally sacked Babylon in an unprecedented manner. However, even this ruthless act of suppression failed to prevent Babylon from bouncing back fifty years later. It was then that the Assyrian empire suffered a mysterious demise:

“With the year 639, the sources for Assyrian history cease... No explanation can be given for this curious blackout. With appalling suddenness, the Empire disintegrated.”

Who was behind the fall of Assyria?

 

The names of the rebellious Babylonian kings provide a clue. The chief instigator of the rebellion was Nabopolassar, who was followed on the throne by his son Nebuchadnezzar, both names signifying the God Nabu, a son of Marduk. Did the Gods intervene to bring the tyranny of the arrogant and barbaric Assyrians to an end? Had the Assyrians pushed the tolerance of the Gods to the limit?

 

Significantly, one of their last acts, in 640 BC, was to crush the Elamite kingdom (worshippers of Ninurta), having earlier carried out a brutal assault on Egypt (664 BC NC). The Assyrians thus had few allies amongst the Gods. Until the historians provide some alternative explanations, we must seriously consider the possibility that the divine hand of Nabu was directly or indirectly behind the Assyrians’ sudden demise.

 


Ezekiel and the New Temple
We may never know whether Nabu did provide support to Babylon, but what we do know is that the Babylonians went on to gain control over the rival city of Jerusalem. In 597 BC, the kings of Jerusalem became Babylonian appointees and the Israelite elite were exiled. This was followed in 586 BC by a major Jewish revolt, which was ruthlessly suppressed by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II.

 

He burned Jerusalem’s “temple”, demolished its buildings and city walls, and carried off its treasures. In the meantime, Nebuchadnezzar brought the city of Babylon to new heights of grandeur, including its famous hanging gardens. It is surprising that the rival Gods allowed Jerusalem and Babylon to experience such contrasting fates. One of the Israelites deported from Jerusalem to Babylon in 597 BC was a priest named Ezekiel - the same priest whose “visions” of a spacecraft were described in chapter I. The highly technical descriptions provided by Ezekiel testify to the reality of his experiences. In 572 BC, Ezekiel was lifted up by the Lord’s “Spirit” and transported to a “temple”.

 

Biblical translations give the impression that he was taken to Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, but that temple had of course been destroyed fourteen years earlier. In addition, several of the features described by Ezekiel, such as a river running from the temple towards the sea, clearly do not describe the geography of Jerusalem. In fact, a reading of the Biblical text in the original Hebrew makes it quite apparent that Ezekiel was totally unfamiliar with his new surroundings.

 

So where was the temple to which Ezekiel was taken?

 

A temple which does match Ezekiel’s description exists at Chavin de Huantar in the Andes! Several scholars have pointed out the amazing series of similarities between Chavin and the Biblical location, most obviously Chavin’s situation on a very high mountain at a height of 10,430 feet. The second similarity is that the temple at Chavin is precisely aligned to the cardinal points of the compass, with its main gate facing east, just as described by Ezekiel.

 

Finally, Ezekiel observed a river which ran “from under” the threshold of the temple from its south side towards the east, and ultimately onwards to a sea in the east. As described in chapter 3, excavations at Chavin have uncovered a subterranean network of tunnels that were used to divert water from the Wacheqsa river through the site and downwards towards the Mosna river, which closely skirts the sunken plaza on its southern side (see Figure 10).

 

The latter river then connects to the Puchka, which flows in turn to the Maranon and finally into the Amazon, taking it to a sea in the east, just as described by Ezekiel. The astounding conclusion is that Yahweh was attempting to build in Peru a replica of his “temple” which had been destroyed in Jerusalem fourteen years earlier.

 

Furthermore, his ambitious plan extended far beyond Chavin, otherwise why would he bring Ezekiel thousands of miles to give him hundreds of precise measurements from the Chavin temple?

 

Yahweh’s full intentions are quite clearly recorded in Ezekiel verse 43:

“Son of man, describe the temple to the people of Israel... Let them consider the plan, and if they are ashamed of all they have done, make known to them the design... Write these down before them so that they may be faithful to its design...”

Unless we believe in coincidences, the picture which emerges from this analysis is a dramatic attempt by Ishkur/Yahweh to reassert his authority among the Gods, perhaps prompted by the contrasting fortunes of Jerusalem and Babylon. Did his attempt fail? As far as we know, Ezekiel’s compatriots never succeeded in following his instructions to build a Chavin replica.

 

As for Chavin itself, whatever might have once existed there may have been destroyed and built over by later constructions dating from the era 500-200 BC. It would be particularly interesting to excavate beneath its sunken plaza. What exactly was the so-called “temple” which Ishkur built at Chavin?

 

If the Biblical account of the temple of Jerusalem is a guide, then we are dealing not with a temple in any conventional sense, but with some kind of technical construction for a specific purpose. A possible clue is contained in the Raymondi Stele (Figure 45), which is thought to have been carved at Chavin c. 500 BC, when it emerged as a sacred centre not long after Ezekiel’s visit.

 

The stele shows Ishkur, symbolized by a bull-God, standing beneath what we might now interpret as a stylized rocket...

Figure 45



Day of the Jaguar
I would now like to focus on the culture, legends and artifacts of the American continent which consistently recollect a ruthless destruction of men by their Gods. I will attempt to demonstrate that these traditions have their origins in the events at Chavin de Huantar in the sixth century BC. The most famous Aztec artifact is the great “Sun Stone”, found at the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan and now exhibited in the Museum at Mexico City (Plate 61).

The four rectangular panels which surround the central face are thought to represent the four great periods (or “suns”) of Aztec history. Each sun is identified by the phenomenon that brought it to an end. According to the Aztec tradition, the first sun was destroyed by water, the second by strong winds, the third by quakes and storms, and the fourth by the jaguar.

 

The Aztecs considered themselves to be living in the fifth sun, at the beginning of which they had migrated to their present land, led by their God Huitzilpochtli. There have been many attempts to confirm the validity of the Aztec suns, all of which have suffered from conflicting data on the length of each period. Putting this data to one side, the solution to the first three suns strikes me as quite simple. The first sun was ended by water, thus representing the great Flood in 10983 BC.

 

The second sun was ended by wind, representing the nuclear destruction in 2024 BC in the lands from which the first Americans came. And the third sun was ended by quakes and storms, representing the cosmic event in 1390 BC that halted the Earth’s rotation and caused massive “hailstones” to crash down from the sky. Aztec traditions maintained that the feathered serpent God, Quetzalcoatl, had arrived near the beginning of the fourth sun, i.e. around 1390 BC.

 

This is consistent with my hypothesis that the Gods had moved to the New World following the climactic events 1450 BC. Some time after 1390 BC, the fourth sun was ended by the “jaguar”. This tradition is commemorated throughout the Americas in the form of numerous religious cults involving various fanged animals.

 

Maya priests, for example, were depicted wearing jaguar skins, and one of the most famous priests was called Balam, literally meaning jaguar in the local language. Experts believe that this cult first began at Chavin de Huantar, where according to the National Geographic Society, “the Chavin venerated jaguars and other jungle predators as Gods”.

 

This cult is indeed depicted in the graphic Chavin representations of ferocious bull-like creatures with snarling teeth, as seen in Figures 9 and 45. The legend of the jaguar is connected chronologically to another legend according to which mankind was over-run by “wild animals” at a time of chaos and warfare between the Gods. This legend of the “wild animals” has been commemorated in numerous enigmatic stone carvings, which have always puzzled the experts.

 

A particularly good example can be found at El Baul in Guatemala. “Monument 27” at El Baul depicts a figure breathing fire and holding what appear to be grenades in each hand (Figure 55). Its human-like body is joined to a helmeted head, featuring goggles and the snarling face of a wild beast. At its feet crouches a much smaller figure of a man, making an offering to the jaguar-like beast.

Figure 55

 

Close to El Baul, at Santa Lucia Cotzumalhuapa, a similar sacrificial scene has been found on a stele, now in the Berlin Museum. This stele shows various races of men looking skywards and offering an unidentifiable sacrifice to a diving God.

 

This image of a diving or descending God is commonplace in later Mesoamerican culture, with two Mayan examples being shown in Figure 56. Although experts dismiss these images as “the setting Sun” or “bee Gods” (seriously!), it seems more likely to symbolize a menacing threat from the skies.

A similar threat from the skies was depicted at the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, where archaeologists found two large statues guarding the Temple of the Eagles. These imposing statues are of frightening bird-men (or Gods), their human faces peering out from inside the beaks of giant eagles. This artistic combination of man and animal (called zoomorphism) crops up again and again in the ancient American cultures. At Quirigua, a Mayan site in southern Guatemala, an outdoor museum contains one of the world’s weirdest collections of carved stones.

 

The zoomorphic images on these stones also present a third aspect - that of machines. One visitor to the site has described his impressions.

“A huge monster of unknown animal origin, with enormous sharp claws, and always with the head or torso of a human being in its mouth, not as though it were devouring the person, but rather it appears that the person is riding in the monster.”

At San Agustin. Columbia, several dozen related sites from an unknown culture are dominated by 320 monolithic stone sculptures. These sculptures are so horrific that, in 1758, a Franciscan priest branded them “works of the devil”. Fortunately they have survived, and now comprise one of the world’s scariest open-air museums. Many of the statues are two-storeyed, such as Figure 57 which shows a 6-feet high jaguar-man surmounted by a jaguar-bird with fierce teeth.

 

Elsewhere a terrifying figure sits under a stone roof with a human skull dangling from its neck, whilst many other statues depict monsters feeding small human figures into their mouths! One text book sums up the scholarly consensus on San Agustin as follows:

“The most striking sculptures are the statues of humans with feline features, particularly fangs, which have been connected by scholars with jaguar shamanism.”

Another fantastic combination of machine and man was found on the Peruvian coast. A small ceramic figurine from the Moche culture depicts a monstrous looking animal on two legs, with a machine-like chimney on its head (Figure 58). The monster is shown in the act of decapitating a man, and is typical of numerous similar depictions in this region. The Olmecs of Mesoamerica also appear to have been involved in the attack by wild animals.

 

Archaeologists believe that the Olmecs practiced a jaguar cult at the site of Teopantecuanitlan, and some authorities refer to them as “the people of the jaguar”. A common aspect of Olmec art was an infantile form with a cleft head and fanged snarling mouth, such as the jade figurine shown in Figure 59.

What are the ancient artists trying to tell us? Did terror literally come from the skies, and did the depictions of “wild animals” represent Gods attacking man with aerial vehicles?

 

In short, was mankind caught up in a war between the Gods in the Americas?

 

There is no doubt that both South American and Mesoamerican cultures preserve the records of an Enlilite victory over Enkiite Gods in the relatively recent past. The national emblem of modern-day Mexico is an eagle grasping a snake with its beak and claw (Figure 60), the snake being an Enkiite symbol. In Maya country, a mask was discovered showing snakes firmly held by the teeth of a jaguar God (Figure 61).

Meanwhile, at the site of San Agustin in central Colombia, one of the most prominent statues is of a stone bird clutching a snake (Figure 62). All of these images provide a strikingly consistent symbolism. The pyramid at Chichen Itza (Plate 62) also reflects the same symbolism.

At 5 p.m. on the spring and autumn equinoxes, a shadow moves down the pyramid like the rippling body of a serpent. Having reached the bottom, it then wriggles its way back to the top. This is thought to symbolize the serpent God descending to Earth and then departing. Meanwhile, inside the pyramid at the top of a flight of narrow stairs, the Toltecs built a small shrine to the jaguar.

 

A possible interpretation of this is, once again, the superiority of the jaguar over the serpents of the Enkiites.

  • When did this war of the Gods occur?

  • The fifth Aztec sun, marked by the jaguar, began some time after the fourth sun in 1390 BC, but when exactly?

  • Can we link it chronologically to Ishkur/Yahweh, the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem and Ezekiel’s visit to the new temple at Chavin?

Our first clue comes from Aztec legend. The Aztec war God was known as Huitzilpochtli. He was usually shown holding a powerful weapon and he had, according to one legend, won a battle against four hundred lesser Gods.

 

Another legend, possibly referring to the same event and the same God, states that a God named “Smoking Mirror” fought the feathered serpent God, Quetzalcoatl, at Tula, just north of Teotihuacan, and thereby brought his reign to an end. Archaeologists excavating at Teotihuacan have found images of the Storm God, Ishkur, everywhere, indicating that he and Huitzilpochtli were one and the same victorious God.

 

The legend of the Smoking Mirror corresponds with another tale, according to which Quetzalcoatl left Mesoamerica following the outbreak of wars between the Gods. The serpent God set out with a band of followers from Tula towards Yucatan, from where he sailed eastward on a “serpent raft”.

 

This event is one of the most significant in the history of the Americas, since Quetzalcoatl left with a promise to return. The return date was fixed according to a sacred calendar of 260 days which combined with a 365-day calendar to produce a sacred round of 52 years. Thereafter, all of the Mesoamerican cultures counted the years and awaited the return of Quetzalcoatl every time the 52-year cycle was completed.

 

Since Quetzalcoatl’s promise is of central importance to the sacred round, it is highly likely that the 260-day sacred calendar (on which the sacred round depended) was set in motion at the date he left. It may therefore be highly significant that the earliest sacred round date yet found in Mexico equates to 500 BC, which suggests that Quetzalcoatl may have left Mesoamerica in 552 BC. Can it be a coincidence that this date, marking the battle of the Gods, is a mere 18 years after Ezekiel’s trip to Chavin? Our other chronological evidence comes from archaeology.

 

Whilst the dates are admittedly rather vague, the established chronology for San Agustin and Chavin de Huantar are both entirely consistent with the period around 550 BC, which is the earliest established date for the jaguar cult. This period coincides exactly with a phenomenon known as “El Nine” which caused massive social and cultural changes in South America.

 

In particular, the Peruvian coastal settlements suddenly declined whilst Chavin, in stark contrast, suddenly arose as a powerful religious centre. Archaeologists are unsure exactly what was behind El Nine, but if we put all of the clues together, then the war of the Gods becomes the force behind El Nine and Chavin de Huantar emerges as the catalyst that started the war of the Gods. How did mankind get caught up in this conflict?

 

Whilst we cannot be certain, a possible clue appears within the later Chavin temple. As suggested in chapter 3, the EI Lanzon carving has been positioned at the heart of the temple to protect it from an unknown enemy. Furthermore, the walls of the temple are designed to obstruct access for men of large stature. Could this enemy have been a group of the Negroes who arrived at Chavin c. 1450 BC?

 

According to the pre-Incan legend cited in the previous chapter, “giants” had marched into the mountains, upset their God, and been destroyed. It is possible that these people, close relations of the Olmecs, were forced by Ishkur to build his “temple’, but then subsequently sabotaged it. If that act of sabotage was incited by a rival God, then we can understand why both men and Gods became involved in the ensuing conflict.

 

This analysis implies that it was Ishkur/Yahweh who unleashed the fury of the “wild animals” upon mankind, an attack which made a long-lasting impression on the survivors. Among these survivors were almost certainly the ancestors of the Aztecs, the latter being renowned for their bloodthirsty sacrificial rites, which seem so alien to us. We can begin to empathize with the Aztecs, however, when we study one of their ceremonial daggers shown in Plate 60.

 

This dagger, which was used for cutting out the hearts of their human sacrificial victims, has a handle decorated with the image of the diving Storm God!
 


Another New World Order
Whilst wild animals were over-running man in the Americas, the kingdom of Babylon was on its last knees. Its last ruler, Nabonidos, ascended the throne in 555 BC. Amid signs of increasing disillusionment. no doubt caused by the continuing absence of the Gods, Nabonido’s declared Nannar/Sin to be the supreme God.

 

This, however, was no more than a desperate call on an absent God, for Nannar/Sin did not help Babylon to resist the invasion of the Persian army, commanded by Cyrus, in 539 BC. Nor, for that matter, did Marduk or Nabu. The handover of power was suspiciously smooth. Thus began a new phase in the history of mankind. The power of the Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians had waned.

 

Within fourteen years, the pharaonic dynasties in Egypt would also be ended by the Persians. For the first time in history, an empire arose which was neither Hamitic nor Shemitic in race, for both the Persians and the Medes (their subservient allies) were from the tribe of Noah’s third son, Japheth. When the Persian empire gave way to Alexander the Great in 330 BC, it was again a Japhethite kingdom. And world power has been exercised in the name of Japheth ever since. The age of Cyrus also marked a turning point in world religion.

 

All of the peoples subdued by Babylon, including the Jews, were allowed to return to the worship of their former Gods and rebuild their temples. Cyrus thus encouraged a new age of paganism, based on the idols of Gods who had not been seen for a thousand years. All of these Gods, however, were made subservient to AhuraMazda, the “God of Truth and Light”. who was depicted as a deity of heaven rather than of Earth.

This new era of religious freedom paved the way for the emergence of powerful new religions, which represented a unique experience for mankind. In the period 550-500 BC, idol worship began to fall out of favour and some of the world’s greatest thinkers began to seek a higher spiritual realm, promoting new ideals such as peace and compassion.

 

The influence of Buddha in India and Confucius in China, during this period, cannot be understated. It is noteworthy that Buddha regarded the Gods as mere flesh-and-blood beings who were not to be worshipped, since they were caught up in the same problems as mankind; he thus sought a spiritual enlightenment, or nirvana, that was higher than the Gods.

The evidence suggests that the serpent God was Enki and that he did indeed return to the continent of Asia. Enki’s nickname Ea meant “He Whose Home is Water”. Scholars believe that he can also be identified with the mythical Oannes, an amphibious “fish-man” who emerged from the Erythrean Sea and taught civilization to the Sumerians.

 

The presence of Enki in Mesoamerica can be determined from the Mayan word “uaana”, which is virtually identical to Oannes and means “He Whose Home is Water". Just Off the Yucatan coast, from where Quetzalcoatl allegedly left Mesoamerica, there lies an island named Jaina. The Itzas, a people who occupied that region in later times (and gave their name to Chichen Itza), recognized Jaina as the final resting place of Itzamna, the God of the Itzas. The meaning of Itzamna was, once again, “He Whose Home is Water”.

 

According to legend, Quetzalcoatl (alias Ea/Enki) sailed away from Jaina and went eastwards on a “serpent raft”. The same serpent raft and the same God turn up in the east, c. 500 BC, at a sacred site called Budhanilkantha in Nepal! Plate 63 shows the statue of a God, known as “the Sleeping Vishnu”, lying on a bed of snakes inside a water tank. This statue is a mystery, even to experts on Hindu religion, since it bears all the hallmarks of the God Vishnu, and yet the name Budhanilkantha means “Old Blue Throat”, a name signifying a different God, Shiva.

 

This presents the experts with a strange contradiction, since Vishnu is the preserver and Shiva the destroyer. Whatever this duality signifies, the statue on the raft of snakes is definitely Vishnu, and that God is also commonly known in Nepal as “Narayan”. The name Narayan means “the one who looks after the people”, and one of his nicknames was, amazingly, “He Whose Home is Water”!

 

It would thus seem that Enki (and possibly his clan) were forced to leave South America c. 550 BC and consequently returned to Asia.

 

In the light of this dramatic relocation, it is quite possible that the Enkiite Gods decided to rid the Near East of the rival Shemitic and Hamitic powers which had fought so bitterly for 1,500 years, by bringing about a new world order through a Japhethite empire.
 


Chapter Fifteen Conclusions

Jan. 24th, 2007

06:15 pm

Ancient Astronauts
Flaming Shields, Chariots of the Gods
Flying Saucers, Spacesuits, Delta Wing Jets and Ray Guns
depicted on everything from cave walls to ancient Egyptian temples
- all surviving eyewitness accounts of UFO sightings in our most ancient past.
Reports of unidentified flying objects appear even in our most ancient historical records.
For anyone looking at the most ancient primitive cave drawings and petraglyphs
~ it seems impossible now to take them for anything other than technology.

Could travelers from outer space have visited this planet long ago?
Could our ancestors have settled this planet as space colonists?
Will our neighbors reveal themselves, when we are ready?




Carved in Stone
 Ancient Astronaut Cave Art - Val Comonica, Italy The ancient world occasionally speaks to us of strange things that the primitive people of the time attributed to The Gods. From the Nazca Lines of Peru to ancient aircraft of Egypt and India known as Vimanas; from the enigmatic and symbolic petraglyphs of Ancient America to the pantheons of European and Mediterranean gods; nearly every ancient culture, on every continent yet explored - it seems that every civilization in the world was at one time or another touched by beings from above.

As mankind evolves and advances in technology, we are now becoming somewhat familiar with many of the things that obviously impressed our ancestors. We know that we are not gods, but what would ancient peoples think of most of the things we take for granted today? Would your ability to read evoke jealousy from their most revered scholars? Would a disposable lighter or ball point pen get you burned as a witch? And what would they make of your palm pilot - or for that matter, a harmonica?

The two figures depicted in rock-art at Val Comonica, in Northern Italy (above right) easily appear to modern observers to be a literal and accurate representation of modern astronauts. Their bulky suits come complete with space helmets, and each are holding decives of some sort; one of their tools even looking remarkably like a sextant. This particular site is a perfect example, and is featured in the groundbreaking 1968 book Chariots of the Gods, by Erich Von Daniken - but is only one of so many found throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas; all associating the Gods with the stars, and other things which we modern humans today file under the same heading: space technology. Could this primitive depiction of a space helmet have been a primitive precursor to what we modern humans know as haloes? Could all of the world's religions all have a root in these ancient gods who came down from the sky?

For millennia, the absolute authority on the beginning of everything was the Bible - specifically, the book of Genesis, which tells us the order in which creation began to express itself: first minerals, then plants, then animals. This is something that the ancient scribes simply could not have known, if we are to remember them as truly primitive - tribal hunter gatherers, barely farmers - technologically barren, possessing little more than fire and the ability to write stuff down. Perhaps God emparted this simple itinerary to His chosen scribes, but one of the first things to pop into existence is said to have been Light itself - which seems to also ring very true, as it turns out, according to modern quantum physics, we're all made of stardust. The only question remaining is, of course, from which particular star's dust have we been thus assembled?

Modern fundamentalists have retranslated the biblical "light" as, or into, "the word" or "truth" - often meaning "the existence" or "the reality" of God. This also follows advanced scientific theories that the prime foundation of existence (time, matter, and the very fabric of dimension) are fractal, and vibrations: made up of infinite combinations of (put very simply) something and nothing - as in binary code, a sequence of ones and zeros. A parallel can also be drawn from New Age philosophies, which often contend that all is illusion. For all our fumblings, we have advanced, and perhaps evolved, to the unenviable point where we now know that there is very much that we do not know - and there is a great deal that we will likely never be able to fathom, but we can still dream and imagine - and we are at least able to measure our perception of what we perceive to be time and space. So far, among other things, we have measured the size of the Earth and distance between Earth and the Sun - very specific values and ratios that are found in multiple archaelogical sites around the world, where also emanate legends of gods who came down from the sky.




Gods of the Sky
The famous Helicopter Hieroglyph found in the Temple of Abydos, in Egypt, is another prime example of highly advanced technology represented in ancient art. Abydos was originally owned and operated by ancient Egyptian kings - first by Seti I, then Ramesses II (around 1200 BC). Inside, the ceiling support beams of one chamber contain many inscriptions, a certain famous four of which have stunned paranormal researchers, taken the "faithful" by storm, and seem even more out of place. At first glance, these ancient Egyptian heiroglyphs appear to depict aerial technology - namely (amazingly), a helicopter, a submarine, a UFO and a WWII style airplane. On second glance however, it seems painfully obvious that the image must have been faked, as they show show a more bronze color than the native sandstone - but this is actually a simple image enhancement technique (not trick), used to show more contrast in the relief. The dark gold coloring of the highly circulated internet image may also be an artifact of original scanning, depending on the source (as from a magazine or video screenshot). The image has been altered again here (below, top image) to more closely approach the coloring of the actual sandstone.

The famous Egyptian heiroglyphs in Abydos, Egypt ~ seem to show a helicopter (top, left of center)
~ plus 3 other cartouche depictions of seemingly high technological items (right of center, from top)
that appear to be a tank or submarine (top), a UFO (middle) and what looks like an airplane (bottom).

 Egyptian heiroglyphs in Abydos, Egypt
 Egyptian heiroglyphs in Abydos, Egypt


This ancient anomaly often attains the height of internet scandal, because the carvings are authentic.
While officially attributed to a palimpsest, the resemblance to modern technology cannot be discounted.

The first thing that grabs anyone who beholds this ancient stony text is the first glyph's uncanny resemblance to a modern military helicopter like the Apache, Jayhawk and Blackhawk (below) - carved meters in the air, near the ceiling of one of the most important temples of ancient Egypt. That it should be immediately accompanied by glyphs resembling other examples of modern aerial technology - all facing in the same direction, to the right - should be more than enough to completely rule out coincidence as an explanation.

 Apache - US Army  Jayhawk - US Coast Guard
 Blackhawk - US Army  Blackhawk - US Army


Modern military helicopters ~ top row: Apache and Jayhawk ~ bottom row: Blackhawk

 Video still of Abydos heiroglyphs - desaturated The glyph immediately to the right of the helicopter has been compared to a tank, a submarine, a small boat or cabin cruiser - and even appears to some as Luke Skywalker's landspeeder, from the first Star Wars movie. Directly below that curiosity is what most consider indisputably to be a classic UFO - but given the non-symmetrical shape and added tail fin, eyes are widened to the possibility of an aircraft only slightly more advanced than we have today (perhaps something still on the drawing boards, not yet given to public knowledge, as of this writing). The profile is roundish, yet also shows what are possibly wings, resembling a NASA prototype for proposed space taxis, (expected to be in operation by the middle of the 21st century) - or Commander Criton's shuttle pod, from Farscape, the popular science fiction TV show. One almost expects, if such a craft ever existed, that it was armed with phasers. The fourth icon, below the alleged UFO, seems at once to be a World War II vintage airplane, complete with high tail and bubble cockpit - albeit without wings, or perhaps what the artist was depicting was partially submerged, in water or sand.

 Egyptian Airplane Model  Egyptian Airplane Model
Von Daniken caption, translated ~ Wooden airplane model in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. For many years, this model stood directly behind the main entrance in a glass case. In the meantime it disappeared in the cellar. Were uncomfortable questions placed?

Some speculate that this is Philidelphia Experiment Bermuda Triangle citing evidence of paranormal events involving time travel, lending further support to theories of what may be the cause of certain documented temporal and magentic anomalies experienced in the Bermuda Triangle. Could the airplane symbol be one of the famous Flight 19 that disappeared from the Bermuda Triangle in 1947?
While officially attributed to a palimpsest: a scratching out (or an ancient typo), "the result of a recutting"
it cannot be completely ruled out that the original carvings were actualy of some witnessed aerial technology.

While modern Egyptologists identify the heiroglyphs' message as telling us of a suppression of "the ennead of nine" and "foreign countries" (these cartouches superimposed over each other), it cannot be ruled out that the might have been the original inspiration for the design. It seems a beyond chance that a character should exactly match the profiles of the tails of an airplane and helicopter. What kind of king would be identified with such objects? And what kind of king would have them erased?


Mainstream Egyptologists classify the anomaly as a palimpsest: or a typo, "the result of a recutting"
offering the simple explanation, "the original signs were covered in plaster, and new ones cut into the surface,"
and continuing further, "this plaster has now fallen out, leaving images that look rather like modern items!"

While there certainly is significant crumbling and water damage around the ceiling and support columns
(and this sort of editing of history is known to have periodically occurred with shifts of power)
~ however, a significantly complex response does not necessarilly ammount to a full explanation.
To more liberal researchers, this may seem like a blatant cover-up, or at best a lame explantion
~ reminiscent of the Face on Mars being attributed to "a trick of light and shadow" by NASA officials.

but this does not completely rule out the possibility that the original heiros were accurate
or that the "accepted" cartouche may have evolved from the obvious visualization.
Official explanations limit the scope of debunking to the helicopter
ignoring the other figures to the right (of the alleged submarine, UFO and airplane)

Skeptics charge

 Inscription Timeline of Abydos heiroglyphs - c 1996 Lumir Janka  Video still of Abydos heiroglyphs - c 1996 Bruce Rawles

The Abydos Temple Helicopter - by Thierry
Helicopter Hieroglyph Explained
Historical Artwork and UFOs - by Matthew Hurley

 The Palenque Astronaut


The Palenque Astronaut (left) appears to depict a man controlling a spaceship
This ornately decorated five ton stone was discovered in 1952 in Chiapas, Mexico
covering the Tomb of the Mayan King Pacal, at the Temple of Palenque (relief below)
~ the only known Mayan Pyramid to conatin a Tomb, as is the case throughout Egypt.

 Palenque Astronaut - relief
The famous Palenque Astronaut appears to depict a man controlling a spaceship ~ ~ THE ASTRONAUT OF THE TEMPLE OF PALENQUE. This is the stone found covering the tomb of King Pacal inside the Temple of Palenque. The stone interpretation is part of today's controversies surrounding the Mayan empire. Is this the drawing of ? In the year 1952, the Mexican archeologist Alberto Ruz discovered the tomb of King Pacal inside the Temple of Inscriptions of Palenque in Chiapas, Mexico. This region was once protected by a number of logs placed in a defensive and fortified way around the temples of Palenque. At the entrance of the temple there were a total of 620 inscriptions near the tomb of King Pacal who, according to the symbols, was born in Palenque, started ruling over the Mayan empire when he was 12 years old and remained in power for a total of 65 years before his death at the age of 80. One of the curiosities is that the Temple of Pacal is the only pyramid in the new world where a crypt was found, defining the pyramid as a burial place just like the ancient Egyptians. The tomb weight reached the 20 tons and it was build better than the entrance stone that was removed before the findings, which make archeologist believes that the temple was constructed after the crypt was put in place. One of the most important aspects of the crypt was the cover stone. It weighted 5 tons and it have an inscription on top that, according to the first archeologist who studied, show the representation of the decent of King Pacal to the underworld and the Mayan believe of the three worlds: the heavens or world above, the world of the living and the world of the dead. Other archeologist interpreted the hieroglyphics as describing the presence of the monster from the deeps of the earth, the Mayan sacred tree and the hairs of the god of rain, but it was the third interpretation and the study of the remains that caused one of the greatest controversies on the world of archeology. What it appeared to be to others… The controversy of the findings came years after the discovery when another group that studied the stone interpreted the hieroglyphics as what it appears to be some kind of propulsion machinery and a Mayan operating at the controls. From this theory and descriptions came the given name of "The Astronaut of Palenque". Also, and to add to the controversy, the results of the scientific research from the studies of the remains shows that the body is not from one of the Mayan descendants or is even close to the age described in the inscriptions. The body is more of like a full ground man of big stature and not similar at all to any of the Mayan body characteristics of any age. The remains appeared to be of a 40 to 50 year old man and not of an 80-year- old Mayan, matching the legends of the one of the Mayan gods "Votan", a white man of long stature and beard who came from "the other side", as it is described by the legend. Apart from the inscriptions at the head stone of the crypt, there were other stones and inscriptions found in the Mayan city that showed similarities to, what it looks to some at first instance, as some type of human in front of controls while inside a capsule or enclosure. In reality, there are more mysteries than answers surrounding the Mayan empire. They are the only civilization of the new world that vanished with very little evidence of what really happened to them or what was the cause of their disappearance. Some of today's archeologists are having conflicting theories explaining the disappearance of the Mayan people or understanding the Mayan number system or hieroglyphics without returning with different interpretations. The Theories There are many people today who believe that the drawings on the stone are in fact the representation of some kind of ship with the operator inside and that the body found is non other than the pilot itself. Others believe that the remains belong to a European that, somehow, reached the new world before the Spanish colonist discovered America. They also believe that the drawings are misinterpreted when called "The Astronaut". Others, looking for explanations, go as far as including in their theories the ancient legend of "Erik the Red", who in the other side of the sea from the American continent, went in search of the earthly paradise toward "Wotan" or "Odin" which was in the same direction toward the Americas. Other group jumps to the conclusion to believe that the Mayan people were victims of a planetary ascension or abduction, therefore explaining how they acquired the knowledge of the advance architecture, astronomy and numeric system that the empire possessed. The only current facts is that there are many books with theories regarding the Mayan empire and each lacks concrete evidence explaining the disappearance of these people or who is the tall man found in the tomb of King Pacal. As of now, the archeologist's discoveries on the Mayan Temples keep raising more questions than answers and keep adding wood to the fire of controversy. Temple of Palenque Mexico The Remains of King Pacal 7 Another stone found in Palenque. What it appear to some as a man inside a capsule in front a console. 8 Mayan Cualdron. From where the Maya got a design that resembles one of today's propulsion engines?


 Insectoid Alien in Step Pyramid - Saqqara, Egypt  Close-up of Insectoid Alien in Step Pyramid - Saqqara, Egypt


Extraterrestrial Images on the Step Pyramid Saqqara, Egypt and close-up (right)

Also in Egypt - where the star clock for the Precession of the Equinoxes exists
- there is an electric light bulb that dates to 2600 BC.
An electric battery was discovered in a rock carbon dated approximately 500,000 years ago.




text versions of this page coming soon
but for now, just enjoy all the pictures
or visit the original website for older text
 Under Construction



Figurines

 Maya Airplane Figurines


Five figurines of airplanes with serpent heads ~ State Bank of Bogota, Columbia
Replicas are rumored to have once been offered for sale in the gift shop of a local museum
until the stunning but obvious airplane connection was made, when they were quietly withdrawn.
Despite the classic Maya smiling serpent god heads, and the uncanny resemblance to modern airplanes,
~ mainstream archaeologists claim the tiny models are of insects, Collection of delta winged airplane models cast
There are said to be many types of such airplane configurations, only five are presented here.
It is however no insect cult well-known with South American Indiovoelkern.
Besides insects were never represented in gold golden god



 Ancient Astronaut Idol - Kiev, 4000 BC

Ancient Astronaut Cave Art ~ Kiev, 4000 BC



 The Lolladoff Plate

~ The Lolladoff Plate ~
a 12,000 year old stone dish found in Nepal.
It clearly shows a disk shaped UFO and
a figure resembling a Grey alien.
HOAX
Here are some photographs of the Lolladoff plate.
It is claimed to be several thousands of years old, found in Nepal.
Clearly showing a disk shaped UFO, there is also a figure on the disc
looking remarkably similar to what we would today call a Grey.
It is supposedly housed in a museum in Berlin.
Explanation :
This plate was first shown in a book from the 1970s entitled 'Sungods in Exile' by Karyl Robin-Evans.
The book was actually written by a chap named David Agamon whose real name was Gamon
who admitted to magazine Fortean Times that this was his hoax.




~ UFO Coin, 1680 ~
French Medal apparently commemorating
a UFO sighting of a wheel like object in Renaissance France



Idols



Cave Drawings
Planet Earth has had ongoing historical contact with extraterrestrials. This interaction can been found in the oral traditions, written records, stone monuments and hierglyphs found throughout the planet.


Information left by the ancients about the visitation of extraterrestrials has appeared in almost every country in the world, including the United States. I consider this information, triggers, or keys, to helping us awaken the 'sleeping visitor' within each of us.


Alexander the Great had two UFO encounters that were recorded. During his invasion of Asia in 329, while crossing a river, Alexander and his men saw what was described as gleaming, silver shields in the sky. The objects repeatedly swooped down at the soldiers, scattering men and horses and creating quite a panic. Seven years later, while attacking a Venesian city in the eastern Mediterranean, observers on both sides of the conflict reported another incredible event. Objects appeared in the sky. One of the objects suddenly shot a beam of light at the city wall, crumbling it to dust. This allowed Alexander's troops to easily take the city.

01:28 pm

Hi everyone,

I finally found ways to convert pictures ) and put fotos from Tunisia here -
http://ngoclub.org/library/tunis/

Wish you a good day
Leonid

Jan. 23rd, 2007

10:58 am

Dogon people

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The Dogon village of Banani.
The Dogon village of Banani.

The Dogon are a group of people living in the central plateau region of Mali, south of the Niger bend near the city of Bandiagara in the Mopti region. They number about 300,000. The Dogon are best known for their mythology, their mask dances, wooden sculpture and their architecture. The past century has seen significant changes in the social organization, material culture and beliefs of the Dogon, partly because Dogon country is one of Mali's major tourist attractions.

Contents

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[edit] Geography and demography

The Bandiagara Cliffs
The Bandiagara Cliffs

The principal Dogon area is dissected by the Bandiagara Escarpment, a sandstone cliff of up to 500m stretching for about 150km. To the southeast of the cliff, the sandy Séno-Gondo plains are found, and northwest of the cliff are the Bandiagara highlands. The current population is at least 450,000. Historically, Dogon villages have frequently fallen victim to slave raiders. Neighboring tribal groups acted as slave merchants, as the growth of cities increased the demand for slaves across the region of West Africa. At the end of the eighteenth century, the jihads that were triggered by the resurgence of Islam caused slaves to be sought for warfare. Dogon insecurity in the face of these historical pressures caused them to locate their villages in defensible positions along the walls of the escarpment. The other factor influencing their choice of settlement location is water. Water availability is slightly greater at the rim of the plateau and in the sandstone rock, and a rivulet runs at the foot of the cliff at the lowest point of the area during the wet season.

[edit] Dogon Art

Dogon wood sculpture, probably an ancestor figure, 17th-18th century
Dogon wood sculpture, probably an ancestor figure, 17th-18th century

Dogon art is primarily wood sculpture, although some pieces are made out of stone or forged from metal. Dogon art serves both an every day and ritualistic function. The carvers who create this art continue the tradition in making the pieces as the mentors who taught them did. The purpose of Dogon art is to preserve the peoples' tradition and not for an individual claim to a piece. Both Carvers and especially blacksmiths are important figures in their culture and many myths surround their work and are retold by the Dogon. Knowledge is passed from the elders to those whose job is going to be making these ritualistic and everyday pieces. Pieces used in rituals are created by the blacksmiths who employ similar techniques when working with metal as when working with wood.

Dogon art revolves around religious values, ideals, and freedoms (Laude, 19). Dogon sculptures are not made to be seen publicly, and are commonly hidden from the public eye within the houses of families, sanctuaries, or kept with the Hogon (Laude, 20). The importance of secrecy is due to the symbolic meaning behind the pieces and the process by which they are made.

Themes found throughout Dogon sculpture consist of figures with raised arms, superimposed bearded figures, horsemen, stools with caryatids, women with children, figures covering their faces, women grinding millet, women bearings vessels on their heads, donkeys bearing cups, musicians, dogs, quadrupled-shaped troughs or benches, figures bending from the waist, mirror-images, aproned figures, and standing figures(Laude, 46-52). Signs of other contacts and origins are evident in Dogon art. The Dogon people were not the first inhabitants of the cliffs of Bandiagara. Influence from Tellem art is evident in Dogon art because of its rectilinear designs (Laude, 24).

[edit] Culture and religion

The majority of Dogon practice an animist religion, including the ancestral spirit Nommo, with its festivals and Sirian mythology. A significant minority of the Dogon practice Islam, and some have been converted by missionaries to Christianity.

The Dogon record their ancestry through a patrilineal system. Each Dogon community, or enlarged family, is headed by one male elder. This chief head is the oldest living son of the ancestor of the local branch of the family. According to the NECEP database, within this patrilineal system polygynic marriages, with up to four spouses can occur. Most men, however, have only one wife; and it is rare for a man to have more than two wives. Formally, wives only join their husband's residence unit after the birth of their first child. Women may leave their husbands early in their marriage, before the birth of their first child. After having children, divorce is a rare and serious matter, and it requires the participation of the whole village. An enlarged family can count up to hundred persons and is called guinna.

The Dogon are strongly oriented toward harmony, and this harmony is reflected in many of their rituals. For instance, in one of their most important rituals, the women praise the men, the men thank the women, the young express appreciation for the old, and the old recognize the contributions of the young. Another example is the custom of elaborate greetings whenever one Dogon meets another. This custom is repeated over and over, throughout a Dogon village, all day. During a greeting ritual, the person who has entered the contact answers a series of questions about his or her whole family, from the person who was already there. Invariably, the answer is sewa, which means that everything is fine. Then the Dogon who has entered the contact repeats the ritual, asking the resident how his or her whole family is. Because of the word sewa is so commonly repeated throughout a Dogon village, neighboring peoples have dubbed the Dogon the sewa people.

The Hogon is the spiritual leader of the village. He is elected between the oldest men of the enlarged families of the village. After his election he has to follow a six-month initiation period, during which he is not allowed to shave or wash. He wears white cloths and nobody is allowed to touch him. A young virgin that has not yet had her period takes care of him, cleans the house and prepares his meals. She returns to her home during the night. After his initiation, he will wear a red bonnet. He has an armband with a sacred pearl that symbolises his function. The virgin is replaced by one of his wives, but she also returns to her home at night. The Hogon has to live alone in his house. During the night, the sacred snake Lébé comes to clean him and to transfer wisdom.

The Dogon maintain an agricultural mode of subsistence, and cultivate millet, sorghum and rice, as well as onions, tobacco, peanuts, and some other vegetables. Marcel Griaule stimulated the construction of a dam near Sangha and incited the Dogon to cultivate onions. The economy of the Sangha region doubled since then and onions are sold as far as on the market of Bamako or even in Ivory Coast. They also raise sheep, goats and chickens. Grain is stored in granaries.

[edit] Circumcision

Boys are circumcised in age groups of three years, counting for example all boys between 9 and 12 years old. This marks the end of their youth, and they are now initiated. The blacksmith performs the circumcision. Afterwards, they stay for a few days in a hut separated from the rest of the village people, until the wound has healed. The circumcision is a reason for celebration and the initiated boys go around and receive presents. They make music on a special instrument that is made of a rod of wood and calabashes that makes the sound of a rattle. The village of Songho has a circumcision cave ornamented with red and white rock paintings of animals and plants. Nearby is a cave where music instruments are stored. The newly circumcized men must walk around naked for a moon after the procedure so that their acheivement in age can be admired by the citizens of the tribe. This practice has been passed down for generations and is always followed, even during winter.

They are one of several African ethnic groups which practice female circumcision, also called excision. According to Sékou Ogobara Dolo, at least in the Sangha region, the milder form is practiced. This means that only the clitoral hood is removed, which is similar to male circumcision. Girls are circumsized around the age of 7 or 8 years, sometimes younger. Circumcision for both male and female is seen as necessary for the individual to gain gender. Before circumcision they are seen as 'neuter'.

[edit] Funeral Masquerade

Due to the expense, their traditional funeral rituals or “damas” are becoming very rare. They may be performed years after the death. Damas that are still performed today are not usually performed for their original intent, but instead are done as a source of entertainment for tourists interested in the Dogon way of life. The Dogon use this entertainment to gain profit by charging the tourists money for what masks they want to see and the ritual itself (Davis, 68). The traditional dama consists of a masquerade that essentially leads the souls of the departed to their final resting places through a series of ritual dances and rites. Dogon damas include the use of many masks and statuettes. Each Dogon village may differ in the designs of the masks used in the dama ritual. Every village may have their own way of performing the dama rituals. The dama consists of an event, known as the Halic, immediately after the death of a person and lasts for one day (Davis, 68). According to Shawn R. Davis, this particular ritual incorporates the elements of the yingim and the danyim. During the yincomoli ceremony, a gourd is smashed over the deceased’s wooden bowl, hoe, and bundukamba, (burial blanket), which announces the entrance of the masks used in this ceremony while the deceased entrance to their home in the family compound is decorated with ritual elements (Davis, 72-73). Masks used during the yincomoli ceremony include the Yana Gulay mask, the Satimbe mask, the Sirigie mask, and the Kanaga mask. The Yana Gulay mask’s purpose is to impersonate a Fulani woman and is made from cotton cloth and cowell shells. The Satimbe mask represents the women ancestors who are said to have discovered the purpose of the masks by guiding the spirits of the deceased into the afterlife. (Davis, 74) The Sirigie mask is a tall mask that is only used in funerals for the men that were alive during the holding of the Sigui ceremony (see below) (Davis, 68). The Kanaga masqueraders, at one point, dance and sit next to the bundkamba which represents the deceased.

The yingim and the danyim rituals each last a few days. These events are held annually to honor the elders that have died since the last Dama. The yingim consists of the sacrifice of cows, or other valuable animals, and large mock battles performed in order to help chase the spirit, known as the nyama, from the deceased body and village and towards the path to the afterlife (Davis, 68). The danyim then takes place a couple of months later. During the danyim, masqueraders perform dances every morning and evening for anytime up to six days depending on how that village performs this ritual. The masqueraders dance on the deceased’s rooftops, throughout the village, and the area of fields around the village (Davis, 68). Until the masqueraders have completed their dances and every ritual has been performed, it is said that any misfortune can be blamed on the remaining spirits of the dead (Davis, 68).

[edit] Cults

The Dogon know different cults:

  • Sigui: the most important ceremony of the Dogon. It takes place every 65 years and can take several years. The last one started in 1967 and ended in 1973, the next one will start in 2032. The Sigui ceremony symbolises the dead of the first ancestor (not to be confounded with Lébé) till the moment that humanity acquired the use of the spoken word. The Sigui is a long procession that starts and ends in the village of Youga Dogorou and goes from one village to the other during several months or years. All men wear masks and dance in long processions. The Sigui has a secret language that women are not allowed to learn. The secret Society of Sigui plays a central role in the ceremony. They prepare the ceremonies a long time in advance, and they live for three months hidden outside of the villages while nobody is allowed to see them. The men from the Society of Sigui are called the Oloubarou. The villagers are afraid of them and fear is cultivated by a prohibition to go out at night, when sounds warn that the Oloubarou are out. The most important mask that plays a major role in the Sigui rituals is the Great Mask or the Mother of Masks. It is several meters long and is just held up by hand and not used to hide a face. This mask is newly created every 65 years.
  • The Amma cult: worships the main, creator god Amma. The celebration is once a year and consists of offering boiled millet on the conical altar of Amma, colouring it white.
  • The Lébé cult: worships the sacred snake Lébé, who was the first mortal human being. Lébé was transformed into a snake. The celebration is once a year and takes three days. The altar is a pointed conic structure on which the Hogon offers boiled millet while mentioning in his benediction eight grains plus one. Afterwards, the Hogon performs some rituals in his house that is also the home of Lébé. The last day, all the village men visit all the Binou altars and dance three times around the Lébé altar. The Hogon invites everybody that assisted to drink millet beer.
  • The Binou cult: uses totems, common ones for the entire village and individual ones for totem priests. A totem animal is worshipped on a Binou altar. Totems are for example the buffalo for Ogol-du-Haut, and the panther for Ogol-du-Bas. Normally, nobody will ever be harmed by its own totem animal, even if this is a crocodile as for the village of Amani. Here is a large pool of crocodiles that do not harm any villager. However, a totem animal might exceptionally harm if one has done something wrong. A worshipper is not allowed to eat his totem. For example, an individual with a buffalo as totem is not allowed to eat buffalo meat, but also not to use leather from its skin and even not to see a buffalo die. If this happens by accident he has to organise a purification sacrifice at the Binou altar. Boiled millet is offered and goats and chickens are sacrificed on a Binou altar. This colours the altar both white and red. Binou altars look like little houses with a door. They are bigger when the altar is for an entire village. A village altar has also the ‘cloud hook’, that will catch clouds and make it rain.
  • The twin cult: the birth of twins is a sign of good luck. The enlarged Dogon families have cult rituals during which they evoke all their ancestors till their origin, the ancient pair of twins from the creation of the world myth.
  • The Mono cult: the Mono altar is at the entry of every village. Unmarried young men celebrate the Mono cult once a year in January or February. They spend the night around the altar, singing and screaming and waving with fire torches. They hunt for mice that will be sacrificed on the altar at dawn.

[edit] Dogon villages

Dogon villages have different buildings:

  • Male granary: storage place for millet and other grains. Building with a pointed roof. This building is well protected from mice. The amount of filled male granaries is an indication for the size and the richness of a guinna.
A Dogon's male granary
A Dogon's male granary
  • Female granary: storage place for a woman's things, her husband has no access. Building with a pointed roof. It looks like a male granary but is less protected against mice. Here, she stores her personal belongings such as clothes, jewelry, money and some food. A woman is economically independent and earnings and things related to her merchandise are stored in her personal granary. She can for example make cotton or pottery. The amount of female granaries is an indication for the amount of women living in the guinna.
  • Toguna (also called case a palabres): building only for men. They rest, discuss and take important decisions in the toguna. The roof of a toguna is made by 8 layers of millet stems. It is a low building in which one cannot stand upright. This helps avoiding violence when discussions get heated.
A Toguna
A Toguna
  • House for women that have their period: this house is on the outside of the village. It is constructed by women and is of lower quality than the other village buildings. Women having their period are considered to be unclean and have to leave their family house to live during five days in this house. They use kitchen equipment only to be used here. They bring with them their youngest children. This house is a gathering place for women during the evening.
A typical Dogon Village
A typical Dogon Village

[edit] Languages

Main article: Dogon languages

Dogon has been frequently referred to as a single language. In reality, there are at least five distinct groups of dialects[1] The Dogon language family is internally highly diverse, and many varieties are not mutually intelligible, actually 12 dialects and 50 variations. There is also a secret language Sigui So, which is used by the Society of the Masks during the Sigui ceremonies. Women have no right to learn Sigui So.

It is generally accepted that the Dogon languages belong to the Niger-Congo language family, but there is less certainty about their place within this family. The Dogon group has been linked to the Mande subfamily but also to Gur. In a recent overview of the Niger-Congo phylum, Dogon is treated as an independent branch before Volta-Congo. [2]

The Dogon languages show few remnants of a noun class system (one example is that human nouns take a distinct plural suffix), leading linguists to conclude that Dogon is likely to have diverged from Niger-Congo very early. Another indication of this is the Subject Object Verb basic word order, which Dogon shares with such early Niger-Congo branches as Ijoid and Mande. It is a passive voice language.

[edit] Mythology

According to Robert Temple, the central element of Dogon cosmogony and cosmology is the star Sirius, which they call Po Tolo. This star was the seed of the Milky Way galaxy and is the "navel" of the entire universe. The Dogon describe the universe as "infinite, but measurable", and filled with many yalu ulo, or spiral star systems, including the one containing the Earth's sun. According to the Dogon perception of the universe, most of the universe is part of the "external" star system, while nearer to Earth is the "internal" star system. The stars in the "internal" system include many that they claim affect the lives of people of Earth and play a part in human history, including not only the Sirius star system, but also Orion, Pleiades and others.

An ethnic group that lives near the Dogon, the Bozo, have a similar mythology about Sirius in the sky and refer to it as the "Eye Star".

[edit] Controversy

A number of researchers investigating the Dogon have reported apparent knowledge that has subsequently become embroiled in controversy. From 1931 to 1956, two French anthropologist Marcel Griaule and Germaine Dieterlen spent 25 years with the Dogon, during which time they were initiated into the tribe.[3] Griaule and Dieterlen reported that the Dogon appeared to know of the companions star, Sirius B, the rings of Saturn, and the Moons of Jupiter, which are usually considered invisible to the unaided eye;[4] In 1852 American missionary D.T. Stoddart wrote a letter to astronomer John Herschel that ".. at twilight, Jupiter's satellites could be seen with the naked eye and the elongated shape of Saturn also.", according to pseudoscientist Hunter Adams [5]

MIT professor of physics, Kenneth Brecher, commented that "They (the Dogon) have no business knowing any of this".[6], and the controversy escalated when author Robert Temple suggested an extra-terrestrial source of the Dogon's knowledge.[7] Griaule and Dieterlen made no claims on the source of the Dogon's knowledge. While it seems highly improbable that the Dogon should possess such information, it also seems improbable that cultural contamination would have included such specialized knowledge. The Dogon have a migratory history which could help to explain their interest in stellar phenomena. It is well established that the star Sirius was central to Egyptian religion.

[edit] Robert Temple

Robert Temple, in his 1975 book The Sirius Mystery, devoted a central role to the Dogon to support his hypothesis on ancient astronauts. Temple read the information that had earlier been gathered and published by Marcel Griaule and Germaine Dieterlen during their long anthropological study of the Dogon. The starting point of his interest in the Dogon was the mystery of how they acquired knowledge of Sirius B, the invisible companion star of Sirius A. A substantial bulk of Temple's book consists of comparative linguistic and mythological scholarship, pointing out resemblances among Dogon, Egyptian and Sumerian beliefs and symbols. Greek and Arab myths and words are considered to a lesser extent. Temple did not argue that the only way that the Dogon could have obtained their accurate information on Sirius B was by contact with an advanced civilization. He also considered alternative possibilities, such as a very ancient, advanced, and lost civilization that was behind the sudden appearance of advanced civilization in both Egypt and Sumeria. He personally found the theory of alien contact more convincing, but he did not claim certainty about it.

Since the release of Temple's book, many scholars have offered alternative explanations for Temple's claims.

  • Astronomer Carl Sagan dealt with the issue in his book Broca's Brain (1979), stating that there are many problems with Temple's hypothesis. As an example Sagan mentions that the Dogon seem to have no knowledge of another planet beyond Saturn which has rings, which would suggest that their knowledge is more likely from European, and not extra-terrestrial sources.
  • Another astronomer, Ian Ridpath, points out in an article in the Skeptical Inquirer (1978), "The whole Dogon legend of Sirius and its companions is riddled with ambiguities, contradictions, and downright errors, at least if we try to interpret it literally".[8] Ridpath stated that while the information that the Dogon probably gained from Europeans to some extent resembles the facts about Sirius, the presumed original Dogon knowledge on the star is very far from the facts.
  • Journalist and skeptic James Oberg collected claims that have appeared concerning Dogon mythology in his 1982 book.[9] According to Oberg, the Dogon's astronomical information resembles the knowledge and speculations of European astronomical knowledge of the late 1920's. The Dogon could have gotten their astronomical knowledge, including the information on Sirius, from European visitors before their mythology was recorded in the 1930s. Oberg also points out that the Dogons were not an isolated tribe, and thus it was not even necessary for outsiders to inform the Dogon about Sirius B. They could very well have acquired such knowledge abroad, passing it on to their tribe later. (Sirius B was first observed in 1862, and had been predicted in 1844 on dynamic grounds.[10]) In this way, by the time Temple visited the Dogon in the 1970s, they had had a great deal of contact with the western world and had time to incorporate Sirius B into their religion. A more likely explanation is that Temple had questionable translators.

Temple's book and the debates that followed its release publicised the existence of the Dogon tribe among many New Age followers and proponents of ancient astronaut theories. Speculation about the Dogons on numerous websites is now mingled with fact, and with Temple's explanations on Dogons, leading to controversy among the public about Dogon mythology. Temple, however, has stated in the reprint of The Sirius Mystery that he in no way supports cults that have been inspired by his book.

[edit] Notes and references

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ . The diversity is recognized since Bertho (1953). A very detailed recent report can be found in Hochstetler et. al. (2004)
  2. ^ Williamson and Blench (2000), p. 18.
  3. ^ Ivan Van Sertima, Blacks in Science: Ancient and Modern, (1983) ISBN 0-87855-941-8
  4. ^ M Griaule, G Dieterlen, The Dogon of the French Sudan (1948)
  5. ^ Hunter Havelin Adams III, "New Light on the Dogon and Sirius" in Blacks in Science: Ancient and Modern by Ivan Van Sertima
  6. ^ Kenneth Brecher, "Sirius Enigmas" (1979) in Astronomy of the Ancients
  7. ^ Robert Temple, The Sirius Mystery, 1975
  8. ^ Ian Ridpath, Skeptical Inquirer, Fall 1978
  9. ^ James Oberg, "Chapter 6, The Sirius Mystery", in UFOs and Outer Space Mysteries, (1982) Donning Press
  10. ^ Bonnet-Bidaud et al., 2000, Astronomy and Astrophysics, 360, 991

[edit] References

[edit] The people

  • Marcel Griaule: Conversations With Ogotemmeli: An Introduction To Dogon Religious Ideas. 1st. ed. 1965. ISBN 0-19-519821-2
  • Marcel Griaule: Dieu d'eau. Entretiens avec Ogotemmêli. (1966) Ed Fayard. ISBN 2-213-59847-9 (the original French work of Griaule (that was published in 1948) on his discussions with Ogotemmêli)
  • Bedaux, R. & J.D. van der Waals (eds.) (2003) Dogon: mythe en werkelijkheid in Mali [Dogon: myth and reality in Mali]. Leiden: National Museum of Ethnology.
  • Morton, Robert (ed.) & Hollyman, Stephenie (photographs) & Walter E.A. van Beek (text) (2001) Dogon: Africa's people of the cliffs. New York: Abrams. ISBN 0-8109-4373-5
  • Wanono, Nadine & Renaudeau, Michel (1996) Les Dogon (photographs by Michel Renaudeau; text by Nadine Wanono). Paris: Éditions du Chêne-Hachette. ISBN 2-85108-937-4
  • Eds. Petit Futé. Mali 2005-2006 ISBN 2-7469-1185-X
  • Sékou Ogobara Dolo: La mère des masques. Un Dogon raconte. (2002) Eds. Seuil ISBN 2-02-041133-4
  • Gerard Beaudoin: Les Dogon du Mali (1997) Ed. BDT Développement. ISBN 2-9511030-0-X

[edit] The languages

  • Bertho, J. (1953) 'La place des dialectes dogon de la falaise de Bandiagara parmi les autres groupes linguistiques de la zone soudanaise,' Bulletin de l'IFAN, 15, 405–441.
  • Blench, Roger (2001) 'A Survey of Dogon languages in Mali: Overview'. Retrieved June 26, 2005.
  • Hochstetler, J. Lee, Durieux, J.A. & E.I.K. Durieux-Boon (2004) Sociolinguistic Survey of the Dogon Language Area. SIL International. online version
  • Williamson, Kay & Blench, Roger (2000) 'Niger-Congo', in Heine, Bernd and Nurse, Derek (eds) African Languages - An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University press, pp. 11—42.

[edit] Dogon Art & Funeral Masquerade

  • Laude, Jean. African Art of the Dogon: The Myths of the Cliff Dwellers (New York: The Viking Press 1973).
  • Davis , Shawn R. “Dogon Funerals” in African Art; Summer 2002, Vol. 35 Issue 2

[edit] The Sirius controversy

  • Temple, Robert (1998 {rev. exp.}) The Sirius Mystery.
  • Oberg, James (1982) UFOs and Outer Space Mysteries.

Jan. 17th, 2007

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