In southern Mali live a poor farmer people known as the Dogon, who still live mostly in caves. The maintain that they were visited and taught by people from another star system. At the core of their religious beliefs is a detailed knowledge of a star that is so difficult to observe that a photo wasn’t obtained until 1970. The Dogon revealed their knowledge of it in the 1930′s, to French anthropologists. The star is known to us a Sirius B, and to them as Po Tolo It was first suspected to exist in 1844, when Sirius, the “Dog Star”, was noticed to have irregular movements. After much searching, a faint companion was discovered in 1862. The companion turned out to be a White Dwarf, a minuscule star of immense mass and density.

Dogon drawing of the sirius system, vs scientific drawing

The Dogon name for Sirius B is made up of the word for star, tolo, and po, the name of the smallest seed they know of. They claim it is “the smallest thing there is” and that it is “the heaviest star” since all earth on it has been replaced with an immensely heavy metal called sagala, and that the colour of the star is white. They also say that the star’s orbit is elliptical, with Sirius A as the focus of the ellipse (it is), and that the period of the orbit is 50 years (the actual figure is 50.04 +/- .09 years), and that the star rotates on its own axis (it does).They also describe a third star in the system, Emma Ya (“sorghum female”), orbited by a single planet. To date, Emma Ya has not been discovered by Western astronomers.

In addition to this knowledge, Dogon lore also includes that fact that Saturn has rings and that Jupiter has four major moons. They have four calenders, for the Sun, Moon, Sirius, and Venus, and have long known that the planets orbit the sun. The Dogon say that their knowledge comes from the Nommos, amphibious beings sent to Earth from the Sirius star system. The name comes from the Dogon word meaning “to drink”, and they are also called “The Masters of Water”, “The Monitors”, and “The Instructors”, and are described as “fish like”.