: ... there is a group in west Africa that have known about Sirus B long before science ever knew it existed, because they knew it was hidden by the brilliance of Sirus A......... Not bad for a bunch of natives running around in G-strings (their tradition says they knew this for 1,000's of years).
In the name of getting facts straight, that group actually acquired their knowledge of Sirius B in the early 20th century. Here is the real story about that. Carl Sagan (in Broca's Brain, pp. 81-88, Ballantine Books, New York, 1979) wrote about the
remarkable mythology surrounding the star Sirius that is held by the Dogon people of the Republic of Mali.... [who have] been studied intensively by anthropologists only since the 1930s.... The most striking aspects of Dogon astronomy have been recounted by Marcel Griaule, a French anthropologist working in the 1930s and 1940s. While there is no reason to doubt Griaule's account, it is important to note that there is no earlier Western record of these remarkable Dogon folk beliefs and that all the information has been funneled through Griaule.... In contrast to almost all prescientific societies, the Dogon hold that the planets as well as the Earth rotate about their axes and revolve about the Sun....
More striking still is the Dogon belief about Sirius, the brightest star in the sky. They contend that it has a dark and invisible companion star which orbits Sirius.... once every fifty years. They state that the companion star is very small and very heavy, made of a special metal called "Sagala" which is not found on Earth.... The remarkable fact is that the visible star, Sirius A, does have an extraordinary dark companion, Sirius B.... [which is] the first example of a white dwarf star discovered by modern astrophysics. Its matter is in a state called "relativistically degenerate," which does not exist on Earth, and since the electrons are not bound to the nuclei in such degenerate matter, it can properly be described as metallic....
At first glance the Sirius legend of the Dogon seems to be the best candidate evidence available today for past contact with an advanced extraterrestrial civilization. As we begin a closer look at this story, however, let us remember that the Dogon astronomical tradition is purely oral, that it dates with certainty only from the 1930s.... The hypothesis of a companion star to Sirius might have followed naturally from [other] Dogon mythology.... but there does not seem to be any explanation this simple about the period and density of the companion of Sirius. The Dogon Sirius myth is too close to modern astronomical thinking and too precise quantitatively to be attributed to chance. Yet there it sits, immersed in a body of more or less standard prescientific legend. What can the explanation be?....
The Dogon have knowledge impossible to acquire without the telescope. The straightforward conclusion is that they had contact with an advanced technical civilization. The only question is, which civilization -- extraterrestrial or European? Far more credible than an ancient extraterrestrial educational foray among the Dogon might be a comparatively recent contact with scientifically literate Europeans who conveyed to the Dogon the remarkable European myth of Sirius and its white dwarf companion, a myth that has all the superficial earmarks of a splendidly inventive tall story. Perhaps the Western contact came from a European visitor to Africa, or from the local French schools, or perhaps from contacts in Europe by West Africans inducted to fight for the French in World War I.
In 1862 the companion of Sirius was telescopically discovered, and by the end of the 19th century it was widely speculated that it was a white dwarf. By 1915 astronomers had confirmed that it was, and by 1928 the idea of extremely dense matter had been popularized. All this
was covered in the scientific press and was accessible to the intelligent layman. All this was occurring just before Griaule encountered the Dogon Sirius legend.... In my mind's eye I picture a Gallic visitor to the Dogon people, in what was then French West Africa, in the early part of this century. He may have been a diplomat, an explorer, an adventurer or an early anthropologist. Such people.... were in West Africa many decades earlier. The conversation turns to astronomical lore. Sirius is the brightest star in the sky. The Dogon regale the visitor with their Sirius mythology. Then, smiling politely, expectantly, they inquire of their visitor what his Sirius myths might be. Perhaps he refers before answering to a well-worn book in his baggage. The white dwarf companion of Sirius being a current astronomical sensation, the traveler exchanges a spectacular myth for a routine one. After he leaves, his account is remembered, retold, and eventually incorporated into the corpus of Dogon mythology -- or at least into a collateral branch (perhaps filed under "Sirius myths, bleached peoples' account"). When Marcel Griaule makes mythological inquiries in the 1930s and 1940s, he has his own European Sirius myth played back to him.
Readers ought to think about how the above story might relate to how a Flood legend might have spread from one source to all over the world, and of course evolved in the process.