The Raelians Got It Wrong

Several years ago the Raelians shocked the world with the claim of having produced the first cloned baby through Clonaid, a group they founded in 1997.

David Chazan reported in the BBC in December 2002 that the Raelians' interest in cloning stemmed from their belief that the human soul perished when the body died. Therefore, they believed, the key to eternal life was not the soul but the re-creation of individuals from their own DNA.

Rael was apparently contacted by a green extra-terrestrial being in 1973 who emerged from a flying saucer and told him that humans were created in laboratories by people from another planet known to us as the Elohim, "those who come from the sky". The alien told Rael that humans mistook them for gods and as a result they formed the basis of our main religions.

In the The Master (Mistress) Of Speech, Shannon Dorey reveals that the ancient African Dogon also believed humans were genetically engineered by an alien species. Like the beings described by Rael, these aliens called Nummo were also green and were thought to have come from the Pleiades.

The Dogon described three experiments carried out on humans by the Nummo. The last experiment was to help humans evolve back into immortal and androgynous beings.

Marcel Griaule recorded the Dogon beliefs in 1946 and published his book, Conversations With Ogotemmêli in 1948. The Dogon live along an isolated 200-kilometre stretch of escarpment called the Cliffs of Bandiagara near Timbuktu in Mali.

The African Dogon were one of the last people to lose their independence and come under French rule. At the time the Dogon were perceived as being the best example of "primitive savagery" known to the world.

In his book Griaule admitted he didn't really understand a lot of the beliefs he conveyed to the world. He told them as Ogotemmêli told them to him.

Dorey believes that it is not surprising that Marcel Griaule and other anthropologists of the time missed the symbolism in the Dogon religion related to DNA. Scientists didn't even start to think about DNA until the early 1950s when British scientists like Rosalind Franklin began to do research into this area. Franklin produced the first photo that became the basis of the discovery of DNA by James Watson and Francis Crick in 1953.

The Dogon also knew about Jupiter's four major moons and Saturn's rings. They told Griaule they had learned this information from the Nummo.