Sungods in Exile: Pseudo-Archaeology at its Finest

in #history4 years ago (edited)


“If you want to get rich, you start a religion.” L. Ron Hubbard

In 1947, the Oxford University professor Karyl Robin-Evans set off for Tibet. He was chasing the origins of an unusual stone plate that had been shown to him by Dr. Sergei Lolladoff. The plate had a sun at its center, surrounded by a spiral belt that contained numerous designs, including what looked like an alien figure and perhaps an alien ship. Dr. Lolladoff, a professor from Poland, had acquired the plate at a market in Mussoorie, India, in the foothills of the Himalayas. Robin-Evans traced the plate to the Dzopa (or Dropa) people, who lived in Tibet.

The book included this photo of the Dzopa people

The Dzopa People

His trip to the land of the Dzopa was nothing short of remarkable. Upon reaching Tibet, Professor Robin-Evans was granted an audience with the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. Later, his porters deserted him, and Robin-Evans was stuck in the Baian-Kara-Ula area. An ethnologist, he used the time to pick up the local language and learn about the dwarfish Dzopa people of the region. In doing so, he also learned more about the origin of the plate.

Dr. Karyl Robin-Evans, the eminent professor of ethnology from Oxford University, died in 1974, never having published an account of his trip. Perhaps he thought the world wasn’t ready for it. Fortunately, he left extensive journals that documented his visit to Tibet. David Agamon, who was secretary to the late Dr. Robin-Evans, compiled and edited his notes, publishing them in 1978 as “Sungods in Exile: Secrets of the Dzopa of Tibet”.

The book is a documentary account of the professor’s time in Tibet. The Dzopa people claimed to him that they were the descendants of aliens. According to their religious leader, Lorgan-La, the Dzopa came from a planet in the Sirius star system. When they crashed in Tibet in the year 1014, they were unable to return home. In fact, their story seemed to corroborate the theories behind the Dropa stones, which had been found in the Bayan Har mountains of Tibet some years earlier.

The Dropa Stones

The Dropa stones were brought to public attention by Dr. Tsum Um Nui of the Peking Academy of Pre-History, who was asked to examine them. There were some 716 stones, each of them a circular disk, and apparently they dated back 12,000 years. The discs had grooves in them that Tsum Um Nui believed to be an unknown form of hieroglyphics. Dr. Vyatcheslav Saizev, a Russian scientist who examined them, published an account of the stones in the journal Sputnik. He reported that when the stones were subjected to electrical charges, they had a strange resonance.

Photo: The Dropa Stones. Source:

By 1962, Dr. Tsum Um Nui claimed to have translated some of the language on the stones, which is a remarkable feat considering that an unknown language in isolation is almost impossible to crack. The stones told of a spacecraft crash-landing in Tibet. The vessel’s travelers were not able to return home and thus adapted to a life on earth. They lived this way until hunted down by local Chinese tribespeople.

After publishing his own account of the stones in an academic journal, Dr. Tsum Um Nui faced ridicule and was forced to flee to Japan. All of the Dropa stones seemed to have disappeared except for two which an Austrian engineer named Ernest Wegerer examined at a museum in China in 1974. He said when he photographed them with a flash, the hieroglyphs magically disappeared.

Bi Disks in China

That made the disks look suspiciously similar to Bi disks, the term for jade disks which are commonly found in the Shaanxi province. They are made of jade or glass and date as far back as the Neolithic period, some 3,000 years ago, though more were made in the Shang, Zhou, and Han dynasties. Bi disks have a hole in the center, grid markings, and often unusual colorations after being exposed to minerals in the soil. They often were used at gravesites to indicate the decedent’s rank, but also were used in various ceremonies and worship. Thousands of them have been found.

Some bi disks even had designs on them. But others just had grooves. In fact, bi disks inspired the donut-shaped design on the back of the 2008 Beijing Olympic medals. But there are no hieroglyphs, unless you blur your eyes or perhaps expose the disks to soil for a few thousand years.

Photos: (1) and (2) Creative Commons via Wikimedia, by (1) Firedrop and (2) Yongxinge. (3) Beijing Olympics medal from

The hieroglyphs weren’t the only thing that disappeared

Years after he wrote Sungods in Exile, David Gamon admitted to having faked his story under the pseudonym David Agamon. Actually, nothing was faked unless you consider novels to be phony. The book simply was fiction, and he even presented it as such, yet many people took it as fact. It was not until an interview with Fortean Times magazine, more than a decade later, that Gamon was asked about this. And at that time, he revealed that he wrote the whole thing as a parody, “my greatest hoax”.

There never was a professor Karyl Robin-Evans. He never existed, nor did anyone with that name ever work at Oxford University, which has no record of him. If he had existed, he wouldn’t have had an audience with the 14th Dalai Lama, who would have been 12 years old in 1947 and was still being tutored (his predecessor already had passed away).

This photo, published in “Sungods in Exile”, apparently shows the Dalai Lama greeting Dr. Robin-Evans, who is shown in the foreground. But this Dalai Lama would have been 12 years old at the time of the trip. It doesn’t look like a 1940s picture either.

Neither was there a Dr. Lolladoff, the man who supposedly bought the Dzopa plate at a market in India. David Gamon supposedly came up with his name in an effort to make an anagram of "load of balls", but found that he liked the name "Lolladoff" instead. For that matter, Tsum Um Nui is not a Chinese name and no record of that person has ever been found in China or elsewhere. The Peking Academy of Pre-History where Tsum supposedly worked does not exist either.

The Dzopa plate and all 716 Dropa stones magically disappeared along with any trace of anyone who had anything to do with them.

This meme has been used so many thousands of times that I hereby declare it to be public domain. No, the History Channel! Yes, that's where I got it from, the History Channel!

To be fair, Gamon did not create the Dropa stones legend; he simply fit Robin-Evans’ fictional account of the Dzopa to fit it. People therefore believed that the two stories corroborated one another, even though both were probably hoaxes. No evidence of either myth exists, and one was an admitted hoax, while the prevalence of jade bi disks raises a simple explanation for the Dropa stones. Certainly, whoever came up with the idea of the Dropa stones did not have to look very far for a design inspiration. With these flat jade donuts all over the countryside, even the Beijing Olympics had the same idea.

Gamon’s other source of inspiration was Erik von Daniken’s 1968 book Chariots of the Gods? in which Daniken suggested that aliens had visited earth and influenced some ancient civilizations. It was a fun theory with some anecdotal pieces that were smashed to fit. And certainly it is possible that aliens may have visited our earth sometime in the past. But the book was based on pure conjecture rather than evidence. Daniken’s main source in the book was a Russian, who also claimed that he had heard the story first from Daniken. The whole thing was silly enough that Gamon found it a great background for his own piece of fiction.

British Foreign Service official Gordon Creighton, who was stationed in China for many years, once claimed to have seen a UFO. On that basis, he began writing for the Flying Saucer Review magazine, eventually serving as its editor. He took it upon himself to investigate the Dropa stones story in China. In 1973, Creighton (himself a believer in UFOs) utterly destroyed the Dropa stones story, finding that not a shred of fact supported it, no archaeological records existed regarding the stones, and none of the people involved had existed.

I’m not listening

You say this meme was stolen? I can't hear you.

David Gamon admitted his hoax, but the Dzopa and Dropa stones live on in some peoples’ minds. Ironically, though Gamon wrote his book to make fun of pseudo-history and pseudo-archaeology, Sungods in Exile became a founding document for the pseudo-crowd who still believe it’s true. It’s as if these people saw or read Jurassic Park and then began a whole belief system around the fact that real dinosaurs truly exist in today’s world.

For example, Hartwig Hausdorf of the Ancient Astronaut Society published a book in 1998 called The Chinese Roswell: UFO Encounters in the East from Ancient Times to Present. It relied heavily upon the stories of the Dropa stones and of Dr. Robin-Evans’ account of his trip to the Dzopa, even though both had been debunked years before.

In addition, numerous websites and UFO groups still accept David Gamon’s book as fact. Many of them also cite a 1995 news report in China that a dwarfish tribe had been discovered in the mountains of Sichuan, though no confirmation or follow-up ever was published.

One Amazon reviewer of The Chinese Roswell book, Amazon user Mark Ball, wrote: “Hausdorf makes some interesting points, rambles occasionally and generally comes across as a bit of a looney, but is entertaining none the less. The way in which he combines science and fact with pure conjecture does little to support his hypothesis, but somehow he does manage to make a compelling argument.”

And that, in a nutshell, is pseudo-science, pseudo-history, and pseudo-archaeology. ‘Looney’, ‘entertaining’, ‘science + facts + pure conjecture’, ‘does little to support his hypothesis’. And yet people still want to believe. Either it’s more fun to believe or they have a deep mistrust of officialdom. But they easily forget Occam’s razor, which states that the simplest explanation is most likely to be the correct one.

Hoaxes and conspiracy theories are a dime a dozen. It takes a lot more guts to demand real evidence. And sometimes, it takes patience to wait for results. There’s nothing wrong with believing, but the evidence should justify your beliefs, not the other way around.

If you still don’t believe me, then believe Dr. Karyl Robin-Evans. He called me recently from his satellite phone in Bhutan, where he just celebrated his 102nd birthday. The alien medicines have kept him alive all this time. After news about the Dzopa became public and people started to search for them, Robin-Evans and the tribe retreated to a hidden valley in Bhutan called Tsan-gri-la.

And he told me to pass along something to skeptics everywhere: “Believe in the Donkey God. After all, the lord opened the mouth of Balaam’s talking ass in the Bible. And make sure you follow this guy’s blog on Steemit.”

Public Domain

Wikipedia on Sungods book:
Wikipedia on Bi disks:
Gordon Creighton:
Bad Archaeology blog:
UFO Casebook, a current site that eats this stuff up:
Origins Project, which also conveniently omits any mention of David Gamon’s revelation that the story was a hoax:
Fusion Anomaly, another site summarizing the Dropa and Dzopa stories without mentioning the evidence for one was faked and absent for the other:
Earth Mystery News article on the Lolladoff plate: “The spiral galaxy shape is probably there to tell us that they flew here from another galaxy.”
And the list goes on. There are many more UFO and conspiracy sites, few of which mention the Sungods in Exile author’s own admission that the Dzopa story was a hoax.
Amazon review of the Chinese Roswell book:
Talking donkey in the Bible:
Thumbnail photo: Colorized version of the original black-and-white image of the Lolladoff/Dzopa plate that appeared in Sungods in Exile.


As soon as people around here start talking about UFOs, everyone looks at me.
This is the only kind of stone I know about.

Your eminence, I'm honored that you stopped by. Nice cover. Any chance you can get Steemit in that stone magazine of yours?

I can do anything. Will I... that remains to be seen.

I've always found UFOlogists to be a weird bunch. I've never been able to take tales of alien sightings and encounters seriously.

Of course, I have a bit of a personal grudge in this area, because my grandfather died in an air accident that these nutjobs claim was caused by aliens.

As a child, i suffered through sleep paralysis almost every night. Its a disorder thats probably responsible for at least a good percentage of abduction stories. I believed, though never told anyone, that i had been a victim of alien abuse until my 20s when i saw an article on the internet about sleep paralysis. People come up with weird ideas to explain information that they can't find a logical way to process.

Yes I think sleep paralysis accounts for a lot of paranormal phenomena.

Good point. Sleep paralysis sounds like a very frightening experience. The alien link there has been suggested by many, whether it's real or imagined. In past times, it may have been witches or demons.

To be fair they aren't all crazy. There is weird stuff in the skies but most of the time it is just natural stuff and misidentifications but some people really want to believe in aliens so will fit that into anything.

I know that sign pretty well at Grouse in that link there -- I climbed Grouse - did the Grouse Grind summer of 2006, did it sub-60 mins.

I lived for over a month at a rooming house about 200' or so from that sign. I was on the mountain top while they were shooting that movie

Shooter --- w Mark Wahlberg.

Fantastic post. There are lots of fictional stories that people start believing as fact and refuse to accept that no matter what evidence you present to them.

Also this made me genuinely LOL:

But this Dalai Lama would have been 12 years old at the time of the trip. It doesn’t look like a 1940s picture either.

It is just hilarious when you put it with that photo!

I there are aliens I'm sure they would stay far away from us earthlings and if they crashed and were stuck here they'de be pissed.

Great read once again. Thanks. the advice from Dr Robin Evans...made me laugh. Interesting commentary. Your advice though is the best sage advice for everyone who reads's so important to keep yourself out of a cult or some other false belief system. You said "Hoaxes and conspiracy theories are a dime a dozen. It takes a lot more guts to demand real evidence. And sometimes, it takes patience to wait for results. There’s nothing wrong with believing, but the evidence should justify your beliefs, not the other way around."


That's who's running our societies into the ground.

Because reasonable human beings would not be able to do it.



its whos running our societies FROM the ground.

...btw alien is a strong word that has no corelation to reality. It was invented so that the public would view other star nations and other beings as "fake"

And humans are the closet thing to aliens....

The word alien is also in the bible several times. There is usually a context for nearly everything.

Of coarse, i Simply believe that the word "alien" hints at "otherness" rather than "oneness".

,,,,And remember the bible has been edited and reedited.

I loved this post... until I got to the part where you wrote that Jurassic Park isn't real. Then you lost me. I will pray to my donkey god that you gain the wisdom to recant that outlandish statement.

I wonder if some people is beginning to worship steemit. :-)

LOL. People love that ancient aliens entertainment. It was popular a few years ago, not sure anymore if it still runs, but it influenced a lot of people into believing things they saw on tell-lie-vision.

I think the alien stuff has faded a bit also. But you'd be amazed (or maybe you wouldn't!) at how many websites I found that still cling to these stories.

There is a Steemian on here who seems to be not active now but was VERY active -- who lives out near Roswell or close to there -- he has a weekly podcast on his work with alien things, the abductions he says he has gone through,. I miss him, on here - he helped me a lot as a Newb.

@ibringawareness --- I know YOU know of him most likely and so would some other #SteemitElders commenting here. He has a book on amazon too, that he wrote.

"it is possible that aliens may have visited our earth sometime in the past" Because they have and are. Their existence is so known that you shouldn't need evidence that is the appitimy of absolute is called discernment and probability

If you're a believer, call it an understatement. ;)

:) Well, I need not be-lie-eve because it is actually fact....but people wont look at the facts if there stuck in a mind-slave type state. thats why the evidence is in plain sight, because you have to put the clues together.

This is an amazing story! I'm left somewhere between LOL and facepalm. It's rather curious that people would continue to believe the hoax even in the face of evidence.

All hail the Donkey God, by the way!

Superb post. Think the Dalai Lama looks about mid 60,s , certainly not 12

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