Friday, June 24, 2011

Hollow Earth

The Hollow Earth hypothesis proposes that the planet Earth is either wholly hollow or otherwise contains a substantial interior space. The hypothesis has long been contradicted by overwhelming observational evidence, as well as by the modern understanding of planet formation; the scientific community has dismissed the notion since at least the late 18th century.

The concept of a hollow Earth still recurs in folklore and as the premise for subterranean fiction, a subgenre of adventure fiction. It is also featured in some present-day scientific, pseudoscientific and conspiracy theories.

20th century

The Nazi era Thule Society reported much about Tibetan myths of openings into the Earth. There is even a theory that Hitler ordered a research journey for such an opening in Antarctica, based on a speech of Admiral Dönitz in front of a German submarine in 1944, when he claimed "The German submarine fleet is proud of having built an invisible fortification for the Führer, anywhere in the world." During the Nuremberg Trials, Dönitz spoke of "an invisible fortification, in midst of the eternal ice."[4]

An early twentieth-century proponent of hollow Earth, William Reed, wrote Phantom of the Poles in 1906. He supported the idea of a hollow Earth, but without interior shells or inner sun.

Marshall Gardner (distinct from Martin Gardner, mentioned below) wrote A Journey to the Earth's Interior in 1913 and an expanded edition in 1920. He placed an interior sun in the hollow Earth. He even built a working model of the hollow Earth and patented it (U.S. Patent 1,096,102). Gardner made no mention of Reed, but did take Symmes to task for his ideas. In the same time Vladimir Obruchev wrote a fiction novel Plutonia, where the hollow Earth's interior possessed one inner (central) sun and was inhabited by prehistoric species. The interior was connected with the surface by a hole in the Arctic.

Other writers have proposed that "ascended masters" of esoteric wisdom inhabit subterranean caverns or a hollow Earth. Antarctica, the North Pole, Tibet, Peru, and Mount Shasta in California, USA, have all had their advocates as the locations of entrances to a subterranean realm referred to as Agartha, with some even advancing the hypothesis that UFOs have their homeland in these places.

A book allegedly by a "Dr. Raymond Bernard" which appeared in 1964, The Hollow Earth, exemplifies this idea. The book rehashes Reed and Gardner's ideas and ignores Symmes. Bernard also adds his own ideas: the Ring Nebula proves the existence of hollow worlds, as well as speculation on the fate of Atlantis and the origin of flying saucers. "Bernard" argued that the inhabitants of Atlantis took refuge in the Earth's interior before the city was destroyed in great calamity.[5] It was Atlanteans who piloted the flying machines known in ancient India as vimanas and in the modern world as flying saucers.[5] After the US bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Bernard claimed, the Atlanteans became concerned that radioactive air might flow into the world's interior, and so some emerged in their flying saucers in an act of self-defense.[5] An article by Martin Gardner revealed that Dr.Walter Siegmeister used the pseudonym `Bernard', but not until the publishing of Walter Kafton-Minkel's Subterranean Worlds: 100,000 years of dragons, dwarves, the dead, lost races & UFOs from inside the Earth, in 1989, did the full story of Bernard/Siegmeister become well known.

The pages of the science fiction pulp magazine Amazing Stories promoted one such idea from 1945 to 1949 as "the Shaver Mystery". The magazine's editor, Ray Palmer, ran a series of stories by Richard Sharpe Shaver supposedly claimed as factual, though presented in the context of fiction. Shaver claimed that a superior pre-historic race had built a honeycomb of caves in the Earth, and that their degenerate descendants, known as "Dero", live there still, using the fantastic machines abandoned by the ancient races to torment those of us living on the surface. As one characteristic of this torment, Shaver described "voices" that purportedly came from no explainable source. Thousands of readers wrote to affirm that they, too, had heard the fiendish voices from inside the Earth.

Fantastic stories (supposedly believed as factual within fringe circles) have also circulated that Adolf Hitler and some of his followers escaped to hollow lands within the Earth after World War II via an entrance in Antarctica. (See also Hitler's supposed adherence to concave hollow-Earth ideas, below.)

Some writers have proposed building megastructures that have some similarities to a hollow Earth – see Dyson sphere, Globus Cassus.

read more…