The belief that the Earth is hollow can be traced back for centuries and has captivated such notable figures as Adolf Hitler and Edmund Halley. Combining scientific research with eyewitness accounts, this book seeks to answer the most baffling unexplained mysteries, such as Was this inner world inhabited before mankind set foot on the Earth's surface? Did the people of Atlantis and Mu take refuge there when catastrophe overtook them? and Do UFOs come, not from outer space, but from inside our own planet? From polar explorers' observations to satellite photographs, the scientific evidence gathered here gives credence to the mysterious legend of a hollow Earth.
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About the Author
Alec MacLellan is the author of The Lost World of Agharti.
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The Hollow Earth Enigma
By Alec Maclellan
Souvenir PressCopyright © 1999 Seventh Zenith Ltd.
All rights reserved.
THE SUBSURFACE WORLD
The Hollow Earth theory was one of the first controversial scientific topics to interest Charles Fort, the American whose books about inexplicable events and phenomena led to the creation of the Fortean Society and, indirectly, hugely successful movies such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind and the TV series The X-Files. This indefatigable journalist, who spent his life collecting weird and bizarre stories for which science had no ready explanation, was dismissed in some quarters as a crank who championed the most absurd theories; to others, like the English author Eric Frank Russell, he was 'the only real genius sf ever had'.
Fort, who was born in 1874 and died in 1932, dedicated himself to trying to convince people that the world on which we live is a much stranger place than we realise. Although he had no scientific training and culled much of his material from books, newspapers and journals, he believed that humans should be made aware of the undeniably improbable beliefs about the world they inhabited. A quick-witted but often cussed man, he regularly attacked the scientific establishment for dogmatically dismissing unconventional opinions, and ran foul of the establishment for what some saw as alarmist theories that we might all be the 'property' of omniscient aliens. At the age of 43 Fort was suddenly freed from the need to work when he came into a legacy, and thereafter threw himself wholeheartedly into his investigations. The result was a series of ground-breaking works, including The Book of the Damned (1919),New Lands (1923) and Wild Talents (1932), which have subsequently assured his reputation.
It was early on in his research into strange science that Fort first came across references to the Hollow Earth enigma. This immediately excited his interest as a subject worthy of study, and he began planning a work entitled Y to investigate the story. Although, sadly, he never completely finished or published the manuscript, in it he started piecing together the main threads of the legend which he discovered had been recorded since Biblical times and even earlier. The facts as he learned them were that the interior of our planet is actually hollow and may have been inhabited since time immemorial. Some accounts he came across suggested that these subterranean people could be the survivors of the lost continents of Atlantis or Mu, who had fled to the underground world when their lands were inundated.
Like others drawn to the remarkable story, Fort learned that investigators had reached the conclusion that the Earth was doughnut-shaped, rather like the Van Allen belts surrounding the planet, and there were a number of theories as to why it was not solid, as science claimed, but hollow with a central sun and its own hospitable atmosphere and climate. At the North and South Poles there were believed to be giant 'holes' leading to this world, holes anywhere between 800 to 1,400 miles in diameter at their widest points, curving through a crust of about 900 miles with a gap of about 300 miles at the narrowest point. Through these a sea or air explorer might gain entry. Inside lay a subterranean 'paradise' of oceans and landmasses, as well as rich and fertile countryside able to sustain plant, animal and human life — almost an inverted mirror-image of our own world.
By contrast, the scientific textbooks which Fort consulted told him that the Earth was a solid, oblate spheroid with an equatorial diameter of 7,926 miles and its polar dimension of 7,900 miles. It was thought to consist of an inner core extending to about 800 miles from the centre (possibly consisting of solid iron and nickel), an outer core about 1,400 miles thick (possibly of molten iron and nickel) and a mantle of solid rock about 1,800 miles thick, separated from the outer crust and varying in thickness from three to five miles. The area of land surface of the Earth amounted to 57 million square miles with over 139 million square miles of sea floor. The planet was estimated to weigh six sextillion tons.
The more he read, the more Fort became convinced — as other Hollow Earth researchers have been before and since — that there still had to be an immense region underground that was completely unknown. He challenged 'the conceit and competence of scientists', agreeing with another suggestion that if the Earth was a solid sphere it would surely weigh much more than six sextillion tons. It seemed likely that the core region which science could not fully explain might well have a radius of as much as 2,200 miles — more than enough to accommodate, say, the Moon, which had a diameter of 2,160 miles. So what could possibly exist there?
Charles Fort noted all the legends and theories he could find in his manuscript, retelling them in the same highly individualistic style that became his hallmark: a mixture of impressive amounts of data with the occasional direct statement. Although he was always prepared to admit that some of the material he utilised might be dubious, scientifically-speaking, Fort never deviated from his conviction that there was a kind of unity in all things — even, apparently, the most unrelated facts. It might seem crazy to some people to learn that the world was, after all, hollow, but there was still a lot of evidence to support the concept. And if this was the case, it provided an explanation for so many of the phenomena he had gathered.
The books by Charles Fort which led to the inauguration of the Fortean Society to continue his work, and later a monthly magazine, Fortean Times, have also encouraged subsequent generations of writers to approach all manner of unlikely concepts in an unprejudiced way. People like Graham Hancock, recently described by the Sunday Times as 'the Indiana Jones of alternative archaelogy', whose best-selling books, including Fingerprints of the Gods (1995) which has sold almost four million copies, and the TV series Quest for the Lost Civilisation (1998), have made him into a household name.
In particular, Hancock has proposed the theory that an unknown and highly advanced civilisation which was destroyed in a global cataclysm at the end of the last ice age, around 10,500 BC, may have been responsible for the origins of cultures as far apart as Egypt, Peru, Mexico and Cambodia. The former East African correspondent has certainly brought to light many remarkable facts about ancient wonders such as the megaliths of Britain and France and the great edifices of South America, as well as discovering near the Japanese island of Yonaguni an extraordinary submerged pyramid structure which is believed to have been above sea level over 10,000 years ago. Yet remarkable as these discoveries and his conclusions are, I wonder why he has missed — or overlooked — the possibility that the cultural influence of which he speaks might well have been that of people who fled to the Hollow Earth — or, indeed, originated there?
Hancock's books are very much in the same tradition as those of the 'founding fathers' of the latest phase of interest in alternative science, the Swiss writer Erich von Däniken and the American Charles Berlitz. Berlitz became famous with his international best-seller about unexplained disappearances, The Bermuda Triangle (1975), and has recently touched on the subject of the Hollow Earth in his World of Strange Phenomena (1990): 'Belief in a hollow earth surfaces in many cultures around the world and adherents of the theory point out that many things in nature — bones, pits, fruits and animals, for example — are structured around an inner cavity. Therefore it's logical to assume that the earth is as well.'
Erich von Däniken also arrived on the scene with a worldwide best-seller, Chariots of the Gods? (1969), in which he set out to prove that the Earth had been visited by space travellers both before and after the dawn of recorded history. Recently, however, he has shifted his study from the heavens to the Earth itself and believes the answer to what lies in the subsurface world may actually be found by a more accessible route than through the polar apertures.
In an interview in Encounters magazine in April 1998, he suggested that there may be an entrance to the subterranean world via the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt.
'There are many secrets still be to uncovered in the pyramids,' he said. 'For example, there is an unexplored tunnel shaft which my friend Rudolf Gatenbrink and I investigated in 1993 with the aid of a specially developed, 37cm-long robot camera. It revealed a shaft no human eyes have seen for at least 4,500 years, at the end of which is an ancient doorway. With the use of a laser, Gatenbrink was able to show that this leads to further unexplored space. Could this be the entrance to the subterranean world which has been talked about for thousands of years?'
Von Däniken believes the question will only be answered when the ancient doorway is opened. At the time of writing this seems an unlikely possibility, due to the scepticism of both the Egyptian authorities and a number of leading Egyptologists who do not share his attitude — or that of Charles Fort or Charles Berlitz or any of their ilk for that matter — towards unconventional science, insisting that there is nothing there. What all these writers have done, however, is help to promote interest in the mystery of the Hollow Earth. Thus prepared, I hope the reader is ready to embark on a quest for knowledge that takes us back to the very birth of our planet.
* * *
Almost five billion years ago the Earth was just an enormous ball of hot, whirling gases, slowly cooling. According to the laws of physics, cooling gases condense, thereby allowing the 'ball' which would become our planet to coalesce as the heat evaporated. This process, physicists believe, continued in a spiralling whorl so that the self-centred force of gravity gradually reduced the gases until, approximately 2,800 million years ago, they finally became a solid sphere.
Such is the 'solid Earth' concept, and indeed the study of core samples from deep drilling does seem to substantiate this, although these drillings have only penetrated to limited depths. Tests have also shown that the temperatures within the Earth increase the deeper the drilling goes, although again this is true only to the depths that have so far been tapped. Therefore, traditional science argues, it seems safe to assume that our world is solid from surface to core. But is it?
Although this theory is generally accepted for the celestial evolution of huge bodies like stars, it is arguably not the last word in the creation of typical planets such as the Earth. Indeed, a quick investigation of centrifugal force throws up an entirely different possibility. Gravity, we know, attempts to draw all material towards the centre, while centrifugal force does the opposite. With this in mind, American Hollow Earth researcher Cate Malone has taken an everyday example to explain what she believes occurred in the creation of our world. Writing in Exposure magazine, Volume 3, Number 2, she says:
Science accepts the fact that the Earth spins on its axis. Centrifugal force makes the Earth bulge slightly at the equator and flatten at the poles. To visualise what the firmation of a planet could look like, think of a washing machine on a spin cycle. The clothing (gases, liquids and particles) are thrown outwards against the sides of the machine (gravity). The centre portion remains clear. The hollow centre is firmed. Just as the Earth has never stopped spinning, so this washing machine never gets out of spin cycle. If the machine continues to spin, will the water and clothes start clumping together in the middle or will they endlessly spin around the hollow centre?
It was this law of motion — centrifugal force — trying to thrust all the material outward from the developing Earth's axis of rotation that ultimately created a balance between the two vast natural forces, Malone explains. And the compromise between them resulted in a hollow rotating sphere approximately 8,000 miles in diameter. There is even more conclusive evidence for this, according to Mark Harp in his article 'A Case for the Hollow Earth Theory' in Nexus magazine, December 1994:
There is a special characteristic of centrifugal force and we must not overlook this important fact. The strength of 'c-force' becomes greatly lessened as it approaches right angles to the direction of spin. A simple day-to-day example of this behaviour is water in a basin. If you remove the drain plug and allow the water to start emptying from the basin, what will you eventually observe? A vortex or whirlpool, an empty space surrounded by rapidly rotating material.
Now imagine this same principle concerning the contradicting body which was to become our Earth. At right angles to the rotational axis — in other words, the poles — the 'c-force' was considerably weaker than elsewhere, especially the equator. Therefore, although at the Earth's equator the 'c-force' was able to halt the material's inward progress at about an 8,000 mile diameter, it was considerably less successful in the polar regions, there stopping the contraction at about 1,400 miles. The inevitable outcome of this natural compromise is that our planet concluded its evolution as an 8,000-mile hollow sphere with 1,400 mile-diameter polar openings.
As a result of their study of astronomical records and photographs of nebulae and comets, Harp and other researchers have determined that at the precise centre of these translucent spheres is a proportionately small incandescent ball. The large intervening space indicates that the nebula is also hollow, with the bright sphere at its centre. This phenomenon, they believe, also occurs in the Hollow Earth. For if the Earth was at one time a ball of fire and molten metal, some of this fire would remain at its centre while the centrifugal force caused the rest of the matter to form a solid crust. The Hollow Earth would thereby gain a 'fiery ball' or sun at its centre.
Again this can be demonstrated in a very straightforward way. We know that, apart from at the poles, the centrifugal force of Earth is at its weakest in the precise centre. This can be put to the test by sprinkling some white powder on the surface of a long-playing record. As the record spins, the powder will be hurled to the edge of its surface — with the exception of a tiny proportion left intact at the centre. Thus we can see how the central sun probably came into existence to provide the inner world with light, heat and the energy to sustain all forms of life.
Another theory about the Hollow Earth suggests this sun might be powered by nuclear fission rather than fusion like stars. It would only need to be a couple of hundred miles in diameter to weigh millions of tons and give enough light to the interior world. And because of its nuclear nature, this little globe would generate a magnetic field just like the Sun.
Seismologists, of course, prefer the explanation that the Earth's core is liquid, the argument being that certain waves can only travel through solid materials and not through liquids, gases or a vacuum. There have been differing views in the scientific community about this, however, especially in a suggestion that even if the core of the Earth is a molten ball, the mantle or overlying mass of rock must have two distinct zones, one nearer the core where heat and pressure put the solid rock in a state of 'flowage', and an upper zone where 'fracture' can occur. The depth of this upper zone is the crucial point of the debate.
Professor Frank D. Adams of Montreal University demonstrated not long ago by actual experiment that empty cavities might exist in granite at a depth of eleven miles, and his conclusions have been supported by the mathematician Louis V. King, who calculated that at normal temperature a cavity could exist at depths down to between 17.2 and 20.9 miles. The recently discovered 16 'Rous Belts', which give planes of fracture completely penetrating the globe, offer additional support for the possibility.
Excerpted from The Hollow Earth Enigma by Alec Maclellan. Copyright © 1999 Seventh Zenith Ltd.. Excerpted by permission of Souvenir Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
1 The Subsurface World,
2 Ancient Legends of the Hollow Void,
3 The Theory of Concentric Spheres,
4 The Strange Voyage of Olaf Jansen,
5 The Prophet of Cellular Cosmogony,
6 Hitler and the 'Phantom Universe',
7 The Secret Log of Admiral Byrd,
8 Holes in the Top of the World,
9 UFOs from the Hollow Earth — 1 The Antarctic,
10 UFOs from the Hollow Earth — 2 The Arctic Circle,
11 The Intraterrestrials,
12 A Universe of Hollow Worlds?,
By the Same Author,
About the Author,