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Friday, September 14, 2012

BOOKS ABOUT HOLLOW EARTH


Mundus Subterraneus

A bibliography of literature on the Hollow Earth, subterranean worlds, worlds beyond the poles, the Secret World, the centre of the Earth, the earth's interior, the hollow globe, Symzonia, Geo-Kosmos and the cellular kosmology.

Etidorpha, 1917


John Uri Lloyd's Etidorhpa was a highly succesful book, counting a number of editions and reprints, and is today to be found on the internet. This edition, with its nice blind stamped and typical Egyptian style motifs on its front cover, was published by Dodd, Mead & Company in 1917 and was the 11th edition. This edition differed from previous ones in that it had additional chapters which were not included in earlier editions.

Koresh' doctrine of a hollow globe in which we live inside, entered Germany through wounded war flier Peter Bender, who, so the story goes, when revalidating in a prisoner of war camp or a hospital in the first world war, stumbled upon Koresh' magazine The Flaming Sword. Bender found an adherent in Johannes Lang. Together they visited Karl Neupert between 1925 - 1928. Neupert would later write his GeoKosmos (Geo Cosmos). Lang, published many pamphlets on this version of the hollow earth doctrine in Germany, beginning in 1935 with his Das Neue Weltbild (The New World View) that was reprinted a number of times well into the early 1960's. Lang, who died in 1967, at one time had met with U.G. Morrow, a close collaborator of Koresh. Lang also founded The Gesellschaft für Erd-Weltforschung (The Society for Earth-World Research) which was dissolved in 1975.

What the Germans would have thought of it, is unfortunately lost in the mist of time, as has the motivation of author Walter Brenner-Kuckenberg, to even write and secure publication of his pamphlet Leben Wir Auf Oder In Der Erde? Die Hohlwelt-theorie (Do We Live On Or In The Earth? The Hollow Earth Theory), which was published in 1949. After all, this was just four years after a devastating world war that had destroyed Nazi Germany, had transformed many of its cities to piles of rubble, ashes and cinders and had reduced daily life to severe hardship after five years of bitter endurance. One would think one would have different things to worry about. Yet, as careful study shows, the printing presses of the occult underground rarely stop by such mundane matters as a world war. Especially in Germany, where the hollow earth doctrine as formulated by Koresh and first imported on German soil in the first world war, would continue to linger till the 1960's.

One of the most famous and enigmatic hollow earth novels isEtidorpha, published in 1895. H.P. Lovecraft had read it (and observed the curious, backwards spelling of Aphrodite). Written byJohn Uri Lloyd (1849 - 1936) and magnificently illustrated by J. Augustus Knapp, it was so succesful that it became translated into Swedish (1898) and German (1899), is still in print today. Lloyd, a pharmacist, wrote eight novels. The royalties from these and Etidorhpa, his first, served to expand his pharmaceutical library, one of the largest in the United States. As to the identity of the enigmatic guide in Etidorpha called I Am The Man, hollow earth bibliographer Bruce Alan Walton points towards James Morgan, a Freemason who published the secrets of the craft in 1826 and for that allegedly was murdered by his brethren. It is also suggested that Morgan knew Mormon Joseph Smith: he "had been a half way convert... and had learned from him to see visions and dreams..." Morgan's widow would marry Smith. But what about that strange book Etidorpha?Lloyd wrote: "Etidorhpa is not an idle creation. The mission of this book is unseen by most of its readers. The thought current will be felt though by every reader and it pains me to appreciate the fact that to some the beauties of the work will serve but to deepen their hatred of conceptions holy and sublime..."

One of the more unusual books in the history of hollow earth fiction was published in 1908. Entitled The Smoky God, or, A Voyage to the Inner World, it was written by Willis George Emerson (1856 - 1918). In it, Norse fishermen among whom is Olaf Jansen, are driven far north by a storm. They enter an unknown interior world based on Symmes' theory of concentric spheres and polar voids. They encounter an advanced race of giants who have a highly developed civilisation and who use the energy of the sunlike core, or, the 'Smoky God'. In the end, Jansen returns to the surface. Years later on his deathbed, he gives the manuscript of his story to Emerson, who published it, as Emerson writes in his forword. As is the case with Etidorpha and the Goddess of Atvatabar, the illustrations merit attention.

The authorship of Symzonia, A Voyage of Discovery that was published in 1820 is unclear. Its writer hid himself behind the penname Captain Adam Seaborn.Symzonia describes a journey into a hollow earth based on the ideas of John Cleves Symmes, where he discovers not only fertile lands, but also humanoids. Writes Seaborn: "At noon, on the 24th of December, we anchored in 14 fathoms water, on a fine sandy bottom. This land, out of gratitude to Capt. Symmes for his sublime theory, I immediately named Symzonia...There were a number of buildings on the island, one of which from its magnitude and superior appearance to the others, I judged to be a public edifice of some sort. This structure was two stories high, while all the others were but one. In the front, a large open portico with an extensive platform, appeared to be a place of business, great numbers of people being collected upon it..." Some have it that the author of Symzonia was none other than Symmes himself, while other maintain that textual analysis reveals that Symmes' penmanship was inferior to that of the pseudonymous Captain Seaborn. Another theory is that the writer of Symzonia actually was Nathaniel Ames (1764-1835).

Frederick Culmer (1822 - 1892) was a Mormon author who published The Inner World: A New Theory in 1886. His ideas concerning an inhabited hollow Earth, were influenced by three sources, his own idea regarding the natural occurrence of hollow spheres, John C. Symmes' pronouncements on the Earth's internal structure, as summarized and reviewed in an 1885 issue of Parry's Literary Journal and Elder George Reynolds' 1883 book,Are We of Israel? Culmer did not have direct access to Symmes' writings promoting the notion of concentric hollow spheres occurring on a planetary scale. The Mormon writer bypassed the explanations provided by Symmes and other inner world theorists, and offered his own ideas about naturally occurring "attractive" and "repulsive" forces or "powers." In doing so, he synthesized various facts and conjectures on gravity, centrifugal force, planetary orbits and molecular bonding.

With his The Goddess of Atvatabar; being the history of the discovery of the interior world, and conquest of Atvatabarwhich was published in 1892, William Richard Bradshaw (1851 - 1927) created an ambitious lost race novel based on Symmes' theory of concentric spheres. In it, a group of explorers sail through the hole in the South Pole. They travel down a vortex into an inner world and thus reach the continent of Atvatabar, which has a technologically advanced society. Its cavalry for instance, uses mechanical ostriches. Life is restored to dead bodies through the yearning of the souls of separated lovers which recharges a huge spiritual battery. The Goddess of Atvatabaris especially noteworthy for its many unusual illustrations. Its partial contents are: Polar catastrophe; Cause of expedition; Beginning the voyage; Entering the polar gulf; Day becomes night and night day; We discover the interior world; Extraordinary loss of weight; Afloat on the interior ocean; Visit from inhabitants of Plutusia; Marching in triumph; Journey to Calnogor; Reception by the King; Throne of the Gods; Worship of Lyone; Audience with the Supreme Goddess; Escaping the cyclone; Twin Soul; A revelation; Voyages of Mercury and Aurora Borealis; History concluded.

No hollow earth bibliography can do without Jules Verne (1828 - 1905). His seminal A Journey to the Centre of the Earth, was first published in 1864. Numerous foreign translations followed quickly and the book has many different editions. The storyinvolves a professor who leads his nephew and hired guide down a volcano in Iceland to the center of the Earth. They encounter many adventures, including prehistoric animals and natural hazards, eventually coming to the surface again in southern Italy.

Phosphor: an Ischian Mystery, written by Sherry J. Filmore, and published in Australia in 1888, is by some claimed to be "the weirdest Australian tale ever penned". In the book, an impoverished young man, buried alive after ingesting snake venom to test an antidote he has invented, escapes into a subterranean kingdom, inhabited by prehistoric creatures and anthropoids who are Latin-speaking and phosphorescent. The queen of the anthropoids, who has an attractive human body but the head of an ape, falls in love with the protagonist and intends to use him as breeding stock to enhance the gene pool of her tribe. Rather than agreeing with her plan, the protagonist kills the queen with a poisonous snake and is then speedily returned to Australia after a volcanic eruption.

The deep and immense (hence the name) Mammoth Caves always excerted a fascination with the Americans, so it would follow that they would serve as the backdrop for a hollow earth novel. Howard De Vere, penname of Howard Van Orden, did just that, with his A Trip To The Center Of The Earth, which was serialized in New York Boys' Weekly, from June 8 till August 5, 1878. later it was published in theFive Cent Wide Awake Library#1195, on March 17, 1894.

With the book The Divine Seal that was published in 1909, its author, Emma Louise Orcutt, delivered a strange book. The Divine Seal is a novel that mixes occultism with a lost race fantasy, set in the far future where ancient records discovered on the Isle of Atlantis (presumably a part of the ancient continent) lead to an Arctic expedition in search of the Zallallah, an even more ancient people who are the earliest Aryan race. There have been dramatic political and geological changes; continents sunken and new ones emerged, e.g. Atlantis. Golden tablets found in the latter tell of a still older civilization, the 'Zallallah.' This civilization is found extant at the North Pole. The plot further involves lycanthropy, the hollow world with Atlantean survivals, suspended animation and an intriguing cosmology.

A Romance of the Polar Pit, 1901


In Thyra, A Romance of the Polar Pitby Robert Ames Bennet, which was published in 1901, four explorers in a hot-air balloon drift and crash in an unexplored part of the Arctic. There they find a warm subsurface land with a Norse colony and fantastic creatures. As the land has survived unchanged for millions of years, it is inhabited by prehistoric mammals and dinosaurs, a bestial, ape-like race, and the Norsemen, descendants of Vikings who had discovered the land centuries before. The explorers save a young Norse girl, Thyra, and her brother from a giant cave bear and hostile Norsemen, the Thorlings. Thyra's clan, the Runefolk, accept the stranded explorers among them. At the invitation of the treacherous king of the Thorlings the explorers and a number of their Norse friends undertake a journey to his kingdom, where a gigantic idol of a prehistoric sea monster is worshipped by both the Thorlings and the beast-men. When they learn that they are to be sacrificed to the idol, the explorers destroy it, thereby unleashing a furious battle between the Norsemen and the ape-men. The Norsemen are victorious, the sea monster is destroyed, and the Norsemen are freed from its terrible influence.

In his 1906 book The Phantom of the Poles William Reed presents a collection of reports of polar explorers on strange and unexplained phenomena, such as warm winds, deposits of dust, rocks embedded in icebergs, large ice-free areas, fresh water areas in the open polar ocean, and bizarre auroras. This material supported his belief that the polar areas are the antechamber of the hollow earth. Reed also writes that it would be impossible to reach the poles as they did not exist, hence the title of the book.

1904 saw the emergence of the bookThe Hollow Earth, by Franklin Titus Ives, who died in 1910. Ives' fame predominantly rests on hisYankee Jumbles: or Chimney Corner Tales of the Nineteenth Cen­tury, published in 1903 and which consists of his reminiscences of Connecticut in the early nineteenth century. Writes Ives "...for whom I wish to speak a word of commendation and admiration is Captain John Cleves Symmes, who I am prepared to allow the honor of first advancing the theory that the Earth is hollow, and has been held up as the authority for finding "Symmes Hole". While the present writer had never seen or read any of his arguments for such a hole, the idea came originally, as if never thought of by my worthy predecessor..."

With the book Mr. Oseba's Last Discovery, that was published in New Zealand in 1904, its writer, Col. George W. Bell penned a strange book which recounts the experiences of an inhabitant of a Symmeslike inner world with entrances under the South Pole, as he visits the outer surface of the world. Col. Bell was U. S. Consul at Sydney, Australia, for seven years.

With the publication in 1741 of the bookNicolai Klimii iter subterraneum (Niels Klim's Journey Underground), Danish writer and playwright Ludwig Holberg(1684 - 1754) launched the first important fictional use of astronomer Edmond Halley's theory (suggested in a paper to account for magnetic phenomena published by Royal Society in 1692) that the Earth (and the other planets) consisted of concentric, nested spheres surrounding a small central sun, with, possibly, openings at the poles. Holberg's book was first published in Latin to reach a wide audience, in which he succeeded. The book, although never banned in Denmark, was cast a weary eye upon by the religious establishment. Holberg was one of the foremost scholars and playwrights of the 18th century, perhaps the most important literary figure in Denmark, even till today. Niels Klim has been translated into at least thirteen languages and published in more than sixty editions, including at least eight in English. In Holberg's book Niels Klim falls down a shaft and finds himself in a new world inside the interior of the earth. He visits various countries as the ideal state Potu, which expels him for suggesting that women should not hold public office. Other states are modeled on various terrestrial countries; in Martinia (France) he is honored for inventing the periwig. In primitive Quama (Russia) he becomes emperor by leading the inhabitants to victory over neighboring nations, but rebellion against his tyranny forces him to flee. His journey ends when he wrestles himself through another hole upon which he has returned to Norway.

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