One of my all-time favorite myths, legends, or "theories", if you will, is the Hollow Earth Theory. The first time I heard of such a thing I was a teenager and my dad told me that there is a theory out there where some people believe that the earth is hollow, and not only that, but that it is populated by another civilization! The very idea of it fascinated me, as unlikely as it seemed.
It was hard to believe, but me being me, I had to try to find out what I could about the theory. And it turns out there are some pretty interesting stories on the subject. For example, It's rumored that Adolf Hitler believed that a pure Aryan race dwelt in the earth's center. He believed it to the extent that, supposedly, he sent an expedition--some say three--to Antarctica to try and locate an opening that would lead to this place. He assumed that this hidden civilization would have superior technology and be sympathetic to his cause. There are those who even go as far as to postulate that Hitler did indeed discover an opening and that he actually escaped into the hollow earth, and lives there to this day. Can you imagine?
Another interesting theory advances the idea that UFO sightings aren't the result of alien visitors from outer space, but are actually technologically superior aircraft that originate from inside the earth; perhaps the descendants of the lost continent of Atlantis checking up on the goings on up here on the surface. This sort of coincides with Jules Verne's vision from his novel, Journey to The Center of The Earth. Except in the book, Atlantis is discovered to be an abandoned ruin. I have even heard some people in the religious community speculate that the lost tribes of Israel were led by God into the hollow earth, and reside there to this day. How cool is that?
|Hollow Earth model|
There are many varieties of Hell or the underworld out there in religion and mythology, but what really gets my attention is the secular side of this subject. The idea of this being and actual domain of our physical world, as we know it, is what sparks my imagination. Hell can wait.
On that note, I'd like to just briefly talk about the incredible story of Admiral Richard E. Byrd of the US Navy, my favorite hollow earth story, and the one that my old man used to spark my imagination on the topic those many years ago.
It's not my intention here to go into an in-depth article on the Admiral himself, his life achievements, background, history, etc. If you'd like to know more about this early twentieth century explorer and adventurer you can check out the Wikipedia article on the man HERE.
|Admiral Richard E. Byrd|
After a few minutes of this, he quite suddenly found himself flying through a valley of lush, green vegetation. I believe one story claims that, looking from the cockpit window, the lost admiral even beheld a woolly mammoth lumbering along a hillside! According to my old man, it was at this point the compass went all crazy on him again, and the next thing he knew he was back to flying over endless miles of snow and ice. Other versions of the story tell of him actually being escorted by advanced aircraft to a city and meeting with its leaders, but this was not the story that was verbally passed on to me at the time.
He returned to the North Pole at other times in search of this green valley, but never found it again. The general consensus of people who chose to believe his report was that he had inadvertently flown into an opening that led into the hollow earth.
Now, if one were to do a quick Google search on the subject it wouldn't take long to discover that the story and the existence of a secret diary where the Admiral recorded this experience is very much in contention. And for the most part, the whole story seems to have been debunked from what I could tell. But who knows?
Debunked or not, the story itself suits my purposes, because as a fiction novelist, this is the kind of stuff that stokes my creative fires. I don't have to worry about whether the diary exists or if the story has been debunked or not. As an author, all I have to do is ask myself, Yeah, but what if? and my imagination is off to the races!
The idea of a hollow earth has fueled countless stories, myths, and legends. Not to mention even containing major religious themes. And it's no wonder. The Hollow Earth theory has got to be one of the greatest mysteries that's out there. Do you agree? I'd love to hear your thoughts on it in the comments section.
If this post roused your curiosity and you would like to know a little more about the subject, I found a great write up by The Telegraph that provides an excellent little overview on it. Check it out here.