The Hollow Earth – Focus Magazine

‘Hollow Earth’ was a fun assignment to work on despite the crazy quick turnaround time – as always seems to be the case in our industry :-). This 2 page opening spread was commissioned by Focus Magazine for an article on the various ‘Hollow Earth’ Theories.

Hollow Earth is a belief that the planet Earth has a hollow interior and, possibly, a habitable inner surface. The hypothesis of a Hollow Earth has long been contradicted by overwhelming evidence as well as by the modern understanding of planet formation, and the scientific community now dismisses the notion as pseudoscience.

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

Marshall Gardner 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 (#1096102). 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 Agarttha, with some even advancing the theory that UFOs have their homeland in these places.

A book allegedly by a “Dr.Raymond Bernard” which appeared in 1969, The Hollow Earth, exemplifies this idea. The book rehashes Reed and Gardner’s ideas and ignores Symmes. Bernard also adds his own ideas: UFOs come from the interior, the Ring Nebula proves the existence of hollow worlds, etc. 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, dwarfs, 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. [Courtesy Wikipedia]