Is the earth hollow? Are their worlds within our world? Was Jules Verne privy to spectacular occult knowledge?

Title: ‘This Hollow Earth’  Author: Warren Smith  Year of Publication: 1972

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Like some veiled demon conjured up by a black magician, the belief in a hollow earth is one of the most intriguing of the various occult mysteries.

The hollow earth theory is a mind-shattering proposal that there are gigantic holes at the north and south poles. These polar openings lead to a vast, unknown world inside the center of the earth. Some believers also claim the earth is honeycombed with a vast network of subterranean tunnels that lead down into an inner world.

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Hollow earth theory has drifted out of the occult mainstream in recent years and, understandably, is often scoffed at or just simply ignored, by both sceptics and advocates of the paranormal alike. The notion that the inner realms of our planet may in fact be domicile to large cities populated by hitherto undiscovered beings is just simply too ridiculous for many to even consider. Indeed, the scientific axiom of the layered earth, from crust to mantle to inner and outer core, is one of the first theories any curious child will learn about when reading even the most rudimentary of encyclopedias.

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However, is it not always interesting and exciting to challenge accepted mainstream knowledge, even if our rational selves may oppose this impulse? Why is it that many cultures throughout the ages have espoused some sort of belief or body of folklore which speaks of a curious world within our world? Does this elusive shadowy zone simply exist in a metaphysical sense, or is it something entirely tangible which the intrepid may care to visit?

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It is very interesting to note that recent scientific studies regarding the composition of the earth’s core remain inconclusive and we are constantly reviewing our rather limited understanding of the structure of our planet. In truth, it would appear that we know more about the surface of the moon, than the deepest, darkest recesses of our own world. With this in mind, I was intrigued to chance upon a copy of ‘This Hollow Earth’ by Warren Smith. I had read about this theory in the past and it has always interested me.

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Smith certainly provides food for thought and this text will stimulate anyone who wants to learn more about this rather outlandish of theories. The opening chapter whets the reader’s appetite as secret tunnels under the pyramids, UFOs from within the earth, the curious tale of Olaf Jansen (a Scandinavian sailor who claimed to have met the ‘Under-People’ within the earth), and stories of explorers’ bizarre experiences in polar regions are highlighted.

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However, it was the weird tale of labourers tunnelling beneath the River Thames in the 1960s which caught my attention. As Smith recounts:

the construction crewmen were spooked by a ‘thing’ which haunted the construction project

He further adds after one of the men was frightened away for good:

Whatever O’Brien saw in the tunnel must have been a frightening spectre. He was earning $312 a week when he walked away from the job…

Were the men simply hallucinating or does this account raise interesting questions regarding the existence of sinister subterranean beings?

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Smith’s discussion of Oriental beliefs in this area is certainly enlightening. Indeed, the Buddhist doctrine of the inner world is one that I was not aware of until reading ‘This Hollow Earth’:

Agharta is a subterranean land located deep within the centre of our planet. The Buddhists believe there are millions of people living in this underworld paradise.

He speaks eloquently of the romantic travels of western explorers into the Orient and of their encounters with holy men who spoke guardedly of the earth’s inner sanctum. Curious tales of a tunnel network from remote monasteries in Tibet are addressed:

These Tibetan tunnels are just part of a honeycomb of tunnels linking many parts of the world.

The mysterious lure of the Orient and the prospect of a revelation of truth has enticed many western mystics, occult scholars and religious groups for centuries.

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Indeed, the Nazi’s fascination with a possible pathway to an inner world via the Himalayas or North Pole is also addressed by Smith. Hitler’s occult beliefs are well documented, and there are accounts of several expeditions which were sent to explore Hollow Earth theory and find hidden tunnels during the period of the Third Reich. The Luminous Lodge of the Vril society drew inspiration from Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s work entitled ‘The Coming Race’ which was published in 1871. The prospect of establishing contact with a powerful race of supernatural beings within the inner earth, whose beliefs and social structure appeared to compliment those of Nazi ideology, clearly struck a chord within the German high command. Increased occult knowledge and power would surely provide the Nazis with an advantage over their enemies and they were clearly prepared to explore a variety of options (no matter how tenuous) to obtain this.

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‘This Hollow Earth’ may not be a classic of occult literature, but it can most certainly be appreciated and enjoyed by anyone who is curious about this peculiar theory. It raises some interesting questions and invites the reader to continue study within this fascinating area. Since its publication in 1972, there have been a variety of texts and articles written about the possibility of a world within our world. Notable contemporary writers who espouse this idea include the English author David Icke. This text is readily available on Amazon and vends for around £4. For more information about the author, visit David’s magical website: Magic and Illusion.

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