According to the Hollow Earth Hypothesis, planet Earth is either wholly hollow or otherwise contains a substantial interior space. The hypothesis has long been contradicted by overwhelming observational evidence, as well as by the modern understanding of planet formation; the scientific community has dismissed the notion since at least the late 18th century.
Conventional Hollow Earth Theories
In ancient times, the idea of subterranean realms seemed arguable, and became intertwined with the concept of “places” such as the Greek Hades, the Nordic svartalfheim, the Christian Hell, and the Jewish Sheol (with details describing inner Earth in Kabalistic literature, such as the Zohar and Hesed L’Avraham).
Edmond Halley in 1692 put forth the idea of Earth consisting of a hollow shell about 800 km (500 miles) thick, two inner concentric shells and an innermost core, about the diameters of the planets Venus, Mars, and Mercury. Atmospheres separate these shells, and each shell has its own magnetic poles. The spheres rotate at different speeds. Halley proposed this scheme in order to explain anomalous compass readings. He envisaged the atmosphere inside as luminous (and possibly inhabited) and speculated that escaping gas caused the Aurora Borealis.
De Camp and Ley have claimed (in their Lands Beyond) that Leonhard Euler also proposed a hollow-Earth idea, getting rid of multiple shells and postulating an interior sun 1000 km (600 miles) across to provide light to advanced inner-Earth civilization (but they provide no references). However in his Letters to a German princess Euler describes a thought experiment involving a patently solid Earth.
In 1818, John Cleves Symmes, Jr. suggested that the Earth consisted of a hollow shell about 1300 km (800 miles) thick, with openings about 2300 km (1400 miles) across at both poles with 4 inner shells each open at the poles. Symmes became the most famous of the early Hollow Earth proponents. He proposed making an expedition to the North Pole hole, thanks to efforts of one of his followers, James McBride, but the new President of the United States, Andrew Jackson, halted the attempt.
The Thule Society, which was well known by Adolf Hitler,reported much about Tibetan myths of openings into the Earth. There is even a theory that Hitler ordered a research journey for such an opening in Antarctica, based on a speech of Admiral Donitz in front of a German submarine in 1944, when he claimed “The German submarine fleet is proud of having built an invisible fortification for the Fuhrer, anywhere in the world.” During the Nuremberg Trials, Donitz spoke of “an invisible fortification, in midst of the eternal ice.”
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. 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.
Raymond W. Bernard
In 1964, Raymond W. Bernard, an esotericist and leader of the Rosicrucians published The Hollow Earth – The Greatest Geographical Discovery in History Made by Admiral Richard E. Byrd in the Mysterious Land Beyond the Poles – The True Origin of the Flying Saucers. Bernard tells stories about people who have entered the inner earth and what has happened to them. It mentions a photograph published in 1960 in the Globe and Mail in Toronto, Canada which shows a beautiful valley with lush hills. An aviator claimed that he had taken the picture while flying into the North Pole.
The Adventures of Admiral Byrd
Admiral Richard E. Byrd of the United States Navy flew to the North Pole in 1926 and over the South Pole in 1929. he referred to Antarctica as “The Land of Everlasting Mystery”. In reference to the North Pole he wrote: “I’d like to see that land beyond the North Pole, it is the Center of the Great Unknown.”
On May 9, 1926, famed American explorer Richard Byrd took off from the Norwegian Arctic island of Spitsbergen along with his pilot, Floyd Bennett, in an attempt to be the first to fly to the North Pole. About 16 hours later, the pair returned to the island in their Fokker tri-motor airplane, the Josephine Ford, saying they had indeed accomplished the feat. Byrd submitted his navigational records to the U.S. Navy and a committee of the National Geographic Society, one of his sponsors, who confirmed the accomplishment, according to the Ohio State University Libraries. Byrd was hailed as a hero, given the Medal of Honor, and went on to fly over the South Pole, as well as achieving many other polar exploration milestones. But from 1926 onward, not everyone thought that Byrd and Bennett actually made it to the North Pole. The controversy largely rested on whether the plane could have covered the distance in just 15 hours and 44 minutes, as the team recorded, when the flight was expected to take about 18 hours, given the ground speed of the aircraft.
Concave Hollow Earths
Humans live on the interior; with the universe in the center.
Instead of saying that humans live on the outside surface of a hollow planet, sometimes called a “convex” hollow-Earth hypothesis, some have claimed that our universe itself lies in the interior of a hollow world, calling this a “concave” hollow-Earth hypothesis. The surface of the Earth, according to such a view, might resemble the interior shell of a Dyson sphere. Generally, scientists have taken neither type of speculation seriously.
Cyrus Teed, an eccentric doctor from upstate New York, proposed such a concave hollow Earth in 1869, calling his scheme “Cellular Cosmogony”. Teed founded a cult called the Koreshan Unity based on this notion, which he called Koreshanity. The main colony survives as a preserved Florida state historic site, at Estero, but all of Teed’s followers have now died. Teed’s followers claimed to have experimentally verified the concavity of the Earth’s curvature, through surveys of the Florida coastline making use of “rectilineator” equipment.
The best scientific argument against that of a hollow Earth (or in fact any hollow planet) is gravity. Massive objects tend to clump together gravitationally, creating non-hollow spherical objects we call stars and planets. The solid sphere is the best way in which to minimize the gravitational potential energy of a physical object; having hollowness is therefore unfavorable in the energetic sense. In addition, ordinary matter is not strong enough to support a hollow shape of planetary size against the force of gravity.
Although not visually observable, the core of the Earth is observable via vibrations (primarily from earthquakes) passing from one side of the planet to the other. Using this method, geologists have been able to establish the structure of mantle, outer core, and inner core known today. A hollow earth would behave entirely differently in terms of seismic observations.
The deepest hole drilled to date is the SG-3 borehole which is 12.3 km (7.6 miles) deep, part of the Soviet Kola Superdeep Borehole project; thus, visual knowledge of the Earth’s structure extends that far.
Hollow Earths in Fiction
The Elder Race – The Shaver Mystery
One of the most controversial tales of inner-Earth-dwellers is the so-called Shaver Mystery.In 1945, Amazing Stories magazine, under the editorship of Ray Palmer, ran a story told by American writer and artist Richard Shaver, who claimed he had recently been the guest of what remained of an giant race called the Elder Race, or Titans, an underground civilization that lived in caverns under the earth.
Some believe the Gray Aliens are part of Hollow Earth Theory.