An author who puts forth a new idea must expect to meet with opposition and be ready to defend his idea vigorously. He knows that the great mass of people is very conservative, especially in its habits of thought and that it is inclined to take many things--the shape of the earth, for example--as proven once and for all. But he also knows that the great reading public even more than the specialist in science is open minded and willing to give a fair hearing. He will expect some opposition and some misunderstanding but he may also expect a slow, perhaps, but sure volunteering of support.
The author of the present work has set forth in it a theory which is not only new that in itself would not necessarily cause opposition in a world which is always hungering for some new thing--but it is a theory which involves the denial of a number of ideas which are old and widely held and often held by people who do not understand their bearing. These people will defend them with such weapons as ridicule or perhaps misrepresentation.
From trained scientists on the other hand the author expects to meet with greater prejudice than from the public, but he does expect that any criticism they may have to make upon this theory will be made from a purely scientific standpoint, that his idea will not be dismissed simply because he is not a professional explorer or astronomer. Unfortunately scientists often do this. They have their professional freemasonry. If you are not one of them they do not want to listen to your theories.
But to the man in the street the author wishes to say this: there is not in the whole course of this book a single statement that is not backed up by the actual experiments, observations, discoveries and reports of these same scientists. They cannot claim that the theory expounded in this book is an unscientific theory, for every bit of it is solidly based upon their own findings. Our theory may be untrue, but if it is, then the findings of Nansen and every other Arctic explorer, of Sir Robert Ball, Percival Lowell and every other astronomer, are wrong. For upon the work done by these men and upon no other considerations whatsoever than those of pure scientific knowledge are the ideas in this book built.
Let us then address our first words to the average reader whose support we wish to gain because public
opinion will move in time even the most conservative of scientists; because public opinion is the court of last resort in every case; because the public will demand a fair hearing when the orthodox scientist would tend to ignore this as in the past they have ignored many beneficial discoveries and ideas until they were forced to accept them.
Most members of this public to whom we would appeal have very definite notions about the shape and constitution of the earth, but unfortunately these notions are not as accurate as they are definite, being the fruit usually of what was learned in school some years ago or of what has been read in popular and inaccurate text-books or magazine articles.
Now as a matter of fact the scientists themselves no longer hold the ideas about the constitution of the earth that were taught in all text books only a few years ago. The notion that the earth is a great ball of material which has hardened into a shell or crust on the outside but which is full of molten material within, getting hotter and hotter as we reach the center--that notion is now no longer generally held. And no other theory has quite taken its place. Some scientists think that the earth is a rigid solid we shall see later how both schools have explained volcanoes but others disagree with them, and think that while the earth may have a solid center that it
does have a liquid hot layer somewhere between its center and its surface. But into these rival theories we need not go now. We only adduce them to show the reader that there is room for another theory; that the field is open and explanations of the constitution of the earth are really called for--for none of the theories up to the present have explained all the facts.
Of course it is very easy for anyone to deny all the facts of science and get up some purely private explanation of the formation of the earth. The man who does that is a crank. Unfortunately the man in the street does not always discriminate between a crank and a scientist. At one time Orville and Wilbur Wright were called cranks because they admitted that they were trying to do something new, something that had never been done before. Many scientists said that flying was an impossibility for human beings; that they were not meant to fly and never would fly. The Wright Brothers did not retort by saying that science was wrong, and then do a lot of silly and unscientific experiments. Had they done that they would have injured themselves. On the contrary they opposed their better and more thorough science to this old-fashioned and reactionary science. So we meet the objections which the older scientists bring against our theory with better and more up to date science. In that way, although we deny that the usual idea of the formation of the earth is correct we are not in the same class with a number
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The earth as it would appear if viewed from space showing the north polar opening to the planet's interior which is hollow and contains a central sun instead of an ocean of liquid lava.
of other people who have denied it. There is one man who has stated that the earth is an immense hollow sphere and that mankind and the land and oceans and even the stars are all on the inside of it. But he is a crank for he has simply taken his private notion, evolved within his own brain and has made a religion of it. We beg the reader that he will not confuse us with any of that sort of theorizing. If the reader says, "You believe in a hollow earth--oh yes, that is what Koresh taught," he is doing us a grave injustice, even though it be true that we claim the earth to be hollow.
It will also be an injustice to us if the reader confuse our idea of a hollow earth as presented in this book with one or two theories which have been put out in the past and which only bear a superficial relation to ours. For instance, nearly one hundred years ago in America a theory was put forth that the earth consisted of a number of concentric spheres one within the other. Now that could hardly be called a scientific theory. It was based on a supposition, and the author argued from his supposition down to what the facts ought to be. He said in effect, "According to my principle there ought to be within the earth a series of spheres each one inside the other". But he did not know, and he never went down to see.
We take the opposite course. We begin with the facts. We claim that the earth is a hollow body with an immense opening at each polar axis--an opening about fourteen hundred miles in diameter and that there is in the interior of the earth a sun which warms it and gives it light. But we do not say this in the first place and then say that it follows that there is warmth in the polar regions where the scientist has told us it is cold. On the contrary what we do is quote every Arctic explorer from the fishermen of a hundred years ago to Franklin, Kane, Nansen and Peary, to the effect that there is warmth at the polar extremities of the earth. We state that this formation of a hollow shell around a central sun, with polar openings, is not alone the formation of the earth but of every planetary body throughout the stellar universe. Why do we say that? Because we think it ought to be? Because we wish to impose our own idea on to the facts? No, but because we can see those polar openings and occasionally the gleam of that central sun as we look at Mars or Venus through a telescope. And so it goes. In every assertion we make, we first gather up all the available facts, and the theory of which we write is not so much a theory that we put forth as it is a theory which the facts put forth to us when we examined them. We did not set out with our theory full blown. We set out with a great desire to understand the facts of astronomy
and of the earth's formation. We had read this and that about it and were struck by the uncertainty of what we had read. We asked ourselves whether, if we knew all the facts, we would still be puzzled, as we were, by accounts of warm currents flowing from the North Pole and other contradictions of accepted science. Having asked ourselves that, we set out to ascertain all the facts that had any bearing on the case, just as the Wright brothers set out to ascertain all the facts that would bear on their problem. And it was the facts in the case, the inexorable and unalterable facts, that made our theory for us.
So we ask any reader, especially any scientific reader, who does not believe our theory upon reading this book, not merely to make fun of it, not merely to deny its possibility, but to produce facts which will prove it wrong, and then--supposing he can do that which we doubt--to explain all the facts put forth in this book, to explain all of them, we say, by the light of any other theory. It might be easy enough to explain one or two of our facts in some other way. But to explain them all is impossible on any other theory than ours.
That the reader may get our theory in a nutshell, that he may comprehend before he undertakes to read the whole book how widely we have searched for the material of our foundation we shall briefly recapitulate here the main outlines of our theory. As
already stated we hold that the earth is neither solid nor fluid inside but that it is a hollow shell of a thickness which, provisionally, we should estimate to be 800 miles, with an opening at each polar extremity of approximately fourteen hundred miles across. The interior sun which warms this inner earth may possibly be 600 miles in diameter, although we have of course no means of actually measuring it as yet. Why do we postulate such a sun? The answer is the key to our whole theory. As the reader may know, the orthodox astronomer explains the evolution of this earth by saying that the earth, the other planets which revolve around its sun and that sun itself were all once intermingled gas in a white-hot or incandescent condition, whirling around at an enormous rate. As this mass whirled it gradually became a vast spiral owing to the play of centrifugal forces pushing it away from its center or nucleus and gravitational forces holding it within the influence of that center. This went on, according to the scientists, until the gas arranged itself in a series of concentric rings around that center. Then each ring broke and formed into a sphere which gradually cooled off until it liquefied and then solidified on the outside, forming a planet while the central nucleus became a sun. This is known as the nebular hypothesis of the evolution of the solar system. But for many reasons, which will be taken up in detail later, our observations lead us to put forth a different theory.
[paragraph continues] Briefly our theory is that the original nebula did not break up into a solar system but condensed into one planet. From observations of nebula which are at this moment in various stages of their evolution we are forced to the conclusion that the rotating mass of gas, breaking off from its central nucleus forms an envelope of a roughly spherical shape which afterwards solidifies, leaving the central nucleus still in the center to form an inner sun. Why there should be the two polar openings will be explained in the chapter in which the foregoing assertions are proven.
The next step in the proof of our theory is to scan the planets to see if indeed they do have this formation, and as Mars is the most easily observed of them we look at that first. Mars does have two polar openings--although up to the present time they have most often been called ice or snow caps. But when we find the scientists themselves quarreling over that appellation and some of them proving that the polar caps of Mars cannot be of ice or snow at all, we begin to think that perhaps our theory is the correct one. But we do not have to rest satisfied with thinking so. When the late Professor Lowell, the astronomer who spent much of his life studying Mars--when this great authority states that he has seen gleams of light coming out through the so-called polar cap of Mars, then we know that it cannot be
an ice-cap and that those gleams must be from the interior sun of Mars.
And if further proof be needed--and our policy is to overlook no scrap of available proof we have only to observe Venus and Mercury to have our previous observations confirmed in the case of those planets also.
Bearing those very significant facts in mind we next come down to our own earth. If our facts are to be the same for every planet we shall find the same conditions here as there, on earth as on Mars. That actual solid poles have never been discovered in the earth's Arctic and Antarctic regions we shall prove in another chapter. Here we shall briefly summarize our evidence. It is to the effect that as explorers go north of about 80 degrees north latitude, they find that the water instead of becoming colder in the same ratio in which it had been getting colder as they left the temperate zone, gradually begins to get warm again, and they find that this warmth is brought down from the so-called frozen north in a warm current flowing from the polar regions. Furthermore they find that birds and animals migrate to the north to feed and breed instead of to the south. In fact when they get into really high latitudes, explorers find a greater wealth of animal and vegetable life than they do in the lower latitudes of the arctic and sub-arctic
regions. And as they are sailing to these northern regions they find, scattered on the icebergs and glaciers, the red pollen of plants that grow where? Only in the interior of the earth. And they find logs and other debris of the land washed down in those warm currents just spoken of. But this is not all. In our chapter on the mammoth and mastodon we shall adduce evidence to show that the mammoth still lives in the interior--in fact we shall exhibit case after case where the mammoth has floated out from the interior incased in glaciers and bergs and has been frozen in crevasses in the interior near the polar openings, and then carried over the lip by glacial movements into Siberia.
Other evidence we shall give in abundance but we shall not summarize it here because we imagine that the reader is already bristling with objections to what we have already said, and we wish to answer such of these as can be answered in advance of our main argument. If we mistake not the reader is more willing to accept our evidence drawn from the nebula and Mars than he is to accept that drawn from the earth. For the first two regions are but little known to him, as he has never possessed the high-power telescopes that are necessary to explore the nebula and the planets; but he has read the newspapers and magazines and "knows" that Peary or Cook discovered the Pole (to say nothing of Antarctic explorations).
Why, says the reader, did Peary not discover that immense orifice at the polar extremity of the earth if it was there?
The reason is very simple and can best be explained by asking another question.
Why did not man discover by looking around him, that he was living on the surface of what is, practically speaking, an immense sphere (to be exact spheroid)? And why did man for centuries think that the earth was flat? Simply because the sphere was so large that he could not see its curvature but thought it was a flat surface, and that he should be able to move all over the surface of it appeared so natural that, when scientists first told him it was a sphere he began to wonder why he did not fall off, or at least, if he lived in the northern hemisphere, he wondered why the Australians did not fall off--for he had no conception of the law of gravity.
Now, in the case of the polar explorers the same thing is true. They sail up to the outer edge of the immense polar opening, but that opening is so vast--remember that the crust of the earth over which it curves is eight hundred miles thick--that the down-ward curvature of its edge is not perceptible to them, and its diameter is so great--say 1400 miles--that its other side is not visible to them. So that if an explorer went far enough he could sail right over that edge, down over the seas of the inner world and out
through the Antarctic orifice, and all that would show him what he had done, would be that as soon as he got inside he would see a smaller sun than he was accustomed to--only to him it might look larger owing to its closeness--and he would not be able to take any observations by the stars because there would be neither stars nor even a night in which to see them.
So let the reader have no misgivings that any rash explorer will "fall into" this aperture.
But, says the reader, would not the force of gravity pull the explorer who got inside the orifice away from the surface into the central sun; for does not gravity pull everything to the center of the earth?
The answer to this is, that in gravitational pull it is not the geometrical position that counts. Center, in the geometrical sense of the word, does not apply. It is the mass that attracts. And if the great mass of the earth is in its thick shell, it is the mass of that shell that will attract, and not a mere geometrical point which is not in the shell at all, but 2900 miles away from it, as that is the approximate distance between the central sun and the inner surface of the earth. As a matter of fact it is the equal distribution of the force of gravity all through the shell that keeps the sun suspended in the spot which is equidistant from every part of that shell. When we are on the outside of the shell it is the mass of the shell that attracts
us to its surface. When we go over to the inside of the shell that same force will still keep our feet solidly planted on the inner side.
These, we think, are the chief objections which people are likely to raise when they first learn of our theory, and it will be noted that they are based on misconceptions of the theory. For this reason we urge every reader to follow all our argument if he wishes to understand it. He will find that the facts which we adduce in support of it, are in themselves very interesting. We have nowhere indulged in too technical language, and all the authorities we have quoted are trained, reliable scientists whose word may be taken, whose word, in fact, is always backed by actual discovery and experiment. As a result the reader will not only learn the true formation of the earth and be able to follow with interest and understanding the explorations which will before long undoubtedly be made by airship, but he will learn some of the fascinating truths of astronomy and will have a picture before him of actual conditions in the Arctic regions. In fact, apart from the new theory here explained for the first time, we know of no other book which brings to the non-scientific reader so many facts which are not to be obtained elsewhere in book form. For, unfortunately, the text-books never keep up with the new discoveries. Books printed some
years ago in which the earth is represented as a mass of molten lava contained in a thin crust, are still circulating when scientists have given up that conception. Such facts as we have gathered about the mammoth and other animals are also not yet incorporated into the books that the average man reads. To every reader then, we can promise not only our theory but a large range of the most interesting facts about the world he dwells in and the worlds that circle around in the heavens that he gazes upon in wonder and speculation. And we ask of the reader a patient reading without prejudice, and that he follow it by thought and speech--to the end that, if he be convinced by our reasoning, he may pass on the word and help to find an audience for this new idea that sufficient interest may be aroused to turn the idea speedily into an ascertained fact by the simple process of exploring the polar land we have depicted, and putting our theory to the test.
That it will stand this test; that the interior of the earth will be opened up to our exploration and traffic and observation as we have in this book opened it up to thought, is our confident belief.