By Ruth Kenny
Spearheading the modern Hollow Earth movement is Rodney Cluff, author of a book called World Top Secret: Our Earth IS Hollow. In 2007 Cluff organized a voyage to the core, with plans to sail from Russia on an icebreaker ship seeking the supposed opening at the North Pole. He had to cancel the £15,000-per-head expedition, but he claims that this hasn’t dampened his enthusiasm for the theory, and told The Sun Online that the movement is only growing in popularity.
“More and more people are coming to terms with the fact that the Earth is hollow. I get emails from people learning about it every day,” Cluff said. “It’s definitely growing in popularity – certainly not in the millions but maybe in the thousands.”
So how does the theory hold up against modern science? Right now, the scientific consensus is that the Earth is made up of a series of unbroken layers and crusts surrounding a solid ball composed mainly of an iron-nickel alloy. Surrounding that solid core is a layer of liquid that is about 2,260 kilometers thick. Danish seismologist Inge Lehmann deduced the presence of the core in 1936 while studying seismograms from earthquakes in New Zealand. Her findings have been backed up many times in the decades since.
Photo: YouTube screengrab
These mainstream theories are considered part of the conspiracy to cover up the truth, by Hollow Earth believers, who subscribe instead to the 17th century “science.” Edmund Halley, of Halley’s Comet fame, first proposed the theory of a hollow Earth in 1692 as a way of explaining unusual compass readings. Halley’s theory suggested that the planet is a series of spherical shells stacked like a Russian nesting doll, all spinning in different directions around a central core. This model could account for the inaccuracies in his compass readings. He postulated that the space between each shell might contain a luminous atmosphere capable of supporting life.
Halley’s bizarre theory was expanded upon over the centuries by various proponents, and in 1818, John Cleves Symmes, Jr. published his Circular No. 1, stating to the world that the Earth is hollow. He posited that unlike Halley’s multi-layered model, the planet was a giant cavern that housed a miniature sun. Symmes also claimed that there were massive holes at the North and South poles allowing for access to the world inside. This aspect of his theory became known as “Symmes Holes.”
The 19th-century public and scientific community met Symmes’ theory with derision, but he continued giving lectures and publishing letters about the Hollow Earth. He aimed for an expedition to the North Pole, even getting Congress to vote in 1822 on funding it, but his vision never came to fruition. He never let up campaigning for the expedition until his death in 1849.
Symmes’ son and other loyal followers kept the Hollow Earth theory alive into the 20th century when it began to take on a more supernatural air. Works of fiction that used Halley and Symmes’ visions as starting points have profoundly influenced modern believers of the theory. Author Jules Verne published A Journey to the Centre of the Earth in 1864, which proposed a lush world inside the planet. The novel inspired an entire sub-genre of science fiction about prehistoric jungles and highly advanced and enlightened races of humans living beneath us.
Some modern hollow earthers believe Nazis who escaped from World War Two, as well as the lost Viking colonies of Greenland and the lost tribes of Israel all live in the center of the Earth. Others think that it is home to around 100 subterranean cities full of superior humans, known as the Agartha network.
“They have flying saucer technology. They live lives of perfect health for hundreds of years. Their science is much more advanced because they live much longer lives,” Rodney Cluff told Atlas Obscura. “It has a perfect temperature. God made the inner sun so that it provides heat, during the night, and a little bit less at night. Trees grow up to a thousand feet tall. Humans even grow up to 15 feet tall.”
Cluff claims that the only reason we on the surface haven’t had any verifiable contact with those in the core is that a vaguely defined international banking conspiracy has worked to cover up the Hollow Earth and hide any evidence of Symmes’ holes. He’s not the only one. YouTube conspiracy theorists secureteam10 told The Sun: “Every single satellite image that we have of the North Pole shows a massive hole or a blackout hole put there to hide whatever’s underneath.”