Congress Once Funded an Expedition To Determine if the Earth Was Hollow


Harper's Weekly 1882 Symmes Hole Illustration

Harper's Weekly 1882 Symmes Hole Illustration

What Seems Idiotic Today Was Considered Fact in the Past

On This Date in History:   17th Century astronomer Edmund Halley  is more famous for the comet that bears his name but it is less well-known that he also suggested that the earth had four concentric spheres and that there was a hollow area in the center with small entrances at each pole. Inside the hollow earth, Halley said there was life and there was illumination. He thought that the aurora was caused by gasses being released from the openings at the poles. Well, this guy John Symmes carried on that idea and began a series of lectures designed to gain financial support for an expedition. He said, “I ask 100 brave companions…to start from Siberia…I engage we find a warm and rich land, stocked with thrifty vegetables and animals…northward of latitude 82.” He wanted to sail over the curved rim of a polar hole into a hollow earth. Symmes must have been very convincing because after speeches given in Rossville and Hamilton, Ohio on this date (Dec 30) in 1823, the two towns passed resolutions the following day stating that the earth was hollow.  Later, Hamilton built a monument to their native son hollow earther Symmes, who not only convinced the people of the Ohio towns, but also some Congressmen who tried to get public funding for the expeditions. A hollow earth fellow traveler and newspaperman, Jeremiah N. Reynolds, joined the chorus by stressing the commercial potential of the eccentric expedition. Today, Congress might hide an earmark for the funding but in 1823, it showed fiscal restraint.

Reed's Version of Symmes Hole

Reed's Version of Symmes Hole

However, that restraint didn’t last too long because, 15 years later, the Congress actually appropriated $30,000 for Charles Wilkes to sail to Antarctica. In 1838, Wilkes set sail with 6 wooden ships to check out the South Pole. He first tried to nose in but was rebuffed when amidst strong winds, high seas and pack ice; one of his ships sunk taking the full crew with it. So, he decided on a different route, venturing into the South Pacific and charting Hawaii, Tahiti and Samoa. Sounds like Uncle Sam funded a nice vacation in island paradises to me. However, unlike Fletcher Christian, Wilkes did not get so enamoured by Tahiti and he sailed to Australia and then to the South Pole. He actually ended up making a pretty decent map of the frozen continent and today there is a 1500 mile stretch of coastline in Antarctica named Wilke’s Land.

John C Symmes II

None of that would have happened without the outlandish claims of Symmes and Reynolds, who planted the seed for Congress to fund an expedition to Antarctica to find the hole in the earth. Now, when Admiral Byrd flew over the poles(1926 and 1929), it should have put to rest the rumors of a hollow earth. But, like those who want to chase Chemtrails, hollow earth proponents refused to accept the facts and instead claim that Byrd actually entered “Symmes Hole” because Byrd had referred to Antarctica as the “Land of Everlasting Mystery” and said, “I’d like to see the land beyond the pole. That area beyond the pole is the center of the great unknown.” In 1906, William Reed took a different tact and said there was no north and south pole but instead there were entrances to the center of the earth and in 1913, Marshall Gardiner went so far as to say that there was sun 600 miles in diameter in the center of the earth. Of course, no one has reported any holes but…the claim was that the government was covering up the truth!  So, there you have it…it can’t be any more clear…Admiral Byrd has gone into the hollowed out earth and there is a government conspiracy to prevent anyone from finding out…I told you that it sounded like Chemtrails.  It’s a weird story from the past but perhaps its a good reminder that throughout history today’s facts of science sometimes become tomorrow’s silly stories.  Then again, there are those today who still believe the earth is hollow or that there is no proof one way or another regarding the center of the earth.

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4 Responses

  1. What?! The earth is a cosmic walk-in closet? Now we know where all the extinct species have gone – they aren’t really gone at all, they’re inside the earth.

    Honest to goodness. The more I read this one, the more I felt like I was listening to one of those 1999 rebroadcasts of Art Bell.

    I could spend a whole lot of time following this one, but I think I’ll just send the link around to some folks and see who else didn’t have a clue about this. ;-)

  2. HI just very excited learned that someone is sending relatives peices of the wreckage. Please contact me about R> Johnston

  3. Yes our Earth is hollow and we will see footage of the inside next year, it won’t be magma, it will be way more interesting, just keep on researching and waiting…

  4. Thanks for stopping by. If you’re right, I’ll eat my tin foil hat.

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