Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Will They Meet The Warlord?

It's amazing how some ideas persist, no matter how silly they might seem. An American physicist and futurist, Brooks Agnew, plans to lead an expedition next year to the Arctic in an attempt to find a way into the hollow centre of the Earth. As Richard Foot of CanWest News Service notes in the linked article this "nutty, yet persistent, theory"(hats off to Foot for this statement) is not new. Numerous Hollow Earth theories have been proposed over the last few centuries, but most people would have thought that modern geology, whose theories require a solid interior, would have put a finish to the idea. But it seems not.

Foot mentions a 2006 book called Hollow Earth, by David Standish, as generating recent interest in the idea. My exposure to the idea came from Walter Krafton -Minkel's 1989 book Subterranean Worlds, a history of various hollow Earth ideas that even includes infamous Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel, who in the 1970s wrote a book under a pseudonym claiming UFOs were actually Nazi superweapons flown by Nazis who had escaped to the Hollow Earth when WW2 ended. I haven't read Standish's book, but Krafton-Minkel's tome is worth hunting up if you have an interest in the subject. The concept is also used in Mick Farren's 2002 novel Underland, where Farren's vampire character Victor Renquist is recruited by US intelligence to help deal with a group of Nazis living in a giant cavern at the North Pole.

The expedition Agnew will lead was originally planned by Utah based adventure guide Steve Currey. Unfortunately Currey died of brain cancer last year, leading to Agnew eventually taking his place. It's unclear if Currey actually believed in the idea or if he simply found an interesting excuse to lead some folks on an Arctic expedition, but Agnew would certainly seem to be a believer. He's the co-author of the book The Ark of Millions of Years: New Discoveries and Light on The Creation, a piece of New Age weirdness that blends the Bible with man was created by aliens silliness. So it's no surprise he'd believe the Earth was hollow. Personally I suspect Agnew's head is more than a little bit hollow.

"The Warlord?" you ask? He's a DC Comics character created by Mike Grell back in the '70s. US Air Force pilot Travis Morgan discovers the inner world of Skartaris when his SR71 crashes while flying over the North Pole. As the Warlord he becomes the champion of the people of Skartaris against various evils. The series ran from 1976 to 1989 and was briefly but unsuccessfully revived last year. Like Don Pendleton's Executioner and Joseph Rosenberger's Death Merchant Morgan carried an .44 Automag pistol during his adventures.

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