Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Landways to the Stars

         I admire a natural philosopher who invents an idea of the universe so original and patently false that it becomes oddly persuasive. One is confronted with the issue: either this theory is insane or I am insane, and the theory makes you rather hope that you are the deranged one.  Cyrus Teed, with his notion that we all lived inside a hollow Earth was one such philosopher. Yet he met his match in the post-Sputnik era. One of the loopiest, yet most compelling theories of the universe, or at least of earthly and celestial topography, can be found in F. Amadeo Giannini's, Worlds Beyond the Poles a 1959 amplification of his earlier work, Physical Continuum.
         Giannini had a very curious insight. In fact, revolutionary. As the first paragraph of his book explains, "There is no physical end to the Earth's northern and southern extent. The earth merges with land areas of the universe about us that exist straight ahead beyond the North Pole and the South Pole 'points' of theory. It is now established that we may at once journey into celestial land by customary movement on the horizontal from beyond the Pole points." 

         To put it simpler,  Giannini explains, "When one goes beyond the Poles one is moving, as the colloquial aptly describes, 'out of this world.' One then continues to move over land extending beyond the Earth." Land routes, full of water and vegetation, stretching throughout the universe, connect the Earth to other planets and stars. 
         Comparing himself to various greats scorned in the past for their bold ideas, Giannini reported that the astronomical theories of all past ages, sadly, were false. Were moons, stars, planets isolated bodies, traveling in lonely orbits? No, this was all a mirage, since there were no "Globular and isolated bodies to be found throughout the whole Universe: they are elements of lens deception."  The universe was entirely connected. 
          The centerpiece of Giannini's evidence for these "land routes" were extracts from the diaries of the pilot and polar explorer Admiral Richard E. Byrd who first flew over the North Pole in 1926, and in 1929 flew over the South Pole. Giannini insisted that in addition to these flights, in February 1947, Byrd had flown an important mission over the North Pole. Giannini reported that in one entry in Byrd's diary, the famous explorer had noted, "I'd like to see that land beyond the Pole. That area beyond the Pole is the center of the great unknown."  Giannini reported that on Byrd's forgotten mission, "as progress was made beyond the pole point, iceless land and lakes, mountains covered with trees, and even a monstrous animal moving through the underbrush, were observed and reported via radio."
         Unfortunately, Byrd appears to have been at the South Pole during this period. Giannini  concocted his diary extracts. It was, of course, for a good cause.  Giannini wanted us all to know how easy it was to go out of this world.

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