Secrets of the Hollow Earth

A cross-sectional drawing of the planet Earth showing the "Interior World" of Atvatabar, from William R. Bradshaw's 1892 science-fiction novel The Goddess of Atvatabar
C. Durand Chapman/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Many lovers of the paranormal and the unexplained are familiar with the theory that the Earth is hollow. The idea is based on the ancient legends of many cultures, which claim that there are races of people — entire civilizations — that thrive in subterranean cities. Very often, these dwellers of the world below are said to be more technologically advanced than those of us on the surface. Some people even believe that UFOs are not from other planets but are manufactured by strange beings inside of the earth.

Who are these strange beings? How did they come to live inside the earth? And where are the entrances to their underground cities?


One of the most common names given to the society of underground dwellers is Agharta (or Aghartha). The source for this information, apparently, is "The Smoky God," the "biography" of a Norwegian sailor named Olaf Jansen. According to "Agartha - Secrets of the Subterranean Cities," the story, written by Willis Emerson, explains how Jansen's ship sailed through an entrance to the Earth's interior at the North Pole. For two years Jansen lived with the inhabitants of the Agharta colonies, who, Emerson writes, were a full 12 feet tall and whose world was lit by a "smoky" central sun. Shamballa the Lesser, one of the colonies, was also the seat of government for the network. "While Shamballa the Lesser is an inner continent, its satellite colonies are smaller enclosed ecosystems located just beneath the Earth's crust or discreetly within mountains."

According to "Secrets," the inhabitants of Agharta were driven underground by the many cataclysms and wars taking place on the surface of the Earth. "Consider the lengthy Atlantean-Lemurian war and the power of thermonuclear weaponry that eventually sank and destroyed these two highly advanced civilizations. The Sahara, the Gobi, the Australian Outback and the deserts of the U.S. are but a few examples of the devastation that resulted. The sub-cities were created as refuges for the people and as safe havens for sacred records, teachings, and technologies that were cherished by these ancient cultures."

There are allegedly several entrances to the Kingdom of Agharta throughout the world:

  • Kentucky Mammoth Cave, in south-central Kentucky, US
  • Mount Shasta, California, US (the Agharthean city of Telos is supposedly found beneath this mountain)
  • Manaus, Brazil
  • Mato Grosso, Brazil (the city of Posid supposedly lies beneath this plain)
  • Iguazu Falls, on the border between Brazil and Argentina
  • Mount Epomeo, Italy
  • Himalayan Mountains, Tibet (the entrance to the underground city of Shonshe is supposedly guarded by Hindu monks)
  • Mongolia (the underground city of Shingwa is supposedly found beneath the border between Mongolia and China)
  • Rama, India (beneath this surface city is a long-lost subterranean city, some claim, also named Rama)
  • Pyramid of Giza, Egypt
  • King Solomon's Mines
  • North and South Poles

The Nagas

In India there is an ancient belief, still held by some, in a subterranean race of serpent people who dwell in the cities Patala and Bhogavati. According to the legend, they wage war on the kingdom of Agharta. "The Nagas," according to William Michael Mott's "The Deep Dwellers," are "a very advanced race or species, with a highly developed technology. They also harbor a disdain for human beings, whom they are said to abduct, torture, interbreed with and even to eat."

While the entrance to Bhogavati is somewhere in the Himalayas, believers assert that Patala can be entered through the Well of Sheshna in Benares, India. Mott writes that this entrance has

"forty steps which descend into a circular depression, to terminate at a closed stone door which is covered in bas-relief cobras. In Tibet, there is a major mystical shrine also called 'Patala,' which is said by the people there to sit atop an ancient cavern and tunnel system, which reaches throughout the Asian continent and possibly beyond. The Nagas also have an affinity with water, and the entrances to their underground palaces are often said to be hidden at the bottom of wells, deep lakes, and rivers."

The Old Ones

In an article for Atlantis Rising entitled "The Hollow Earth: Myth or Reality," Brad Steiger writes of the legends of "the Old Ones," an ancient race that populated the surface world millions of years ago and then moved underground. "The Old Ones, an immensely intelligent and scientifically advanced race," Steiger writes,

"have chosen to structure their own environment under the surface of the planet and manufacture all their necessities. The Old Ones are hominid, extremely long-lived, and pre-date Homo sapiens by more than a million years. The Old Ones generally remain aloof from the surface peoples, but from time to time, they have been known to offer constructive criticism; and it has been said, they often kidnap human children to tutor and rear as their own."

The Elder Race

One of the most controversial tales of inner Earth dwellers is the so-called "Shaver Mystery." In 1945, Amazing Stories magazine ran a story told by Richard Shaver, who claimed that he had recently been the guest of what remained of an underground civilization. Although few really believed the story, and many suspect that Shaver may actually have been psychotic, Shaver always insisted that his story was true. He contended that the Elder Race, or Titans, came to this planet from another solar system in the prehistoric past. After some time living on the surface, they realized that the sun was causing them to age prematurely, so they escaped underground, building huge subterranean complexes in which to live. Eventually, they decided to seek a new home on a new planet, evacuating the Earth and leaving behind their underground cities populated by mutated beings: the evil Dero—detrimental robots—and the good Tero or integrated robots. It was these beings that Shaver claimed to have met.

Despite the enormous popularity of the Shaver Mystery, the location of the entrance to this underground world was never revealed.

Farfetched? Absolutely. Entertaining? You bet. There are still many, however, who believe that these underground civilizations exist and that they are home to strange races. Yet rarely do you hear of anyone mounting an expedition to seek these hidden entrances and confront the inhabitants of the hollow earth.