Antarctica’s Hollow Earth: A Gateway To Extraterrestrial Life

Although the concept of a Hollow Earth may appear absurd, scientists and politicians previously took it seriously.

Owen Egerton is a skilled author as well as a filmmaker of horror films like Mercy Black and Blood Fest. In his new novel Hollow, a religious studies professor grieving the loss of his son gets fascinated with the concept that an advanced civilization lives in the Earth’s core.

In Episode 444 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast, Egerton states, “Hollow is the junction of two interests, one being the Book of Job and the other being Hollow Earth Theory.” “Who knew those two would cross paths?” However, I believe they were meant to be.”

Although the concept of a Hollow Earth may appear absurd, it was once taken seriously by scientists and politicians, and it still has a few ardent supporters. “At almost every book event I did for Hollow, there would be one or two folks in the back of the room who were extremely happy that I’d written this book, and I suppose really disappointed when I started saying the Earth isn’t hollow,” Egerton recalls.

Egerton even volunteered to go to the North Pole on a Russian icebreaker as part of an expedition to find an entry to the Hollow Earth to prove his idea. (According to hollow Earth legend, huge holes known as Symmes Holes may be found near each pole.) Unfortunately, the trip did not take place, at least as far as he is aware.

“It was in and out of being able to happen,” adds Egerton. “It was funded, and then it had to be supported by individuals donating money, and it’s fluctuated.” Who knows, though. We might not hear from them for a few years, and then they’ll emerge from the South Pole, changing the globe.”

While writing the book, Egerton dismissed the Hollow Earth Theory as harmless nonsense, but subsequent events have caused him to reassess his position. “I was applauding people’s capacity to believe what was plainly not real when I wrote about the Hollow Earth,” he explains. “However, as the novel progressed and Donald Trump was elected, I began to realize that those conspiracy theories weren’t so charming, and that power might shift in a variety of terrible ways.”

In Episode 444 of Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy, listen to the full conversation with Owen Egerton (above). Also, below are some highlights from the debate.

On the Alamo Drafthouse, Owen Egerton says:

“It exposed me to a group of like-minded jerks, and it was also my film school.” I’d remain and watch these strange pictures, some of which were masterpieces of film and others which Tim League had acquired as drive-in flicks. Tim League had a phase where he literally learned about a drive-in that was closing down and acquired all of their movies. He was unsure what they were. He drove up to Oklahoma, broke the pickup truck he’d loaded all of these prints into, and basically said, ‘Once a week, anybody can come in for free—since I have no idea what these movies are, because they’re not labeled—and we’ll just watch them and figure it out as we go along.’

On directing, Owen Egerton says:

“One day, I received a call from Jason Blum, who said, ‘Yes, we want to acquire this script.’ ‘That’s fantastic,’ I responded. Only one thing remains. Another group was interested in it and was willing to let me lead it.’ ‘Oh, you want to direct, huh?’ he says. ‘Yes,’ I said. ‘Have you ever done it?’ he said. “Yes, my first picture just played at Fantastic Fest a week ago,” I say. ‘Send me the link,’ he says. I’ll watch it at lunchtime.’ So I did, and let me tell you, that day was not easy for me. ‘What is going on?’ I wondered. Jason Blum is seeing my movie!’ He contacted me later that day and said, ‘We’ll work something out.’ We’ll figure something out for you. Let’s get started.’ ”

On terror, Owen Egerton says:

“I think that when the bigger studios get excited about horror when they see what a low-budget film can do—that sort of breaks the rules and frightens people by giving them something outside of the lines—all too often a studio swarms in and says, ‘Let’s take that and clean it up, and we’re going to polish all the rough edges, and we’re going to give people something much safer and much more commercialized.’ And you’ll see that this happens repeatedly with various franchises and frightening intellectual properties. However, I believe horror is in a good position. The horror genre is far from over. It’s still going strong. It’s really good. And I don’t simply mean in terms of monetary gain. More voices, more various points of view are flowing into these stories, which just adds to the delectability of the smorgasbord.”

Hollow, according to Owen Egerton:

“The ideas that I believe will work best for me begin with a nagging question.” And the question for me was: What is at the center of the universe? These terrible things happen, people suffer, people are lonely, and people are separated from one another, yet there is also beauty—sunrises and infants.

Both of these things exist at the same time, and I was attempting to figure out what it meant. ‘Does the cosmos have a heart at its center?’ This is, in fact, the question posed by the Book of Job. … I read several versions, and Stephen Mitchell’s translation, as well as his comments on it, had a profound impact on me. There are several papers and opinions on the subject. I keep returning to the same question: “What does it mean for the cosmos to be both cruel and beautiful?”

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