Special Correspondence to The Press.
NEW YORK, April 13.—The Wm. Reed Hollow Earth Exploring club has just been incorporated. The purpose of this strange organization is to prove by experiment that the earth is hollow and that such a thing as a north or a south pole does not exist.
It is the theory of the men planning the trip to the inside of the earth that there's a hole where the north pole ought to be. By means of balloons, submarine boats, gyroscopes and high explosives they expect to slip over the edge of the earth's crust into the inside of the shell and there find continents and kingdoms yet unseen.
The executive committee of the club has talked of two starting points for their explorations. One is in Norway and the other in Greenland. Roy Knahenshue, the aeronaut, has been asked to take charge of the balloon experiments.
Wm. Reed, the former insurance man who heads the club, says it is prepared to spend $1,500,000.
"It's time for action now—not a time for mere talking," said Reed when seen at his home. "But the earth is hollow and our investigations will soon prove it. The poles so long sought are but phantoms. There are openings at the southern and northern extremities of the earth. In the interior are vast continents, oceans, mountains and rivers. Vegetable and animal life is evident in this new world. And it is possibly peopled by races yet unknown by dwellers on the earth's surface."
"Our equipment is to be nothing but the best," said W. S. Rookey, the business manager. "We shall use Holland boats, dirigible balloons, wireless telephone and telegraph and the gyroscope—in fact anything that will be of value."
The gyroscope is to be used in place of a compass for the reason that the compass has been proven unreliable by previous explorers. John P. Holland, inventor of the submarine, and Hiram Maxim, the maker of explosives, have been asked for their opinions on the expedition. Holland believes his boat can operate under ice, and Maxim says it can be liberated by the use of nitrogelatin.[The Spokane Press, 1908-04-13, p.4.]
As I mentioned in my previous article on the lost continent of the Arctic, William Reed was the author of The Phantom of the Poles (1906, published by his business manager Walter S. Rockey, misspelled "Rookey" above). Here's a sectional diagram of the interior and its opening from that book (sailing ships not to scale):
Here's another news clipping that gives the mission statement for the Reed Hollow Earth Exploring Club (RHEEC):
IS THE EARTH HOLLOW?
The Club Formed to Explore the North and South Poles.
The Reed Hollow Earth Exploring Club was incorporated on the 2d day of April, 1908, under the laws of New York, the object of the club being "to organize and encourage expeditions to explore the Arctic and Antarctic regions and to provide the necessary means, outfits, equipment and instruments for such expeditions, to the end that the truth or falsity of the proposition of theory advanced by William Reed that the earth is a hollow sphere, and as set forth in his publication, entitled 'The Phantom of the Poles,' may be established with absolute certainty.
"To gather, collect and obtain, thru such expeditions or otherwise, exact information and data as to the geographical formation of the earth at what are commonly known as the 'poles' thereof, and to spread generally knowledge as to the same.
"To acquire and maintain fill and accurate records of all matters relating to any of the above and to gather and collect any and all books, publications and writings of other property of every character and description relating to exploration and travel and the inhabitants of such Arctic and Antarctic regions."
Frank M. Ashley is President and Capt. Bradley S. Osborn, 132 E. 23d St., New York, Corresponding Secretary of the club.[The National Tribune, 1908-06-04, p.3.]
The corresponding secretary's name is misprinted here and in some other sources; he's Bradley Sillick Osbon. In February of 1908, the New York Tribune included a blurb -- apparently insufficiently respectful -- about a reading by Reed at his home, which prompted Osbon to write an angry letter to the editor defending Reed's theories, arguing, among other things, that God will open the Hollow Earth to us once we maximize surface tourism:
A HOLLOW EARTH
Expedition to Pole to Test William Reed's Theory.
To the Editor of The Tribune.
Sir: In an editorial of Saturday last, "As Simple as Can Be," you make light of William Reed's theories of the earth being hollow. You may have to laugh on the other side (inside) of this world one of these days, for it is possible that Dr. F. A. Cook may open the door to the inside world as a result of his explorations. What will readers of The Tribune say when they remember your disbelief in these theories? Newspaper editors were skeptical when the steamboat made its advent; more so with the telegraph, the ocean cable, the sewing machine, the telephone, elevated railroads, electric motors, wireless telegraphy, wireless telephone and a hundred other things, all of which we have lived to see become of practical use. Why may not live to see, or see those that have seen, a hollow earth?
God in His mercy and wisdom only gives to mankind the good things it needs and uses in quantities and at the times when His creatures are capable of using them to the best advantage. The real estate fraternity, for instance, have not as yet disposed of all their holdings on the surface of the earth, and it is evident that the time for them has not come to enlarge their borders and embrace new fields of exploitation. It is, perhaps, not the opportune moment to open up new and attractive tourist routes and to turn the tide of summer travel northward and to new lands.
Besides, he has not yet convinced the average polar explorer that it is time to switch off from old methods, which bring no results, except writing books, making moving pictures and gathering matter for public lectures. These are all somewhat interesting, but they begin to lack novelty and will soon become worn threadbare. For centuries the poles have been searched for, but every search has been a failure. Is it beyond the range of possibility that God, who moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform, should have selected William Reed to prepare the way by his teachings to open up the gateways to this unknown inner earth—this new world?
We may scoff at Reed's theories, we may laugh them to scorn; but one thing is certain; that is, that no polar expedition will hereafter leave the shores of this outside world without seeking to test the truth or falsity of Reed's published theories, and if they will only bring back from the polar regions the solutions of some of the theories that have been advanced by this author they will have accomplished much good. This subject is being seriously considered by men of well known scientific attainments and standing, and it will not be long before an expedition will be sent poleward to test the theories as expounded and recorded in the pages of "The Phantom of the Poles." It is possible that on its return we may be able to greet men who have been the first to enter into the hidden mysteries of a hollow earth. Stranger things than this have happened.
B. S. OSBON.[The New York Tribune, 1908-02-27, p.6.]
New York. Feb. 23, 1908
The NY Tribune followed up with a longer article about the RHEEC shortly after its incorporation in New York on April 2nd:
THE EARTH'S HOLLOW
COPERNICUS ON THE RUN
"And We Can Prove It," Says New Exploring Club.
"The earth is hollow, and we can prove it," or words to that effect.
This announcement was made by Frank M. Ashley last night. He gave the further information that extensive plans were under way to fit out an Arctic exploration expedition which undoubtedly would be able to prove with scientific certainty that the earth was a hollow sphere, and at all events would positively cultivate the acquaintance of the North Pole by calling on it if it was where it ought to be and photographing it before it got away to lure for another four hundred years hardy but unfortunate searchers to their death. With this prologue by its president, the Reed Hollow Earth Exploring Club, incorporated, had formally opened its first public meeting in the Engineers' Building in West 39th street, and the public, as one man, sat up.
There was no hesitancy on the part of the several speakers. They patiently explained, in answer to studied inquiries, how they happened to know without doubt that the earth had always been hollow, with rivers, flowers, a superabundance of sunlight and people on its inside.
The speaker of the evening was William Reed, author or inventor of the ideas propounded last night.
He riveted the attention of the audience by the evident sincerity of his novel arguments. He said:
There are so very many reasons why we should consider and be able to prove that the earth is hollow. I am sure that the earth is composed of two shells each about one thousand miles thick, and that at both ends there is an opening about a thousand miles wide. Just think of all the reasons pointing to the theory—I had almost said fact—that the earth is hollow. Now mark me, please. Navigators report that when they reach their farthest north the weather becomes warmer, that there is more vegetation, more game. This shows us something must be wrong.
And then, again, they find huge birds called penguins, that are four feet high and flightless. How could they get there unless the earth was hollow and they walked from its inside surface?
Consider the iceberg. There is another argument that is forceful and seems to me to prove what I have said before. How and where are icebergs formed? I contend that they are formed in the interior of the earth, because it is simply impossible for an iceberg to form in any location yet discovered. The interior of the earth—back from the mouth of the rivers or canyons—is just suited for the formation of icebergs, as it is warmer there.
The mouth freezes first, and the river, continuing to flow into the ocean, overflows the mouth and freezes for months, until spring. Then as the warm weather of summer advances the bergs are thawed loose, the water from the rains in the interior rushes down and the bergs are shoved into the ocean. It is my firm belief that Captain Andre, that brave, intrepid explorer, who disappeared some twelve years ago, got on one of the curves at the northern extremity of the earth and—he is somewhere inside the earth now, though dead, probably.
This club has been formed to prove that the earth is hollow, and I have not the slightest hesitation in stating it as my belief that the inside is better than the out.
I feel we are on the eve, you might say, of discovering a new world. We will find the Pole, even if we have to go around that curve to get it. I do not believe there is a geographical North Pole, only a magnetic pole, which mariners have already reached. It is the undiscovered country that can be reached through the opening where the Pole is generally supposed to be that I want to see.
"It must make Mr. Rockefeller regret his age to realize that there is just about to be touched a whole new strip of land," suggested a man in the audience.
Mr. Reed smiled, but said he would prefer to answer the apparently humorous remark seriously.
"The country in there, really, to my mind, will be found very rich in minerals," he said.
Captain B. S. Osborn, corresponding secretary, introduced as a travelling encyclopedia of knowledge on far north matters, said: "As a plain, simple sailor, I think the same way about these important matters as Mr. Reed does—God in his wisdom has kept something to Himself—the most important being this secret that is now about to be made public, as I believe it, that the earth is hollow."
Captain A. Lackhurst, marine superintendent of the American Line and the Atlantic Transport Line, said he couldn't agree with many of the arguments. "If they are true, the solar system needs overhauling quick." he said.
Another meeting will be held soon.[New York Tribune, 1908-04-04, p.14.]
An article reprinted from the New York World provides more organizational details, as well as technical details about Arctic submarine exploration and ice breaking with explosives:
GOING TO LOOK FOR A BIG HOLE AT THE TOP OF THE WORLD
The earth is a hollow globe, and that its interior can be entered through a hole several hundred miles wide at each pole, which was first exploited in the Sunday World two years ago, seems to bear a charmed life.
The idea, which was conceived by William Reed, an insurance agent, seemed so fantastic that The World devote almost a page to it; since then Mr. Reed has elaborated his ideas in a book and addressed several more or less learned societies in advocacy of his theory. As a result, a company was incorporated last week, the object of which is to explore the innards of the earth. For this purpose an expedition is to be fitted out, with submarine boats, balloons, wireless telegraph, gyroscopes, and other paraphernalia of which no Arctic explorer hitherto has thought.
The company is called the William Reed Hollow Earth Exploring Club, and it is prepared to spend $1,500,000 in its search for proof that there is no North Pole. It is going to have scout boats capable of resisting the ice, smaller than, but of the same pattern as the Fram; automobiles such as those now making the New York-to-Paris endurance run; "scooters" much like those used on Great South Bay to assist fishermen and oystermen in overcoming ice barriers.
The position of these disciples of William Reed appears to be that they have been misunderstood from the start; their ideas as to the shape of the earth are not based upon a kind of religious enthusiasm or fanaicism, but upon cold scientific facts and upon deductions drawn from the reports of Arctic explorers.
Financiers associated with Mr. Reed say that while they do not agree with him in all his deductions, they are nevertheless convinced from the writings of men like Nansen, Peary and Bernacchi, that something is wrong with the accepted scientific conclusions regarding the poles, and that the time has come when the unknown country beyond the Arctic Circle, a territory larger than the entire United States, must be scientifically explored.
Mr. Reed is by no means a dreamer. A thorough business man by training, one of the best known among the fire insurance men of the country, some of his stanchest supporters are his former associates, bankers and fore insurance men who have known him for many years.
While it is a little less than two years since the Sunday World first spread this idea that the earth is hollow, and that Nansen, sailing in clear water for fourteen days, must have passed hundreds of miles beyond the pole, other explorers making similar mistakes because of the misleading variations of the magnetic needle, probably not since Mrs. Eddy first propounded Christian Science has any geographical theory so caught the popular fancy or made greater strides in the rural districts. Mr. Reed has been obliged to answer tens of thousands of letters of inquiry from all sorts and conditions of men. Mr. Reed estimates that his followers number upward of 40,000 scattered all over the world.
The officers of the William Reed Hollow Earth Club for New York are Frank M. Ashley, president; Dr. Roswell O. Stebbins, first vice president; Frank R. Millard, second vice president; Albert Operti, treasurer; Capt. Bradley S. Osbon, secretary; William Reed, Walter S. Rockey and Titus K. Smith, Executive Committee. Several of these men are old hands at Arctic exploration.
As nearly as can be ascertained, two plans have been considered seriously by the Executive Committee. One plan calls for a general rendezvous, at Tromsoe, Norway; near where Walter Wellman has for two seasons been threatening the pole with a dirigible balloon. The other calls for a general rendezvous in Greenland, near Etah, where Dr. Cook has several times made his headquarters. A letter has been sent to Roy Knabenshue, the Toledo aeronaut, asking him if the larger balloons which he has been at work constructing for eighteen months are suitable for use in the Arctic regions, and whether he can be induced to take charge of the aeronautic branch of an expedition of this nature.
When Mr. Reed was seen at his home, No. 315 West One Hundredth street, he would only say:
"It is time for action—not a time for mere talking. But the earth is hollow and our investigations will soon prove it. The poles so long sought are but phantoms. There are openings at the northern and southern extremities. In the interior of the earth are vast continents, oceans, mountains and rivers. Vegetable and animal life is evident in this new world, and it is possibly peopled by races yet unknown to the dwellers upon the earth's exterior."
Walter S. Rockey, business manager of the expedition, whose offices are at No. 503 Eighth avenue, said:
"Some of our plans are so feasile that if we should make them public at this time other Arctic explorers would at once adopt them. Premature publicity will only injure us. However, I do not mind saying that in the work of organizing this expedition we shall have only one rule—get the best. We are going to use all the old fashioned methods, including devices for long treks over the ice, but we are going to employ also the latest and most up-to-date scientific methods. Holland boats, dirigible balloons, wireless telegraphic and telephonic instruments, the gyroscope—anything and everything, in fact, that will aid us in making our way through the Arctic regions. And, while I am not ready to talk, I will say that I am ready to listen to suggestions from Arctic explorers in all parts of the world as to the best methods for making progress in the Far North.
Frank M. Ashley, president of the club, who is a lawyer, with offices in the Tribune Building, said he had suggested to Mr. Reed the use of the gyroscope as a substitute for the compass in the work of determining whether the earth curves sharply in the Arctic regions, and he added that this particular plan among others was now receiving careful consideration at the hands of the executive committee of the club.
When John P. Holland, inventor of the submarine boat, was asked whether a submarine of the Octopus type could be loaded on a ship and taken to the Arctic Ocean and there used as an auxiliary for exploring purposes, he said it would be folish to think of holding the submarine on any polar exploring ship, for the reason that the submarine could proceed to the Arctic under its own motive power, and that, even in the event of storms, a man would be as safe or more safe on it than on an ordinary boat.
"As for the distance which might be travelled in the event of an open Polar sea being encountered," said Mr. Holland, "I need only say that at the time I brought out the Fulton I offered to cross the Atlantic in a submarine and then dive ten miles under the water on the other side, just to show the Englishmen what we could do. And that would be far enough, everything considered, to travel to the limits of any Polar sea and back again.
"You ask me whether a submarine could be built capable of withstanding the enormous water pressures which might be necessary for deep sea navigations and explorations under the ice. At the time that I was making experiments for the Holland Boat Company I built a quarter size submarine with two steel shells, an outer shell and an inner, with compressed water between the two. I found by actual experiment that this boat would resist pressure almost to the point of the breaking point in the steel itself. As I now recall it, not a crack could be found until the enormous pressure of 182 pounds to the square inch was reached. This would indicate that a submarine could be built which would sink to a depth of between 450 and 500 feet."
Hudson, Maxim, the authority upon explosives, when told that the submarine experts say a boat can be built which will run under the water for 150 miles—about the distance that the latest Arctic explorers have stopped short of the North Pole—and asked to suggest the best explosives to be used in forcing away the ice and permitting a submarine boat to seek the surface for air and for the purposes of exploration, replied:
"Nitro-gelatin would be the best thing. The hydrostat ought to show the exact distance of the submarine below the surface of the water. As I now recall it, Arctice explorers agree that in most places the ice is not more than ten or twenty feet in thickness, However, half a ton of nitrogelatin, which would not cost much, ought to blow a hole through ice fifty feet thick. This nitro-gelatin could be laid after the fashion of a mine, and by attaching a copper wire to it and dropping it down four or five hundred feet into the ocean the occupants of the submarine could explode it. If no accident occurred an explosion or two of this sort ought to put the submarine scouts right in the heart of the Arctic regions. But to hunt the North Pole with a submarine boat! Well that is certainly 'going some!'"
—New York World.[Marion Daily Mirror, 1908-04-25, p.9.]
[UPDATE: 2016-01-21] More details about the planned expedition (they also get B. S. Osbon's name wrong):
MAN OF 80 YEARS IS PLANNING TO GO ON POLAR EXPEDITION
Hollow Earth Exploring Club to Send Out Fleet Equipped With Many Ingenious and Costly Devices.
Special to The Free Press.
New York. May 9.—Capt. B. B. Osbon is 80 years old but he is planning to go in search of the pole, or of the hole where the pole should be.
He is one of the organizers of the Reed Hollow North Pole Exploring club, which is planning to fit out an exploring fleet, consisting of three vessels, the flagship to be constructed on the lines of the "Gauss," and the two auxiliary vessels to be used as tenders.
The route will be by way of Bering Straits. The point of final departure has not been finally decided upon, but probably will be somewhere between Point Barrow and Bank's land, the plan being to take advantage of the Japan current and to drift as far north under its influence as possible before sending out the several exploring parties.
First the party will establish a wireless telegraph station at Cape Washington, Melville Land, one at Franz Joseph Land, one at Spitzbergen and one at Point Barrow. They will also have one on the vessel which will start from Point Barrow and proceed toward the pole, carrying as an aid in steering a gyroscope of special construction, which will enable the navigator to keep his course regardless of the compass, and will further indicate the distance traveled by registering the arc through which the vessel travels in a given time.
A specially constructed submarine boat will be taken, fully equipped for long journeys under floating ice. It will carry a wireless outfit by means of which the flagship may be always kept informed of its movements. The flagship will be equipped with a special telescoping mast of great height, which can be used for observation purposes and from which photographs may be taken to indicate open water and other conditions ahead. A telescope of large power, with photographic attachments, will be used to obtain pictures of water, sky and other phenomena. A large kite will be used, provided with a mirror which may be photographed, when in proper position, from the deck of the vessel, and the photographs, when enlarged, will show the conditions ahead for a considerable distance. A powerful siren will be used for signalling purposes, and a high-powered searchlight for use in the arctic night.
There will be sleds of improved construction for over-ice journeys and a balloon airship equipped with a powerful engine. This airship is designed to ascend and descend as often as desired, without any loss of gas, and with great rapidity, and will be capable of carrying 10 tons. A sufficient quantity of explosives will be taken to blow up the ice to make a channel and reach open water, if the distance if not too great. The flagship will be equipped with gas engines and gas producers, and oil fuel will be used as far as possible. F. M. Ashley, M. E., has charge of the scientific work. The expedition may ask the government at Ottawa for use of Bernier's ship "Discovery."
[UPDATE: 2016-09-17] More details from an Australian article quoting The New York Herald:
TO FIND HOLE AT THE POLE.
A Hollow Earth Club.
Secrecy to Balk Cranks.
Whether there is a pole or hole in the arctic region is the problem mapped out for solution by an expedition for which £140,000 has been promised (says The New York Herald). This amount may seem large, but the scheme is so comprehensive that the sinews of finance must not be hampered. As well start a racehorse with bowed tendons as to send a polar-holar expedition to the uttermost north without money. The quest will be under the direction of the Reed Hollow Earth Exploring Club, named for William Reed, who believes that inside of this terrestrial ball is full of all kinds of voids. The expedition will require a few accessories, such as a barquentine, with auxiliary power, two tugs or power boats, an airship, a few water automobiles which can be steered through open waters and run over dry ice, and some gyroscopes and kites. It will have no dogs, for the animals eat a pound of meat a day, and if there are a hundred dogs it is not difficult to see how much superabundant weight will be required. Capt. Bradley S. Osbon, who has been on many seas, and has been Admiral of a South American Navy or two, is the corresponding secretary of the club. He says he knows of one man who has promised between £20,000 and £40,000 to see whether the earth has iceing on top or a place where the core ought to be.
—Fears Intrusion by Cranks.—
"When I say promised," said the captain, "I do not exactly mean subscribed; but there are certain men who have the money and are perfectly willing to contribute it for the sake of solving this riddle of the ages. I do not care to give their names, for who knows how many cranks might be after them if I did." Capt. Osbon says that intelligent and intrepid men have been trying to find the north pole for three centuries and have met with anything but success. The club, however, is willing to believe there may be a pole, provided the earth is solid. "An old whaler said to me a few days ago," continued the captain, "that if there were any whales at the pole the whalers would have found it long ago. I think they would. The average whaler, of course, doesn't look much for poles when he is after blubber, but still he might stand a good chance of finding the pole at that. There are many things about the far north which we do not understand. Is the aurora borealis electricity? I doubt if any chronometer would be able to stand its influence if that theory were correct. I have been to both the arctic and the antarctic regions, and I must confess that there are many things which puzzle me. Why is the water obtained from melting the ice from icebergs perfectly fresh. There are two kinds of ice—fresh and salt ice—in the arctic. Mr. Reed thinks the icebergs are formed inside the earth and come up through the hole. It may be that the aurora borealis is the reflection of internal volcanoes or of interior forest fires.
—People on the Inside?—
Capt. Osbon said that he did not think any danger would result if the proposed fleet did go over the rim of the hole, for the laws of gravitation would still be in force, and it would be just as easy to steam up again out of the place. One of the members of the club has an idea that there may be treasures of all kinds to be found on the inside of the hollow earth which would well be worth the trouble of obtaining. He declines to speculate as to there being any inhabitants on the inside of the globe who might resent the liberties taken by the denizens of the outside. The club has written to Sir Wilfrid Laurier with a view of finding out if the Canadian Government will lend the exploring vessel—the Arctic—for the flagship of the proposed fleet, but has received no reply. Capt. Bernier, who has been planting the British flag on northern islands, is spoken of as the commodore of the expedition.
[Evening Journal (Adelaide), 1908-06-25, p.5.]
The Proceedings of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, whose lecture room held the RHEEC's first meeting, show that in 1908 they had one meeting there with 84 in attendence.
According to the June 1908 issue of The Flaming Sword -- a magazine from Dr. Cyrus Reed Teed (aka Koresh, founder of Koreshanity) -- the RHEEC published a four page monthly newsletter, for at least one issue. [UPDATE: According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, 1908-05-18 p.4, the title was The Bulletin of the Reed Hollow Earth Exploring Club (Inc.). They only mention Vol. 1, No. 1, for May. Subscription was $1 a year. I believe, based on some sketchy, likely virus-laden PDF results on Google that include this title as link-bait, that at some point someone scanned it and uploaded/shared it somewhere, but I can't find a copy. Please email me if you have one. I'll delete this note and replace it with the PDF if I can find it.]
Teed had his own Hollow Earth theory called Cellular Cosmogony which was about as geometrically opposed to Reed's theory as one could get (we live inside the Hollow Earth, along with the entirety of the Cosmos; outside is nothing but void!) So it's no surprise the Sword was a bit dismissive of the RHEEC, calling Reed's conception "simply that of Capt. John Cleves Symmes, who lived away back in the forepart of the last century" (Symmes is an important figure in Hollow Earth studies, and polar openings on all hollow planets are named in his honor: Symmes' Holes). However, the Sword did allow that Reed's paper may prove of interest to many, if only due to its notes and news concerning polar explorations.
I can find no further updates on the Reed Hollow Earth Exploring Club and its planned expedition. The AIEE report for 1909 shows the RHEEC held zero meetings that year. While that may look bad, it was the same number listed as held by the Underwriters Laboratories, and the UL turned out pretty successful. Perhaps Reed just took the club underground.
[UPDATE: 2016-09-17] It appears that in 1909, following the alleged discoveries of the North Pole by Cook and Peary, the RHEEC was losing members, at least if vague, dismissive, third-hand dispatches are to believed. The same report has club leaders refocusing on the South Pole entrance, which can be seen on this illustration from a Sydney Sunday Times article (1906-09-09, p.7) about Reed's book:
[UPDATE: 2015-09-12] I overlooked that the July 1908 Flaming Sword had more to say on the subject. The writer seems a bit annoyed that people contacting her are confusing Mr. Reed's theories with those of Cellular Cosmogony. She set the record straight and issued a challenge to the Roosevelt administration:
Literature on the Polar Equation
ABOUT TWO MONTHS ago the New York newspapers printed articles devoted to the founding of the "Reed Hollow Earth Exploring Club." Two of these articles, one from the World, the other from the Times, were sent by friends to the writer. Subsequently a gentleman playfully asked if she had seen an account of the manner in which a man named Reed had driven a team into the hole at the North Pole. Nothing of the kind has been stated in any newspaper.
We are not in business for the sake of advertising Mr. Reed's theories. The Times gave him a very fair presentation to its readers, also stating that the club was founded with the object of sending an expedition to the Arctic regions to test the truth of his notion that the two poles are really two openings, each a thousand miles wide. He thinks that André in his balloon disappeared into this concavity, and that Nansen really penetrated it. He quoted the puzzle Nansen gave navigators in reporting that his ship sailed for fourteen days at the rate of eight knots an hour, which would give a total of about 3,000 miles, though when he took observations, he found it had only moved a few degrees. Mr. Reed thinks Nansen was sailing inside the earth all that time. We think so too, though in a more general sense than even Mr. Reed implies.
He sustains his theory by this reference,—"Penguins, those strange birds that are four feet high and march like soldiers, must come from some warm place. They could not be bred among the icebergs of the polar winter. Where do they go to? They cannot fly. My theory is that the penguins come out of the interior of the earth in the arctic summer, some where near the place where the vegetable matter grows, that gives the snow its black, green, red, and yellow hues."
Those who have kindly supplied the writer with literature on this subject, doubtless expect to be furnished with a free pass to the inside by Mr. Reed. We are not discussing theories, but mechanical demonstrations. The earth's crust, all over the surface, not simply at the poles, curves concavely at the rate of eight inches to the mile. This has been proved by the geodetic apparatus invented for this purpose. The United States Government under Theodore Roosevelt, is at liberty to repeat this experiment and demonstrate the same fact.
A good many persons have thought the Cellular Cosmogony was identical with "Symmes' Hole." That does not make it so, nor does their notion show their perspicacity.