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(originally published April 2010)

Cryptoterrestrials, by Mac Tonnies


In recent months, a myth about the "true" origin of aliens has made a troubling re-emergence. Several authors and bloggers seem to once again be touting the possibility that the interior of the Earth is the main center of operations – if not the ultimate origin – of the various alien groups present on our planet. New books such as The Cryptoterrestrials, with the bizarre subtitle A Meditation on Indigenous Humanoids and the Aliens Among Us, by the late Mac Tonnies, put this notion forward again. Tonnies' delusional book is now being vigorously promoted by notable commentators such as Greg Bishop, Paul Kimball and Gene Steinberg. But the truth is that such utter nonsense finds its impetus in writings by the certifiably insane, in occult antecedents that speak of "master races", and in religious fable.


In Tonnies' just-produced book (published by Anomalist Books), Mac attempts to make the case that we should be looking down, not up, for the origin of aliens. Mac maintains that there may well be "indigenous humanoids" that are a race of people who quietly live deep below the Earth in hidden caverns and tunnels. Such "cryptos" may be the pilots of advanced technology. These authors believe that we should seriously consider that UFOs come not from beyond Earth, but from under the Earth's surface. This supposed terrestrial race accounts for things that we previously thought of as extraterrestrial. This secret and ancient race, says Tonnies, is a possible reason for flying saucer and alien sightings by people who live on the Earth's surface. Such speculation should have been put to rest decades ago and has no place whatsoever in trying to discern from whence the alien comes.



Richard Shaver was a crane operator and welder for an auto-body shop in Detroit. Shaver had the idea that there was a race dwelling beneath our feet. He believed that this "underworld" was inhabited by beings he called "Deros" which stood for "detrimental robots." They were in constant conflict with another inner-earth race he called "Teros" which were constructive or "integrative" robots. Shaver attracted thousands of fans to this concept in the late 1940s when he began to submit manuscripts to Ray Palmer, the managing editor of the pulp magazine Amazing Stories. Though most of what was written in Amazing Stories was acknowledged as fiction fantasy, Shaver insisted that his story was fact. When a series of Shaver stories (collectively called "the Shaver Mystery") were published in the magazine, the circulation hugely increased. Palmer never

disagreed with Shaver – and Palmer enjoyed the boost in sales from these subterranean stories.


What is little known about the Shaver Mystery is that a diligent researcher named Michael Barkun found out the sad, sick truth about Shaver a long time ago. Barkun discovered that Shaver was hospitalized for psychiatric illnesses in the 1930s. Diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, he had spent much of his life as a hobo vagrant. Once settled, Shaver carved out a menial life doing welding jobs here and there. Shaver suffered delusions that one of his welding guns "by some freak of its coil's field attunements," was allowing him to hear the thoughts of tortured entities deep within the Earth. He began to discern a proto-language spoken by these cryptoterrestrials that spoke of marvelous technologies of aviation and weaponry. The "people beneath us" were a highly advanced pre-historic race that liked to come above to the surface and torture humans. Incredibly, even well after the publication of Shaver's stories in Palmer's magazine – and even after Amazing Stories went defunct – "Shaver Clubs" sprung up around the country to discuss the "mystery" even well into the 1950s. During the 1960s and 1970s, Shaver began to sell "rock books" through the mails by advertising in the classifieds sections in the back of occult magazines like Fate. He claimed that within certain rocks he found images of the Deros and Teros entities. These "rock paintings" were slices of polished agate that had grotesque images emblazoned on them by what Shaver called "special laser-like devices." With a little imagination, even this author (who as a child, had purchased such rock paintings) could discern the strange cryptoterrestrial images. Today, as an adult, this author is ashamed at considering such nonsense. The authors who tout Mac Tonnies' "theory" about such subterraneans should be similarly ashamed.


Vril, The Power of the Coming Race, by Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Victorian novelist and occultist Edward Bulwer-Lytton wrote volumes such as Vril: The Power of the Coming Race. Published in 1871, the book describes a vast subterranean world in which dwelled a technologically superior "master race." Like Shaver's Dero, with their ray guns, Bulwer-Lytton described powerful "ray machines" that emanated an energy called "Vril." Soon other books appeared, such as The Lost World of Agharti by Alec MacClellan, repeating similar themes.


Other authors have proposed the idea of "ascended masters" of esoteric wisdom that inhabit subterranean caverns. Antarctica, Tibet, Peru, the North Pole and Mount Shasta have at various times all had their advocates as locations of entrance to an underworld realm of sentients.


The concept of a "hollow Earth" has recurred in folklore and as the premise for a subgenre of pseudo-science for centuries. An early proponent of hollow Earth was William Reed, who wrote Phantom of the Poles in 1906. Marshall Gardner wrote A Journey to the Earth's Interior in 1913 and expanded on this in a revised edition in 1920.


Edmond Halley in 1602 seriously put forth the idea that Earth consisted of a hollow shell about 500 miles thick with inner concentric shells and an innermost core. He believed that others may live within these shells and that escaping gases caused the Aurora Borealis.


One of the most bizarre books in history, authored by a writer with the pseudonym "Dr. Raymond Barnard", was published in 1964 and bluntly titled The Hollow Earth. It is abundantly evident that from this book the idea of lost races and UFOs from inside Earth are re-infecting modern day researchers – and are now being rehashed by those such as Mac Tonnies.


Hollow Earth


Of course the real impetus for all of this nonsense comes from Hell. The idea of races of sentients who are secret and different from us comes from the fable-concepts of the Greek Hades, the Nordic svartalfheim, the Jewish Scheol and the Christian Hell.


As Jean-Paul Sartre, the French existentialist put it, "Hell is the Other." And the subterranean "other people" dreamed up by authors such as Shaver and Tonnies are legends based on lies. They are figments based on fictions and fear.

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