I love reading about “weird history” and “weird space” (which are frequently intertwined.) These are theories of history & science which, while falling out of the mainstream of history and/or science, still are very enjoyable to read – sometimes the authors have brilliant insights, sometimes they just tell a good yarn.
The most frequently used technique used by these authors is a literal interpretation of ancient mythology. This always brings up the interesting question of how literal these myths were supposed to be in the first place. (Note: this list is always going to be under construction!)
Our Mysterious Spaceship Moon. Don Wilson. Dell Publishing: 1975.
Secrets of Our Mysterious Spaceship Moon. Don Wilson. Dell Publishing: 1979.
These two books purport that our Moon is a hollow spaceship which has been placed into orbit around the Earth. These books are largely based on an article “Is the Moon a Creation of Intelligence?” in Sputnik magazine, by Mikhail Vasin and Alexander Shcherbakov. Although American scientists have claimed that the article (Sputnik is a Russian scientific magazine) was intended as a joke, Wilson takes this theory and runs with it. Both books are crammed with evidence – some shaky at best, some quite convincing – that the moon is hollow. Although Wilson also believes that the Moon may be a base for UFOs, it does not necessarily follow from the hollow Moon theory, nor is the hollow Moon theory dependent upon UFO activity for its validity. The second book (Secrets) is more explicit on some of the scientific and technical evidence for a hollow Moon. Interestingly enough, all of the traditional theories of the Moon’s origin that Wilson rejects in favor of his theory have recently been discarded by the scientific establishment in favor of a new theory – that early in the Earth’s history, a huge meteor or planet struck the Earth, breaking off a big chunk which became the Moon. Doesn’t sound much more plausible than a spaceship Moon!
Moongate: Suppressed Findings of the U.S. Space Program: The NASA-Military Cover-up. William L. Brian, II. Future Science Research Publishing Co.: 1982.
Another hollow-moon book. Although I have not yet read it, my understanding is that it uses the “rings like a bell” evidence, McDonald’s motion of the moon study (it behaves like a hollow sphere), and the “surface is much denser than the interior is” fact. Unfortunately, I have not run across this accidentally, and it’s value is around $40 (more than I want to pay!)
Worlds in Collision. Immanuel Velikovsky. Doubleday: 1950
Ages in Chaos, Volume I from the Exodus to King Akhnaton. Doubleday: 1952.
Earth in Upheaval. Doubleday: 1955.
Oedipus and Akhnaton Myth and History. Doubleday: 1960.
Peoples of the Sea (Ages in Chaos). Doubleday: 1977.
Ramses II and His Time (Ages in Chaos). Doubleday: 1978.
Mankind in Amnesia. Doubleday: 1982.
Stargazers and Gravediggers: Memoirs to Worlds in Collision. William Morrow: 1983.
Velikovsky isn’t the guy that started it all, but his popular influence is undoubtable. Although he wrote Worlds in Collision and Ages in Chaos at the same time, Worlds was published first. Velikovsky’s basic premise here is that Venus (the planet) popped out of Jupiter as a comet. It then approached the Earth, wreaked all sorts of havoc during the time of the Biblical Exodus, and eventually wound up in circular orbit around the sun as the planet it is today. All of his books are characterized by a literal reading of ancient mythology. Although he lacks the physical evidence necessary to make this truly convincing (later organized in Earth in Upheaval), Worlds is a fascinating read, and at least plausible: why, for example, would mythologies from around the world refer to Venus as a “cloudy” planet? It has no halo now, but may have in its previous existence as a comet. This book had a tremendous impact on the reading public (though not as much impact on astonomers and historians as Velikovsky would like to think), and since Worlds, innumerable books have been written based on a re-reading of mythology to uncover mysteries of the past; though few are done with as thorough research as Velikovsky’s.
Moons, Myths and Men. H. S. Bellamy. Harper: 1938
(I really want a copy of this!!!!)
Built Before the Flood: the Problem of the Tiahuanaco Ruins. Faber & Faber: 1943.
The Atlantis Myth. Faber & Faber: 1949.
The Calendar to Tiahuanaco. with P. Allen. Faber & Faber: 1956.
The Great Idol of Tiahuanaco: an Interpretation in the Light of the Hoerbiger Theory of Satellites of the Glyphs Carved on It. with P. Allen. Faber & Faber: 1959.
Although I have not read it (yet) Moons sounds like an absolutely fascinating book. Bellamy’s work examines the mythologies of cultures from across the world. His conclusion is that all of the legends point to a time in human memory when there was no Moon orbiting Earth! Bellamy’s work, if true, would support a very recent “capture theory” of the origin of the Moon, or, of course, that the Moon is a spaceship recently arrived!
Timeless Earth by Peter Kolosimo.
Not of this World by Peter Kolosimo.
Spaceships in Prehistory by Peter Kolosimo.
Popular author from the “other” side of the Atlantic.
The Twelfth Planet (Earth Chronicles, Book I) by Zecharia Sitchin.
The Stairway to Heaven (II) by Zecharia Sitchin.
The Wars of Gods and Men (III) by Zecharia Sitchin.
The Lost Realms (IV) by Zecharia Sitchin.
When Time Began (V) by Zecharia Sitchin.
The Cosmic Code (VI) by Zecharia Sitchin.
Earth Chronicles Expeditions by Zecharia Sitchin.
The Lost Book of Enki: Memoirs and Prophecies of an Extraterrestrial God by Zecharia Sitchin.
Genesis Revisted: Is Modern Science Catching Up with Ancient Knowledge? by Zecharia Sitchin.
Divine Encounters: A Guide to Visions, Angels, and Other Emissaries by Zecharia Sitchin.
Zecharia Sitchin is well-known for the “Earth Chronicles” series – mostly fluff, but still a few interesting tidbits along the way.
Note: There are, of course, many “unorthodox” theories out there. This list is composed only of books which do a decent job of supporting their argument. As this general field is a favorite of mine, we will be adding to this list as I read (or hear about) more books!