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Title: The Smoky God
Author: Willis George Emerson
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The Smoky God
Willis George Emerson



A Voyage to the Inner World




"He is the God who sits in the center, on the navel of the earth,
and he is the interpreter of religion to allmankind."--PLATO.


I FEAR the seemingly incredible story which I am about to relate will
be regarded as the result of a distorted intellect superinduced,
possibly, by the glamour of unveiling a marvelous mystery, rather than
a truthful record of the unparalleled experiences related by one Olaf
Jansen, whose eloquent madness so appealed to my imagination that all
thought of an analytical criticism has been effectually dispelled.

Marco Polo will doubtless shift uneasily in his grave at the strange
story I am called upon to chronicle; a story as strange as a
Munchausen tale. It is also incongruous that I, a disbeliever, should
be the one to edit the story of Olaf Jansen, whose name is now for the
first time given to the world, yet who must hereafter rank as one of
the notables of earth.

I freely confess his statements admit of no rational analysis, but
have to do with the profound mystery concerning the frozen North that
for centuries has claimed the attention of scientists and laymen

However much they are at variance with the cosmographical manuscripts
of the past, these plain statements may be relied upon as a record of
the things Olaf Jansen claims to have seen with his own eyes.

A hundred times I have asked myself whether it is possible that the
world's geography is incomplete, and that the startling narrative of
Olaf Jansen is predicated upon demonstrable facts. The reader may be
able to answer these queries to his own satisfaction, however far the
chronicler of this narrative may be from having reached a conviction.
Yet sometimes even I am at a loss to know whether I have been led away
from an abstract truth by the ignes fatui of a clever superstition, or
whether heretofore accepted facts are, after all, founded upon

It may be that the true home of Apollo was not at Delphi, but in that
older earth-center of which Plato speaks, where he says: "Apollo's
real home is among the Hyperboreans, in a land of perpetual life,
where mythology tells us two doves flying from the two opposite ends
of the world met in this fair region, the home of Apollo. Indeed,
according to Hecataeus, Leto, the mother of Apollo, was born on an
island in the Arctic Ocean far beyond the North Wind."

It is not my intention to attempt a discussion of the theogony of the
deities nor the cosmogony of the world. My simple duty is to enlighten
the world concerning a heretofore unknown portion of the universe, as
it was seen and described by the old Norseman, Olaf Jansen.

Interest in northern research is international. Eleven nations are
engaged in, or have contributed to, the perilous work of trying to
solve Earth's one remaining cosmological mystery.

There is a saying, ancient as the hills, that "truth is stranger than
fiction," and in a most startling manner has this axiom been brought
home to me within the last fortnight.

It was just two o'clock in the morning when I was aroused from a
restful sleep by the vigorous ringing of my door-bell. The untimely
disturber proved to be a messenger bearing a note, scrawled almost to
the point of illegibility, from an old Norseman by the name of Olaf
Jansen. After much deciphering, I made out the writing, which simply
said: "Am ill unto death. Come." The call was imperative, and I lost
no time in making ready to comply.

Perhaps I may as well explain here that Olaf Jansen, a man who quite
recently celebrated his ninety-fifth birthday, has for the last half-
dozen years been living alone in an unpretentious bungalow out
Glendale way, a short distance from the business district of Los
Angeles, California.

It was less than two years ago, while out walking one afternoon that I
was attracted by Olaf Jansen's house and its homelike surroundings,
toward its owner and occupant, whom I afterward came to know as a
believer in the ancient worship of Odin and Thor.

There was a gentleness in his face, and a kindly expression in the
keenly alert gray eyes of this man who had lived more than four-score
years and ten; and, withal, a sense of loneliness that appealed to my
sympathy. Slightly stooped, and with his hands clasped behind him, he
walked back and forth with slow and measured tread, that day when
first we met. I can hardly say what particular motive impelled me to
pause in my walk and engage him in conversation. He seemed pleased
when I complimented him on the attractiveness of his bungalow, and on
the well-tended vines and flowers clustering in profusion over its
windows, roof and wide piazza.

I soon discovered that my new acquaintance was no ordinary person, but
one profound and learned to a remarkable degree; a man who, in the
later years of his long life, had dug deeply into books and become
strong in the power of meditative silence.

I encouraged him to talk, and soon gathered that he had resided only
six or seven years in Southern California, but had passed the dozen
years prior in one of the middle Eastern states. Before that he had
been a fisherman off the coast of Norway, in the region of the Lofoden
Islands, from whence he had made trips still farther north to
Spitzbergen and even to Franz Josef Land.

When I started to take my leave, he seemed reluctant to have me go,
and asked me to come again. Although at the time I thought nothing of
it, I remember now that he made a peculiar remark as I extended my
hand in leave-taking. "You will come again?" he asked. "Yes, you will
come again some day. I am sure you will; and I shall show you my
library and tell you many things of which you have never dreamed,
things so wonderful that it may be you will not believe me."

I laughingly assured him that I would not only come again, but would
be ready to believe whatever he might choose to tell me of his travels
and adventures.

In the days that followed I became well acquainted with Olaf Jansen,
and, little by little, he told me his story, so marvelous, that its
very daring challenges reason and belief. The old Norseman always
expressed himself with so much earnestness and sincerity that I became
enthralled by his strange narrations.

Then came the messenger's call that night, and within the hour I was
at Olaf Jansen's bungalow.

He was very impatient at the long wait, although after being summoned
I had come immediately to his bedside.

"I must hasten," he exclaimed, while yet he held my hand in greeting.
"I have much to tell you that you know not, and I will trust no one
but you. I fully realize," he went on hurriedly, "that I shall not
survive the night. The time has come to join my fathers in the great

I adjusted the pillows to make him more comfortable, and assured him I
was glad to be able to serve him in any way possible, for I was
beginning to realize the seriousness of his condition.

The lateness of the hour, the stillness of the surroundings, the
uncanny feeling of being alone with the dying man, together with his
weird story, all combined to make my heart beat fast and loud with a
feeling for which I have no name. Indeed, there were many times that
night by the old Norseman's couch, and there have been many times
since, when a sensation rather than a conviction took possession of my
very soul, and I seemed not only to believe in, but actually see, the
strange lands, the strange people and the strange world of which he
told, and to hear the mighty orchestral chorus of a thousand lusty

For over two hours he seemed endowed with almost superhuman strength,
talking rapidly, and to all appearances, rationally. Finally he gave
into my hands certain data, drawings and crude maps. "These," said he
in conclusion, "I leave in your hands. If I can have your promise to
give them to the world, I shall die happy, because I desire that
people may know the truth, for then all mystery concerning the frozen
Northland will be explained. There is no chance of your suffering the
fate I suffered. They will not put you in irons, nor confine you in a
mad-house, because you are not telling your own story, but mine, and
I, thanks to the gods, Odin and Thor, will be in my grave, and so
beyond the reach of disbelievers who would persecute."

Without a thought of the farreaching results the promise entailed, or
foreseeing the many sleepless nights which the obligation has since
brought me, I gave my hand and with it a pledge to discharge
faithfully his dying wish.

As the sun rose over the peaks of the San Jacinto, far to the
eastward, the spirit of Olaf Jansen, the navigator, the explorer and
worshiper of Odin and Thor, the man whose experiences and travels, as
related, are without a parallel in all the world's history, passed
away, and I was left alone with the dead.

And now, after having paid the last sad rites to this strange man from
the Lofoden Islands, and the still farther "Northward Ho!", the
courageous explorer of frozen regions, who in his declining years
(after he had passed the four-score mark) had sought an asylum of
restful peace in sun-favored California, I will undertake to make
public his story.

But, first of all, let me indulge in one or two reflections:

Generation follows generation, and the traditions from the misty past
are handed down from sire to son, but for some strange reason interest
in the ice-locked unknown does not abate with the receding years,
either in the minds of the ignorant or the tutored.

With each new generation a restless impulse stirs the hearts of men to
capture the veiled citadel of the Arctic, the circle of silence, the
land of glaciers, cold wastes of waters and winds that are strangely
warm. Increasing interest is manifested in the mountainous icebergs,
and marvelous speculations are indulged in concerning the earth's
center of gravity, the cradle of the tides, where the whales have
their nurseries, where the magnetic needle goes mad, where the Aurora
Borealis illumines the night, and where brave and courageous spirits
of every generation dare to venture and explore, defying the dangers
of the "Farthest North."

One of the ablest works of recent years is "Paradise Found, or the
Cradle of The Human Race at the North Pole," by William F. Warren. In
his carefully prepared volume, Mr. Warren almost stubbed his toe
against the real truth, but missed it seemingly by only a hair's
breadth, if the old Norseman's revelation be true.

Dr. Orville Livingston Leech, scientist, in a recent article, says:

"The possibilities of a land inside the earth were first brought to my
attention when I picked up a geode on the shores of the Great Lakes.
The geode is a spherical and apparently solid stone, but when broken
is found to be hollow and coated with crystals. The earth is only a
larger form of a geode, and the law that created the geode in its
hollow form undoubtedly fashioned the earth in the same way."

In presenting the theme of this almost incredible story, as told by
Olaf Jansen, and supplemented by manuscript, maps and crude drawings
entrusted to me, a fitting introduction is found in the following

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth, and the earth
was without form and void." And also, "God created man in his own
image." Therefore, even in things material, man must be God-like,
because he is created in the likeness of the Father.

A man builds a house for himself and family. The porches or verandas
are all without, and are secondary. The building is really constructed
for the conveniences within.

Olaf Jansen makes the startling announcement through me, an humble
instrument, that in like manner, God created the earth for the
"within"--that is to say, for its lands, seas, rivers, mountains,
forests and valleys, and for its other internal conveniences, while
the outside surface of the earth is merely the veranda, the porch,
where things grow by comparison but sparsely, like the lichen on the
mountain side, clinging determinedly for bare existence.

Take an egg-shell, and from each end break out a piece as large as the
end of this pencil. Extract its contents, and then you will have a
perfect representation of Olaf Jansen's earth. The distance from the
inside surface to the outside surface, according to him, is about
three hundred miles. The center of gravity is not in the center of the
earth, but in the center of the shell or crust; therefore, if the
thickness of the earth's crust or shell is three hundred miles, the
center of gravity is one hundred and fifty miles below the surface.

In their log-books Arctic explorers tell us of the dipping of the
needle as the vessel sails in regions of the farthest north known. In
reality, they are at the curve; on the edge of the shell, where
gravity is geometrically increased, and while the electric current
seemingly dashes off into space toward the phantom idea of the North
Pole, yet this same electric current drops again and continues its
course southward along the inside surface of the earth's crust.

In the appendix to his work, Captain Sabine gives an account of
experiments to determine the acceleration of the pendulum in different
latitudes. This appears to have resulted from the joint labor of Peary
and Sabine. He says: "The accidental discovery that a pendulum on
being removed from Paris to the neighborhood of the equator increased
its time of vibration, gave the first step to our present knowledge
that the polar axis of the globe is less than the equatorial; that the
force of gravity at the surface of the earth increases progressively
from the equator toward the poles."

According to Olaf Jansen, in the beginning this old world of ours was
created solely for the "within" world, where are located the four
great rivers--the Euphrates, the Pison, the Gihon and the Hiddekel.
These same names of rivers, when applied to streams on the "outside"
surface of the earth, are purely traditional from an antiquity beyond
the memory of man.

On the top of a high mountain, near the fountain-head of these four
rivers, Olaf Jansen, the Norseman, claims to have discovered the long-
lost "Garden of Eden," the veritable navel of the earth, and to have
spent over two years studying and reconnoitering in this marvelous
"within" land, exuberant with stupendous plant life and abounding in
giant animals; a land where the people live to be centuries old, after
the order of Methuselah and other Biblical characters; a region where
one-quarter of the "inner" surface is water and three-quarters land;
where there are large oceans and many rivers and lakes; where the
cities are superlative in construction and magnificence; where modes
of transportation are as far in advance of ours as we with our boasted
achievements are in advance of the inhabitants of "darkest Africa."

The distance directly across the space from inner surface to inner
surface is about six hundred miles less than the recognized diameter
of the earth. In the identical center of this vast vacuum is the seat
of electricity--a mammoth ball of dull red fire--not startlingly
brilliant, but surrounded by a white, mild, luminous cloud, giving out
uniform warmth, and held in its place in the center of this internal
space by the immutable law of gravitation. This electrical cloud is
known to the people "within" as the abode of "The Smoky God." They
believe it to be the throne of "The Most High."

Olaf Jansen reminded me of how, in the old college days, we were all
familiar with the laboratory demonstrations of centrifugal motion,
which clearly proved that, if the earth were a solid, the rapidity of
its revolution upon its axis would tear it into a thousand fragments.

The old Norseman also maintained that from the farthest points of land
on the islands of Spitzbergen and Franz Josef Land, flocks of geese
may be seen annually flying still farther northward, just as the
sailors and explorers record in their log-books. No scientist has yet
been audacious enough to attempt to explain, even to his own
satisfaction, toward what lands these winged fowls are guided by their
subtle instinct. However, Olaf Jansen has given us a most reasonable

The presence of the open sea in the Northland is also explained. Olaf
Jansen claims that the northern aperture, intake or hole, so to speak,
is about fourteen hundred miles across. In connection with this, let
us read what Explorer Nansen writes, on page 288 of his book: "I have
never had such a splendid sail. On to the north, steadily north, with
a good wind, as fast as steam and sail can take us, an open sea mile
after mile, watch after watch, through these unknown regions, always
clearer and clearer of ice, one might almost say: 'How long will it
last?' The eye always turns to the northward as one paces the bridge.
It is gazing into the future. But there is always the same dark sky
ahead which means open sea." Again, the Norwood Review of England, in
its issue of May 10, 1884, says: "We do not admit that there is ice up
to the Pole--once inside the great ice barrier, a new world breaks
upon the explorer, the climate is mild like that of England, and,
afterward, balmy as the Greek Isles."

Some of the rivers "within," Olaf Jansen claims, are larger than our
Mississippi and Amazon rivers combined, in point of volume of water
carried; indeed their greatness is occasioned by their width and depth
rather than their length, and it is at the mouths of these mighty
rivers, as they flow northward and southward along the inside surface
of the earth, that mammoth icebergs are found, some of them fifteen
and twenty miles wide and from forty to one hundred miles in length.

Is it not strange that there has never been an iceberg encountered
either in the Arctic or Antarctic Ocean that is not composed of fresh
water? Modern scientists claim that freezing eliminates the salt, but
Olaf Jansen claims differently.

Ancient Hindoo, Japanese and Chinese writings, as well as the
hieroglyphics of the extinct races of the North American continent,
all speak of the custom of sun-worshiping, and it is possible, in the
startling light of Olaf Jansen's revelations, that the people of the
inner world, lured away by glimpses of the sun as it shone upon the
inner surface of the earth, either from the northern or the southern
opening, became dissatisfied with "The Smoky God," the great pillar or
mother cloud of electricity, and, weary of their continuously mild and
pleasant atmosphere, followed the brighter light, and were finally led
beyond the ice belt and scattered over the "outer" surface of the
earth, through Asia, Europe, North America and, later, Africa,
Australia and South America. [1]

[1 The following quotation is significant; "It follows that man
issuing from a mother-region still undetermined but which a number of
considerations indicate to have been in the North, has radiated in
several directions; that his migrations have been constantly from
North to South."--M. le Marquis G. de Saporta, in Popular Science
Monthly, October, 1883, page 753.]

It is a notable fact that, as we approach the Equator, the stature of
the human race grows less. But the Patagonians of South America are
probably the only aborigines from the center of the earth who came out
through the aperture usually designated as the South Pole, and they
are called the giant race.

Olaf Jansen avers that, in the beginning, the world was created by the
Great Architect of the Universe, so that man might dwell upon its
"inside" surface, which has ever since been the habitation of the

They who were driven out of the "Garden of Eden" brought their
traditional history with them.

The history of the people living "within" contains a narrative
suggesting the story of Noah and the ark with which we are familiar.
He sailed away, as did Columbus, from a certain port, to a strange
land he had heard of far to the northward, carrying with him all
manner of beasts of the fields and fowls of the air, but was never
heard of afterward.

On the northern boundaries of Alaska, and still more frequently on the
Siberian coast, are found boneyards containing tusks of ivory in
quantities so great as to suggest the burying-places of antiquity.
From Olaf Jansen's account, they have come from the great prolific
animal life that abounds in the fields and forests and on the banks of
numerous rivers of the Inner World. The materials were caught in the
ocean currents, or were carried on ice-floes, and have accumulated
like driftwood on the Siberian coast. This has been going on for ages,
and hence these mysterious bone-yards.

On this subject William F. Warren, in his book already cited, pages
297 and 298, says: "The Arctic rocks tell of a lost Atlantis more
wonderful than Plato's. The fossil ivory beds of Siberia excel
everything of the kind in the world. From the days of Pliny, at least,
they have constantly been undergoing exploitation, and still they are
the chief headquarters of supply. The remains of mammoths are so
abundant that, as Gratacap says, 'the northern islands of Siberia seem
built up of crowded bones.' Another scientific writer, speaking of the
islands of New Siberia, northward of the mouth of the River Lena, uses
this language: 'Large quantities of ivory are dug out of the ground
every year. Indeed, some of the islands are believed to be nothing but
an accumulation of drift-timber and the bodies of mammoths and other
antediluvian animals frozen together.' From this we may infer that,
during the years that have elapsed since the Russian conquest of
Siberia, useful tusks from more than twenty thousand mammoths have
been collected."

But now for the story of Olaf Jansen. I give it in detail, as set down
by himself in manuscript, and woven into the tale, just as he placed
them, are certain quotations from recent works on Arctic exploration,
showing how carefully the old Norseman compared with his own
experiences those of other voyagers to the frozen North. Thus wrote
the disciple of Odin and Thor:


MY name is Olaf Jansen. I am a Norwegian, although I was born in the
little seafaring Russian town of Uleaborg, on the eastern coast of the
Gulf of Bothnia, the northern arm of the Baltic Sea.

My parents were on a fishing cruise in the Gulf of Bothnia, and put
into this Russian town of Uleaborg at the time of my birth, being the
twenty-seventh day of October, 1811.

My father, Jens Jansen, was born at Rodwig on the Scandinavian coast,
near the Lofoden Islands, but after marrying made his home at
Stockholm, because my mother's people resided in that city. When seven
years old, I began going with my father on his fishing trips along the
Scandinavian coast.

Early in life I displayed an aptitude for books, and at the age of
nine years was placed in a private school in Stockholm, remaining
there until I was fourteen. After this I made regular trips with my
father on all his fishing voyages.

My father was a man fully six feet three in height, and weighed over
fifteen stone, a typical Norseman of the most rugged sort, and capable
of more endurance than any other man I have ever known. He possessed
the gentleness of a woman in tender little ways, yet his determination
and will-power were beyond description. His will admitted of no

I was in my nineteenth year when we started on what proved to be our
last trip as fishermen, and which resulted in the strange story that
shall be given to the world,---but not until I have finished my
earthly pilgrimage.

I dare not allow the facts as I know them to be published while I am
living, for fear of further humiliation, confinement and suffering.
First of all, I was put in irons by the captain of the whaling vessel
that rescued me, for no other reason than that I told the truth about
the marvelous discoveries made by my father and myself. But this was
far from being the end of my tortures.

After four years and eight months' absence I reached Stockholm, only
to find my mother had died the previous year, and the property left by
my parents in the possession of my mother's people, but it was at once
made over to me.

All might have been well, had I erased from my memory the story of our
adventure and of my father's terrible death.

Finally, one day I told the story in detail to my uncle, Gustaf
Osterlind, a man of considerable property, and urged him to fit out an
expedition for me to make another voyage to the strange land.

At first I thought he favored my project. He seemed interested, and
invited me to go before certain officials and explain to them, as I
had to him, the story of our travels and discoveries. Imagine my
disappointment and horror when, upon the conclusion of my narrative,
certain papers were signed by my uncle, and, without warning, I found
myself arrested and hurried away to dismal and fearful confinement in
a madhouse, where I remained for twenty-eight years--long, tedious,
frightful years of suffering!

I never ceased to assert my sanity, and to protest against the
injustice of my confinement. Finally, on the seventeenth of October,
1862, I was released. My uncle was dead, and the friends of my youth
were now strangers. Indeed, a man over fifty years old, whose only
known record is that of a madman, has no friends.

I was at a loss to know what to do for a living, but instinctively
turned toward the harbor where fishing boats in great numbers were
anchored, and within a week I had shipped with a fisherman by the name
of Yan Hansen, who was starting on a long fishing cruise to the
Lofoden Islands.

Here my earlier years of training proved of the very greatest
advantage, especially in enabling me to make myself useful. This was
but the beginning of other trips, and by frugal economy I was, in a
few years, able to own a fishing-brig of my own. For twenty-seven
years thereafter I followed the sea as a fisherman, five years working
for others, and the last twenty-two for myself.

During all these years I was a most diligent student of books, as well
as a hard worker at my business, but I took great care not to mention
to anyone the story concerning the discoveries made by my father and
myself. Even at this late day I would be fearful of having any one see
or know the things I am writing, and the records and maps I have in my
keeping. When my days on earth are finished, I shall leave maps and
records that will enlighten and, I hope, benefit mankind.

The memory of my long confinement with maniacs, and all the horrible
anguish and sufferings are too vivid to warrant my taking further

In 1889 I sold out my fishing boats, and found I had accumulated a
fortune quite sufficient to keep me the remainder of my life. I then
came to America.

For a dozen years my home was in Illinois, near Batavia, where I
gathered most of the books in my present library, though I brought
many choice volumes from Stockholm. Later, I came to Los Angeles,
arriving here March 4, 1901. The date I well remember, as it was
President McKinley's second inauguration day. I bought this humble
home and determined, here in the privacy of my own abode, sheltered by
my own vine and fig-tree, and with my books about me, to make maps and
drawings of the new lands we had discovered, and also to write the
story in detail from the time my father and I left Stockholm until the
tragic event that parted us in the Antarctic Ocean.

I well remember that we left Stockholm in our fishing-sloop on the
third day of April, 1829, and sailed to the southward, leaving
Gothland Island to the left and Oeland Island to the right. A few days
later we succeeded in doubling Sandhommar Point, and made our way
through the sound which separates Denmark from the Scandinavian coast.
In due time we put in at the town of Christiansand, where we rested
two days, and then started around the Scandinavian coast to the
westward, bound for the Lofoden Islands.

My father was in high spirit, because of the excellent and gratifying
returns he had received from our last catch by marketing at Stockholm,
instead of selling at one of the seafaring towns along the
Scandinavian coast. He was especially pleased with the sale of some
ivory tusks that he had found on the west coast of Franz Joseph Land
during one of his northern cruises the previous year, and he expressed
the hope that this time we might again be fortunate enough to load our
little fishing-sloop with ivory, instead of cod, herring, mackerel and

We put in at Hammerfest, latitude seventy-one degrees and forty
minutes, for a few days' rest. Here we remained one week, laying in an
extra supply of provisions and several casks of drinking-water, and
then sailed toward Spitzbergen.

For the first few days we had an open sea and a favoring wind, and
then we encountered much ice and many icebergs. A vessel larger than
our little fishing-sloop could not possibly have threaded its way
among the labyrinth of icebergs or squeezed through the barely open
channels. These monster bergs presented an endless succession of
crystal palaces, of massive cathedrals and fantastic mountain ranges,
grim and sentinel-like, immovable as some towering cliff of solid
rock, standing; silent as a sphinx, resisting the restless waves of a
fretful sea.

After many narrow escapes, we arrived at Spitzbergen on the 23d of
June, and anchored at Wijade Bay for a short time, where we were quite
successful in our catches. We then lifted anchor and sailed through
the Hinlopen Strait, and coasted along the North-East-Land.[2]

[2 It will be remembered that Andree started on his fatal balloon
voyage from the northwest coast of Spitzbergen.]

A strong wind came up from the southwest, and my father said that we
had better take advantage of it and try to reach Franz Josef Land,
where, the year before he had, by accident, found the ivory tusks that
had brought him such a good price at Stockholm.

Never, before or since, have I seen so many sea-fowl; they were so
numerous that they hid the rocks on the coast line and darkened the

For several days we sailed along the rocky coast of Franz Josef Land.
Finally, a favoring wind came up that enabled us to make the West
Coast, and, after sailing twenty-four hours, we came to a beautiful

One could hardly believe it was the far Northland. The place was green
with growing vegetation, and while the area did not comprise more than
one or two acres, yet the air was warm and tranquil. It seemed to be
at that point where the Gulf Stream's influence is most keenly

[3 Sir John Barrow, Bart., F.R.S., in his work entitled "Voyages of
Discovery and Research Within the Arctic Regions," says on page 57:
"Mr. Beechey refers to what has frequently been found and noticed--the
mildness of the temperature on the western coast of Spitzbergen, there
being little or no sensation of cold, though the thermometer might be
only a few degrees above the freezing-point. The brilliant and lively
effect of a clear day, when the sun shines forth with a pure sky,
whose azure hue is so intense as to find no parallel even in the
boasted Italian sky."]

On the east coast there were numerous icebergs, yet here we were in
open water. Far to the west of us, however, were icepacks, and still
farther to the westward the ice appeared like ranges of low hills. In
front of us, and directly to the north, lay an open sea.[4]

[4 Captain Kane, on page 299, quoting from Morton's Journal on Monday,
the 26th of December, says: "As far as I could see, the open passages
were fifteen miles or more wide, with sometimes mashed ice separating
them. But it is all small ice, and I think it either drives out to the
open space to the north or rots and sinks, as I could see none ahead
to the north."]

My father was an ardent believer in Odin and Thor, and had frequently
told me they were gods who came from far beyond the "North Wind."

There was a tradition, my father explained, that still farther
northward was a land more beautiful than any that mortal man had ever
known, and that it was inhabited by the "Chosen."[5]

[5 We find the following in "Deutsche Mythologie," page 778, from the
pen of Jakob Grimm; "Then, the sons of Bor built in the middle of the
universe the city called Asgard, where dwell the gods and their
kindred, and from that abode work out so many wondrous things both on
the earth and in the heavens above it. There is in that city a place
called Illidskjalf, and when Odin is seated there upon his lofty
throne he sees over the whole world and discerns all the actions of

My youthful imagination was fired by the ardor, zeal and religious
fervor of my good father, and I exclaimed: "Why not sail to this
goodly land? The sky is fair, the wind favorable and the sea open."

Even now I can see the expression of pleasurable surprise on his
countenance as he turned toward me and asked: "My son, are you willing
to go with me and explore--to go far beyond where man has ever
ventured?" I answered affirmatively. "Very well," he replied. "May the
god Odin protect us!" and, quickly adjusting the sails, he glanced at
our compass, turned the prow in due northerly direction through an
open channel, and our voyage had begun.[6]

[6 Hall writes, on page 288: "On the 23rd of January the two
Esquimaux, accompanied by two of the seamen, went to Cape Lupton. They
reported a sea of open water extending as far as the eye could

The sun was low in the horizon, as it was still the early summer.
Indeed, we had almost four months of day ahead of us before the frozen
night could come on again.

Our little fishing-sloop sprang forward as if eager as ourselves for
adventure. Within thirty-six hours we were out of sight of the highest
point on the coast line of Franz Josef Land. "We seemed to be in a
strong current running north by northeast. Far to the right and to the
left of us were icebergs, but our little sloop bore down on the
narrows and passed through channels and out into open seas--channels
so narrow in places that, had our craft been other than small, we
never could have gotten through."

On the third day we came to an island. Its shores were washed by an
open sea. My father determined to land and explore for a day. This new
land was destitute of timber, but we found a large accumulation of
drift-wood on the northern shore. Some of the trunks of the trees were
forty feet long and two feet in diameter.[7]

[7 Greely tells us in vol. 1, page 100, that: "Privates Connell and
Frederick found a large coniferous tree on the beach, just above the
extreme high-water mark. It was nearly thirty inches in circumference,
some thirty feet long, and had apparently been carried to that point
by a current within a couple of years. A portion of it was cut up for
fire-wood, and for the first time in that valley, a bright, cheery
camp-fire gave comfort to man."]

After one day's exploration of the coast line of this island, we
lifted anchor and turned our prow to the north in an open sea.[8]

[8 Dr. Kane says, on page 379 of his works: "I cannot imagine what
becomes of the ice. A strong current sets in constantly to the north;
but, from altitudes of more than five hundred feet, I saw only narrow
strips of ice, with great spaces of open water, from ten to fifteen
miles in breadth, between them. It must, therefore, either go to an
open space in the north, or dissolve."]

I remember that neither my father nor myself had tasted food for
almost thirty hours. Perhaps this was because of the tension of
excitement about our strange voyage in waters farther north, my father
said, than anyone had ever before been. Active mentality had dulled
the demands of the physical needs.

Instead of the cold being intense as we had anticipated, it was really
warmer and more pleasant than it had been while in Hammerfest on the
north coast of Norway, some six weeks before.[9]

[9 Captain Peary's second voyage relates another circumstance which
may serve to confirm a conjecture which has long been maintained by
some, that an open sea, free of ice, exists at or near the Pole. "On
the second of November," says Peary, "the wind freshened up to a gale
from north by west, lowered the thermometer before midnight to 5
degrees, whereas, a rise of wind at Melville Island was generally
accompanied by a simultaneous rise in the thermometer at low
temperatures. May not this," he asks, "be occasioned by the wind
blowing over an open sea in the quarter from which the wind blows? And
tend to confirm the opinion that at or near the Pole an open sea

We both frankly admitted that we were very hungry, and forthwith I
prepared a substantial meal from our well-stored larder. When we had
partaken heartily of the repast, I told my father I believed I would
sleep, as I was beginning to feel quite drowsy. "Very well," he
replied, "I will keep the watch."

I have no way to determine how long I slept; I only know that I was
rudely awakened by a terrible commotion of the sloop. To my surprise,
I found my father sleeping soundly. I cried out lustily to him, and
starting up, he sprang quickly to his feet. Indeed, had he not
instantly clutched the rail, he would certainly have been thrown into
the seething waves.

A fierce snow-storm was raging. The wind was directly astern, driving
our sloop at a terrific speed, and was threatening every moment to
capsize us. There was no time to lose, the sails had to be lowered
immediately. Our boat was writhing in convulsions. A few icebergs we
knew were on either side of us, but fortunately the channel was open
directly to the north. But would it remain so? In front of us, girding
the horizon from left to right, was a vaporish fog or mist, black as
Egyptian night at the water's edge, and white like a steam-cloud
toward the top, which was finally lost to view as it blended with the
great white flakes of falling snow. Whether it covered a treacherous
iceberg, or some other hidden obstacle against which our little sloop
would dash and send us to a watery grave, or was merely the phenomenon
of an Arctic fog, there was no way to determine.[10]

[10 On page 284 of his works, Hall writes: "From the top of Providence
Berg, a dark fog was seen to the north, indicating water. At 10 a. m.
three of the men (Kruger, Nindemann and Hobby) went to Cape Lupton to
ascertain if possible the extent of the open water. On their return
they reported several open spaces and much young ice--not more than a
day old, so thin that it was easily broken by throwing pieces of ice
upon it."]

By what miracle we escaped being dashed to utter destruction, I do not
know. I remember our little craft creaked and groaned, as if its
joints were breaking. It rocked and staggered to and fro as if
clutched by some fierce undertow of whirlpool or maelstrom.

Fortunately our compass had been fastened with long screws to a
crossbeam. Most of our provisions, however, were tumbled out and swept
away from the deck of the cuddy, and had we not taken the precaution
at the very beginning to tie ourselves firmly to the masts of the
sloop, we should have been swept into the lashing sea.

Above the deafening tumult of the raging waves, I heard my father's
voice. "Be courageous, my son," he shouted, "Odin is the god of the
waters, the companion of the brave, and he is with us. Fear not."

To me it seemed there was no possibility of our escaping a horrible
death. The little sloop was shipping water, the snow was falling so
fast as to be blinding, and the waves were tumbling over our counters
in reckless white-sprayed fury. There was no telling what instant we
should be dashed against some drifting ice-pack. The tremendous swells
would heave us up to the very peaks of mountainous waves, then plunge
us down into the depths of the sea's trough as if our fishing-sloop
were a fragile shell. Gigantic white-capped waves, like veritable
walls, fenced us in, fore and aft.

This terrible nerve-racking ordeal, with its nameless horrors of
suspense and agony of fear indescribable, continued for more than
three hours, and all the time we were being driven forward at fierce
speed. Then suddenly, as if growing weary of its frantic exertions,
the wind began to lessen its fury and by degrees to die down.

At last we were in a perfect calm. The fog mist had also disappeared,
and before us lay an iceless channel perhaps ten or fifteen miles
wide, with a few icebergs far away to our right, and an intermittent
archipelago of smaller ones to the left.

I watched my father closely, determined to remain silent until he
spoke. Presently he untied the rope from his waist and, without saying
a word, began working the pumps, which fortunately were not damaged,
relieving the sloop of the water it had shipped in the madness of the

He put up the sloop's sails as calmly as if casting a fishing-net, and
then remarked that we were ready for a favoring wind when it came. His
courage and persistence were truly remarkable.

On investigation we found less than one-third of our provisions
remaining, while to our utter dismay, we discovered that our water-
casks had been swept overboard during the violent plungings of our

Two of our water-casks were in the main hold, but both were empty. We
had a fair supply of food, but no fresh water. I realized at once the
awfulness of our position. Presently I was seized with a consuming
thirst. "It is indeed bad," remarked my father. "However, let us dry
our bedraggled clothing, for we are soaked to the skin. Trust to the
god Odin, my son. Do not give up hope."

The sun was beating down slantingly, as if we were in a southern
latitude, instead of in the far Northland. It was swinging around, its
orbit ever visible and rising higher and higher each day, frequently
mist-covered, yet always peering through the lacework of clouds like
some fretful eye of fate, guarding the mysterious Northland and
jealously watching the pranks of man. Far to our right the rays
decking the prisms of icebergs were gorgeous. Their reflections
emitted flashes of garnet, of diamond, of sapphire. A pyrotechnic
panorama of countless colors and shapes, while below could be seen the
green-tinted sea, and above, the purple sky.


I TRIED to forget my thirst by busying myself with bringing up some
food and an empty vessel from the hold. Reaching over the side-rail, I
filled the vessel with water for the purpose of laving my hands and
face. To my astonishment, when the water came in contact with my lips,
I could taste no salt. I was startled by the discovery. "Father!" I
fairly gasped, "the water, the water; it is fresh!" "What, Olaf?"
exclaimed my father, glancing hastily around. "Surely you are
mistaken. There is no land. You are going mad." "But taste it!" I

And thus we made the discovery that the water was indeed fresh,
absolutely so, without the least briny taste or even the suspicion of
a salty flavor.

We forthwith filled our two remaining water-casks, and my father
declared it was a heavenly dispensation of mercy from the gods Odin
and Thor.

We were almost beside ourselves with joy, but hunger bade us end our
enforced fast. Now that we had found fresh water in the open sea, what
might we not expect in this strange latitude where ship had never
before sailed and the splash of an oar had never been heard? [11]

[11 In vol. I, page 196, Nansen writes: "It is a peculiar
phenomenon,---this dead water. We had at present a better opportunity
of studying it than we desired. It occurs where a surface layer of
fresh water rests upon the salt water of the sea, and this fresh water
is carried along with the ship gliding on the heavier sea beneath it
as if on a fixed foundation. The difference between the two strata was
in this case so great that while we had drinking water on the surface,
the water we got from the bottom cock of the engine-room was far too
salt to be used for the boiler."]

We had scarcely appeased our hunger when a breeze began filling the
idle sails, and, glancing at the compass, we found the northern point
pressing hard against the glass.

In response to my surprise, my father said, "I have heard of this
before; it is what they call the dipping of the needle."

We loosened the compass and turned it at right angles with the surface
of the sea before its point would free itself from the glass and point
according to unmolested attraction. It shifted uneasily, and seemed as
unsteady as a drunken man, but finally pointed a course.

Before this we thought the wind was carrying us north by northwest,
but, with the needle free, we discovered, if it could be relied upon,
that we were sailing slightly north by northeast. Our course, however,
was ever tending northward.[12]

[12 In volume II, pages 18 and 19, Nansen writes about the inclination
of the needle. Speaking of Johnson, his aide: "One day--it was
November 24--he came in to supper a little after six o'clock, quite
alarmed, and said: 'There has just been a singular inclination of the
needle in twenty-four degrees. And remarkably enough, its northern
extremity pointed to the east.'" We again find in Peary's first
voyage--page 67,---the following: "It had been observed that from the
moment they had entered Lancaster Sound, the motion of the compass
needle was very sluggish, and both this and its deviation increased as
they progressed to the westward, and continued to do so in descending
this inlet. Having reached latitude 73 degrees, they witnessed for the
first time the curious phenomenon of the directive power of the needle
becoming so weak as to be completely overcome by the attraction of the
ship, so that the needle might now be said to point to the north pole
of the ship."]

The sea was serenely smooth, with hardly a choppy wave, and the wind
brisk and exhilarating. The sun's rays, while striking us aslant,
furnished tranquil warmth. And thus time wore on day after day, and we
found from the record in our logbook, we had been sailing eleven days
since the storm in the open sea.

By strictest economy, our food was holding out fairly well, but
beginning to run low. In the meantime, one of our casks of water had
been exhausted, and my father said: "We will fill it again." But, to
our dismay, we found the water was now as salt as in the region of the
Lofoden Islands off the coast of Norway. This necessitated our being
extremely careful of the remaining cask.

I found myself wanting to sleep much of the time; whether it was the
effect of the exciting experience of sailing in unknown waters, or the
relaxation from the awful excitement incident to our adventure in a
storm at sea, or due to want of food, I could not say.

I frequently lay down on the bunker of our little sloop, and looked
far up into the blue dome of the sky; and, notwithstanding the sun was
shining far away in the east, I always saw a single star overhead. For
several days, when I looked for this star, it was always there
directly above us.

It was now, according to our reckoning, about the first of August. The
sun was high in the heavens, and was so bright that I could no longer
see the one lone star that attracted my attention a few days earlier.

One day about this time, my father startled me by calling my attention
to a novel sight far in front of us, almost at the horizon. "It is a
mock sun," exclaimed my father. "I have read of them; it is called a
reflection or mirage. It will soon pass away."

But this dull-red, false sun, as we supposed it to be, did not pass
away for several hours; and while we were unconscious of its emitting
any rays of light, still there was no time thereafter when we could
not sweep the horizon in front and locate the illumination of the so-
called false sun, during a period of at least twelve hours out of
every twenty-four.

Clouds and mists would at times almost, but never entirely, hide its
location. Gradually it seemed to climb higher in the horizon of the
uncertain purply sky as we advanced.

It could hardly be said to resemble the sun, except in its circular
shape, and when not obscured by clouds or the ocean mists, it had a
hazy-red, bronzed appearance, which would change to a white light like
a luminous cloud, as if reflecting some greater light beyond.

"We finally agreed in our discussion of this smoky furnace-colored
sun, that, whatever the cause of the phenomenon, it was not a
reflection of our sun, but a planet of some sort--a reality."[13]

[13 Nansen, on page 394, says: "To-day another noteworthy thing
happened, which was that about mid-day we saw the sun, or to be more
correct, an image of the sun, for it was only a mirage. A peculiar
impression was produced by the sight of that glowing fire lit just
above the outermost edge of the ice. According to the enthusiastic
descriptions given by many Arctic travelers of the first appearance of
this god of life after the long winter night, the impression ought to
be one of jubilant excitement; but it was not so in my case. We had
not expected to see it for some days yet, so that my feeling was
rather one of pain, of disappointment that we must have drifted
farther south than we thought. So it was with pleasure I soon
discovered that it could not be the sun itself. The mirage was at
first a flattened-out, glowing red, streak of fire on the horizon;
later there were two streaks, the one above the other, with a dark
space between; and from the maintop I could see four, or even five,
such horizontal lines directly over one another, all of equal length,
as if one could only imagine a square, dull-red sun, with horizontal
dark streaks across it."]

One day soon after this, I felt exceedingly drowsy, and fell into a
sound sleep. But it seemed that I was almost immediately aroused by my
father's vigorous shaking of me by the shoulder and saying: "Olaf,
awaken; there is land in sight!"

I sprang to my feet, and oh! joy unspeakable! There, far in the
distance, yet directly in our path, were lands jutting boldly into the
sea. The shore-line stretched far away to the right of us, as far as
the eye could see, and all along the sandy beach were waves breaking
into choppy foam, receding, then going forward again, ever chanting in
monotonous thunder tones the song of the deep. The banks were covered
with trees and vegetation.

I cannot express my feeling of exultation at this discovery. My father
stood motionless, with his hand on the tiller, looking straight ahead,
pouring out his heart in thankful prayer and thanksgiving to the gods
Odin and Thor.

In the meantime, a net which we found in the stowage had been cast,
and we caught a few fish that materially added to our dwindling stock
of provisions.

The compass, which we had fastened back in its place, in fear of
another storm, was still pointing due north, and moving on its pivot,
just as it had at Stockholm. The dipping of the needle had ceased.
What could this mean? Then, too, our many days of sailing had
certainly carried us far past the North Pole. And yet the needle
continued to point north. We were sorely perplexed, for surely our
direction was now south.[14]

[14 Peary's first voyage, pages 69 and 70, says: "On reaching Sir Byam
Martin's Island, the nearest to Melville Island, the latitude of the
place of observation was 75 degrees-09'-23", and the longitude 103
degrees-44'-37"; the dip of the magnetic needle 88 degrees-25'-56"
west in the longitude of 91 degrees-48', where the last observations
on the shore had been made, to 165 degrees-50'-09", east, at their
present station, so thatwe had," says Peary, "in sailing over the
space included between these two meridians, crossed immediately
northward of the magnetic pole, and had undoubtedly passed over one of
those spots upon the globe where the needle would have been found to
vary 180 degrees, or in other words, where the North Pole would have
pointed to the south."]

We sailed for three days along the shoreline, then came to the mouth
of a fjord or river of immense size. It seemed more like a great bay,
and into this we turned our fishing-craft, the direction being
slightly northeast of south. By the assistance of a fretful wind that
came to our aid about twelve hours out of every twenty-four, we
continued to make our way inland, into what afterward proved to be a
mighty river, and which we learned was called by the inhabitants

We continued our journey for ten days thereafter, and found we had
fortunately attained a distance inland where ocean tides no longer
affected the water, which had become fresh.

The discovery came none too soon, for our remaining cask of water was
well-nigh exhausted. We lost no time in replenishing our casks, and
continued to sail farther up the river when the wind was favorable.

Along the banks great forests miles in extent could be seen stretching
away on the shore-line. The trees were of enormous size. We landed
after anchoring near a sandy beach, and waded ashore, and were
rewarded by finding a quantity of nuts that were very palatable and
satisfying to hunger, and a welcome change from the monotony of our
stock of provisions.

It was about the first of September, over five months, we calculated,
since our leave-taking from Stockholm. Suddenly we were frightened
almost out of our wits by hearing in the far distance the singing of
people. Very soon thereafter we discovered a huge ship gliding down
the river directly toward us. Those aboard were singing in one mighty
chorus that, echoing from bank to bank, sounded like a thousand
voices, filling the whole universe with quivering melody. The
accompaniment was played on stringed instruments not unlike our harps.

It was a larger ship than any we had ever seen, and was differently

[15 Asiatic Mythology,---page 240, "Paradise found"--from translation
by Sayce, in a book called "Records of the Past," we were told of a
"dwelling" which "the gods created for" the first human beings,---a
dwelling in which they "became great" and "increased in numbers," and
the location of which is described in words exactly corresponding to
those of Iranian, Indian, Chinese, Eddaic and Aztecan literature;
namely, "in the center of the earth."--Warren.]

At this particular time our sloop was becalmed, and not far from the
shore. The bank of the river, covered with mammoth trees, rose up
several hundred feet in beautiful fashion. We seemed to be on the edge
of some primeval forest that doubtless stretched far inland.

The immense craft paused, and almost immediately a boat was lowered
and six men of gigantic stature rowed to our little fishing-sloop.
They spoke to us in a strange language. We knew from their manner,
however, that they were not unfriendly. They talked a great deal among
themselves, and one of them laughed immoderately, as though in finding
us a queer discovery had been made. One of them spied our compass, and
it seemed to interest them more than any other part of our sloop.

Finally, the leader motioned as if to ask whether we were willing to
leave our craft to go on board their ship. "What say you, my son?"
asked my father. "They cannot do any more than kill us."

"They seem to be kindly disposed," I replied, "although what terrible
giants! They must be the select six of the kingdom's crack regiment.
Just look at their great size."

"We may as well go willingly as be taken by force," said my father,
smiling, "for they are certainly able to capture us." Thereupon he
made known, by signs, that we were ready to accompany them.

Within a few minutes we were on board the ship, and half an hour later
our little fishing-craft had been lifted bodily out of the water by a
strange sort of hook and tackle, and set on board as a curiosity.

There were several hundred people on board this, to us, mammoth ship,
which we discovered was called "The Naz," meaning, as we afterward
learned, "Pleasure," or to give a more proper interpretation,
"Pleasure Excursion" ship.

If my father and I were curiously observed by the ship's occupants,
this strange race of giants offered us an equal amount of wonderment.

There was not a single man aboard who would not have measured fully
twelve feet in height. They all wore full beards, not particularly
long, but seemingly short-cropped. They had mild and beautiful faces,
exceedingly fair, with ruddy complexions. The hair and beard of some
were black, others sandy, and still others yellow. The captain, as we
designated the dignitary in command of the great vessel, was fully a
head taller than any of his companions. The women averaged from ten to
eleven feet in height. Their features were especially regular and
refined, while their complexion was of a most delicate tint heightened
by a healthful glow.[16]

[16 "According to all procurable data, that spot at the era of man's
appearance upon the stage was in the now lost 'Miocene continent,'
which then surrounded the Arctic Pole. That in that true, original
Eden some of the early generations of men attained to a stature and
longevity unequaled in any countries known to postdiluvian history is
by no means scientifically incredible."--Wm. F. Warren, "Paradise
Found," p. 284.]

Both men and women seemed to possess that particular ease of manner
which we deem a sign of good breeding, and, notwithstanding their huge
statures, there was nothing about them suggesting awkwardness. As I
was a lad in only my nineteenth year, I was doubtless looked upon as a
true Tom Thumb. My father's six feet three did not lift the top of his
head above the waist line of these people.

Each one seemed to vie with the others in extending courtesies and
showing kindness to us, but all laughed heartily, I remember, when
they had to improvise chairs for my father and myself to sit at table.
They were richly attired in a costume peculiar to themselves, and very
attractive. The men were clothed in handsomely embroidered tunics of
silk and satin and belted at the waist. They wore knee-breeches and
stockings of a fine texture, while their feet were encased in sandals
adorned with gold buckles. We early discovered that gold was one of
the most common metals known, and that it was used extensively in

Strange as it may seem, neither my father nor myself felt the least
bit of solicitude for our safety. "We have come into our own," my
father said to me. "This is the fulfillment of the tradition told me
by my father and my father's father, and still back for many
generations of our race. This is, assuredly, the land beyond the North

We seemed to make such an impression on the party that we were given
specially into the charge of one of the men, Jules Galdea, and his
wife, for the purpose of being educated in their language; and we, on
our part, were just as eager to learn as they were to instruct.

At the captain's command, the vessel was swung cleverly about, and
began retracing its course up the river. The machinery, while
noiseless, was very powerful.

The banks and trees on either side seemed to rush by. The ship's
speed, at times, surpassed that of any railroad train on which I have
ever ridden, even here in America. It was wonderful.

In the meantime we had lost sight of the sun's rays, but we found a
radiance "within" emanating from the dull-red sun which had already
attracted our attention, now giving out a white light seemingly from a
cloud-bank far away in front of us. It dispensed a greater light, I
should say, than two full moons on the clearest night.

In twelve hours this cloud of whiteness would pass out of sight as if
eclipsed, and the twelve hours following corresponded with our night.
We early learned that these strange people were worshipers of this
great cloud of night. It was "The Smoky God" of the "Inner World."

The ship was equipped with a mode of illumination which I now presume
was electricity, but neither my father nor myself were sufficiently
skilled in mechanics to understand whence came the power to operate
the ship, or to maintain the soft beautiful lights that answered the
same purpose of our present methods of lighting the streets of our
cities, our houses and places of business.

It must be remembered, the time of which I write was the autumn of
1829, and we of the "outside" surface of the earth knew nothing then,
so to speak, of electricity.

The electrically surcharged condition of the air was a constant
vitalizer. I never felt better in my life than during the two years my
father and I sojourned on the inside of the earth.

To resume my narrative of events; The ship on which we were sailing
came to a stop two days after we had been taken on board. My father
said as nearly as he could judge, we were directly under Stockholm or
London. The city we had reached was called "Jehu," signifying a
seaport town. The houses were large and beautifully constructed, and
quite uniform in appearance, yet without sameness. The principal
occupation of the people appeared to be agriculture; the hillsides
were covered with vineyards, while the valleys were devoted to the
growing of grain.

I never saw such a display of gold. It was everywhere. The door-
casings were inlaid and the tables were veneered with sheetings of
gold. Domes of the public buildings were of gold. It was used most
generously in the finishings of the great temples of music.

Vegetation grew in lavish exuberance, and fruit of all kinds possessed
the most delicate flavor. Clusters of grapes four and five feet in
length, each grape as large as an orange, and apples larger than a
man's head typified the wonderful growth of all things on the "inside"
of the earth.

The great redwood trees of California would be considered mere
underbrush compared with the giant forest trees extending for miles
and miles in all directions. In many directions along the foothills of
the mountains vast herds of cattle were seen during the last day of
our travel on the river.

"We heard much of a city called "Eden," but were kept at "Jehu" for an
entire year. By the end of that time we had learned to speak fairly
well the language of this strange race of people. Our instructors,
Jules Galdea and his wife, exhibited a patience that was truly

One day an envoy from the Ruler at "Eden" came to see us, and for two
whole days my father and myself were put through a series of
surprising questions. They wished to know from whence we came, what
sort of people dwelt "without," what God we worshiped, our religious
beliefs, the mode of living in our strange land, and a thousand other

The compass which we had brought with us attracted especial attention.
My father and I commented between ourselves on the fact that the
compass still pointed north, although we now knew that we had sailed
over the curve or edge of the earth's aperture, and were far along
southward on the "inside" surface of the earth's crust, which,
according to my father's estimate and my own, is about three hundred
miles in thickness from the "inside" to the "outside" surface.
Relatively speaking, it is no thicker than an egg-shell, so that there
is almost as much surface on the "inside" as on the "outside" of the

The great luminous cloud or ball of dull-red fire--fiery-red in the
mornings and evenings, and during the day giving off a beautiful white
light, "The Smoky God,"--is seemingly suspended in the center of the
great vacuum "within" the earth, and held to its place by the
immutable law of gravitation, or a repellant atmospheric force, as the
case may be. I refer to the known power that draws or repels with
equal force in all directions.

The base of this electrical cloud or central luminary, the seat of the
gods, is dark and non-transparent, save for innumerable small
openings, seemingly in the bottom of the great support or altar of the
Deity, upon which "The Smoky God" rests; and, the lights shining
through these many openings twinkle at night in all their splendor,
and seem to be stars, as natural as the stars we saw shining when in
our home at Stockholm, excepting that they appear larger. "The Smoky
God," therefore, with each daily revolution of the earth, appears to
come up in the east and go down in the west, the same as does our sun
on the external surface. In reality, the people "within" believe that
"The Smoky God" is the throne of their Jehovah, and is stationary. The
effect of night and day is, therefore, produced by the earth's daily

I have since discovered that the language of the people of the Inner
World is much like the Sanskrit.

After we had given an account of ourselves to the emissaries from the
central seat of government of the inner continent, and my father had,
in his crude way, drawn maps, at their request, of the "outside"
surface of the earth, showing the divisions of land and water, and
giving the name of each of the continents, large islands and the
oceans, we were taken overland to the city of "Eden," in a conveyance
different from anything we have in Europe or America. This vehicle was
doubtless some electrical contrivance. It was noiseless, and ran on a
single iron rail in perfect balance. The trip was made at a very high
rate of speed. We were carried up hills and down dales, across valleys
and again along the sides of steep mountains, without any apparent
attempt having been made to level the earth as we do for railroad
tracks. The car seats were huge yet comfortable affairs, and very high
above the floor of the car. On the top of each car were high geared
fly wheels lying on their sides, which were so automatically adjusted
that, as the speed of the car increased, the high speed of these fly
wheels geometrically increased. Jules Galdea explained to us that
these revolving fan-like wheels on top of the cars destroyed
atmospheric pressure, or what is generally understood by the term
gravitation, and with this force thus destroyed or rendered nugatory
the car is as safe from falling to one side or the other from the
single rail track as if it were in a vacuum; the fly wheels in their
rapid revolutions destroying effectually the so-called power of
gravitation, or the force of atmospheric pressure or whatever potent
influence it may be that causes all unsupported things to fall
downward to the earth's surface or to the nearest point of resistance.

The surprise of my father and myself was indescribable when, amid the
regal magnificence of a spacious hall, we were finally brought before
the Great High Priest, ruler over all the land. He was richly robed,
and much taller than those about him, and could not have been less
than fourteen or fifteen feet in height. The immense room in which we
were received seemed finished in solid slabs of gold thickly studded
with jewels, of amazing brilliancy.

The city of "Eden" is located in what seems to be a beautiful valley,
yet, in fact, it is on the loftiest mountain plateau of the Inner
Continent, several thousand feet higher than any portion of the
surrounding country. It is the most beautiful place I have ever beheld
in all my travels. In this elevated garden all manner of fruits,
vines, shrubs, trees, and flowers grow in riotous profusion.

In this garden four rivers have their source in a mighty artesian
fountain. They divide and flow in four directions. This place is
called by the inhabitants the "navel of the earth," or the beginning,
"the cradle of the human race." The names of the rivers are the
Euphrates, the Pison, the Gihon, and the Hiddekel.[17]

[17 "And the Lord God planted a garden, and out of the ground made the
Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for
food."--The Book of Genesis.]

The unexpected awaited us in this palace of beauty, in the finding of
our little fishing-craft. It had been brought before the High Priest
in perfect shape, just as it had been taken from the waters that day
when it was loaded on board the ship by the people who discovered us
on the river more than a year before.

"We were given an audience of over two hours with this great
dignitary, who seemed kindly disposed and considerate. He showed
himself eagerly interested, asking us numerous questions, and
invariably regarding things about which his emissaries had failed to

At the conclusion of the interview he inquired our pleasure, asking us
whether we wished to remain in his country or if we preferred to
return to the "outer" world, providing it were possible to make a
successful return trip, across the frozen belt barriers that encircle
both the northern and southern openings of the earth.

My father replied: "It would please me and my son to visit your
country and see your people, your colleges and palaces of music and
art, your great fields, your wonderful forests of timber; and after we
have had this pleasurable privilege, we should like to try to return
to our home on the 'outside' surface of the earth. This son is my only
child, and my good wife will be weary awaiting our return."

"I fear you can never return," replied the Chief High Priest, "because
the way is a most hazardous one. However, you shall visit the
different countries with Jules Galdea as your escort, and be accorded
every courtesy and kindness. Whenever you are ready to attempt a
return voyage, I assure you that your boat which is here on exhibition
shall be put in the waters of the river Hiddekel at its mouth, and we
will bid you Jehovah-speed."

Thus terminated our only interview with the High Priest or Ruler of
the continent.


WE learned that the males do not marry before they are from seventy-
five to one hundred years old, and that the age at which women enter
wedlock is only a little less, and that both men and women frequently
live to be from six to eight hundred years old, and in some instances
much older.[18]

[18 Josephus says: "God prolonged the life of the patriarchs that
preceded the deluge, both on account of their virtues and to give them
the opportunity of perfecting the sciences of geometry and astronomy,
which they had discovered; which they could not have done if they had
not lived 600 years, because it is only after the lapse of 600 years
that the great year is accomplished."--Flammarion, Astronomical Myths,
Paris p. 26.]

During the following year we visited many villages and towns,
prominent among them being the cities of Nigi, Delfi, Hectea, and my
father was called upon no less than a half-dozen times to go over the
maps which had been made from the rough sketches he had originally
given of the divisions of land and water on the "outside" surface of
the earth.

I remember hearing my father remark that the giant race of people in
the land of "The Smoky God" had almost as accurate an idea of the
geography of the "outside" surface of the earth as had the average
college professor in Stockholm.

In our travels we came to a forest of gigantic trees, near the city of
Delfi. Had the Bible said there were trees towering over three hundred
feet in height, and more than thirty feet in diameter, growing in the
Garden of Eden, the Ingersolls, the Tom Paines and Voltaires would
doubtless have pronounced the statement a myth. Yet this is the
description of the California sequoia gigantea; but these California
giants pale into insignificance when compared with the forest Goliaths
found in the "within" continent, where abound mighty trees from eight
hundred to one thousand feet in height, and from one hundred to one
hundred and twenty feet in diameter; countless in numbers and forming
forests extending hundreds of miles back from the sea.

The people are exceedingly musical, and learned to a remarkable degree
in their arts and sciences, especially geometry and astronomy. Their
cities are equipped with vast palaces of music, where not infrequently
as many as twenty-five thousand lusty voices of this giant race swell
forth in mighty choruses of the most sublime symphonies.

The children are not supposed to attend institutions of learning
before they are twenty years old. Then their school life begins and
continues for thirty years, ten of which are uniformly devoted by both
sexes to the study of music.

Their principal vocations are architecture, agriculture, horticulture,
the raising of vast herds of cattle, and the building of conveyances
peculiar to that country, for travel on land and water. By some device
which I cannot explain, they hold communion with one another between
the most distant parts of their country, on air currents.

All buildings are erected with special regard to strength, durability,
beauty and symmetry, and with a style of architecture vastly more
attractive to the eye than any I have ever observed elsewhere.

About three-fourths of the "inner" surface of the earth is land and
about one-fourth water. There are numerous rivers of tremendous size,
some flowing in a northerly direction and others southerly. Some of
these rivers are thirty miles in width, and it is out of these vast
waterways, at the extreme northern and southern parts of the "inside"
surface of the earth, in regions where low temperatures are
experienced, that fresh-water icebergs are formed. They are then
pushed out to sea like huge tongues of ice, by the abnormal freshets
of turbulent waters that, twice every year, sweep everything before

We saw innumerable specimens of bird-life no larger than those
encountered in the forests of Europe or America. It is well known that
during the last few years whole species of birds have quit the earth.
A writer in a recent article on this subject says:[19]

[19 "Almost every year sees the final extinction of one or more bird
species. Out of fourteen varieties of birds found a century since on a
single island--the West Indian island of St. Thomas--eight have now to
be numbered among the missing."]

Is it not possible that these disappearing bird species quit their
habitation without, and find an asylum in the "within world"?

Whether inland among the mountains, or along the seashore, we found
bird life prolific. When they spread their great wings some of the
birds appeared to measure thirty feet from tip to tip. They are of
great variety and many colors. We were permitted to climb up on the
edge of a rock and examine a nest of eggs. There were five in the
nest, each of which was at least two feet in length and fifteen inches
in diameter.

After we had been in the city of Hectea about a week, Professor Galdea
took us to an inlet, where we saw thousands of tortoises along the
sandy shore. I hesitate to state the size of these great creatures.
They were from twenty-five to thirty feet in length, from fifteen to
twenty feet in width and fully seven feet in height. When one of them
projected its head it had the appearance of some hideous sea monster.

The strange conditions "within" are favorable not only for vast
meadows of luxuriant grasses, forests of giant trees, and all manner
of vegetable life, but wonderful animal life as well.

One day we saw a great herd of elephants. There must have been five
hundred of these thunder-throated monsters, with their restlessly
waving trunks. They were tearing huge boughs from the trees and
trampling smaller growth into dust like so much hazel-brush. They
would average over 100 feet in length and from 75 to 85 in height.

It seemed, as I gazed upon this wonderful herd of giant elephants,
that I was again living in the public library at Stockholm, where I
had spent much time studying the wonders of the Miocene age. I was
filled with mute astonishment, and my father was speechless with awe.
He held my arm with a protecting grip, as if fearful harm would
overtake us. We were two atoms in this great forest, and, fortunately,
unobserved by this vast herd of elephants as they drifted on and away,
following a leader as does a herd of sheep. They browsed from growing
herbage which they encountered as they traveled, and now and again
shook the firmament with their deep bellowing.[20]

[20 "Moreover, there were a great number of elephants in the island:
and there was provision for animals of every kind. Also whatever
fragrant things there are in the earth, whether roots or herbage, or
woods, or distilling drops of flowers or fruits, grew and thrived in
that land."--The Cratylus of Plato.]

There is a hazy mist that goes up from the land each evening, and it
invariably rains once every twenty-four hours. This great moisture and
the invigorating electrical light and warmth account perhaps for the
luxuriant vegetation, while the highly charged electrical air and the
evenness of climatic conditions may have much to do with the giant
growth and longevity of all animal life.

In places the level valleys stretched away for many miles in every
direction. "The Smoky God," in its clear white light, looked calmly
down. There was an intoxication in the electrically surcharged air
that fanned the cheek as softly as a vanishing whisper. Nature chanted
a lullaby in the faint murmur of winds whose breath was sweet with the
fragrance of bud and blossom.

After having spent considerably more than a year in visiting several
of the many cities of the "within" world and a great deal of
intervening country, and more than two years had passed from the time
we had been picked up by the great excursion ship on the river, we
decided to cast our fortunes once more upon the sea, and endeavor to
regain the "outside" surface of the earth.

We made known our wishes, and they were reluctantly but promptly
followed. Our hosts gave my father, at his request, various maps
showing the entire "inside" surface of the earth, its cities, oceans,
seas, rivers, gulfs and bays. They also generously offered to give us
all the bags of gold nuggets--some of them as large as a goose's egg--
that we were willing to attempt to take with us in our little fishing-

In due time we returned to Jehu, at which place we spent one month in
fixing up and overhauling our little fishing sloop. After all was in
readiness, the same ship "Naz" that originally discovered us, took us
on board and sailed to the mouth of the river Hiddekel.

After our giant brothers had launched our little craft for us, they
were most cordially regretful at parting, and evinced much solicitude
for our safety. My father swore by the Gods Odin and Thor that he
would surely return again within a year or two and pay them another
visit. And thus we bade them adieu. We made ready and hoisted our
sail, but there was little breeze. We were becalmed within an hour
after our giant friends had left us and started on their return trip.

The winds were constantly blowing south, that is, they were blowing
from the northern opening of the earth toward that which we knew to be
south, but which, according to our compass's pointing finger, was
directly north.

For three days we tried to sail, and to beat against the wind, but to
no avail. Whereupon my father said: "My son, to return by the same
route as we came in is impossible at this time of year. I wonder why
we did not think of this before. We have been here almost two and a
half years; therefore, this is the season when the sun is beginning to
shine in at the southern opening of the earth. The long cold night is
on in the Spitzbergen country."

"What shall we do?" I inquired.

"There is only one thing we can do," my father replied, "and that is
to go south." Accordingly, he turned the craft about, gave it full
reef, and started by the compass north but, in fact, directly south.
The wind was strong, and we seemed to have struck a current that was
running with remarkable swiftness in the same direction.

In just forty days we arrived at Delfi, a city we had visited in
company with our guides Jules Galdea and his wife, near the mouth of
the Gihon river. Here we stopped for two days, and were most
hospitably entertained by the same people who had welcomed us on our
former visit. We laid in some additional provisions and again set
sail, following the needle due north.

On our outward trip we came through a narrow channel which appeared to
be a separating body of water between two considerable bodies of land.
There was a beautiful beach to our right, and we decided to
reconnoiter. Casting anchor, we waded ashore to rest up for a day
before continuing the outward hazardous undertaking. We built a fire
and threw on some sticks of dry driftwood. While my father was walking
along the shore, I prepared a tempting repast from supplies we had

There was a mild, luminous light which my father said resulted from
the sun shining in from the south aperture of the earth. That night we
slept soundly, and awakened the next morning as refreshed as if we had
been in our own beds at Stockholm.

After breakfast we started out on an inland tour of discovery, but had
not gone far when we sighted some birds which we recognized at once as
belonging to the penguin family.

They are flightless birds, but excellent swimmers and tremendous in
size, with white breast, short wings, black head, and long peaked
bills. They stand fully nine feet high. They looked at us with little
surprise, and presently waddled, rather than walked, toward the water,
and swam away in a northerly direction.[21]

[21 "The nights are never so dark at the Poles as in other regions,
for the moon and stars seem to possess twice as much light and
effulgence. In addition, there is a continuous light, the varied
shades and play of which are amongst the strangest phenomena of
nature."--Rambrosson's Astronomy.]

The events that occurred during the following hundred or more days
beggar description. We were on an open and iceless sea. The month we
reckoned to be November or December, and we knew the so-called South
Pole was turned toward the sun. Therefore, when passing out and away
from the internal electrical light of "The Smoky God" and its genial
warmth, we would be met by the light and warmth of the sun, shining in
through the south opening of the earth. We were not mistaken.[22]

[22 "The fact that gives the phenomenon of the polar aurora its
greatest importance is that the earth becomes self-luminous; that,
besides the light which as a planet is received from the central body,
it shows a capability of sustaining a luminous process proper to

There were times when our little craft, driven by wind that was
continuous and persistent, shot through the waters like an arrow.
Indeed, had we encountered a hidden rock or obstacle, our little
vessel would have been crushed into kindling-wood.

At last we were conscious that the atmosphere was growing decidedly
colder, and, a few days later, icebergs were sighted far to the left.
My father argued, and correctly, that the winds which filled our sails
came from the warm climate "within." The time of the year was
certainly most auspicious for us to make our dash for the "outside"
world and attempt to scud our fishing sloop through open channels of
the frozen zone which surrounds the polar regions.

We were soon amid the ice-packs, and how our little craft got through.
the narrow channels and escaped being crushed I know not. The compass
behaved in the same drunken and unreliable fashion in passing over the
southern curve or edge of the earth's shell as it had done on our
inbound trip at the northern entrance. It gyrated, dipped and seemed
like a thing possessed.[23]

[23 Captain Sabine, on page 105 in "Voyages in the Arctic Regions,"
says: "The geographical determination of the direction and intensity
of the magnetic forces at different points of the earth's surface has
been regarded as an object worthy of especial research. To examine in
different parts of the globe, the declination, inclination and
intensity of the magnetic force, and their periodical and secular
variations, and mutual relations and dependencies could be duly
investigated only in fixed magnetical observatories."]

One day as I was lazily looking over the sloop's side into the clear
waters, my father shouted: "Breakers ahead!" Looking up, I saw through
a lifting mist a white object that towered several hundred feet high,
completely shutting off our advance. We lowered sail immediately, and
none too soon. In a moment we found ourselves wedged between two
monstrous icebergs. Each was crowding and grinding against its fellow
mountain of ice. They were like two gods of war contending for
supremacy. We were greatly alarmed. Indeed, we were between the lines
of a battle royal; the sonorous thunder of the grinding ice was like
the continued volleys of artillery. Blocks of ice larger than a house
were frequently lifted up a hundred feet by the mighty force of
lateral pressure; they would shudder and rock to and fro for a few
seconds, then come crashing down with a deafening roar, and disappear
in the foaming waters. Thus, for more than two hours, the contest of
the icy giants continued.

It seemed as if the end had come. The ice pressure was terrific, and
while we were not caught in the dangerous part of the jam, and were
safe for the time being, yet the heaving and rending of tons of ice as
it fell splashing here and there into the watery depths filled us with
shaking fear.

Finally, to our great joy, the grinding of the ice ceased, and within
a few hours the great mass slowly divided, and, as if an act of
Providence had been performed, right before us lay an open channel.
Should we venture with our little craft into this opening? If the
pressure came on again, our little sloop as well as ourselves would be
crushed into nothingness. We decided to take the chance, and,
accordingly, hoisted our sail to a favoring breeze, and soon started
out like a race-horse, running the gauntlet of this unknown narrow
channel of open water.


FOR the next forty-five days our time was employed in dodging icebergs
and hunting channels; indeed, had we not been favored with a strong
south wind and a small boat, I doubt if this story could have ever
been given to the world.

At last, there came a morning when my father said: "My son, I think we
are to see home. We are almost through the ice. See! the open water
lies before us."

However, there were a few icebergs that had floated far northward into
the open water still ahead of us on either side, stretching away for
many miles. Directly in front of us, and by the compass, which had now
righted itself, due north, there was an open sea.

"What a wonderful story we have to tell to the people of Stockholm,"
continued my father, while a look of pardonable elation lighted up his
honest face. "And think of the gold nuggets stowed away in the hold!"

I spoke kind words of praise to my father, not alone for his fortitude
and endurance, but also for his courageous daring as a discoverer, and
for having made the voyage that now promised a successful end. I was
grateful, too, that he had gathered the wealth of gold we were
carrying home.

While congratulating ourselves on the goodly supply of provisions and
water we still had on hand, and on the dangers we had escaped, we were
startled by hearing a most terrific explosion, caused by the tearing
apart of a huge mountain of ice. It was a deafening roar like the
firing of a thousand cannon. We were sailing at the time with great
speed, and happened to be near a monstrous iceberg which to all
appearances was as immovable as a rockbound island. It seemed,
however, that the iceberg had split and was breaking apart, whereupon
the balance of the monster along which we were sailing was destroyed,
and it began dipping from us. My father quickly anticipated the danger
before I realized its awful possibilities. The iceberg extended down
into the water many hundreds of feet, and, as it tipped over, the
portion coming up out of the water caught our fishing-craft like a
lever on a fulcrum, and threw it into the air as if it had been a

Our boat fell back on the iceberg, that by this time had changed the
side next to us for the top. My father was still in the boat, having
become entangled in the rigging, while I was thrown some twenty feet

I quickly scrambled to my feet and shouted to my father, who answered:
"All is well." Just then a realization dawned upon me. Horror upon
horror! The blood froze in my veins. The iceberg was still in motion,
and its great weight and force in toppling over would cause it to
submerge temporarily. I fully realized what a sucking maelstrom it
would produce amid the worlds of water on every side. They would rush
into the depression in all their fury, like white-fanged wolves eager
for human prey.

In this supreme moment of mental anguish, I remember glancing at our
boat, which was lying on its side, and wondering if it could possibly
right itself, and if my father could escape. Was this the end of our
struggles and adventures? Was this death? All these questions flashed
through my mind in the fraction of a second, and a moment later I was
engaged in a life and death struggle. The ponderous monolith of ice
sank below the surface, and the frigid waters gurgled around me in
frenzied anger. I was in a saucer, with the waters pouring in on every
side. A moment more and I lost consciousness.

When I partially recovered my senses, and roused from the swoon of a
half-drowned man, I found myself wet, stiff, and almost frozen, lying
on the iceberg. But there was no sign of my father or of our little
fishing sloop. The monster berg had recovered itself, and, with its
new balance, lifted its head perhaps fifty feet above the waves. The
top of this island of ice was a plateau perhaps half an acre in

I loved my father well, and was grief-stricken at the awfulness of his
death. I railed at fate, that I, too, had not been permitted to sleep
with him in the depths of the ocean. Finally, I climbed to my feet and
looked about me. The purple-domed sky above, the shoreless green ocean
beneath, and only an occasional iceberg discernible! My heart sank in
hopeless despair. I cautiously picked my way across the berg toward
the other side, hoping that our fishing craft had righted itself.

Dared I think it possible that my father still lived? It was but a ray
of hope that flamed up in my heart. But the anticipation warmed my
blood in my veins and started it rushing like some rare stimulant
through every fiber of my body.

I crept close to the precipitous side of the iceberg, and peered far
down, hoping, still hoping. Then I made a circle of the berg, scanning
every foot of the way, and thus I kept going around and around. One
part of my brain was certainly becoming maniacal, while the other
part, I believe, and do to this day, was perfectly rational.

I was conscious of having made the circuit a dozen times, and while
one part of my intelligence knew, in all reason, there was not a
vestige of hope, yet some strange fascinating aberration bewitched and
compelled me still to beguile myself with expectation. The other part
of my brain seemed to tell me that while there was no possibility of
my father being alive, yet, if I quit making the circuitous
pilgrimage, if I paused for a single moment, it would be
acknowledgment of defeat, and, should I do this, I felt that I should
go mad. Thus, hour after hour I walked around and around, afraid to
stop and rest, yet physically powerless to continue much longer. Oh!
horror of horrors! to be cast away in this wide expanse of waters
without food or drink, and only a treacherous iceberg for an abiding
place. My heart sank within me, and all semblance of hope was fading
into black despair.

Then the hand of the Deliverer was extended, and the death-like
stillness of a solitude rapidly becoming unbearable was suddenly
broken by the firing of a signal-gun. I looked up in startled
amazement, when, I saw, less than a half-mile away, a whaling-vessel
bearing down toward me with her sail full set.

Evidently my continued activity on the iceberg had attracted their
attention. On drawing near, they put out a boat, and, descending
cautiously to the water's edge, I was rescued, and a little later
lifted on board the whaling-ship.

I found it was a Scotch whaler, "The Arlington." She had cleared from
Dundee in September, and started immediately for the Antarctic, in
search of whales. The captain, Angus MacPherson, seemed kindly
disposed, but in matters of discipline, as I soon learned, possessed
of an iron will. When I attempted to tell him that I had come from the
"inside" of the earth, the captain and mate looked at each other,
shook their heads, and insisted on my being put in a bunk under strict
surveillance of the ship's physician.

I was very weak for want of food, and had not slept for many hours.
However, after a few days' rest, I got up one morning and dressed
myself without asking permission of the physician or anyone else, and
told them that I was as sane as anyone.

The captain sent for me and again questioned me concerning where I had
come from, and how I came to be alone on an iceberg in the far off
Antarctic Ocean. I replied that I had just come from the "inside" of
the earth, and proceeded to tell him how my father and myself had gone
in by way of Spitzbergen, and come out by way of the South Pole
country, whereupon I was put in irons. I afterward heard the captain
tell the mate that I was as crazy as a March hare, and that I must
remain in confinement until I was rational enough to give a truthful
account of myself.

Finally, after much pleading and many promises, I was released from
irons. I then and there decided to invent some story that would
satisfy the captain, and never again refer to my trip to the land of
"The Smoky God," at least until I was safe among friends.

Within a fortnight I was permitted to go about and take my place as
one of the seamen. A little later the captain asked me for an
explanation. I told him that my experience had been so horrible that I
was fearful of my memory, and begged him to permit me to leave the
question unanswered until some time in the future. "I think you are
recovering considerably," he said, "but you are not sane yet by a good
deal." "Permit me to do such work as you may assign," I replied, "and
if it does not compensate you sufficiently, I will pay you immediately
after I reach Stockholm--to the last penny." Thus the matter rested.

On finally reaching Stockholm, as I have already related, I found that
my good mother had gone to her reward more than a year before. I have
also told how, later, the treachery of a relative landed me in a
madhouse, where I remained for twenty-eight years--seemingly unending
years--and, still later, after my release, how I returned to the life
of a fisherman, following it sedulously for twenty-seven years, then
how I came to America, and finally to Los Angeles, California. But all
this can be of little interest to the reader. Indeed, it seems to me
the climax of my wonderful travels and strange adventures was reached
when the Scotch sailing-vessel took me from an iceberg on the
Antarctic Ocean.


IN concluding this history of my adventures, I wish to state that I
firmly believe science is yet in its infancy concerning the cosmology
of the earth. There is so much that is unaccounted for by the world's
accepted knowledge of to-day, and will ever remain so until the land
of "The Smoky God" is known and recognized by our geographers.

It is the land from whence came the great logs of cedar that have been
found by explorers in open waters far over the northern edge of the
earth's crust, and also the bodies of mammoths whose bones are found
in vast beds on the Siberian coast.

Northern explorers have done much. Sir John Franklin, De Haven
Grinnell, Sir John Murray, Kane, Melville, Hall, Nansen, Schwatka,
Greely, Peary, Ross, Gerlache, Bernacchi, Andree, Amsden, Amundson and
others have all been striving to storm the frozen citadel of mystery.

I firmly believe that Andree and his two brave companions, Strindberg
and Fraenckell, who sailed away in the balloon "Oreon" from the
northwest coast of Spitzbergen on that Sunday afternoon of July 11,
1897, are now in the "within" world, and doubtless are being
entertained, as my father and myself were entertained by the kind-
hearted giant race inhabiting the inner Atlantic Continent.

Having, in my humble way, devoted years to these problems, I am well
acquainted with the accepted definitions of gravity, as well as the
cause of the magnetic needle's attraction, and I am prepared to say
that it is my firm belief that the magnetic needle is influenced
solely by electric currents which completely envelop the earth like a
garment, and that these electric currents in an endless circuit pass
out of the southern end of the earth's cylindrical opening, diffusing
and spreading themselves over all the "outside" surface, and rushing
madly on in their course toward the North Pole. And while these
currents seemingly dash off into space at the earth's curve or edge,
yet they drop again to the "inside" surface and continue their way
southward along the inside of the earth's crust, toward the opening of
the so-called South Pole.[24]

[24 "Mr. Lemstrom concluded that an electric discharge which could
only be seen by means of the spectroscope was taking place on the
surface of the ground all around him, and that from a distance it
would appear as a faint display of Aurora, the phenomena of pale and
flaming light which is some times seen on the top of the Spitzbergen
Mountains."--The Arctic Manual, page 739.]

As to gravity, no one knows what it is, because it has not been
determined whether it is atmospheric pressure that causes the apple to
fall, or whether, 150 miles below the surface of the earth, supposedly
one-half way through the earth's crust, there exists some powerful
loadstone attraction that draws it. Therefore, whether the apple, when
it leaves the limb of the tree, is drawn or impelled downward to the
nearest point of resistance, is unknown to the students of physics.

Sir James Ross claimed to have discovered the magnetic pole at about
seventy-four degrees latitude. This is wrong--the magnetic pole is
exactly one-half the distance through the earth's crust. Thus, if the
earth's crust is three hundred miles in thickness, which is the
distance I estimate it to be, then the magnetic pole is undoubtedly
one hundred and fifty miles below the surface of the earth, it matters
not where the test is made. And at this particular point one hundred
and fifty miles below the surface, gravity ceases, becomes
neutralized; and when we pass beyond that point on toward the "inside"
surface of the earth, a reverse attraction geometrically increases in
power, until the other one hundred and fifty miles of distance is
traversed, which would bring us out on the "inside" of the earth.

Thus, if a hole were bored down through the earth's crust at London,
Paris, New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles, a distance of three hundred
miles, it would connect the two surfaces. While the inertia and
momentum of a weight dropped in from the "outside" surface would carry
it far past the magnetic center, yet, before reaching the "inside"
surface of the earth it would gradually diminish in speed, after
passing the halfway point, finally pause and immediately fall back
toward the "outside" surface, and continue thus to oscillate, like the
swinging of a pendulum with the power removed, until it would finally
rest at the magnetic center, or at that particular point exactly one-
half the distance between the "outside" surface and the "inside"
surface of the earth.

The gyration of the earth in its daily act of whirling around in its
spiral rotation--at a rate greater than one thousand miles every hour,
or about seventeen miles per second--makes of it a vast electro-
generating body, a huge machine, a mighty prototype of the puny-man-
made dynamo, which, at best, is but a feeble imitation of nature's

The valleys of this inner Atlantis Continent, bordering the upper
waters of the farthest north are in season covered with the most
magnificent and luxuriant flowers. Not hundreds and thousands, but
millions, of acres, from which the pollen or blossoms are carried far
away in almost every direction by the earth's spiral gyrations and the
agitation of the wind resulting therefrom, and it is these blossoms or
pollen from the vast floral meadows "within" that produce the colored
snows of the Arctic regions that have so mystified the northern

[25 Kane, vol. I, page 44, says: "We passed the 'crimson cliffs' of
Sir John Ross in the forenoon of August 5th. The patches of red snow
from which they derive their name could be seen clearly at the
distance of ten miles from the coast." La Chambre, in an account of
Andree's balloon expedition, on page 144, says: "On the isle of
Amsterdam the snow is tinted with red for a considerable distance, and
the savants are collecting it to examine it microscopically. It
presents, in fact, certain peculiarities; it is thought that it
contains very small plants. Scoresby, the famous whaler, had already
remarked this."]

Beyond question, this new land "within" is the home, the cradle, of
the human race, and viewed from the standpoint of the discoveries made
by us, must of necessity have a most important bearing on all
physical, paleontological, archaeological, philological and
mythological theories of antiquity.

The same idea of going back to the land of mystery--to the very
beginning--to the origin of man--is found in Egyptian traditions of
the earlier terrestrial regions of the gods, heroes and men, from the
historical fragments of Manetho, fully verified by the historical
records taken from the more recent excavations of Pompeii as well as
the traditions of the North American Indians.

It is now one hour past midnight--the new year of 1908 is here, and
this is the third day thereof, and having at last finished the record
of my strange travels and adventures I wish given to the world, I am
ready, and even longing, for the peaceful rest which I am sure will
follow life's trials and vicissitudes. I am old in years, and ripe
both with adventures and sorrows, yet rich with the few friends I have
cemented to me in my struggles to lead a just and upright life. Like a
story that is well-nigh told, my life is ebbing away. The presentiment
is strong within me that I shall not live to see the rising of another
sun. Thus do I conclude my message.



I FOUND much difficulty in deciphering and editing the manuscripts of
Olaf Jansen. However, I have taken the liberty of reconstructing only
a very few expressions, and in doing this have in no way changed the
spirit or meaning. Otherwise, the original text has neither been added
to nor taken from.

It is impossible for me to express my opinion as to the value or
reliability of the wonderful statements made by Olaf Jansen. The
description here given of the strange lands and people visited by him,
location of cities, the names and directions of rivers, and other
information herein combined, conform in every way to the rough
drawings given into my custody by this ancient Norseman, which
drawings together with the manuscript it is my intention at some later
date to give to the Smithsonian Institution, to preserve for the
benefit of those interested in the mysteries of the "Farthest North"--
the frozen circle of silence. It is certain there are many things in
Vedic literature, in "Josephus," the "Odyssey," the "Iliad," Terrien
de Lacouperie's "Early History of Chinese Civilization," Flammarion's
"Astronomical Myths," Lenormant's "Beginnings of History," Hesiod's
"Theogony," Sir John de Maundeville's writings, and Sayce's "Records
of the Past," that, to say the least, are strangely in harmony with
the seemingly incredible text found in the yellow manuscript of the
old Norseman, Olaf Jansen, and now for the first time given to the


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