Agharti (Palmer)

From Kook Science

Agharti (compare Agharta) is an underground city described both in ostensibly non-fiction articles and fictional stories published by Ray Palmer's Amazing Stories and Fantastic Adventures during the mid-1940s and 1950s. Palmer's promotion of the concept was almost certainly inspired by the article "Tales from Tibet" by Vincent Gaddis, published in Amazing Stories of February 1946 (v. 20, n. 1), in which Gaddis gives a summary description of Agharti, based on Ferdinand Ossendowski's Beasts, Men and Gods (1922). According to Gaddis, Agharti was a "secret city of the caverns" situated within "a vast, underground region" beneath Tibet and Outer Mongolia, inhabited by "several thousand" beings of great scientific attainment, including particularly special lighting for cultivating plants in their sunless environment and high-speed vehicles for quick transportation through the underground, which was ruled over "by an individual known as the 'King of the World'" who had maintained political influence over the surface through Tibet and Mongolia, via the Bogd Khan (1869-1924) and other Buddhist lamas.

In the May 1946 (v. 20, n. 2) issue of Amazing Stories following the Gaddis article, there appeared on the last page an illustration of a crowned, robed figure, radiating light, under the headline "THE KING OF THE WORLD? Is there an underground cave city called Agharti ruled by a Venusian who holds our future hopes?" This was followed in June 1946 (v. 20, n. 3) by Heinrich Hauser's novella "Agharti" — however, Hauser's story had nothing to do with the Central Asian legend, his Agharti being instead an underground base in the Harz Mountains of northern Germany during the Nazi Reich, a secret base for the development of V-7 atomic rockets, and the only connection was the name, as explained in a very long footnote, filling most of the first few pages. Two years later, the original Agharti, ruled by the "King of the World," was used in a story, "The Man from Agharti" by John and Dorothy de Courcy, this appearing in Amazing Stories of July 1948 (v. 22, no. 7), and followed by "The Golden Mask of Agharti" in Fantastic Adventures of January 1950 (v. 12, n. 1).