T. Lobsang Rampa
New Age Trailblazer


Part 2 of 2

Extracted from Nexus Magazine

Volume 13, Number 3 (April - May 2006)

 A self-declared transmigrated high lama, T. Lobsang Rampa inspired readers and angered critics with his stories about old and new Tibet, ancient rituals, reincarnation, benevolent ETs and inner-world dwellers.


Needless to say, T. Lobsang Rampa’s assertions are just as unpopular today with academia as they were in the 1950s. Surprisingly, however, new discoveries continue to bring into question the accepted chronology of human civilization. The myth of Atlantis is just as enduring in the third millennium as it was in Plato’s day, but today there is solid evidence that civilisations flourished upon the now inundated continental shelves of Asia and Central America.


Graham Hancock’s seminal book Underworld demonstrated conclusively that the flooded coastlines contain ruins from cultures older than the Sumerian. Hancock and his wife Saantha Faiia, both seasoned divers, have explored ruins that were discovered in 2001 in the Gulf of Cambay on the west and off Mahabalipuram on the east of the Indian sub-continent.

The South China Sea around Okinawa and Yonaguni is peppered with megalithic-type ruins which were only discovered in the mid-1980s and 1990s. While these ruins are truly impressive, they pale in comparison with the deep-water ruins photographed by a Russian research vessel off the coast of Cuba in 2001.


These ruins lie over two kilometers deep at the bottom of the Caribbean. As revealed by sonograph, they show grid-patterned streets and geometrical structures. Only tectonic forces, rather than coastal flooding, could have plunged a city to the bottom of the sea! In November 2004, it was reported that ruins beneath the Mediterranean Sea have been discovered off the coast of Cyprus, towards Turkey. There are also rumors of underwater ruins near Bimini, Malta and Britain.

When Rampa published his first two books in the 1950s, few people believed that sudden and cataclysmic forces had shaped the Earth’s past. Immanuel Velikovsky, a scientist who tried to prove that major upheavals have occurred regularly throughout the Earth’s history, was vilified by the establishment, which tried to ban his books Worlds in Collision and Earth in Upheaval.


He was also one of the first scientists to warn us of dangers from comets and asteroids, for they had struck our planet in the past. Velikovsky was the first scientist to hypothesize that Venus would be boiling hot and that Jupiter would possess a huge magnetic field. Both he and Rampa believed that the Earth had once been impacted by another planet which had emptied its petroleum oceans into our planet’s crust.

Archaeological evidence for ancient civilizations in Tibet is scant because Western archaeologists have never been allowed to excavate, and the current Chinese occupiers are far more interested in exploiting Tibet’s resources. In Seven Years in Tibet, Heinrich Harrer recounted how his friend Peter Aufschnaiter indulged in some amateur archaeology in Lhasa and discovered evidence of burial practices indicative of an earlier culture. Harrer as well as Russian explorer Nicholas Roerich acknowledged the rumor that huge subterranean caverns exist beneath the Potala Palace.

In 2002, a report about anomalous artifacts in the Qinghai Tibetan area was posted on the Internet. Li Heng of People’s Daily Online (25 June) wrote:

"The widespread news of mysterious iron pipes at the foot of Mt Baigong, located in the depths of the Qaidam Basin, Qinghai Province, has roused concern from related departments. Some experts believe that these might be relics left behind by extraterrestrial beings, for the site, with its high altitude and thin, crisp air, has long been held as an ideal place to practice astronomy."

He speaks of three caves, with the middle one being the largest.

"What is astonishing is inside, for there is a half-pipe about 40 centimeters in diameter tilting from the top to the inner end of the cave... At the opening of the cave there are a dozen pipes, at the diameter between 10 and 40 centimeters, that run straight into the mountain... About 80 meters away from the caves is the shimmering Toson Lake, on whose beach many iron pipes can be found scattered on sand and rocks… Most strange is that there are also some pipes in the lake, some reaching above water surface and some buried below, with similar shapes and thickness [as compared] with those on the beach."

On 12 February 2004, Greg Taylor of Phenomena News provided an update that the site was to be examined by scientists.

"A sample of these scraps was analyzed once by the local smeltery, and were found to be composed of 30 per cent ferric oxide with a large amount of silicon dioxide and calcium dioxide. ’The large content of silicon dioxide and calcium oxide is a result of long interaction between iron and sandstone, which means the pipes must be very old,’ said Liu Shaolin, the engineer who did the analysis."

The area is sparsely populated and has very little industry, leading many to call the site an "ET launching pad".

Over the past few centuries, other anomalous objects have been discovered which put doubt on the classical theory of evolution. These out-of-place artifacts ("ooparts") — from million-year-old shoeprints to a bell vase blasted out of solid coal — periodically turn up all around the world. Michael Cremo and Richard Thompson documented thousands of anomalous archaeological finds in their huge book, Forbidden Archeology.

On 30 April 2002, the Russian newspaper Pravda announced the extraordinary discovery of a stone slab covered with a relief map of the Ural region.

"The question is about a great plate found in 1999, with a relief map of the region done according to an unknown technology... The map contains civil engineering work: a system of channels with a length of about 12,000 km, weirs and powerful dams. Not far from the channels, diamond-shaped grounds are shown... The map also contains some inscriptions…done in a hieroglyphic-syllabic language of unknown origin. The scientists never managed to read it…"

Professor Alexandr Chuvyrov, the team leader, claimed that shells embedded in the surface indicated that the map was about 120 million years old, when the south magnetic pole was situated in Franz Joseph Land. It was also part of a much larger map, possibly of the whole Earth and measuring 340 square meters. Could this map have been created by those ETs whom Rampa called "the Gardeners of the Earth", who caused such devastation with their warfare?

There are many documented discoveries of gigantic human remains, mostly discovered and then "lost" by museums over the past century. In Lost Cities of North and Central America, David Hatcher Childress reprinted many newspaper reports and even scientific studies of gigantic human bones from the Americas.


Peter Kolosimo in Timeless Earth wrote:

"A human skeleton 17 feet tall has been found in Gargayan, in The Philippines, and bones of other human creatures over 10 feet tall have been found in southeastern China. According to paleontologist Pei Wen-chung, these are at least 300,000 years old… Stone implements of giant size have been found in Moravia and Syria, where the bones of their users have been found nearby. In Ceylon, explorers have found the remains of creatures which must have been about 13 feet tall, and in Tura Assam…a human skeleton measuring 11 feet has come to light." (p. 31)

Kolosimo also documented the many legends of giants which can be found around the world from Australia to China, from Europe to the Middle East.

Cone-headed skulls, such as those belonging to the mummies Rampa saw beneath the Potala, have also come to light in Peru, Malta and Syria. The museum of Paracas in Peru contains many skeletons from that arid area, including cone-headed skulls with a cranial capacity of between 2200 and 2500 cc, greatly exceeding our brain capacity of 1450 cc. The Paracas skulls seem to represent another human species—not people like the Amerindians and Egyptians who bound their heads.

It is surprising to discover that Rampa used the term "chariots of the gods" over a decade before Erich von Däniken wrote his book of the same name. The so-called chariots of the gods, or Vimanas, were first described by Desmond Leslie as co-author with George Adamski of the famous 1953 book Flying Saucers Have Landed. These Vimanas are described in great detail in ancient Indian literature, leading alternative historians like Hatcher Childress to believe they belonged to the technologically advanced Rishi civilization of about 12,000 years ago.


Ancient Indian texts such as the Mahabharata also speak of weapons of mass destruction, including a bomb with a brightness exceeding 10,000 suns which caused the skin to fall off its hapless victims. Even the most skeptical historian would find it hard to dismiss the similarity between these weapons and modern thermonuclear bombs.

There are also examples of inexplicable radioactivity in some ancient cities of the Indus civilization on the Indian subcontinent. The very ancient city of Mohenjo-daro, with its modern grid-like layout, was found to have extremely radioactive skeletons lying in its streets. Lumps of glass, originally clay pots that had melted under extreme heat, have been found. Modern historians do not have an adequate explanation for the downfall of the Indus civilization and the radioactive anomalies discovered there. In other places such as the Middle East and Scotland, an inexplicable heat source vitrified forts and melted sand into glass in antiquity.

Rampa declared in The Cave of the Ancients that the sphinx had been a universal symbol of antediluvial civilizations. Although conventional historians date it at about 3000 BCE, alternative historians such as Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval speculate that the Giza Sphinx could date to 10,500 BCE, connecting it with the constellation of Leo which was in ascendancy at that time, while John Anthony West puts it in the post-glacial period at between 5000 to 10,000 BCE. Geologist Robert Schoch thinks the Sphinx was created around 5000 BCE, or 7000 BCE at the earliest. The Sphinx was recently discovered to have chambers beneath it, and limited excavations have revealed a burial chamber called "the tomb of Osiris". However, many alternative archaeologists believe there is a buried city beneath the Giza plateau, a belief influenced by such mystics as Edgar Cayce and Lobsang Rampa.

In these days of infrared satellite photography, it is almost impossible to believe that an ancient city could exist in the mountains without being detected. Amazingly, in 1998 a group of American mountaineers discovered a verdant valley perched high in an inaccessible gorge of the Himalayas. Totally unknown to Europeans, this valley with its semi-tropical vegetation had remained hidden from satellites for decades. In 2003, a huge, hidden glacier was discovered in the Himalayas, unknown to Chinese and Western cartographers. Who, then, can safely say that other great discoveries do not lie hidden in a glacier or a cave in the world’s highest mountain range?


"Flying saucers? Of course there are flying saucers! I have seen many, both in the sky and on the ground, and I have even been for a trip in one. Tibet is the most convenient country of all for flying saucers. It is remote from the bustle of the everyday world, and is peopled by those who place religion and scientific concepts before material gain. Throughout the centuries, the people of Tibet have known the truth about flying saucers, what they are, why they are, how they work, and the purpose behind it all. We know of the flying saucer people as the gods in the sky in their fiery chariots."

("Home of the Gods" in My Visit to Venus)

Like many writers of the 1950s, such as George Adamski and George Hunt Williamson, Rampa described benevolent extraterrestrials who had come to warn humanity about the follies of nuclear power. During the following decades, his discussions on extraterrestrials became more sophisticated and on the cutting edge of UFO research, particularly with The Hermit (1971) which introduced the ideas of human abduction and experimentation for genetic engineering purposes.


Clearly, Rampa’s revelations of extraterrestrial genetic engineering pre-dated Zecharia Sitchin’s Earth Chronicles series, and yet his influence in this genre is unrecognised.

• My Visit to Venus

My Visit to Venus, an anthology of Rampa chapters which had been rejected from earlier books, was published without authorization in late 1958 or early 1959 by Gray Barker, an American who ran Saucerian Bulletin. Prior to Barker’s book, it had been published in various magazines such as Flying Saucer Review. Rampa did not want it published, fearing it would be dismissed as science fiction.

The opening chapter, "Home of the Gods", continues on from Doctor from Lhasa’s description of a visit to the Chang Tang Highlands, where the lamas discovered a huge, ancient city. Half frozen in a glacier, this city had once accommodated a race of giants.

"Nearby in a spacious courtyard, there was an immense metal structure which reminded me of two of our temple dishes clamped together and was clearly a vehicle of some sort."

The monks cautiously approached the vehicle, which was about 50 to 60 feet (15.24 to 18.29 meters) across, and ascended a ladder leading inside. Once inside, Rampa’s Guide touched something which caused the ship to hum and emit a bluish light.

To their surprise, they were approached by large humans who communicated telepathically:

"Be not afraid, for we were aware of your coming for the past hundred years. We made provisions so that those who were intrepid enough to enter this vessel should know the past."

The humanoids showed them pictures from the past civilization: huge buildings which sat by the sea with disc- like vehicles soaring above. They witnessed an enormous explosion which toppled the buildings and caused a tsunami to rise above the ruins.


The humanoids told them of a "White Brotherhood", composed of incarnate and discarnate entities, which safeguarded all life.

The chapter continued with the seven lamas being taken up into space from where they could see Tibet. The vehicle left the atmosphere, with no increase in gravity or sensation of speed, and soared into space. The monks were taken on a tour of the spaceship. Its propulsion system utilized a form of magnetism which repelled the Earth’s magnetism. The repelling force could be adjusted to allow the vessel to hover, rise or sink.


The ship was also capable of collecting "space electricity"—a form of magnetism based upon cosmic energy.

The Venusian hosts took the lamas in a strange vehicle to the Hall of Knowledge, where they observed the Earth’s creation along with the mighty civilizations of Lemuria, Atlantis and Poseidonia. The Broad One warned:

"We guard the Earth, for, if man’s folly is allowed to go unchecked, terrible things will happen to the race of man. There are powers upon the Earth, human powers who oppose all thoughts of our ships, who say there is nothing greater than the human upon Earth, so there cannot be ships from other worlds."

Eventually, after many days, the Tibetans were returned to Earth "which now seemed a tawdry place" and "paled into significance against the glory of Venus". The story ended with this:

"Never again, I thought, shall I see such wonderful things. How mistaken I was, for that was but the first of many trips."

• Beyond the Tenth

During the 1960s the subject of ufology became established, and Rampa in his books Chapters of Life and Beyond the Tenth expanded the theme of aliens as the guardians and indeed creators of the Earth. He described UFOs as being of four distinct types:

1. Extraterrestrials. These Gardeners of the Earth, an extremely advanced race from another galaxy, colonized our planet billions of years ago. Every now and then they come back to check on the progress of the human race.
2. Inner Earth inhabitants. In the Venus anthology, they are described as advanced humanoids who live in the Earth’s interior and sometimes use their vehicles to explore the Earth’s surface. This theme was later expanded in Twilight.
3. Antimatter vehicles. These explode when they come into contact with the Earth’s atmosphere.
4. Interdimensional vehicles containing aliens from other realms. Usually we are unable to perceive these aliens, as they vibrate at a different frequency to human beings. We can only perceive their vehicles as gyrating lights in the sky, a third- dimensional shadow of fourth-dimensional vehicles.

Beyond the Tenth was published in 1969, the same year that Erich von Däniken’s Chariots of the Gods? was published in English. While the Swiss author built his case upon incongruous ancient anomalies, Rampa stated unequivocally that...

"Earth is like a colony; Earth is a testing ground, a seeding place where different types are put together so that the Gardeners of Space can see how they get on together" (p. 77).

He claimed that even though the Gardeners were friendly and concerned with our welfare, they sometimes abducted and experimented upon humans in an effort to improve our species.


Rampa was also aware of censorship surrounding the reporting of UFOs in the West.

"The pilots who fly the [aircraft], whether in a commercial capacity or in connection with the armed forces, have seen and will continue to see UFOs but, until the moronic governments of the world change their attitudes, not much will be heard of those sightings. The Argentinean government is surely one of the most enlightened in that they officially recognize the existence of UFOs." (p. 86)

The military clique cannot acknowledge UFOs because it would compromise security and reveal their vulnerability. He noted that any reference that astronauts make to UFOs while they’re in space is deleted and their photos destroyed. While this may have sounded like unfounded paranoia in the 1960s, many people today believe there has been a monstrous government conspiracy of silence lasting over 50 years—a belief fuelled by such TV shows as The X-Files, Dark Skies, The Smoking Gun and Roswell.

Rampa also claimed that religious leaders would not acknowledge UFOs because it would shake their paradigm that man is made in the image of God, if an advanced alien appeared to be non-human.

Further, he noted:

"If the UFO people had wanted to take over the Earth, they could have done it centuries ago. The point is, they are afraid that they will have to take over the Earth (and they do not want to) if the Earth goes on releasing too much hard atomic radiation. These spacemen are the Gardeners of the Earth. They are trying to save the Earth from the Earth people—and what a time they are having!" (p. 89)

• The Hermit

Five years before Sitchin wrote his cult classic The Twelfth Planet, expounding the belief that extraterrestrials had seeded and genetically engineered the human race, Rampa explained the whole process in The Hermit. The story began with a blind old Tibetan hermit imparting his knowledge to "the chosen one". In his youth he had been abducted by an advanced race who revealed themselves as "the Gardeners of the Earth".


They took him to another galaxy and performed medical experiments upon his unwilling body, including brain surgery to increase his intelligence. Bluntly they informed him that the Earthlings were a very evil race who threatened to destroy not only themselves but other intelligent life on nearby worlds.

The Gardeners informed him:

"We travel in universes putting people and animals on many different worlds. You Earthlings have your legends about us; you refer to us as gods of the sky. Now we are to give you information as to the origin of life on Earth… for it is time that people knew the truth of their gods before we initiate the second phase." (p. 14)

They transported the blind monk to another galaxy and implanted artificial sight so that he could witness the wonders of their civilization. He was taken to the centre of the empire, where...

"the colours were all wrong. The grass was red and the rocks were yellow. The sky was of a greenish cast and there were two suns." (p. 104)

The empire was vast and incorporated many different planets and star systems which co-existed in harmony. The inhabitants were humanoids with varied characteristics and features. There were vast cities of towering spires traversed by flying vehicles of all descriptions. This world was the headquarters of the vast empire, where every planet was self-governing but owed allegiance to the Master of the World.

The Gardeners took the monk to an orbiting observatory where nine wise men were in charge of observing the Akashic records of Earth and other worlds. They showed him the history of the world, beginning with a huge comet colliding with a dead world at the centre of the galaxy, sending out gobbets of incandescent gas which eventually became the planets. Two expeditions explored the new worlds while a third dropped biological specimens onto the land and into the seas. Millennia later, a fourth expedition delivered huge dinosaurs to planet Earth. However, after many years the Earth was wobbling on its axis, so a vessel was dispatched to break up the super-continent with a laser beam.

Another expedition brought purple humanoids to the Earth which had eight breasts and long, ape-like arms. They lived in caves and could not use fire, so the Gardeners were forced to exterminate them to make room for more advanced humans. After thousands of years and climate change, these humans developed a mighty civilization. But the Gardeners fraternized too freely with the Earthlings, especially the women. A group stole their technology, attacked them and let off a nuclear device which wreaked havoc upon the Earth, sinking whole cities and continents beneath the oceans.

For centuries the Gardeners stayed away from the irradiated planet but eventually returned with more human and animal specimens, distributing them on different continents. Mankind eventually evolved and built towns and cities, while the supervising Gardeners were worshipped as gods by the Earth inhabitants.

From another galaxy, a warlike race with horny growths on their forehead attacked the empire and laid waste to our solar system. Cataclysmic battles took place in the heavens: atmospheres were blasted away and worlds destroyed. A planet, dislodged from its orbit, struck the Earth, causing a catastrophic loss of life. Only a few humans and animals, aided by the Gardeners, were conveyed to safety in a great ark.

On the Earth, a great ice age developed. The Gardeners now decided to live apart from humans and dwell on mountains. Some inexperienced Gardeners, the "gods of Olympus", engaged in licentious behavior and were transferred to other worlds. So the Gardeners then decided to communicate only through suitably chosen natives such as Moses, Buddha and Jesus, who were instructed to institute new religions. But always the priests perverted the true teachings for their own power and gain.

The hermit was returned to a comfortable cave in Tibet where he was told a "chosen one" would come many years later to hear his wisdom. The Gardeners decided that even though the auras of the human race were faulty, mankind would be given another chance. However, if humans did not heed such warnings and stop polluting their planet with radioactivity, the Gardeners would be forced to intervene at any time in the future.

• Tibetan Sage

In Tibetan Sage, Rampa provided more information about these Gardeners, although he repeated many themes from earlier books. With his Guide, he visited an artificial cave which...

"...used to be the headquarters of a special race who could do space travel and just about everything else. Through millions of years, it still works; everything is intact." (p. 19)

This cave was part of a network created millions of years ago when Tibet was a low-lying land. It contained a space vehicle "about four or five men tall and looked something like two dishes, one on top of the other" (p. 23).


The similarity of this description with the one given in "Home of the Gods" in My Visit to Venus is obvious. These extraterrestrials had the technology to melt solid rock and heal traumatic wounds with a special bath. They were able to suspend life so that people could exist for millions of years, "receiving adequate nourishment to keep the body functioning on a minute scale" (TS, p. 28). These suspended bodies were being kept alive in tubs in order to provide bodies for aliens to transmigrate into at a future date.

The Lama Mingyar Dondup could read their inscriptions and learned that the suspended aliens were actually evil Gardeners who had raped human women and performed genetic experiments. They were a renegade faction who had waged many wars against the other Gardeners—wars that Rampa observed on one of their devices which contained the Akashic records. (This is the fourth time Rampa claimed to have viewed the Akashic records; he had described them in the Venusian ship, the Cave of the Ancients and the orbiting observatory.) As Rampa and his Guide departed from the caves, the whole complex was destroyed by booby traps.

Even if Rampa’s stories are dismissed as science fiction, there is merit in some of his original themes. His warnings from the extraterrestrials to stop our nuclear folly were not original, as other contactees in the 1950s—particularly Daniel Fry and Richard Miller—had said the same. Venusians were very popular with contactees in the 1950s before space probes revealed Venus to be an inhospitable planet. Frank Stranges said he had been in contact with Val Thor, and George Adamski claimed to have flown to Venus with friendly aliens years before Rampa’s jaunt to our closest neighbor.


Nor was Rampa the first to speak of levitators and telepathic communication with aliens, as George Van Tassel and George King had made earlier claims. Furthermore, in 1953 in Flying Saucers Have Landed, Desmond Leslie first popularized the notion that the ancient Indian scriptures contained many references to the vehicles of the extraterrestrial gods.

However, some of Rampa’s ideas were original and may have influenced later writers. His descriptions of Earth from space and warp travel with anti-magnetic propulsion were quite novel for the pre-space-flight era. The Hermit described alien abduction, experimentation and genetic engineering at least a decade before Whitley Strieber wrote his influential Communion. Recently the idea that extraterrestrials were responsible for the evolution of humans and other animals has been incorporated into a new theory called "interventionism" by Lloyd Pye, who challenges Darwinism and creationism.


Zecharia Sitchin, one of the proponents of this theory, claimed that the Mesopotamian gods, the Anunnaki, were extraterrestrials from the 12th planet, Nibiru, who genetically engineered the terrestrial hominids to produce a new species, Homo sapiens, about 200,000 years ago. Sitchin’s influence in alternative history is undeniable, as terms like Anunnaki and Nibiru have passed into the New Age lexicon. However, Lobsang Rampa, whose book The Hermit tells us who the aliens are, where they are from and why they are visiting and abducting humans, is virtually unknown.



"There are passages which reach to the ends of the Earth. The Earth has a spine just as we have, but the spine of the Earth is made of rock… This tunnel was man-made in the days of Atlantis when they knew how to make rock flow like water without generating heat. I have travelled extensively and I know that this rocky spine extends from the North Pole to the South Pole."

(As it Was, p. 75)

Lobsang Rampa wrote extensively of inhabited, underground caverns, tunnels and cities in Twilight, As it Was and "The Subsurface World" chapter of My Visit to Venus. In Twilight, he introduced the topic of the subterranean realm of Agharta (or Agharti) with its capital city Shamballah (or Shambhala) and omnipotent ruler, "the King of the world".


Rampa strongly hinted that the mysterious (unidentified) island Ultima Thule and the loss of the US nuclear submarines Thresher and Scorpion were somehow connected with this underground civilization and its denizens.

Tunnels to Shamballah and Agharta

In occult and Buddhist lore, the realms of Shamballah and Agharta are usually situated underground in the Himalayas or Central Asian deserts. In the earlier decades of the 20th century, Russian explorers Ferdinand Ossendowski and Nicholas Roerich traveled throughout Central Asia seeking the fabled land and city. Ossendowski first mentioned Agharta in his 1922 book Beasts, Men and Gods. Tibetan lamas had told him that the thousands of people living underground in Agharta were ruled by "the King of the world".


The inhabitants of Agharta are believed to possess advanced powers capable of destroying whole areas of the planet, although they choose to live in peace. Roerich, a respected traveler, mystic and Theosophist, also believed in these subterranean lands but was unable to provide any scientific evidence of their existence. In his 1929 book Heart of Asia, his main interest centered on the spiritual dynamics of Shamballah and its importance as a symbol in the coming "New Age" of enlightenment and peace.

In a booklet titled Agharta (1951), American Buddhist Robert Dickhoff wrote:

"Agharta began some 60,000 years ago when a tribe led by a holy man disappeared underground. The inhabitants were said to number many millions and had a science superior to any found on the surface of the Earth… The few remaining tunnels open to the surface world are in Tibet, Siberia, Africa, South and North America and on remote islands which were once the mountain peaks of Atlantis."

In 1960, Dr Raymond Bernard commented in his book The Subterranean World:

"Belief in the existence of a subterranean world, which was given the name of Agharti, is universal and an integral part of the Buddhist faith. Another sacred word amongst Buddhists is Shamballah, the name of the subterranean world capital."

(Alec Maclellan, The Lost World of Agharthi)

Nicholas Roerich had heard from learned lamas of underground passages and a lake beneath the Potala:

"If you have seen this underground lake, you must have been either a very great lama or a torch bearer."

Harrer recounted this story in his book Seven Years in Tibet (p. 185).

In The Third Eye, Rampa described his visit to the tunnels of the Potala. According to his Guide, a group of monks had once tried to explore this mysterious lake but some had drowned. The survivors managed to exit the cave and found themselves in a swamp about 40 miles from the Potala.


Later Rampa was able to study the passages himself, climbing ever downwards through secret doors until he reached a lake which was the remnant of an ancient sea. Years later, he returned to the caverns to undergo the "Ceremony of the Little Death" amongst the mummified bodies of gigantic extraterrestrials who had once walked the Earth as gods.

In Twilight, Rampa introduced Rigden Jyepo, the King of the world who dwells in Shamballah.

"In Tibetan lore there is much mention of Shamballah where the King of all the world lives, the King who is hidden from millions on the surface of the world. Tibetans firmly believe in the King of the world living inside the world, not as some sort of demon but as an extremely good king, a good spiritual ruler who is alive in two planes at once, the physical, where he lives for ever and ever, and the astral plane, where similarly he lives for ever and ever… Tibetans believe that the King of the world gave his first instructions to the first Dalai Lama... who is the outer representative of the inner-world king." (p. 20)

The current Dalai Lama has often been asked about Agharta and Shamballah in Tibetan mythology. In a non-committal way, he gave this enigmatic response: "Shamballah exists, yes, but not in any conventional sense." (Hicks and Chogyam, Great Ocean, p. 92)

In 2003, Inner Light published My Visit to Agharta, which was purportedly retrieved from the estate papers of a New York bookseller, Jim Rigberg. The publisher claims that Lobsang Rampa often sent Rigberg his rejected writings, which were incorporated into the 2003 edition. In this story, Rampa and his Guide journeyed through caverns to the inner kingdom of Agharta, encountering both malevolent and benevolent races along the way.


Eventually they reached a vortex which transported them, and millions of other enlightened souls, to the sacred land of Agharta in the centre of the Earth. In Agharta, "the Creator" appeared as a luminous sphere, addressing each pilgrim separately with a message of love and hope.

While this story has a feelgood "New Age" appeal, it does not sound like a Rampa creation. More suspiciously, Rampa’s secretary Sheelagh Rouse has no recollection of ever typing it or anything of that genre.

Tunnels to Ultima Thule

Rampa originally discussed the inner world and its inhabitants in "The Subsurface World" chapter of the My Visit to Venus anthology.

"There are a number of natural orifices on the world which give access to the inner world. One is in the Andes, another in the Gobi Desert, and another…beyond the Shetland Islands…eternally wrapped in swirling fog is known as Ultima Thule, the Last Island."

The British Royal Navy once visited it to conduct a survey, but what they encountered became highly classified.

"Very strange happenings indeed took place, and in the secret records of the British Admiralty there are records of truly fantastic happenings on Ultima Thule, happenings which are so incredible that the reports have long been suppressed and kept under close guard."

The very existence of this island is a mystery, as the only North Sea island which nominally fits Rampa’s description of Ultima Thule is Jan Mayen, currently ruled by Norway. Uninhabited except for a manned weather station, it is dominated by a huge active volcano, Beerenberg. It is a bleak island, but there is little else to recommend it as an island of great mystery. To make matters even more confusing, in Chapters of Life Rampa described Ultima Thule as a gateway to another dimension.

In Germanic and Nordic mythologies, Ultima Thule is known as part of the sunken continent of Hyperborea, but it has no place on modern maps. Perhaps it is in the same category as Peary’s Crocker Land or Cook’s Bradley Land which were observed in the high Arctic and then disappeared, probably because they were mirages. Furthermore, the mid-Atlantic Ridge is an area of intense seismic activity, as was evidenced when the Icelandic island of Surtsey rose from the waves in the 1960s.


In Invisible Horizons, Vincent Gaddis wrote of literally dozens of islands which have been charted and subsequently disappeared.

"That islands may sink below the waves is not in any way unbelievable or even extraordinary. Submarine archeologists have mapped dozens of them along with many quite deeply sunken coastlines. Volcanic activity alone has accounted for many cases of submergence that have been properly and fully witnessed and examined." (p. 32)

Inner-world Inhabitants

Rampa introduced the inner-world inhabitants in "The Subsurface World" as:

"...people who dislike those humans who dwell upon the surface of the Earth. They are not benevolent people at all: they have instead a horror dread of those who dwell in the sunlight. They are a small colony of people who live inside the Earth."

Their flight capability was "a glorified type of air vehicle not a great deal better than the puny aircraft which we surface people possess, and these inner-worlders cannot travel any great distance into space". An extinct volcano had created many lava tubes through which the inner-worlders—"not unlike humans"—sometimes visit the surface. Although they dislike the surface dwellers, they never attack unless provoked.

"Often they take flight, and with their abnormally high speed they can outdistance anything which the surface people have at present."

In As it Was, the Lama Mingyar Dondup took Lobsang to another complex of caverns near Lhasa which contained strange artefacts and carvings. He told him of tunnels reaching from the north to the south pole, while others, which were sealed, reached into the Earth’s interior. Lobsang learned of a race of people who had once entered the caverns to escape the surface cataclysms, sealing the entrance behind them. Beneath the surface, they developed their own sciences which were often more advanced than those upon the surface. Dondup said:

"We of the higher lama class have often visited this place and tried to commune with those below by telepathy…but they want nothing to do with us…and if necessary they will intervene." (p. 77)

Mingyar Dondup described the inner world and its inhabitants:

"They have a sun something like we have but theirs is much smaller and much more powerful. They have much more than we have, but they are very much more intelligent."

Long ago these inner-worlders discovered the principles of flight.

"Sometimes they come out of the Earth in special vehicles…which fly around on the outside of the Earth to see what people are doing and to ascertain if their own safety is jeopardized by the folly of those whom they term ’the outsiders’." (ibid.)

In Feeding the Flame, Rampa had more to say about inner-world dwellers.

"Yes there was an Atlantis, and there are living remnants of Atlantis still, deep underground in a certain part of the world, and let me make it clear that that part of the world is not Mount Shasta; this is just an ordinary area which has been over-publicized by people who wanted to make not just a quick buck, but a whole sack of them." (p. 148)

The Case for a Hollow Earth

In Twilight, Rampa devoted a whole chapter to the hollow Earth question.

"I have believed it for years and I have studied it thoroughly. I have read all about it [and believe] there is another world inside this Earth of ours that is 2.9 times the size of the Moon, and that it is populated by a very intelligent race."

He continued:

"I have been in some of those tunnels, and I have also been in some of those tunnels in Ultima Thule. There are certain places in the Earth where it is possible for the Initiate to travel down into the centre of the Earth and meet representatives of that inner civilization… Brazil and Tibet are two vitally important parts of the outer world which have a special attraction for the inner people." (p. 21)

Furthermore, he claimed that the Gobi Desert and its pyramids have a connection to the inner world.

Rampa presented his case for the hollow Earth theory with these points:

1.   Commercial airlines do not actually fly over the poles, as the navigational instruments would go awry.
2.   No one has ever really been to the poles, only near them.
3.   There is an atomic sun in the centre of the Earth which is responsible for the auroras.
4.   The current model of geophysics (crust/mantle/core) is not based upon any solid evidence, merely supposition.
5.   The inner Earth is about 2.9 times bigger than the Moon. This makes it actually larger than the land area on the outside of the Earth.
6.   Inner worlders are remnants of Lemuria/Mu/Atlantis and even older civilizations who escaped from surface cataclysms by entering the cavern system.
7.   There is a legend that the gypsies are descendants from inner-worlders.
8.   The government denies the existence of the hollow Earth in order to avoid a panic.
9.   Certain UFOs come from the inner world.
10. Photographs of the polar regions do not show holes, only shadows and patches.

Rampa made an enigmatic comment about the Northwest Territories of Canada, which may have been a clue for hollow Earth seekers.

"Many areas in the Northern [sic] Territories have not been explored. Some areas have never even been seen by humans. How do you know what holes there are in the Northern Territories when no one has been there? It is stupid to say these things are impossible until you know all the facts, until you are an expert in photography, geology." (p. 28)

He made even more mysterious allusions in Feeding the Flame, hinting that he was censored by his publisher.

"I wish I could tell you some of the things I absolutely, definitely know, but there are certain things which cannot be told at present. I know the actual truth about the submarines Thresher and Scorpion, and I know what happened to them and why. The story, if it could be told, would make cold chills run up and down your spine, but the time is not yet. There are many things which could be told, but, well, these books circulate everywhere...and there are many people who should not be aware that certain people know what is really going on... The mystery of the Thresher and Scorpion is a stranger thing than you would ever believe." (p. 148)

This comment is referring to the two US nuclear submarines which disappeared and were destroyed under strange circumstances in the 1960s. Unfortunately Rampa never mentioned them again, leaving us to wonder about the great mystery as debris from the subs was allegedly discovered by the US Navy and pictures of the imploded Thresher were featured in a National Geographic article.

In Twilight, Rampa concluded his discussion of the hollow Earth theory.

"I have said all I am going to say about it. Oh yes, I know a lot more, a great deal more than I have written, but just trot along to a really good bookstore and buy some books on the hollow Earth." (p. 32)

References (in alphabetical order)

• Adamski, George and Desmond Leslie, Flying Saucers Have Landed, Werner Laurie, UK, 1953.
• Childress, David Hatcher, Lost Cities of North and Central America, Adventures Unlimited Press, Kempton, IL, 1992.
• Cremo, Michael and Richard Thompson, Forbidden Archeology, Govardhan Hill Publishing, 1993.
• Gaddis, Vincent, Invisible Horizons, Ace, New York, 1965.
• Hancock, Graham, Underworld, Michael Joseph/Penguin, 2002.
• Harrer, Heinrich, Seven Years in Tibet, Rupert Hart-Davis, 1953.
• Hicks, Roger and Ngakpa Chogyam, Great Ocean, Penguin, 1990.
• Kolosimo, Peter, Timeless Earth, Sphere Books, UK, 1974 ed.
• Maclellan, Alec, The Lost World of Agharti, Corgi, 1983 ed.
• Rampa, T. Lobsang, The Third Eye, Secker & Warburg, 1956.
• Rampa, T. Lobsang, Doctor from Lhasa (originally titled Medical Lama), Souvenir Press, 1958.
• Rampa, T. Lobsang, The Rampa Story, Corgi, 1960.
• Rampa, T. Lobsang, Chapters of Life, Corgi, 1967.
• Rampa, T. Lobsang, The Cave of the Ancients, Corgi, 1963.
• Rampa, T. Lobsang, Beyond the Tenth, Corgi, 1969.
• Rampa, T. Lobsang, Feeding the Flame, Corgi, 1971.
• Rampa, T. Lobsang, The Hermit, Corgi, 1972.
• Rampa, T. Lobsang, Candlelight, Corgi, 1974.
• Rampa, T. Lobsang, Twilight, Corgi, 1975.
• Rampa, T. Lobsang, As It Was, Corgi, 1976.
• Rampa, T. Lobsang, Tibetan Sage, Corgi, 1980.
• Rampa, T. Lobsang, My Visit to Agharta (unauthorised anthology), Inner Light, 2003.
• Rampa, T. Lobsang, My Visit to Venus (unauthorised anthology; date unknown; no page numbering).
• Sitchin, Zechariah, The Twelfth Planet, Avon Books, 1978 (book one of the Earth Chronicles series).
• Strieber, Whitley, Communion, Century, UK, 1987.
• von Däniken, Erich, Chariots of the Gods?, Dell Publishing, 1969.
• Velikovsky, Immanuel, Worlds in Collision, Macmillan, 1950.
• Velikovsky, Immanuel, Earth in Upheaval, Doubleday, 1955.


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