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Herman Siemens--who was with Captain Hall on his last trip--writes about meteors on page 257 of Hall's book: "We also saw numerous shooting stars, sometimes forming, as it were, a silver thread, from the point where they first appeared to that of disappearance; in a few instances I have seen small fireballs pushing out from them similar to those of a rocket."
I have claimed, from the start, that meteors, or so-called shooting stars, are nothing but rocks thrown up from the earth by an exploding volcano. Could so many shooting stars, as they are termed, come from a passing comet, and land near the North Pole in a bunch, when it would probably take them months, if not years, to reach the earth? Let us drop this supernatural business, and get down to common sense, and call a stone a stone, and a fire a fire. This misnaming should be done
away with forever. Our children should be taught differently, and the sooner the better. The laws of the universe are absolute and immutable, and no part of a star, planet, or comet can be detached from the main body and sent sailing through space to land on this earth near the North or South Pole.
"Far in the west falls shower after shower of stars," writes Nansen in Vol. II, page 444, "some faint, scarcely visible, others bright like Roman candles, all with a message from distant worlds. Low in the south lies a bank of clouds, now and again outlined by the gleam of the Northern Lights; but over the sea the sky is dark; there is open water there."
Does anyone, able to read, believe that shower after shower of stars fall near the North Pole? If there be such a person, it is apparent that he never gave the matter any thought, or is incapable of thinking. That rocks should be called thus! If a firefly were called the sun, or a microbe an elephant, it would be no more absurd. Meteors are just plain rocks thrown out
from the earth by an exploding volcano. An aurora might not always appear when these rocks fall, as an explosion might not ignite, or the burning be so small as not to show through the smoke and dust.
On the same page Nansen again writes: "Thursday, December 12th.--Between six and nine this morning there was a number of shooting stars, most of them in Serpentarius. Some came right from the Great Bear; afterwards they chiefly came from the Bull or Aldebaran, or the Pleiades. Several of them were very bright, and some drew a streak of shining dust after them."
What is more characteristic than that the shining dust should follow a volcanic eruption throwing out these shooting stars? The Great Bear is located in the right direction. My contention is that shooting stars are meteors passing through the air, thrown up by a volcanic eruption, and all meteors that have struck the earth come out of the earth, internally or externally. This theory about passing comets is given in lieu of a better one, and
will not be advanced after the earth is shown to be hollow. Hall remarks that the small base of one aurora proved it to be quite close to the earth. A ball of fire fell during the display, and burst just before it reached the earth, throwing out prismatic scintillations in every direction.
Peary writes on page 163 that "a brilliant meteor was seen on the northeastern sky, descending vertically, and a little later a meteor with red and green trail was seen traveling west, about half-way to the zenith and with a slight downward angle." Those two meteors were of the many found in the vicinity of the North Pole, and undoubtedly came from a volcano in the interior of the earth.
He also noticed a peculiar phenomenon: the "apparent sinking of large areas of snow accompanied by peculiar muffled reports, which rumbled away beneath the crust in every direction until they died away."
This could be accounted for by the volcanic disturbances in the earth, from
which frequent explosions send forth stone, rocks, and dust, that fall often in that part of the world.
To show that meteors are more likely to originate in the earth than from some passing comet or from other source, it should be noted that when analyzed they show no ingredients not found on earth. One writer in Clerk's Astronomy, page 389, says: "The nearest affinities of the mineral aggregated in them are with volcanic products from great depths. These meteorites seem broken-up fragments of the interior parts of globes like our own."
There is a meteor on exhibit at the Museum of Natural History, New York, weighing many tons. If that had come from some comet a few million miles away it would have struck the earth with such force that it would have penetrated the hardest rock-surface hundreds of feet, and would have melted the iron in it.
Next: Chapter IX. Finding of Rock in and on Ice