June 24, 2024

Early on in my research for my own eventual book on pole shifts,

I used to admire Charles Hapgood for writing books like Earth’s Shifting Crust, Path of the Pole, and Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings. He seemed to make painstaking efforts to prove that Earth’s crust periodically moves over its molten interior in one solid piece, coining the term “crustal displacement.” He corresponded with Albert Einstein on the topic and got him to write the foreword to his first book. One of his conclusions suggested that civilization existed in Western Antarctica prior to a pole shift that moved it (and the Americas) about 30 degrees farther south – taking the Palmer Peninsula from a latitude and climate like the northeastern United States has today – to a frigid wasteland. I did struggle with his descriptions of the speed of such an event, which went back and forth from “rapid” to “millennia.” What did Hapgood believe? Did he know pole shift catastrophes happen very quickly, but feel he couldn’t risk saying so? Or was Hapgood deliberately unclear, and intentionally misleading?

Yale University summarizes his life, noting he “earned two degrees at Harvard University…. After holding an administrative job at the Provincetown Community Center, and wartime positions with the Office of Strategic Services [the OSS was the precursor to the CIA] and the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C., Hapgood began a twenty-year teaching career in the humanities through faculty appointments at Keystone College (1945-1947), Springfield College (1947-1952), Keene State College (1956-1966), and New England College (1966-1967), where he lectured in world and American history, anthropology, economics, and the history of science.

Throughout his academic career, as well as in his retirement years, Hapgood pursued personal research projects that centered on controversial, and largely disputed, topics. His first published work was The Earth’s Shifting Crust: a Key to Some Basic Problems of Earth Sciences (1958), which was revised and reissued in 1970 as The Path of the Pole. In these books he explored his theories about the movements of the outer layer of the earth and the resulting polar shifts, which he believed to have influenced the formation of various mountain ranges and the changing size and level of the oceans and seas. Hapgood’s follow-up work, Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings: Evidence of Advanced Civilization in the Ice Age (1966, revised edition 1979), suggested that Antarctica had been a habitable continent prior to the shift of the earth’s outer layer….”

[Yale describes how in his later years he focused on more controversial topics I can’t take as seriously. But it is important to note] “Charles Hapgood’s 1941 marriage to Tamsin Hughes (1906-1998) ended in divorce in 1955. In his later years he resided in Arizona and in Richmond, New Hampshire, but was living in Greenfield, Massachusetts, when he was struck by a car and died on December 21, 1982.”

What Yale does not cover is that Hapgood worked for the CIA, at least according to some unofficial sources. Perhaps this contributed to his divorce in 1955, if his wife knew he was intentionally deceiving the world with the book he was writing because the CIA told him not to reveal the truth about pole shifts but to discredit the field by working in some nonsense. In 1982 another pole shift author, Rand Flem-Ath (author of When the Sky Fell) said he was writing back and forth with Hapgood, who claimed to have evidence of civilization in Antarctica and the Americas going back tens of thousands of years. Then Hapgood was fatally run door by a car while crossing the street, and no suspect was ever found. Was he stopped from revealing too much about pole shift catastrophes in his old age, prevented from writing that last book he was discussing – or was the “accident” just a coincidence?

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