|A UFO DIGEST BOOK REVIEW
The Best of the Hollow Earth Hassle
Giving Evil A Name
by Mary Jane Martin, Tim Swartz, and Timothy G Beckley
Reviewed by Sean Casteel
Posted: 14:36 October 22, 2008
Long before there was the Internet with which to propound alternate theories of reality, there was the small circulation newsletter. A labor of love for devotees of fringe and "out there" topics, some of these tiny "zines" developed a devoted following of readers eager to learn more about such topics as UFOs and occult subjects usually given short shrift by the mainstream print media.
The Best of the Hollow Earth Hassle - Giving Evil A Name
One such publication was "The Hollow Hassle," a subscription newsletter that focused on the famous "Shaver Mysteries" and other subterranean subject matters. For those unfamiliar with Richard Shaver, his story was to say the least an interesting one. He was working on an automobile assembly line one day in the late 1940s when he began to hear the disembodied voices of beings he would come to call the "dero," underworld creatures he believed were responsible for all the wickedness man endures on the surface of the Earth. His "dero" were a demonic race, the kind of thing nightmares are made of, but were also physically real and not mere ethereal evil spirits.
When publisher Ray Palmer decided to publish some of Shaver's writings in his fledgling magazine "Amazing Stories," a new era in paranormal writing began. Shaver's mysterious underground voices struck a nerve in readers and more than doubled the circulation for Palmer's magazine. But by the 1960s, interest in Shaver had begun to fade, and it was left to believers like Mary J. Martin to take up the task of keeping the subject alive and relevant.
Martin started a newsletter called "The Hollow Hassle," which ran for several years off and on, finally petering out completely in the mid-1980s. Martin's newsletter featured the writings of well-known Hollow Earth believers like Charles A. Marcoux and his wife Lorene, Tal Lavesque, and Bruce Walton, who now goes by the name Branton. In the new book's introduction, Martin said it would inevitably be a "hassle" to prove the group's beliefs, thus the newsletter's title.
Along with journalist Tim R. Swartz, Martin has recently compiled a "Best Of" collection of articles and essays from the newsletter that provides an excellent history of this grassroots newsletter approach to the mysteries Richard Shaver helped introduce to the world. Many of the writers here differ with Shaver in some respects. For example, George Wight and Charles Marcoux argue that the Hollow Earth is the real location of the Garden of Eden and that Adam and Eve were cast out of a paradise that still exists below our feet. The two men claim to have met creatures nine feet tall with gray skin who live in a Utopian world untouched by the dangerous rays of the sun.
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