Hanns Hörbiger (1860-1931) was an Austrian mining engineer by profession and in his spare time was an amateur astronomer. Today, he is probably better known as the father of the actors Paul and Attila Hörbiger.
By gazing at the moon he became convinced that he was looking at a bright outer layer of ice. Hörbiger published his “Doctrine of Eternal Ice” around 1913 in a book co-authored with a schoolteacher named Philip Fauth. Hörbiger proposed an early form of catastrophism that saw the Earth capture several moons in succession. Periodically, each of these moons disintegrated as they spiralled to earth producing enormous ‘ice showers’ followed by meteors of iron. He saw the effects of these impacts as the source of Flood myths and claimed that when our current Moon was captured around 9500 BC it triggered earthquakes that led to the destruction of Atlantis. His theories were hailed in Germany during the 1930s and 1940s and were officially backed by the Nazis (see Ahnenerbe). Heather Pringle notes[0032.180] Hitler’s personal support for Hörbiger’s theories.
In 1966, Egerton Sykes wrote that “in addition, Hitler requiring a Teutonic cosmology as well as a Germanic Europe, adopted Hoerbiger’s hypothesis, probably one of the few sensible acts that the Nazis ever made”(w).
It seems that the adoption of World Ice Theory by National Socialism was intended to present a German alternative to ‘Jewish science’, specifically, to the theory of relativity, developed by Albert Einstein(x).
There was a Viennese Hörbiger Institute for World Ice Science founded in 1932(p). Their publication Mitteilungen had two volumes published from 1941 to 1944 and a third volume 1971-1976(o).
An interesting 1949 report by Manfred Reiffenstein describes the problems that the Hörbiger Institute had encountered with the Nazis from 1938 onwards. While efforts were made to close the Institute down and transfer its archives to Himmler’s Ahnenerbe organisation, this was prevented by the efforts of Hörbiger’s sons(s), which might be considered an example of postwar revisionism.
A recent paper by Graham Holton explicitly accuses Hörbiger of ‘archaeological racism’, along with Edmund Kiss, Posnansky and others in the Ahnenerbe(t). Holton also noted that Hörbiger also subscribed to Blavatsky‘s daft idea of Root Races.
His ideas were adopted and developed further by Hans Bellamy in a number of his books. During the first half of the 20th century, many beyond the Nazi realm frequently referred to Hörbiger’s moon theory as authoritative.
Hörbiger refused to accept the evidence that his ‘icy’ moon had a daytime temperature of 100°C. Followers of Hörbiger existed in Germany, Britain and France after the war, until an actual landing on the Moon demonstrated that it was composed of neither ice nor cheese.
Of course, the moon landing is denounced by some as faked and according to one 2019 blogger, it must be so because it contradicts Hörbiger’s theories!!! The same blogger lists his religion as ‘Hitlerism’(y).
A bizarre consequence of Hörbiger’s status with the Nazi leadership is recounted by Pauwels and Bergier [910.170] who tell us that: “The German engineers, whose work was fundamental to the construction of those rockets that sent the first artificial satellites up into the sky, were prevented by the leaders of the NSDAP themselves from using the V2 for it to be completed at the scheduled time.
Work on the V2 in Peenemünde had to be interrupted several times because Hitler and the apologists of the Hörbiger doctrine feared that rocket launches could result in a world catastrophe.
General Walter Dornberger led the tests in Peenemünde, where the guided missiles were created. These experiments were stopped in order to submit the general’s reports to the apostles of Hörbiger’s cosmology. Above all, one wanted to know how the “eternal ice” would react in space and whether this violation of the stratosphere would not result in some kind of catastrophe in the world.
In his book “V2 – The shot into the universe” General Dornberger tells that shortly afterwards his work had to be interrupted again for two months. The guide had dreamed that the V2 would not work, or rather that heaven would take its revenge. This dream was to carry more weight for the leading men of the Third Reich than the view of the technicians. Behind the Germany of science and organization, the spirit of ancient magic was still alive.“(z)
Several other writers developed theories that were variations on Hörbiger’s ideas. 1954 saw the publication of The Moon Puzzle by the Swedish engineer, N.O. Bergquist, in which he suggested that Earth had a close encounter with a planetoid which caused the ejection of a large amount of matter, which became our Moon leaving a huge scar we call the Pacific. Although many details of Berquist’s theory differ greatly from Hörbiger’s, he never refers to the then widely supported views of Hörbiger.
In 1955, G. Demortier published a theory of cosmic catastrophe that was somewhat similar to Hörbiger’s. However, a couple of years earlier, doubts were beginning to emerge regarding aspects of Hörbiger’s theories as our cosmological knowledge advanced(u), nevertheless, in the same magazine Edmund Kiss attempted to justify Hörbiger’s idea of an ice-covered Moon!
It is even more astounding that as late as 1964, Egerton Sykes, the leading British atlantologist of the day, was still clinging to the concept of an ice-covered lunar surface. In fact, after re-reading the old editions of Sykes’ Atlantis newsletter, I am amazed at the number of contributors that offered so many articles based on Hörbiger’s flawed ideas. My personal view is that having read Sykes’ newsletters, he can only be considered a gullible British gentleman.
Egerton Sykes founded and promoted an English post-war Hoerbiger Institute through his Atlantis magazine(q). In March 1948 Bellamy contributed a short article (Hoerbiger Monograph No. 1. 2nd Edition)(n) to the newsletter, reiterating his support for the idea that the capture of our moon led to the destruction of Atlantis.
Commander E.H. Nutter, a Royal Navy engineer, who contributed many articles to Sykes’ Atlantis magazine was considered “the leading technical authority on the Hoerbiger Theory in England” in the 1950s(v).
Although Hörbiger wrote extensively about the origins of our satellite, when Immanuel Velikovsky wrote a short paper in 1973 entitled Earth without a Moon(v) he makes no reference to the theories of Hörbiger.
Henry M. Eichner was also drawn to Hörbiger’s Moon theory as a mechanism to explain the worldwide Deluge myths. However, as the first Moon landing took place just two years before his death, Eichner was forced to admit that Hörbiger got his claim of an icy Moon wrong, but still believed that some of Hörbiger’s ideas had merit [287.57].
Uwe Topper, the controversial German researcher has continued to support much of Hörbiger’s ideas. Additionally, in 2003, Gary Gilligan, a prominent catastrophist, first proposed that our Moon had been captured around 2000 BC, which he has now revised to 1200 BC(I)!
The August 2010 edition of the BBC’s Focus magazine (p.81), informed us that the Moon is moving away from Earth at a rate of 3.8cm per year, destroying the foundation of Hörbiger’s basic theory. The 9th Nov. 2011 issue of New Scientist published further evidence supporting this view(h), with further claims that this recession will reverse in the very distant future as the Earth’s rotation slows(r).
In the 17th century Johannes Kepler demonstrated that when an object’s orbital velocity increases, its orbital radius will expand; thus, the Moon slowly recedes from Earth(d). This idea was discussed further in a BBC documentary broadcast on Feb.1st, 2011(b).
The 9th Nov. 2011 issue of New Scientist published further evidence supporting this view(h), with further claims that this recession will reverse in the very distant future as the Earth’s rotation slows(r).
The Live Science website in April 2023 offered more information on the future of the Earth-Moon relationship(ab). “In about 50 billion years, Earth’s slowing rotation would make it tidally lock with the moon so that Earth would permanently show just one side to the moon, Jean Creighton, director of the Manfred Olson Planetarium at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, told Live Science. At this point, the moon and Earth would stop moving away from each other, Eric Klumpe, a professor of astronomy at Middle Tennessee State University, told Live Science.
However, about 5 billion years from now, as the sun begins to die, it will swell to become a red giant star, “at which point the Earth-moon system will almost certainly be disrupted and destroyed,” David Trilling, chair of the Astronomy and Planetary Science Department at Northern Arizona University, told Live Science.”
Nevertheless, updated Moon capture theories have been developed since Hörbiger. Emilio Spedicato has published a brief overview of recent contributions on the subject as well his version(c), dating it to around 9450 BC, triggering the end of the Ice Age and the destruction of Atlantis!
It was long-accepted wisdom that moonless earth would have made the development of complex life more difficult because of greater climatic fluctuations. However, a new study challenges this, calculating that Jupiter together with other factors would minimise the effect of not having our satellite(g)
The story of lunar history took an unexpected turn in 2011 when the journal Nature published a paper by planetary scientists Erik Asphaug of the University of Santa Cruz and Martin Jutzi of the University of Berne who proposed that originally the Earth had two moons that later collided and formed our present satellite(e). At the end of 2011, two NASA lunar probes were launched(j) which may resolve this particular question.
In America, the WEL-Institute is dedicated to investigating Hörbiger’s ‘World Ice Theory’(k). I note that the U.S. is also home to associations concerned with both a Hollow Earth(l) and a Flat Earth(m)!
(p) See: Archive 3043
(q) https://www.amazon.ca/Atlantis-Organ-Hoerbiger-Institute-1965-1974/dp/B00MOKVR2Y (Link broken Sept. 2020)
(s) Atlantean Research, Volume 1, Number 5, January/February 1949
(u) Atlantis Vol.6, No.1 & 2, May & July 1953
(v) Atlantis, Vol. 9, No. 2, January 1956, p.39
(w) Atlantis, Vol.19, No.5, September/ October 1966
(y) https://forums.skadi.net/threads/183985-Moon-Landing-was-FAKE/page8 (Link broken) See: Archive 6966