Place item was collected
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Cole Bunderson was born and raised in Castledale Utah in a Mormon family. After graduating from high school he served a Mormon mission in Micronesia and then intermittently attended school at Brigham Young University, University of Utah, and Utah State while working at a variety of jobs. He is currently 27 and was married about one and a half years ago.
Cole told me about this legend that his family carries on while we were at work at the Space Dynamics Laboratory. He said that it often comes up around the dinner table as well as after and even during family scripture reading.
So my grandma heard about a book decades ago about how the earth is hollow and that there are people living there. She was interested in buying the book but when she went to the bookstore they told her that they didn’t have it and that they couldn’t order it for her. From what I’ve gathered it seems that she was under the impression that people were trying hard to cover up the book’s existence. Then, my family heard about the story of this high-up Admiral in the U.S. military who was once flying to the North Pole to participate in some top secret studies. On his way, he noticed an area where green mountains sprang up from the landscape and that the environment seemed warm, which was very odd so close to the North Pole. The story goes that an odd-looking aircraft approached him and somehow remotely took control of his plane then landed him on the ground in the green landscape. They referred to him and the rest of the world as “surface-dwellers” and told him that the nuclear technology that was being developed in the U.S. was very bad and that he needs to advocate against them or else he would regret it. They let him go and of course nobody believed him and he soon lost his good reputation. But my family believes that the people he talked to are from inside the earth and that everything he recounted is true.
Cole made it clear that when his parents talk about the “middle-earthers” it’s not just for the sake of telling a story to their kids. Cole himself told the stories with a fairly serious tone as if he was informing me of something that was true that I didn’t know about yet. The hollow-earth stories are talked about within the Bunderson family on a fairly regular basis and they enjoy speculating on the various possibilities of people living beneath their feet.
Intro to Folklore
Semester and year
G7: Legends About Government
Tanner, Jon, "The Earth is Hollow" (2017). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 29.