In 1946 there was an article in some american astronomic journal (I have lost the exact reference, which I probably never read.).
It recounted an experiment done by Dr. Heinz Fischer on the island of Rügen in april 1942, during the war. He was backed by high ranking German officials. The aim of the experiment was to check whether the british fleet at Scapa Flow could be seen somewhere upwards in the sky. Radiation detectors, sensitive in the infrared where used. The reason for the experiment was that some influential people beleived that the earth was a hollow structure and that we were living inside the sphere. In modern times the idea of the hollow earth appears to originate in the works of some american 19th century writers and Jules Verne appears to have been inspired by similar ideas. One earlier case was a theory by the astronomer Edmund Halley from 1692, however it may be a much older idea. (Halley wanted to explain the Earths magnetic field by assuming that there were several independent inner parts of the Earth. Recently modern scientists seem to have come up with ideas which suggest that the Earths interior rotates at different rates in different parts.)

Examples from an internet search for hollow earth theories:
  • The Hollow Earth   by Lee Krystec 1997
    Discusses Edmund Halleys theories

  • The Hollow Earth
    by ''
    The earth is hollow, but we live on the inside. This peculiar, but peculiarly believable theory was put forward by Cyrus Teed, another nineteenth century american. The idea is that the earth is a hollow sphere that contains everything inside it. Towards the centre of the earth, light slows down and everything gats smaller. The moon is about 4000 miles up and half a mile across. When astronauts land on the moon, they see the earth as spherical because the light bends around the centre, giving the illusion of a sphere. The sun is eight feet across, and the stars are nearer the centre of the earth, and microscopic in size. Sunset and sunrise, and their lunar equivalents are the result of celestial bodies revolving around the centre of the earth. In fact, through a mathematical technique, inversion, every effect that we experience on a solid conventional earth, has its duplicate in Teed's hollow one. Except gravity. Teed said that gravity was caused by a centrifugal force as the earth spun. But, this force becomes zero again at the poles, so there would be no gravitational effect at the extreme north and south. Cyrus Teed changed his name to Koresh, founded a cult, and got in all sorts of adventures. According to some reports, the Nazis of Germany believed in Teed's theories and tried to spy on the other side of the world by pointing powerful telescopes straight up.

  • The History of the Hollow Earth
    International Society for a Complete Earth
    (an organisation created by 'Captain Ritter von X', an immigrant to the USA, formerly serving on a submarine in the German Navy)
    Peter Bender, a German aviator who was seriously wounded in World War I, attracted favorable attention in Germany during the 1930's with his elaborations on Koreshanity. Top Nazi leaders, including Hitler, reportedly took seriously the concept of a concave world that was first proposed by Cyrus "Koresh" Teed. And it appeared that these leaders sometimes translated theirs beliefs into concrete actions. In April 1942, for example, at the height of the war, Dr. Heinz Fischer, an expert on infrared radiation, purportedly led a group of technicians on a secret expedition to the Baltic island of Rugen. The men aimed a powerful camera loaded with infrared film into the sky at a forty-five degree angle and left it in the position for several days. The goal which proved elusive, was to take a picture of the British fleet across the hollow interior of the concave earth.

  • The Hollow Earth by Russel Sanders
    The first full endorsement of the Hollow Earth idea came in April 1942 in the middle of the European struggles for control of the western world. At the height of the conflict, when the Third Reich was placing maximum effort into driving off the advancing allies, Goering Himmler and Adolf Hitler enthusiastically launched an expedition to the island of Rugen. The expedition party consisted of many of Germany's finest scientists who were tasked with locating the race of demi-gods who lived inside the globe and convincing them to help the Nazi party eliminate the allied armies. In Hitler's instructions, the group would easily gain the cooperation of the hidden lords of the underworld once they illustrated the Germans as the divine race who most deserved dominance on the surface. Hitler and Himmler both felt it vital to contact the inner race before the allies who would eventually find the inner world as well.

    Other examples of unorthodox science are disussed in
  • The Unknown Hitler: Nazi Roots in the Occult
    - Author Unknown

The reason for bringing up this subject, was because I wanted to provide an example of a falsifiable scientific hypothesis. The british fleet wasn't up in the sky somewhere and the hypothesis could be discarded. Although one might wonder why this theory was ever seriously considered, it illustrates an important aspect of sound scientific principles: that they can be proven wrong. That there is a way to prove or disprove any sound scientific hypothesis. Ideally, this should be a common occurence in science and this falsifiability criterion should be met by all scientific theories, which are allowed to have an influence on our lives. In reality it is not a common occurence in many branches of science. Not even in physics. Much less so in psychiatry, where falsifiability of a diagnosis is not even considered and much less required. This is one of the reasons why psychiatry can be used to abuse people to such an extent. The decisions made by psychiatrists are never required to fulfill any objective criteria.

In politics, which is not a science, falsifiability of ideologies is indirectly fulfilled to a limited extent in democratic systems but not in dictatures.
In astrophysics, the present scientific establishment doesn't provide any such criterion for the laws of nature on the larger scale of the universe. They never discuss what would have to happen in order to prove wrong the dominating theories, Newton and Einsteins theory of gravity. (In the context considered here the differences between those theories can be disregarded and both can be considered as one single theory.) Theory and experiment have been known to disagree since 1933 although at that time there was still more room for doubt. And the discrepancies have actually been shown to be bigger and bigger as experimental data has accumulated. During all of this time the establishment have never openly discussed under what circumstances the established theory would be considered in error. Instead they have seriously suggested that the reason for the discrepancies between theory and experiment is that there are very large quantities of entirely new kinds of matter in the universe. Matter, which according to the hypothesis would have to be distributed in exactly the right way in order to make things fit. Note that it is not a matter of explaining minor deviations from an otherwise approximately correct description of nature. Such cases have existed in the past, when small discrepancies have been successfully interpreted as caused by previously unobserved planets. The discrepancies which have been discovered since 1933 are so large that the present theory of gravity would never have been considered if they had been known from the start. Then there had been no reason to predict the existence of such new kinds of matter. Instead a different theory would in all likeliness have been invented/discovered.
(There are researchers, who try to find alternative theories, but since none of those presently being elaborated on are accepted by the establishment and since my aim is to promote skepticism, I wont discuss any particular theory.)
The reason why the present establishment behave the way they do is impossible to understand from a purely scientific perspective, There is a lot of prestige invested in the established theory. But I am not sure prestige is the problem. It seems more likely that the reason for the lack of openness is that the scientific establishment fears that they will do harm by telling everybody that they really don't know any general laws of nature similar to those of Newton/Einstein gravity. And possibly they consider it wiser not to talk much about it as long as they have nothing better to substitute for the old theory which doesn't agree with experiment.

Recently there was some discussion of light bending over large distances in the universe and this was presented as a confirmation of the established theories. However the experimental facts available at this time in no way confirms any particular theory. And the establishment still hasn't done anything to make their theory falsifiable. If you consider the discrepancies between theory and experiment of the theory defended by established astrophysicists to describe the universe on the large scale, you have to conclude that quantitatively, it is no better than the Hollow Earth Theory.
The established theory for the universe on a large scale is really that much in error. Despite that fact, astrophysicists repeatedly come back to all sorts of 'hyped' philosophical discussions recounting how the big stars of science are guided by beauty and so forth. If you consider their work, people like Newton and Einstein, unlike their followers in the present generation of established astrophysicists, payed great attention to making their theories falsifiable.
They really wanted to break them.
Newton formulated ways to check for even very small deviations from his theory and likewise Einstein worked out suitable test cases. Some of which have not yet been fully used. Further, unlike his followers, Einstein himself did not beleive that phenomena such as black holes would exist in nature. His followers, who made careful calculations suggested that they do exist as endstates of collapsing stars under some conditions. However in this case we are no longer talking about the large scale of the universe. Whether or not black holes exist, it need not be connected with the other discrepancies mentioned.
Again if objects being interpreted as black holes are found, the falsifiability criterion needs to be applied fully. I e it is not enough that some strange newcomer is discovered. It must have exactly the properties, previously predicted by the theory, otherwise the theory is only a hindrance to the understanding of nature.

I am quite sure that, had those giants of science known what is now known by the scientific establishment they would have discarded their own theories and started looking for entirely new ones. This is what I would like the established scientists to tell the young generation of newcomers in science instead of pretending that they already know the laws of nature.
It is conceivable that there aren't any general laws of nature. One shouldn't assume that there will always be some kind of universal mathematical wisdom to be found. And even if there is, this sort of skepticism makes it easier to find it.
I beleive that unprejudiced experimental approaches, are needed, without relying too much on any of the existing theories. This can be promoted by building much larger space-based instruments. It ought to be possible to build several kilometer wide instruments orbiting the sun and using advanced technology the size of the orbit (1011 to 1012 metres) would limit their resolution rather than the size of the instruments. This is one of the many interesting challenges awaiting the space explorers.
This discussion was concerned with the large scale phenomena in the universe. On the small scale, they do have a reasonably good understanding of how nature operates in the sense that they get the numbers right in many cases. (One exeption is the Solar neutrino anomaly. This discrepancy depends not only on the understanding of microscopic phenomena but also on the theory of what really goes on in the sun and the stars.)
For instance, the so called big bang theory, which is a falsifiable theory, does agree with experimental facts. If it were wrong it would be a very improbable coincidence that the relative abundance of natural elements would be correctly predicted by the theory. The way these abundances are calculated shows that the universe must have been much denser in the past otherwise those relative abundances would have come out differently.
However some of the discussions of the big bang go further than that and make predictions about the state of the universe when it, hypothetically, were much denser than can be safely corroborated by any experimental facts. In this case the scientists rely on the same theory that according to the above discussion was very much in error on the very large scale. If it was very much in error there, why should we expect it to be any better on the really small scale? On the intermediate scale, where it agrees with experiment, it is very useful. In most cases Newtons theory is all that is ever needed and it forms the basis for most of engineering.
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I may make some changes and additions to this document later

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