It’s hot outside and will become hotter – so why not look at a little chunk of ice ? Or, better so, the Welteis & its theory, founded by Hanns HÖRBIGER (Ger., Eng.), subject of a praised new book by Christine WESSELY *. And if one or another of the European readers of this scribble stops short while reading the names – yes, Hanns is the father of actors Paul and Attila HÖRBIGER (who married the actress Paula WESSELY).
The founding father of the Austrian actor-dynasty was an engineer, who not only invented a valve that made him rich, but in 1894 had a “vision” : The moon is a ball of ice, everything extraterrestrial is ice, ice explains anything – creation, cosmos, the whole stuff. Hanns immediately realised that he had found a new physics and that NEWTON was wrong, and anybody else too. He worked on the details and the sum of his revelation is published 1913 : Glacial-Kosmogonie. Eine Entwicklungsgeschichte des Weltalls und des Sonnensystems.
He knocked on the doors of the scientific establishment, and there was no reaction. The little world-war did not help, but in 1920 Hanns was back promoting his revolutionary ideas. Several societies were founded, in Austria, in Germany ; the public reacted with acclaim and applause, finally the scientific community had to react : Hanns was happy, because it meant that he and his theory were taken serious. In his last years, up to his death in 1931, he turned away from the wild popularization of his cosmogony, and favoured a “dedicated scientific research-program” (“ein streng wissenschaftliches Forschungsprogram”) that should lead to the final victory of his vision. The career of the Welteistheorie in the third Reich, especially in the Ahnenerbe, shall just be mentioned here.
In her book Frau WESSELY tells the story of HÖRBIGER’s idea and his constant struggle to install his “vision” as accepted scientific theory, best not among others, but as the one which replaces all. And so she looks at the frontiers of science, the outside, at the thin line that divides accepted from not-accepted science, “safe” “knowledge” from “baseless” “visionary” “pipe dreams” – and according to the recension she was successful, out came a readable and recommendable book.