Episode 48: Moist Moons Over MyHammy

Aaron “explains” the Cosmic Ice Theory of moist moons & Nazi astronomy. Then Shea tells patrons how to get a girlfriend-tank out of Stalin!

Welcome to Interesting If True, the podcast that’s made of Nazi-fighting gravitational moon-ice… ice baby… music joke!

I’m your host this week, Aaron, and with me are:

I’m Shea, and this week I learned that Republicans came down harder on Joe Biden for having a minor Major problem than they did for Matt Gaetz for having a major minor problem.

So, you know how everything is actually made of ice because Newton was wrong about gravity and the size of Hitler’s dick?

Yeah, neither do these people but here we go…

Cosmic Ice Ice Baby

It seems that whenever someone decides that the Earth isn’t round, or the sky is actually ethereal firmament, or that we did not, in fact, evolve from filthy monkey-men, ice plays a crucial role. It walls us off from the capital “T” truth, it’s unknowable, or you know, it was the wrath of god or some nonsense.

Today we’re borrowing mostly from column B, but there will be some filthy monkey-men later in the show because most of what we’re going to talk about were accepted out of a need to venerate stupid assholes for not being them ivory-tower thinky people. Thinky people who would have argued, wrongly of course, that the universe isn’t made of magic, Cosmic, ice.

As Dr. Christina Wessely of the Institute of History at the University of Vienna explains:

“The Cosmic Ice Theory portrayed the world in a simple and vivid manner, in the form of a story. Astronomical and geological processes were paired up with spectacular stories in the vein of fantasy-laden adventure novels. And while this theory was easy to follow, conventional academic sciences seemed only to offer numbers and abstract equations, appearing incomprehensible and out of touch. As a result, the Cosmic Ice Theory seemed less esoteric to the man on the street than the conventional sciences.”

A problem that we still face, both in terms of people thinking the sun is made of ice—there are still a few Comic Icers out there—and in nearly every other facet of the sciences that requires more than a third-grade education and a bottle of mountain dew to explain.

So “what is the Cosmic Ice Theory,” you ask?

For that, we’ll need to travel back to a simpler, stupider, time. Specifically, 1894—which started on Monday for Greg and Saturday for Julian, saw William Kennedy Dickson patent the motion picture, Coca-Cola was first bottled, and… Rudolf Hess was born… frustratingly, we’ll come back to him.

In the summer of 1894 Austrian Hanns Hörbiger, we’ll say “discovered” the theory of Welteislehre, or Cosmic Ice. Apparently, it was also called Glacial Cosmology or Glazial-Kosmogronie. Hanns was an inventor and engineer who didn’t have any time for those “ivy leaguers” with their telescopes or math. No, he had visions to explain the universe. Check-make atheists.

By his own account, Hörbiger was observing the Moon when he suddenly had his first “recognition” upon realizing that it was so bright and rough on its surface that must be made of ice. Because truthiness is all about what you can see and never about what you “prove”.

Shortly thereafter he had the second of his recognitions, or visions as they’re commonly called. He had a dream-vision in which he flew through space and watched a silvery pendulum swing, getting longer and longer, until it broke. Upon awakening, he “knew that Newton had been wrong and that the sun’s gravitational pull ceases to exist at three times the distance of Neptune,” because… dreams I guess.

Hörbiger, date unknownHörbiger, date unknown

It was following this revelation that he contacted his friend Philipp Faith in 1898. Fauth, a schoolteacher, helped him publish the Glzial-Kosmogonio (Glacial Cosmology) in 1912. The 790-page tome, filled with photographs and diagrams, would become the foundation for Welteislehre, or “WEL” as it would become commonly known.

But what did it all mean?

WEL begins at the dawn of creation when a supergiant star pulled a dead, water star into itself. Where did these come from? Go fuck yourself.

The impact caused the smaller star to explode for some reason, sending water crystals out into the universe. The loose-y space water then formed ice blocks, because sure, and those were eventually pushed together by space-hydrogen to form “the Milky-Way and other solar systems” which… ugh… that’s the least problematic statement we’re going to hear.

Of course, our solar system had many more planets then than now. Because of ice. As the great ether began to coalesce into planetoids the outer planets were hit by more ice and therefore became larger than the inner planets. These ice particles are, naturally, visible to the eye in the form of stars, meteors, and so on. The cosmic ice also dictates many weather patterns. For example, when the aforementioned meteors fall to Earth and break upon entry, that’s where hail and blizzards come from. And when ice blocks collide with the Sun we observe sunspots and the ice itself, is vaporized… into “fine ice”, which then covers the innermost planets in clouds and … ice.

If you’re wondering why the sun doesn’t make water out of ice, as is heat’s traditional role, it’s because ice isn’t made up of other stuff. Ice is, you see, a “base element” in the universe. All the while celestial hydrogen slowly pushes us, and the other planets, around and—eventually—into the sun. Which will… freeze…burn…freeze us…

Along with the many other worlds the Sol system used to sport, Earth had a contingent of moons of which our current moon is simply the last-man-standing.

The other moons all began as free-floating planets in orbits of their own until Earth “captured” them one by one. And yes, there is the implication of actively capturing them in there…

Eventually, the many ice-moons of Earth fell into our atmosphere, disintegrating… umm… into the ice that would now identify as rock strata. Each geological event that can be identified in the strata of geological formations is actually the record of an ice-moon impacting earth. Dead dinos? Ice moon did it. The Great Flood, you guessed it, melted ice moon yo.

The last moon or “Tertiary” moon was the “Cenozoic Moon” whose impact caused the, you guessed it, Cenozoic era commonly believed by fake news knowers of things to have followed the K-T extinction event. The fall of the Cenozoic moon, according to WER, was recorded in myths and legends like dragons, battles of gods in the sky, the Devil, Germanic Götterdämmerung (twilight of the gods), and the Book of Revelation.

After the last moon fell, Earth captured the currently visible moon in an event that, according to Horbiger’s English follower Hans Schindler Bellamy, caused the Biblical Flood. See, the fifth moons’ fall added water to Earth but also, as it fell, pulled on Earth’s equator with the gravitational force of ice causing a “girdle tide” at the equator which, once freed of moon-ice-gravity the tide sloshed back down causing the flood. Of this Bellamy offers books like Moon, Myths, and Man, In the Beginning God, and of course The Book of Revelation is History as evidence. Two fantastic reads I can’t wait for the PiaT guys to get to.

The fall of the previous moon, believers argue, explains the great flood but also the loss of Atlantis.

As you can imagine, Horbiger was not welcomed into the halls of academia for his brilliant insight. In fact, he was pretty widely shat upon for it all. Around this time the world was distracted from his, and really all other, nonsense by World War One, during which time Hans… did… I have no idea.

Once Diana defeated Ares in single combat, ending the war, the world went back to its musings and Hans doubled down. His views weren’t accepted by the smarties, but Hans and his followers knew that their facts didn’t matter in the face of overwhelming public opinion. Hans founded social groups in Austria and Germany who in turn produced pamphlets, books, and movies on the subject, even a newsletter called “The Key to World Events“. They held public lectures and star-studded (well for the time) events more akin to today’s Revivals than scientific symposiums. And it worked. It didn’t take long for followers to heckle astronomers’ meetings with “Out with astronomical orthodoxy! Give us Hörbiger!”

For his critics, Hörbiger had simple replies. When challenged mathematically Hörbiger famously replied “Calculation can only lead you astray” which I’m sure we’ve all heard in passing at some point. Thanks for that Hans.

When astronomers like Willy Ley offered visual evidence, like pictures from a telescope, Hörbiger simply said they were faked by “reactionaries” essentially being the first to the “Fake News” line. Eventually, to rocket expert Ley, he would say that “either you believe in me and learn, or will be treated as the enemy,” a mindset that would mesh well with World War Two era German ideals.

In his defense, Hörbiger had the good sense to die in 1931. Unfortunately, his theory would not die with him.

Now, Europe isn’t doing so hot and Germany’s National Socialist Party is gaining ground. Among them was Houston Stewart Chamberlain, a leading theorist in the formation of the Nazi party, who was also a staunch advocate for WEL.

His followers would reorganize WEL from the Greco-Roman Glazial-Kosmogonie to the now common Germanic Welteishehre officially and began marketing it as an answer to “Jewish Science.”

Einstein had published his Theory of Relativity and this didn’t sit well with German sensibilities. Naturally, the Cosmic Ice theory became the “German Antithesis” to “Jewish” physics. Supporters commonly used rhetoric like “our Nordic ancestors grew strong in ice and snow; belief in the Cosmic Ice is consequently the natural heritage of Nordic Man.”

Along with this idea of “Pure Science” was an idea that idiots are good for a nation. A theory still practiced by the right today. Remember Hess and Himmler? Well, here’s a quote:

“Just as it needed a child of Austrian culture – Hitler! – to put the Jewish politicians in their place, so it needed an Austrian to cleanse the world of Jewish science. The Führer, by his very life, has proved how much a so-called ‘amateur’ can be superior to self-styled professionals; it needed another ‘amateur’ to give us a complete understanding of the Universe.”

So, you know, a scientific outside to drain the swamp-flasks I guess. In truth, the idea of brilliant idiots and accomplished amateurs was a favorite of the Nazis. And why wouldn’t it be? If you need to convince ignorant, credulous, masses that they’re special what better way than the stand-up say things like “I love the poorly educated” … oh, wait, that was the Orange Buffoon. Still, as Dr. Wessely explains:

“The Cosmic Ice Theory clearly illustrates how the boundaries between science and pseudoscience can become blurred. It exemplifies that the history of modern science is inextricably intertwined with fantastic imaginations and spectacular mistakes.”

Now it’s World War II and Hemmler, Hess, Hitler… all the “H” people you don’t want to deal with basically, are very fond of the Cosmic Ice theory and push it into mainstream German life. Hitler, so fond of the ice, is known to have suggested that with only time the World Ice Theory would one day replace Christianity. So… you know… they were real into it.

And why wouldn’t they be? It proposed Arian supremacy—explaining that the last great moon-fall killed the Hyperborean race making way for Arians—it put idiots in positions of unassailable power, and it fed into Hitler’s other pseudoscientific and occult ideals. Himmler, Hess, and Hitler were, apparently, known to have grand discussions on the Fuhrer’s opinions of how it might explain the fall of the “World Empire of Atlantis, which fell victim to the catastrophe of the moons falling to Earth.”

Hitler believed the ice theory could be productive when it came to geological and meteorological phenomena. Even spurring his building of the great observatory in Linz, Austria, representing “the three great cosmological conceptions of history—those of Ptolemy, Copernicus, and Hörbiger.”

Eventually, the Cosmic Ice theory would explain Revelation as well, though it didn’t account for the fall of Nazi Germany. Hörbiger’s theory was that, eventually, space-Hydrogen would push Earth and the Sol system into the Sun (the universes only true star according to Hörbiger), this time burning it to nothingness, before the Sun and all other matter back toward the supermassive ice-star at the center of the Milky Way (except nope).

And, of course, Hörbiger’s theories still live on today in the vestiges alt-right thinkers and of course flat-Earthers and other noble amateur scientists unburdened by the weight of facts, evidence, or the knowledge that it’s bad to be a fucking Nazi…

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Tank Woman

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This week when I was searching for baloney science stories I instead fell down a rabbit hole of women empowerment, you can blame it on a story in the news blaming the Suez Canal blockage on the first Female Egyptian Captain who was hundreds of miles away in Alexandria at the time. Marwa Elselehdar has faced many challenges in an industry historically dominated by men. At present, women only account for 2% of the world’s seafarers, according to the International Maritime Organisation. Capt Elselehdar says she’s always loved the sea and was inspired to join the merchant navy after her brother enrolled at the AASTMT.

Though the academy only accepted men at the time, she applied anyway and was granted permission to join after a legal review by Egypt’s then-President Hosni Mubarak.

During her studies, she says she faced sexism at every turn.

“Onboard, they were all older men with different mentalities, so it was difficult not to be able to find like-minded people to communicate with,” she says. “It was challenging to go through this alone and be able to overcome it without affecting my mental health.”

“People in our society still don’t accept the idea of girls working in the sea away from their families for a long time,” she adds. “But when you do what you love, it is not necessary for you to seek the approval of everyone.”

After graduating, Capt Elselehdar rose to the rank of the first mate and captained the Aida IV when it became the first vessel to navigate the newly-expanded Suez Canal in 2015. At the time, she was the youngest and first female Egyptian captain to cross the waterway.

From Capt Elselehdar “I felt that I might be targeted maybe because I’m a successful female in this field or because I’m Egyptian, but I’m not sure.”

Well screw the haters this woman is a badass and it got me looking up other women badasses. Well, I think I found an amazing woman to introduce you to today. Tank Woman, not tank girl, she is no child after killing loads of nazis. What follows is the best tale of vengeance I have heard in a while.

Mariya Oktyabrskaya was born on the Crimean Peninsula to a poor Ukrainian family which raised 10 children. Before the war, she worked in a cannery and was at one point a telephone operator.

She met her husband, Ilya, the future Red Army officer, in 1925. The two married that same year. Mariya became very interested in her husband’s line of work and joined the Military Wives Council and acquired training as an army nurse. Soon after, she learned how to use weapons and drive, which was very uncommon for women at the time. I am assuming they had some pretty interesting dates.

When asked about her unusual interest, she reportedly replied: “Marry a serviceman, and you serve in the army: an officer’s wife is not only a proud woman but also a responsible title.”

As the war closed in on the Soviet Union in 1941, she was evacuated to Siberia, where she spent the next two years. It took a long time for the news of her husband’s death to reach her, but as soon as she got the letter, she knew what to do. Oktaybrskaya was so enraged by the death of her beloved husband that she wrote a letter to Stalin directly.

This is step one of her ultimate plan of vengeance. The letter read as follows;

“My husband was killed in action defending the motherland. I want revenge on the fascist dogs for his death and for the death of Soviet people tortured by the fascist barbarians. For this purpose, I’ve deposited all my personal savings–50,000 rubles–to the National Bank in order to build a tank. I kindly ask to name the tank ‘Fighting Girlfriend’ and to send me to the front line as a driver of the said tank.”

Stalin quickly agreed. The State Defense Committee advised him that the move could have a positive effect as a morale booster on both the desperate population and the troops. It wasn’t uncommon for citizens to donate money for war production in the Soviet Union, but usually, those making the donations were men.

Mariya got her tank, a T-34, and took part in a five-month tank training program immediately after the donation. These five month’s training was unusual for tank crews at the time, usually, tank crews were rushed straight to the front line with minimal training. After she completed her training, she was posted to the 26th Guards Tank Brigade in September 1943 as a driver and mechanic. She named her tank ‘fighting girlfriend’ and emblazoned these words on the turret of the T-34. She was immediately ridiculed by her comrades for being a girl and doing guy stuff, like war, but this attitude quickly changed when Mariya began killing nazis.

On October 21, 1943, Mariya got the chance to release some of her seething anger in a positive way, well positive for the Red Army. Most of the city of Smolensk had been taken back from the Germans about a month earlier, but there was still some resistance. The Red Army wanted the remaining Nazis outta there, and Mariya was all too happy to oblige.

Mariya and her Fighting Girlfriend busted out, killing German soldiers and destroying anti-tank guns and machine-gun nests. But there’s a reason tanks are generally considered to be death traps—they’re big targets. Sure enough, Fighting Girlfriend took a hit. Mariya was ordered to stay inside the tank, but she was just so mad at everything in the damn world that she climbed out of the tank, fixed it, got back in, and kept killing.

Having disobeyed orders, killed a bunch of people, and put herself in grave danger, Mariya had finally won the respect of her male comrades. Her new nickname: “Mother.” More importantly, Mariya made sergeant.

A similar situation happened a month later when Fighting Girlfriend was raining fire around the town of Novoye Selo in the region of Vitebsk. Her track was hit and the tank was immobilized. Mariya rushed out and, with the help of another crew member, managed to put the T-34 back in running condition.

We get a glimpse of Mariya’s feelings in a letter penned to her sister:

“I’ve had my baptism by fire. I beat the bastards. Sometimes I’m so angry I can’t even breathe.”

But just two months later, her courageous tactic would prove to be the last. As the tank once again suffered damage after destroying entrenched positions and an enemy self-propelled gun, Mariya tried to pull the trick once again. She managed to fix the damaged track but was hit in the head by shell fragments and lost consciousness during her return. Mariya was transferred to a military field hospital near Kiev, where she spent two months in a coma before passing away on March 15, 1944.

The following August, Mariya was posthumously made a Hero of the Soviet Union in recognition of her bravery in the battles around Vitebsk. The Hero of the Soviet Union was the highest distinction in the Soviet Union, awarded personally or collectively for heroic feats in service to the Soviet state and society. Out of the 12,777 recipients, only 95 were women. Mariya was laid to rest in one of the nation’s most sacred cemeteries, the Heroes Remembrance Gardens.

Maybe not the fairy tale ending you were hoping for but that’s not what Mariya wanted when she signed up to be on the front line. This incredibly determined woman had no desire for the easy life when her husband passed, she wanted to burn hot and bright and take out as many damn nazis as possible. She even managed to advance feminism but I think she was too busy killing nazis to care. There are many more badass women from WWII so you can expect some more stories in the future.


I’m Aaron, and I’d like to thank all our listeners, supporters, and co-hosts.

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Music for this episode was created by Wayne Jones and was used with permission.

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