In 1951, astronomer Kenneth Heuer, author in 1953 of The End of the World, wrote Men of Other Planets (Pellegrini & Cudahy, NYC) where he speculates on the kinds of humanoid life that was possible on the other planets, moons and asteroids of outer space. In those days thousands of people were actually trying to book passage on space ships. With jet propulsion and atomic fuel bringing space travel into realms of possibility, the mysteries of flying saucers, possible invasions of the earth from another worlds were closer to reality and yesterday’s science fiction was moving into tomorrow’s news.
The full-page scratch board illustration by R.T. Crane adds both a science fact and fictional aura to the quirky propositions in this book. I’ve excerpted a few paragraphs from Heuer’s writing about how our planetary neighbors imbued their humanoid attributes to our own galaxy of homo sapiens.
“One morning, in December, 1900, the startling story appeared in the papers throughout the United States that Mars had signaled the earth the night before. The story told how lights had suddenly shone out up on the planet, lasted for a time, and then disappeared. . . Astronomers think that the so-called signals were caused by very powerful reflections of sunlight on clouds floating in the panet’s air. . . It is possible that inhabitants of Mars commenced communication with the earth thousands of years ago and then, meeting with no success discontinued it.”
“In other words, we may be their descendants. It is possible that eons ago our ancestors came from outer space as whole beings in space ships. . . Space travel is not a new story. The first space ships were made at least 3,000,0000,000 years ago when the planets were created. When man inhabited the earth, he became an unsuspecting passenger on this vehicle which provided him with a life-supporting environment. Now he wishes to leave the space ship nature fashioned and , in one of his own design, explore the unknown parts of the universe.”
Kenneth Heuer writes: “We land in Mare Imbrium, The Sea of Showers. A rounded area 750 miles long in its greatest diameter. Mare Imbrium is one of the largest lunar plains. Before returning home, we may make a daring expedition across the other side of the moon; with the shuttle of he imagination, we an weave a picture of what may be found. . . All at once, a great forest, black and mystical, appears, where the trees grow close and the stems are interlocked. We meet inhabitants. . .They appear to be digging the holes, evidently planting a garden. But they set nothign in the holes; and having covered them with sticks and ashes, they go a little distance off and hide . . . These are the Lumarians.
It was the opinion that the Christians of the first century placed the infernal regions in the world beneath our feet because of an incorrect interpretation in the descent of Jesus into hell after his crucifixion and because of false ideas of cosmology. Earth was too small to hold even the angels that fell from heaven after their battle; that the fire of hell was real and the closed globe of earth could not support it for a sufficiently long period; and that the sun alone presented itself as the necessary place, it being a well sustained fire and directly opposite in situation to heaven . . . But then what are we to say of the idea that the sun is the residence of the Almighty. . . God is in he sun in the center.”