In an earlier article, I discussed how Lovecraft governed Bergier’s investigations into the ancient astronaut theory for Morning of the Magicians (1960), the most influential ancient astronaut text ever written (Erich von Daniken, Robert Charroux, and David Childress cribbed shamelessly from it). Here, I thought I’d present a bit more of Bergier on Lovecraft from Extraterrestrial Visitations, a deeply weird book, perhaps the strangest ancient astronaut book I’ve ever read.
“Perhaps the [alien] Intelligences will be forced to wipe out our species […] In any case, the Intelligences seem far removed from H. P. Lovecraft’s Great Old Men, who created life on the earth by mistake or as a joke.” (referencing At the Mountains of Madness)
“[A lost] civilization could have been in […] the extreme south: Antarctica. The ghosts of H. P. Lovecraft and Erle Cox [...] will rejoice when the traces of an advanced civilization in the Antarctic are discovered. It will be one more case of clairvoyance by inspired writers.” (referencing At the Mountains of Madness and Erle Cox's 1919 novel Out of the Silence, about the buried remains of a lost civilization)
“…there once existed a city in the desert, El Yafri, built of enormous cyclopean blocks […] and the city should not be confused with Irem, H. P. Lovecraft’s doomed city…”(referencing “The Nameless City,” but unaware that Irem, or Iram, is from the Quran 89:6-14)
“This book is as much a factual accounting as possible. However, among its readers there will certainly be some science-fiction fans who would like to know what the connection is between the mysteries we have described in this chapter and the myths created by H. P. Lovecraft [...] Much of [Lovecraft's work] relates so directly to the mysteries we have just described that there are still people who go to the Biblioteque Nationale or to the British Museum and ask for the Necronomicon! [...] It is not impossible that at least a part of Lovecraft's myth may be verified when the Empty Quarter is opened to exploration.” (referencing “The Nameless City”)
Extraterrestrial Visitations is a deeply European book, beginning with the author’s insistence that he held an “exclusively rationalist position” even as he then proceeds to pile speculation upon speculation, often without any factual support, in the name of inductive reasoning. He assumes the reader is already familiar with the mysteries he discusses, leaving out conventional references, background information, and anything more than allusions to Victorian newspaper clippings and Fortean speculation. As a result, the text is frequently obscure, understandable only with a deep familiarity with the ancient mystery genre—and with Lovecraft.
Bergier devotes a chapter to the infamous case of Dr. Gurlt’s cube, which he describes as being a 60 million year old perfect cube made of iron, with two opposite faces slightly curved. It had been found in a mine in Austria in 1885, and Bergier made three false claims about it: first, that it is perfect in form; second, it is an extraterrestrial recording device meant to transmit information about earth to outer space; and third, that a conspiracy is responsible for having made the object “disappear” from the Salzburg Museum so scholars like Bergier could never confirm its extraterrestrial origins.
Weirdly for someone writing in 1970, Bergier was completely unaware the object was analyzed in Vienna in 1967 when he wrote of how badly he wanted modern science to examine it. It is in all probability, as Dr. Gurlt suggested in 1886, a lump of meteoric iron. As the image below shows, it is not a cube in any recognizable sense, much less a device of perfect machine manufacture, what he called “data collectors of the same type as magnetic bands, but much more highly perfected.”
Anyway, I don’t want to waste too much time on the facts, since they speak for themselves. What interests me is the way Bergier’s discussion of Dr. Gurlt's cube echoes Lovecraft. The “cube” Bergier persists—against evidence—as viewing as an extraterrestrial device of perfect geometry, which he claims must have been a recording device meant to take note of “everything that has taken place on our planet in the past ten million years.”
“Their owners can no doubt retrieve them at great distance by means of a magnetometer; for the objects, when they receive a certain signal, must be able to indicate their exact position through an answering signal transmitted by magnetic resonance. […] What is to be hoped is that the next angled object discovered will be carefully examined, especially with a mind to extracting its signals.”
Based on these close similarities, I would suggest that Bergier’s alternative explanation for Gurlt’s cube is dependent upon Lovecraft’s Trapezohedron. The most telling point is the last sentence of Bergier’s that I quoted above. Despite spending his chapter discussing objects shaped like cubes, spheres, and cylinders, he refers to them collectively as “angled object[s].” This tells me that he had as his model the “crazily angled” Trapezohedron, and not the regular geometric forms of the “real” alien communication devices he purports to discuss.