Earth Crust Displacement Charles HapgoodAxial Pole Shift & Earth Crust Displacement 2012

2012 the Hollywood movie centralized its core theme around a physical pole shift mega-disaster, a scenario first expounded by Charles H. Hapgood, he was a professor of the history of science at Keene College in New Hampshire. In this theory the entire crust of the planet Earth moves as one piece displacement of the physical poles into new locations would occur.

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The most vocal modern researcher of the theory is Patrick Geryl. Mr Geryl insists that the Maya and Egyptians knew of this phenomenon and predicted it for 21-12-2012. Actually an enormous chunk of the 2012 movie seems to be lifted from his work. For those not familiar with him he has stated that the safest place on Earth will be the Drakensburg Mountains of South Africa. It is then likely no coincidence then that the closing scenes of the film has the survivors on course for that precise location!



In his research project Hapgood found the various ancient maps of the world that depict a very different planet which included a lost land mass (such as the infamous Piri Reis map). These often depict some geographic areas as ice free, for example Antarctica, which should of course not be in human history. Ancient maps should not be depicting such things, in fact Antarctica was not ‘officially’ discovered until 1820.

Crust plates move [plate tectonics] over time so we do know the Earth crust is unstable. The current consensus is that this is a very slow geological process which takes millions of years to produce even barely observable changes.

Hapgood sought out a mechanism that could explain radical shifts and changes of polar locations. His theory sought to explain a crust shift of some 30 degrees in a short period of time. No easy feat!

In the 1950s, Hapgood developed a theory called Earth Crust Displacement (ECD) which could account the shift, and yet not contradict the theory of continental drift. The basic notion of ECD is that the earth’s lithosphere, although composed of individual plates, can at times move as a whole over the asthenosphere.  Applying the correct degree of energetic force to the entire framework of plates would cause them all to slide over the more gelatinous magma below.

Hapgood believed that last ice age ended around 12,000 years ago when the mass of glacial ice covering the northern continents caused the lithosphere to ‘slip’ over the asthenosphere, moving Antarctica. He posited that the event occurred over just several centuries. Antarctica’s movement to the polar region caused the development of its ice cap. Similarly, the end of the ice age was facilitated by shifting the northern ice sheets out of the arctic zone.

Support for this theory was given in a forward by Albert Einstein to one of Hapgood’s books in 1953:

In a polar region there is continual deposition of ice, which is not symmetrically distributed about the pole. The earth’s rotation acts on these unsymmetrically deposited masses, and produces centrifugal momentum that is transmitted to the rigid crust of the earth. The constantly increasing centrifugal momentum produced in this way will, when it has reached a certain point, produce a movement of the earth’s crust over the rest of the earth’s body... (Hapgood, 1958, p. 1)

It has been often claimed evidence for the shift has been found in the form of animals suited to temperate zones being found fast frozen in ice blocks.

The researcher Graham Hancock states that findings from Admiral Byrds explorations showed rivers had flowed in Antarctica as late as 5000BC. Physical evidence of this flowing water means that we are wrong about the history of the continent in some manner at least.


Recent discoveries of under ice mountain ranges on the continent also strongly suggest we have misunderstood the geological history of the region as these would have been carved out by movement not by a fairly static cover of snowfall frozen to permafrost.

Of course the theory and the maps on which it is largely based remain open to interpretation. Many researchers do not agree with the model as proposed by Hapgood. We can’t exactly just ask the map makers what they were depicting and whether they just drew additional lands based on hearsay.

This is a very in depth subject with scholarly debate going well beyond the scope of this article. Suffice to say the theory is not accepted generally by relevant scientific bodies. There is evidence for and against, but currently those against are in a strong position as the onus of evidence provision is on those with new radical theories.


As to whether there can be slips of the entire crust I would err on the side of maybe. Have they happened before, perhaps so. Will one occur around 21-12-2012

I certainly hope not.

If it did occur we would indeed see greater than one mile high tsunamis racing around the globe and super storms with incredible wind velocity. Earthquakes would buckle nations and volcanoes would explode furiously. It would be difficult for most to survive such a mega-catastrophe. Difficult, put perhaps not impossible.

By Bruce Fenton

2012 Rising The Last Tzolkin