Several postwar studies on Nazism and the Occult, such as Trevor Ravenscroft in The Spear of Destiny (1973), have asserted that under the influence of Haushofer and the Thule Society, Germany sent annual expeditions to Tibet from 1926 to 1943. Their mission was first to find and then to maintain contact with the Aryan forefathers in Shambhala and Agharti, hidden subterranean cities beneath the Himalayas. Adepts there were the guardians of secret occult powers, especially vril, and the missions sought their aid in harnessing those powers for creating an Aryan master race. According to these accounts, Shambhala refused any assistance, but Agharti agreed. Subsequently, from 1929, groups of Tibetans purportedly came to Germany and started lodges known as the Society of Green Men. In connection with the Green Dragon Society in Japan, through the intermediary of Haushofer, they supposedly helped the Nazi cause with their occult powers. Himmler was attracted to these groups of Tibetan-Agharti adepts and, purportedly from their influence, established the Ahnenerbe in 1935.
Aside from the fact that Himmler did not establish the Ahnenerbe, but rather incorporated it into the SS in 1937, Ravenscroft’s account contains other dubious assertions. The main one is the purported Agharti support of the Nazi cause. In 1922, the Polish scientist Ferdinand Ossendowski published Beasts, Men and Gods describing his travels through Mongolia. In it, he related hearing of the subterranean land of Agharti beneath the Gobi Desert. In the future, its powerful inhabitants would come to the surface to save the world from disaster. The German translation of Ossendowski’s book, Tiere, Menschen und Götter, appeared in 1923 and became quite popular. Sven Hedin, however, published in 1925 Ossendowski und die Wahrheit (Ossendowski and the Truth), in which he debunked the Polish scientist’s claims. He pointed out that Ossendowski had lifted the idea of Agharti from Saint-Yves d’Alveidre’s 1886 novel Mission de l’Inde en Europe (Mission of India in Europe) to make his story more appealing to the German public. Since Hedin had a strong influence on the Ahnenerbe, it is unlikely that this bureau would have sent an expedition specifically to find Shambhala and Agharti and, subsequently, would have received assistance from the latter.