From the November 2013 issue of Futures Magazine • Subscribe!

Unlocking W.D. Gann’s ‘The Tunnel Thru the Air’

Had it not been for the “valuable secret” W.D. Gann pledged to have “clothed in veiled language” in his book, “The Tunnel Thru the Air,” it could have passed for just another roaring ’20s science-fiction novel. However, students have pored over the words, hoping to unlock the philosophy behind Gann’s techniques. Are they on a path to enlightenment or merely chasing a white rabbit into Alice’s Wonderland?

Robert Gordon, Gann’s fictional persona in “The Tunnel,” predicts the coming of World War II, which he believes will be fought in the air. Gann was a particularly religious person, and he based this belief on predictions attributed to the prophets Daniel and Ezekiel. “The Tunnel” is replete with biblical citations pertaining to astrological time cycles that Gordon uses to predict the future, including future commodity prices. 

In Gordon’s world, this works, and as a professional futures and commodities trader, he follows these time cycles to generate a fortune from trading cotton. The rest of the plot covers Gordon’s plans to use his trading proceeds to build an invisible airship and “air tunnel” to ensure America wins the war. The airship is to keep the movements of the American army out of the enemy’s sight, while the air tunnel is to trap and disable the enemy’s aircraft. The blueprints for the designs are based on a biblical command to the prophet Ezekiel to build a chariot drawn by four creatures; beside each is a “wheel within a wheel with tall and awesome rims.” 

Gann writes that he considers the Bible a scientific text on some level, and he suggests that his book borrows biblical concepts that will demonstrate “the process by which man may know all there is to know, including the stock market.” At the same time, he reveals that his market predictions are based on “geometry and mathematics, just as an astronomer does, based on immutable laws” and reiterates that his “calculations are based on the cycle theory and on mathematical sequences.” It’s important to note, however, that scientific explanations of these sequences do not appear in the book. 

What the book does include, however, is Gordon’s meticulously dated and priced trading log. The log spans pages 103-172, and is the only example of Gann’s trading activity in the book. Given that these pages contain numerical data, it is where the secret to Gann’s “elusive time factor” should be found.

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