The Flat Earth Society

A Theorized Flat Earth from Wikimedia Commons

A Theorized Flat Earth from Wikimedia Commons

Ralph Bernhardt, SPN Reporter

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The Flat Earth Society is a conspiracy group organized around the belief that the Earth is secretly a disk rather than a ball. Most of their beliefs stem from the Biblical passage in which Jesus sees all the kingdoms of the Earth at once from a mountain-peak, but some members have totally non-religious reasons for their belief. It’s very unique, and I decided to preform an interview with various members on their forum.

The first question I had was what NASA had to gain by propagating the lie of a Round Earth. One user explained an interesting theory on why they would do such a thing, “Imagine: All this time the governments have been saying the Earth was round. Then NASA comes along, fires a rocket into space, and… oops, flat! The ridicule and disgrace would be reason enough. Oh, but there is always those sweet, sweet tax payer dollars rolling in.”  When I asked why there were no aerial photos of the Flat Earth or the edge, the same user explained “It’s a conspiracy, obviously. There are lots of photos of the FE, but the important ones are kept under wraps.” When I brought up the countless photos of a round Earth, one user told me that they were obviously rendered, looking nothing like other planets in our Solar System.

"Do you really believe this is where you live? Do you really trust NASA?"

“Do you really believe this is where you live? Do you really trust NASA?”

Looking online for photographs of a Flat Earth, I found several images of calculated horizon lines, asserting that there was no drop in height from corner to the other, but no photographs that had been taken from space. Inquiring about gravity, I was told that it doesn’t actually exist. The Flat Earth and it’s surrounding (round) planets are constantly accelerating upwards, causing us to fall back towards the ground. Asking what peaked their interest in the Flat Earth, the general consensus was that “This site sparked my interest in the Flat Earth Theory.”  While the site claims to be neutral and debate-oriented, it seems that the moderators have at least some bias as many threads suggesting a Round Earth are moved to an ‘Angry Rants’ section of the site.

While the evidence may be lacking, it’s definitely an interesting idea with a history dating back t0 1956, stemming from advocate Samuel Shenton. He was songwriter in Dover, England, who hosted the first meetings in his own home. It seems like a ridiculous notion to most people, but who knows: perhaps one day a brave explorer will pass through and photograph the Ice Wall (Antarctica) that allegedly surrounds the globe. The best minds in history seemed mad at the time!

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