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Messages - RonJ

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481
I was thinking about all the evidence that is on the side of my global earth beliefs.  It has been difficult to come up with something that you can easily see and hold in your hand.  Last night I thought of something.  My job as a merchant marine officer exposed me frequently to a technology that you don't usually see much of anywhere except on ships and airplanes.  On my final ship, before I retired, we had two very expensive gyro compasses.  This technology was very important and the azimuth outputs were very important because they drove other devices such as the autopilot, the electronic maps, and the radars.  If you do a little basic research on the subject, you can see that the operation of these devices depends on the earth rotating and basically being round.  Each year our gyros had to be overhauled so they would provide reliable operation.  Because of this, I've had all the parts in my hands and have become familiar with the operation of this equipment.  The main argument here is that the gyros were compact, self contained units and were only influenced by the basic forces of a rotating round earth.  It has been said that seamen engage in the worlds second oldest profession.  That may be true but things are getting very high tech these days.  An actual seaman would be controlling the helm less than 10 percent of the time.  Mostly the autopilot was steering the ship and the gyro compass was giving azimuth information to the autopilot.  It won't be long until autonomous ships will make our jobs obsolete.  Kongsberg already has some proto-types out there.  You can be sure that they also will be depending on a good gyro compass to keep the robots on course.     

482
Flat Earth Community / Re: Global Positioning System
« on: October 09, 2018, 12:50:59 PM »
Your phone could be capable of receiving 15 different sats, but you probably wouldn't be receiving usable signals from all of them simultaneously.  The GPS 'birds' are in continuous low earth orbit and cover the whole earth.  Only a certain combination would be visible to your phone and in use at any given time.  On a large ship we usually have the antennas mounted on a railing just above the bridge.  This makes them easy to get at in case of a failure.  Because of this, some of the antennas could be blocked in certain directions by the stack or the radar towers.   We have to be careful because the microwave radiation from the radars can interfere with the GPS signals in certain circumstances.  In any event, we usually receive usable signals anywhere in the world and even use differential GPS while near land for additional accuracy.   

483
Flat Earth Community / Re: Is it irrational to believe Flat Earth?
« on: October 09, 2018, 04:15:55 AM »
Most people who have a regular land based job don't have any reason to even think about whether the earth is flat or round.  In my case the subject is vital to the jobs I've had in my 50 year career.  Now I'm a retired Merchant Marine officer and I sailed world wide.  I've been around the world a couple of times, in each direction.  Earlier I was considering being a airline pilot and did earn a commercial pilots license, but the shipping companies paid a whole lot more so I went to sea.  That doesn't mean that I didn't fly much.  I had my own electronics business for 23 years and flew my own airplane often on business.  The first five years of my career I worked for the local TV station as a transmitter engineer.  Having said all of the above I've learned some stuff that only makes sense if you think about it and if the earth is a globe.  My local TV station has a 1000 foot tower not far from where I'm currently living.  I used to work there 50 years ago.  The TV station spent a whole lot of money putting up that big tower because they knew that the higher they went the more watchers they could get and the more that they could charge for advertising.  A global earth model would mean that their nominal coverage are would be approximately 40 miles.  In a flat earth model that coverage would have been a whole lot more.  When I was flying my own private plane I would often cruise at about 7 to 9 thousand feet.  In those days (before GPS) I used the VHF VOR system for navigation.  Typically a VOR station could be used at about 100 miles at the altitudes I used.  This was due to the curvature of the earth.  A flat earth would have afforded me the luxury of tuning in a station near my destination, rather than flying from station to station.  When I went to sea I worked on large ships.  Usually the length was from 750 to 1000 feet.  Our height of eye was about 130 feet above sea level.  You could usually see the mast of another on coming large ship appear at about 15 miles away. We had the use of more than our eyes and a telescope.  The last ship had 3 separate radars.  Our 10cm radar would usually see the ship come over the horizon before we could see it with our eyes.  It would appear as a very weak target and grow in size and strength as we approached the other vessel.  You had to be a bit closer to see a smaller fishing boat.  That same radar could see Mt Fuji in Japan at a much larger distance because it was a lot higher.  Even mount Fuji would appear to sink into the sea as we departed Japan.  You would loose site of the port city way before you would loose side of the mountain, even though the mountain was farther away.  These types of personal experiences could not be reconciled with a flat earth theory.  Don't get me wrong, a flat earth would be a whole lot easier for everyone in a lot of ways, but unfortunately, my personal observations didn't match that theory.  I was never afraid of falling off the edge of the earth.  Maybe because as a kid, we lived overseas and traveled the world during vacations.  My sister picked up the same tendencies and was in Antarctica a couple of months ago and actually returned home without any difficulty.       

484
Flat Earth Community / Re: Global Positioning System
« on: October 09, 2018, 01:50:26 AM »
I am a licensed commercial pilot and now also a retired Merchant Marine officer.  GPS is used in both venues for navigation.  You probably could use airplanes to transmit GPS information, but it probably wouldn't be practical.  While operating in the middle of the Pacific ocean it is not unusual to not see another vessel for a couple of days on the transit between China and California.  Usually we can receive signals from 3 to 5 GPS transmitters.  The expense and logistics for using airplanes for such a project would be excessive.  All this expense just to provide location information for a handful of ships doesn't make much sense.  Satellites would be much cheaper, and more reliable.  Of course, if there's a dome over the ocean, then satellites wouldn't be possible.  In any event the position data we get is very good.  Even the position info I get using my iPhone matches what I see on the regular ship's GPS receivers.  We usually follow a great circle route, weather permitting, while on the 7000 mile trip.  This kind of a route makes no sense on anything but a global earth.   

485
Flat Earth Investigations / Re: Observing The Sun
« on: October 08, 2018, 04:55:21 PM »
I have observed the sun under a couple of different scenarios.  First on a trip from Southern California to Asia in the winter.  We left Southern California by ship and headed mostly Northbound towards Alaska.  We transited from the Pacific Ocean into the Bering Sea near Unimak Island.  The ship proceeded going North West bound for a while before turning in a more Southerly direction.  I did notice a very pronounced shortening of the day.  Since I was a ships crew member I was expected to be on the job at 7:45 AM each morning, it was always dark when I got to the bridge.  While we were at our farthest Northerly position I noticed that it would be dark outside until about 10 AM and we would have a sunset at about 3 PM.  As we continued South towards Japan and China the days got much longer and we were back to our normal day and night routine.  A trip along the same route during the summer would be different.  The sun would not set until way after supper, maybe not until about 10PM and it would be very bright outside in the very early morning.  Two facts seem to leap out of my actual observations on many trips of a similar nature.  The ship proceeded on a very strange circular route far the the North as it was the shortest distance between California and Asia.  Shipping companies stay in business because they haul their cargo over the shortest distances possible to save on fuel and deliver the goods in the most profitable manner.  Additionally, since the earth is a globe and the axis is tilted at about 23 degrees to the plane of the ecliptic, we see a very noticeable difference in our daylight hours during the 10 day journey.  The strange route we usually took was called a great circle route and only makes sense if the actual earth is a sphere.  You can convince yourself of this by using a globe and a piece of string.  All I know is what I've seen for myself.  We had tables of the time of sunrise and sunset.  Those tables depended on the day of the year and the latitude of your position. It's nice to see the sun rise out of the sea just at the precise time the table said it would happen.  I don't know how anyone could fake that.  A flat earth would be easier for a seamen in several ways, but alas, it's not the way we see it.

486
Flat Earth Investigations / Re: satellite hoax
« on: October 08, 2018, 01:59:23 PM »
The article points out the problem with a global satellite system.  Commonly used INMARSAT satellites are over the equator.  We used them daily, along with another companies 'birds' to communicate.  The biggest problem with those is that they only work to about 70 degrees North or South latitude.  This is due to the curvature of the global earth.  A flat earth with a dome above it would be a good idea and would be easier for every seaman to communicate, even near the poles.  Alas, this is not what a seaman actually experiences with his own two eyes.  All our charts are based on a global earth.  We navigate, daily, with these charts.  What we see outside our windows matches what is seen on the charts.  If it were not so, we would run aground, loose cargo, and get fired from our job.  How could we not believe in a global earth?   

487
Flat Earth Investigations / Re: satellite hoax
« on: October 08, 2018, 05:11:52 AM »
Just who put up the dome over the earth?  How long has it been there?  Was it a government project?  Who does the maintenance?  Where is the mounts on the Earth?  I presume that it's somewhere around Antarctica.  Somehow I was never given these answers in school.  Perhaps a change in the educational system will be required.

488
Flat Earth Investigations / Re: Shooting stars
« on: October 08, 2018, 04:48:04 AM »
Maybe sometimes we get space junk that breaks thru the dome.  I remember when I was a kid, a long time ago, living in a far away place, we were outside sitting in the grass watching an outdoor movie.  You did that kind of thing in the 1950's.  Suddenly we saw a 'shooting start'  It actually hit the ground very close to me and I remember seeing it bounce after hitting the ground.  A lot of people ran up to where the 'object' was on the ground.  My mother kept me from getting too close.  That probably was a good thing because it was still glowing red hot.  Any object like that had to come either thru the dome or was part of it.  In either case the dome would require plenty of maintenance due to the constant damage that occurs to it.  Just who is responsible for doing that?  Maybe a government contractor.  It would be a good job opportunity if I ever need a job again.   

489
Flat Earth Investigations / Re: satellite hoax
« on: October 08, 2018, 04:38:04 AM »
If the earth is flat and there's a dome above it that will reflect my data signals back to the earth then I wouldn't have to switch to a different 'satellite' while on the trip to Asia.  I should be able to lock onto a single spot on the dome and that spot should be visible to my satellite dish's signal anywhere on the flat earth.  That scenario would really make my job easier.  Additionally a dome over the flat earth would require a very good mount.  I'm sure such a mount would require maintenance like any other mechanical device.  Who is doing the maintenance ?   They probably require plenty of engineers and would be a good job if my pension fund goes bankrupt in a couple of years.

490
Flat Earth Investigations / Re: satellite hoax
« on: October 08, 2018, 02:29:42 AM »
Don't believe that the GPS system is ground based.  While at sea you could be 1000 miles from the nearest land.  The GPS antennas are directional and we always point the antennas straight up when mounting them on the ship.  When doing this we are able to receive the signals from 3 or 4 of the many GPS satellites that are in orbit above the earth.  If the earth were flat, we could always see the same satellites on our whole trip, but this isn't the case.  Satellites come up over the horizon, provide us with our position data, and then go down into the horizon while another satellite takes it's place.  There is a whole satellite constellation out there for us.  If it were not the case, we would then have to resort to the old technology of the sextant, which we still carry aboard ship.  Even while using the sextant you have to believe in the spherical earth, or that system wouldn't work either.  All this comes from my every day work experience, not something that I read in a book, or saw on the internet.  If someone believes this is a hoax, please tell me.  I still have many friends at sea trying to make a living for themselves and their families.  They might need to know what the true facts are so to protect them from any potential danger.  I'm just a retired Merchant Marine officer and I sit at home now collecting a pension.

491
Flat Earth Investigations / Re: Cruising the round earth?
« on: October 08, 2018, 02:12:09 AM »
I was a Merchant Marine officer and went to sea for a living before I retired this year.  You wouldn't expect the horizon to be curved even on a spherical earth.  As a simple experiment, take a small stick and a string and put it on a globe, or even on something like a basketball.  Using the string and the stick, draw a circle on the sphere at a constant distance from a constant height above the surface.  You come up with a circle at a constant distance above the known point.  This is what you are seeing while standing at the rail of a ship.  I have been on a ship where you can see in a 360 degree circle.  The limits of your sight are the edge of the spherical earth and, because it's a sphere, the distances are the same in any direction you look while you are at sea.  What proves that the earth is a sphere is the ship's radar.  I know for a fact that one of our radars has a range of 35 to 40 miles.  We know this because while going by Mt. Fuji, in Japan, we can see the image of that mountain and it's at a known location.  With that kind of known range you should be able to see another large container ship on the radar at 20 to 25 miles out, but you can't.  That's because the ship is below the horizon due to the curvature of the earth. We know that the ship is there because of other tracking equipment we have aboard but we just can't see it until it's about 15 to 18 miles away.  The taller the ship, the farther out you can see it both with your own eyes and with the radar.  Since Mt Fuji is so tall, you can see it out at sea for quite a distance.  As you get further and further away, the mountain appears to sink into the ocean.  That kind of visual clue would only occur with a spherical earth.  You see the same kind of thing while approaching the coast near a big city.  The tall buildings will always been seen first but only the tops.  Slowly the city appears to rise out of the sea until as you get really close you can then see the docks where you are going.
 

492
Flat Earth Investigations / Re: Flight Paths
« on: October 07, 2018, 10:23:36 PM »
It doesn't have to be a flight path.  Any path of a longer length will bring out the curved nature of the path around a globe.  Before I retired, I worked on ships that made the transit between China and the US.  The shortest distance between the two ports is known as a great circle route.  The airlines fly those paths as well, again because they are the shortest distance.  I've made countless long trips over the earth's oceans both on airplanes and on ships.  When you are burning fuel, which costs a bunch of money, you must take the shortest routes possible.  Just try to plot out a long course on a flat earth map.  You will quickly see that your path course and distance won't match what is actually needed to make the transit between point A and point B. Navigators know down to a 'gnat's ass' just how far it is between two ports.  Additionally they plot our position, hourly, on the chart. The accumulated time and distance is also noted.  If something doesn't match then it's looked into.  On a route that's a regular run, it would be hard to fool anyone. Both the airlines and shipping companies use charts that were drawn using a representation of the global earth.  There is no getting around the fact that they 'just work'.  I've seen it for myself, first hand.  All my old 'shipping buddies' would tell you the same thing. 

493
Flat Earth Investigations / Re: satellite hoax
« on: October 07, 2018, 09:57:46 PM »
I only believe what I see for myself.  The equipment I ran could lock on and track a signal from a another piece of equipment somewhere above the ship.  I could see the azimuth and elevation of our antenna relative to the horizon.  You could tell how far away it was by the time it took for the signal to go from the ship to the satellite and back to the ground again.  The main issue of this post is not what kind of vehicle carries the electronic equipment that we were using, but the fact that the the only way the basic geometry would work was if the earth was round.  If the earth was flat, I wouldn't loose the signal below the horizon.  I could track and use a single 'balloon' on the whole trip between Shanghai, China and Long Beach, CA.  Unfortunately, on each trip I was forced to switch the equipment over and lock onto another signal that had coverage over Asia.  Our ship wouldn't have to navigate on a great circle route.  This would make it easier for the navigator.  We wouldn't have a 'top of the world' party though.  That would be bad.

494
Flat Earth Community / Re: Is it irrational to believe Flat Earth?
« on: October 07, 2018, 01:53:58 AM »
You can believe anything you want.  In my case I believe that the earth is a sphere.  This is the only thing that makes sense.  Before I retired, I was a Merchant Marine officer.  I worked on ships 6 months of each year.  My job was providing communications and technical help.  On the last ship I was on I was 'riding herd' on 4 different satellite systems.  Each day I would take a look to see where the antenna was pointing.  I would also note the position of the ship in the world.  We would use many different satellite systems and mostly they were in geosynchronous orbit above the earth's equator.  This meant that the satellites would be about 25000 miles up.  It is well known that you can't get a satellite signal much above 70 North latitude.  This is because you would have to point the dish below the horizon and the earth and/or sea would block the signal.  If the earth was flat this wouldn't be necessary and my job would have been a lot easier.

495
Flat Earth Theory / Re: FE Map project: observations
« on: October 06, 2018, 07:25:36 PM »
I can definitely say that the earth is spherical based on my personal observations.  Before I retired I had a career in the Merchant Marine.  I've made countless trips all over the world.  In the last 4 years those trips were mostly between the US and China. Every trip we made I had to change our satellite communications equipment to a different satellite because the other one would go below the horizon and I would loose the signal.  Our radars would only work out to about 20 miles because even other huge ships would go below the horizon.  We still knew they were there because of the other tracking equipment we had.  Thousands of times, you could see a large ship, that you knew was coming, appear slowly over the horizon.  Sometimes we would have to communicate so we didn't collide. I know for sure how many miles we traveled between Shanghai, China and Long Beach, Ca.  Those miles were based upon a great circle route.  We even had a 'top of the world' party when we stopped going North and started going towards the South on our return trip to home.  A flat earth would have been a whole lot easier, but it was not to be. People say that going to sea is the worlds second oldest profession so maybe everything I've said could be considered a 'Sea Story'.

496
Flat Earth Investigations / Re: satellite hoax
« on: October 06, 2018, 04:59:21 PM »
I believe that satellites are real.  This evidence comes not from what a see or read for others, but what I have seen myself.  Before I retired, I worked on ships.  Each day I would monitor many different satellites and use them for communications and navigation.  Each year I would be at sea about 6 months.  That's 180 days of depending on satellites for our safety and for making a living.  I could see the actual position of the satellites using instruments to measure both azimuth and elevation above the horizon.  The ONLY way any of my day to day measurements made any sense is if there were satellites above a spherical earth.  I could also give plenty of evidence regarding our radars that could only work in the observed ways if the earth were a sphere.  Again this evidence is first hand in nature and is unbiased by anything that I've read on the internet.  Of course I may also be a very ignorant engineer. 

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