A letter to the Flat Earther's
« on: May 11, 2019, 08:41:32 AM »
Dear Flat Earthers,

My name is Campbell Ferguson and I attend Antwerp International School in Belgium. In philosophy class we are talking about conspiracy theories and what makes people believe them. I am writing to you today, to try and deconstruct your argument and see where the errors are located in your argument.

The Flat Earth idea is a conspiracist idea, as the majority of the globe believe the globe is a sphere. I have been following the Flat Earth movement for a while now, but I have yet to understand the ideas behind why you say the globe is flat. One of your arguments that interests me the most is your idea of secrecy amongst the government. As seen on your Flat Earth website under the section ‘The Conspiracy’ you mention the motive behind the earth being flat. What I believed to be your argument was the following.  Firstly, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) purpose is to control outer space, specifically for military purposes. You then go to use a quote from Lyndon B Johnson as evidence, despite the fact it being over 60 years old. Your second point is NASA’s first missions was a complete failure. Your next, somewhat bolder statement is that NASA decided to fake any further missions from going into space, and just to deceive the public. You then go onto conclude your argument by saying NASA has never been into space, so how would they know what the earth looks like.

The previous premises and conclusions use evidence that shows NASA has been into space against the agency. One of the main flaws in your agreement is the jump from your final premise to your conclusion, and you assume no one has been in space. The evidence against this point is strongly not in your favour. Evidence such as Virgin Galactic which is an independent company for commercial purposes. They use jets to reach outer space, and soon people from all around the globe will be able to pay money to go up into space. (Virgin Galactic) Even Felix Baumgartner, a skydiver, who completed the highest skydive ever, a distance of 24 miles up from the earth’s atmosphere, and you can see the curvature of the globe. (Red Bull)

As follows is one of my arguments for the earth being a sphere. The deepest part of the ocean is 7 miles in depth, The Mariana Trench. (LiveScience) This means the earth’s crust as to be at least 7 miles thick. The earth's crust is probably thicker than 7 miles as there is a lot of water on top. The crust has to be able to support the weight of the water above it. If the crust was not solid enough to keep all the water in, the water would be leaking out. This clearly is not happening as sea levels are rising instead of falling. (NASA)

I hope you take my argument seriously and if you have time to write back to me, I would find it very interesting.

Campbell Ferguson


Bull, Red. “Felix Baumgartner's Supersonic Freefall from 128k' - Mission Highlights.” YouTube, YouTube, 14 Oct. 2012,

Oskin, Becky. “Mariana Trench: The Deepest Depths.” LiveScience, Purch, 6 Dec. 2017, www.livescience.com/23387-mariana-trench.html.

“Sea Level | NASA Global Climate Change.” NASA, NASA, 24 Sept. 2018, climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/sea-level/.

“Virgin Galactic.” Virgin Galactic, www.virgingalactic.com/.

Offline ChrisTP

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Re: A letter to the Flat Earther's
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2019, 11:39:22 AM »
I'm not a flat earther but do keep in mind that the video of the redbull jump seems to be using a fisheye lense and that does not represent the actual curvature of the earth, especially since the camera looking down mostly, you'll notice the horizon line is above the center point of the image, meaning the curvature of earths edge will be distorted upward. This seems to be a regular mistake from people, going up to mountains with their goPros and saying they can see the curvature of the earth.

You need to be hella high to see it. The redbull jump could well have been high enough but those cameras footage aren't evidence of a curvature. :/
Tom is wrong most of the time. Hardly big news, don't you think?


Offline Tumeni

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Re: A letter to the Flat Earther's
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2019, 01:13:40 PM »
Regardless of whether the Red Bull photo was taken with a fish-eye or not;

1. If you look at a globe, any globe, of any size, you see a Spherical Cap, part of one hemisphere of the globe. The amount of the hemisphere you can see, or the size of the Spherical Cap, is entirely dependent on how close you observe it from. The closer you go, the smaller the Spherical Cap, the farther you go, the larger it will be.


2. If you know the distance from the surface of the globe, and the size of the globe, you can calculate the size of the spherical cap with the geometric formulae described in the wiki above.

The above is not open to argument, I feel. It's simple geometry with solids.

The next stage is to take the height of the jump, apply it to the standard, generally-accepted size of the Earth, found in every textbook on the subject worldwide, and figure out how far one could see, purely in a geometric sense, from the capsule, given the stated height and stated size of the globe.

Having done this, I reckon the limit of visibility corresponds roughly to this, due to the size of the Spherical Cap that I calculated;

What to do next?

Study the Red Bull footage and photos, along with a map or maps covering this area, and consider;

What landmarks or land features can you see?
Identify those features, and see how far away they are from the launch/landing site.
Can you see ANY oceans? If not, why not?
Surely if the Earth were flat, there would be a clear line of sight to the Pacific, or to the Gulfs of Mexico and California?
Not Flat. Happy to prove this, if you ask me.


Offline Tumeni

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Re: A letter to the Flat Earther's
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2019, 11:02:23 AM »
Launched from Roswell International Air Center

There's a distinctive feature right below, what I call the "triple light patch", south of Mescalero Sands, and one can pick
out other features within the general range I specified, as well as determine the direction in which capsule/Felix cameras are looking;

It looks to me exactly what would be expected from looking at a spherical cap of the size I indicated.

What does everyone else think?
Not Flat. Happy to prove this, if you ask me.