Recreating the Bedford Level Experiment
« on: May 21, 2018, 09:58:11 PM »
Intro and summary
  • The Old Bedford River, as well as being famous in flat earth circles, is probably the UK's longest stretch of straight, uninterrupted, near inert water
  • This makes it an excellent place for measuring the shape of the Earth, given that the surface of inert or near inert water conforms to the shape of the planet
  • Observing three targets placed at the same height above the surface of the water will reveal and confirm that shape
  • If the targets all appear to be at the same height, as in Fig. 7, the surface of the river is flat
  • If the middle target appears higher than the near and far target, as in Fig. 9, the surface of the river is curved
  • Neither of these statements is interchangeable: i.e., if the surface of the river is curved, the three targets can never appear at the same height; and if the surface of the river is flat, the middle target can never appear above the other two (dramatic, unusual, and temporary atmospheric effects notwithstanding)
  • The experiment, therefore, is conclusive
Or, in an even smaller nutshell, this is what flat earth theory predicts:



And this is what round earth theory predicts:



And never the twain shall meet.



Recreating the Bedford Level Experiment - Proposal

1. A brief history

The Old Bedford River in Cambridgeshire, England has a special place in Flat Earth folklore: it was here, in 1838, that Samuel Rowbotham - the father of modern flat earthism - carried out a series of experiments that he believed proved the earth was flat.

Unfortunately, most of his experiments have been invalidated due to the proximity of his telescope to the surface of the river, where the effects of refraction are strongest.

He did devise one experiment, however, which appears sound in its methodology:


Fig 1. Samuel Rowbotham's 'Experiment 2'

This experiment is basically the same as that carried out by Alfred Russel Wallace in 1870 - equally famous in folklore - although Wallace's experiment used only two markers: a target placed three miles along the river, and a sheet on a bridge, six miles distant, with both those targets and the observer - on another bridge - situated about 14 feet above the water:


Fig 2. Alfred Wallace's experiment

The view obtained through his telescope appeared to show that the middle target was indeed raised on an apparent "hump of water":


Fig 3. Wallace's observation

Unsurprisingly, both men felt that the results of their experiments supported their own model, while there were problems with both the other man's model and his conclusion.

Notes on these experiments:
  • Rowbotham's experiment had an observer at 5 feet above the water; this may not have been enough to sufficiently escape the effects of refraction
  • Rowbotham only says that his "line of sight fell on the lower part of the larger flag", and not that "it ran across the tops of all the smaller flags"
  • There was no independent verification of his experiment
  • Wallace, meanwhile suffers from a lack of targets in between the observer and the distant bridge: not only could he have obtained the same view, were the surface of the river flat, if his telescope was somewhat lower than the height of the two targets, but multiple targets make the conclusion all the more clear
  • Other experiments on the Old Bedford were carried out in later years, most notably by Henry Yule Oldham (1901) and (on behalf of) Elizabeth Blount (1904) - again, with both sides finding evidence to support their own chosen model. The problem with Blount's experiment appears, once more, to have been one of refraction; while Oldham's only issue for the present day researcher, having used more targets than Wallace, is merely one of not being recorded by either photograph or video.
In June 2016, a group of modern flat earthers attempted to recreate Rowbotham's original experiment, but failed to show anything of note.

(This is a brief and extremely simplified history: here and here would be good places to start, for more details.)

2. Why the Old Bedford River?

As well as its fame in flat earth circles, the stretch of the Old Bedford River around Welney is probably the longest straight section of uninterrupted inert/near inert water in the UK: a distance of 5.85 miles from the road bridge at Salters Lode (52.5876, 0.3389) to the sluice at Welney (52.521, 0.2527).

Also, it is easily accessible, and the shallow depth of the water, as well as the ability for interested parties to examine the equipment and make their own measurements, makes it a good spot for interactive experimentation.

Note: the section southwest of Welney, towards Welches Dam, which Rowbotham used for several experiments, is also around 6 miles long, but isn't quite as straight; has more trees growing over it; and is now crossed by a railway bridge 3.4 miles from Welney.

Visit www.mapometer.com/canoeing/route_4740324.html to view a straight line along the full 12-mile stretch.


3. Proposal for a new experiment

Rowbotham's original concept of his 'Experiment 2' is sound; but to improve on the results the observer and the targets should be raised higher, thereby diminishing the effects of refraction.

Also, to best relate the results to a modern audience, the experiment should be recorded with photographs and video.

To begin, the following criteria are established:

a) Inert or near inert water "seeks its own level"
b) The shape of the surface of a body of inert or near inert water conforms to the shape of the Earth
c) The water in the Old Bedford River is "near inert"
d) The shape of the surface of the water in the Old Bedford River, therefore, conforms to the shape of the Earth
e) Targets placed parallel to the surface of the Old Bedford River will conform to the shape of the river
f) These same targets, then, conform to the shape of the earth
g) Measuring these targets will reveal the shape of the earth


4. Methodology

a) The observation points

The sluice gate at Welney, with accessible viewing platform:


Fig 4. Sluice gate at Welney, looking southwest

The road bridge at Salters Lode:


Fig 5. Unnamed road bridge at Salters Lode, immediately southwest of the 'Old Bedford Sluice'

As the road bridge provides both greater accessibility and elevation above the river, it is proposed that this be the observation bridge - though, if possible, as Wallace did in 1870, observations could be taken from both points.

b) The targets

We will endeavour to place at least three targets a minimum of 10 feet above the water level, and ideally at least 13 feet above the water level, spaced at perhaps 0.1, 2.9, and 5.7 miles from the observer.

The targets will each be placed on top of straight poles sitting perpendicular to the water. For the poles, plastic plumbing pipes have been suggested, such as these 3-metre-long drainage pipes, whose 110mm diameter should provide the necessary stiffness to ensure they remain upright and plumb:


Fig 6. Drain pipe

To achieve the necessary height, the pipes will either be joined together, or smaller (also stiff) pipes inserted into them, in order to extend them.

The pipes themselves will be painted in stripes 12 inches deep, for easy reference, and to verify that the pipes are all identical.

The targets should measure at least 3 feet high and 3 feet wide - whether circular, rectangular, or square - so as to be visible from distance.

Both the road bridge at Salters Lode, and the sluice at Welney, being of measurable heights, can also be used as additional targets.

c) Observation

A Nikon Coolpix P900 should do the trick. Telescopes are also welcome. And if we're lucky with the weather, the naked eye may even suffice.


5. Predictions

Rowbotham's diagrams in the brief history show that different shapes for the surface of the river will produce different results in observation.

For example, if the surface of the river is flat, for an observer at the same height as the targets, all the centres of the targets will appear aligned, like so:


Fig 7. Predicted observation for a flat river (camera at same height as targets)

This cannot happen if the surface of the river is curved, even if the camera/observer is raised, lowered, or tilted. If the surface of the river is curved, for an observer at the same height as the targets, the view will appear like this:


Fig 8. Predicted observation for a convexly curved rived (camera at same height as targets)

Similarly, if the surface of the river is curved, for an observer situated around 6 inches higher than the height of the targets, the middle target will appear higher than the other two:


Fig 9. Predicted observation for convexly curved river (camera raised slightly higher than targets)

And, likewise, this cannot happen if the surface of the river is flat, even if the camera/observer is raised, lowered, or tilted.

This is demonstrated in the 'scale model' video below:



Screenshots:


Fig 10. Flat board showing targets aligned


Fig 11. Curved board showing middle target raised higher (note how it's not possible to tell that the board is curved with the naked eye)

These two mutually exclusive outcomes are one of the simplest ways to confirm the result of the experiment.

To summarise:
  • If an image can be obtained of the three targets in alignment, as in Figures 7 & 10, the surface of the river is flat
  • If an image can be obtained of the middle target raised higher than both the near and far targets, as in Figures 9 & 11, the surface of the river is curved
Other predictions:
  • If the surface of the river is flat, the observer will be looking neither up nor down at the targets, but perpendicular to local down (i.e., at 0 degrees, or what is colloquially known as "eye level")
  • If the surface of the river is curved, the observer will be looking down to the middle target at an angle of 0.0211°, and to the distant target at an angle of 0.0423°
  • As the camera nears the surface of the river, the effects of refraction will enable more of the lower part of the distant pole to be viewed than a curvature calculator predicts

6. Further notes

  • Tilting the camera does nothing to alter the apparents heights of the three targets, but merely changes their position, as a group, in the frame
  • Raising and lowering the camera - as demonstrated in the scale model video above - changes the apparent height order of the targets in the frame, but cannot render the arrangements shown in Figures 7, 9, 10, and 11 true for the opposing model
  • Varying levels of refraction are to be expected. For this reason, observations should be made over the course of several days, at different times of day
  • Ideally, observations will also be taken at varying heights, including as close to the water as possible, with measurements being made possible by the 1-foot stripes on the poles. This allows not allowing the recreation of Rowbotham's original "Experiment 1", but also shows how refraction changes what is seen as the camera moves closer to the water
  • If possible, a mechanism which allows the camera to 'slide' up and down, between the 13 to 14-feet viewpoint and close to the water will be constructed, allowing for continuous filming of the various elevations above the river

7. In conclusion

Any questions? Any suggestions for improvements? Any feedback from those who doubt that this experiment will demonstrate the shape of the earth's surface?

Cheers! :)
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 06:28:03 AM by Max_Almond »
If you've proven yourself immune to logic and incapable of reasonable debate, please understand that I won't be paying you much heed (this means you, Baby Thork, Sandokhan, Tom Bishop, and Totallackey).

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Recreating the Bedford Level Experiment - 2018
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2018, 10:12:03 PM »
Quote
Unfortunately, most of his experiments have been invalidated due to the proximity of his telescope to the surface of the river, where the effects of refraction are strongest.

Incorrect. Such an argument is supposing that there is a refraction effect that makes a Round Earth look like a Flat Earth.

This was explained to you in other threads. If you are going to claim that Rowbotham experienced atmospheric refraction effects where light passed through some warm air and a mirage was created then you are going to have to explain the coincidences that this argument creates.

It is quite the coincidence that a a chance atmospheric effect occurred at the time Rowbotham did the experiment.

If theorized a permanent one; it quite a coincidence and quite curious that there is this permanent gradient of warm air or pressure above the Bedford Canal at all times that makes the Round Earth look flat.

It is quite the coincidence that this effect, whether you theorize it to be chance or "permanent," is an effect that projects the body to the exact height it needed to be if the earth were flat, and no more or no less, according to Round Earth curvature and according to the the distance looked across in the particular experiment.

It is quite the coincidence that this effect projected the target and the land around it into the air and produced a solid picture rather than a wavy mess like most mirages produce.

Quite the coincidence that this perfect Flat Earth effect occurred every time Rowbotham performed the experiment. Quite the coincidence that Lady Blount and others experienced it too.

That is a bad argument. You are arguing for increasingly absurd coincidences. Any honest person should feel embarrassed to maintain that all of these coincidences happened.

The Earth Not a Globe experiments are not "invalidated." You are just a Coincidence Theorist.

Quote
This experiment is basically the same as that carried out by Alfred Russel Wallace in 1870

Actually, not. Rowbotham is performing an experiment where the distant marker is below the horizon, not one where it is aligned with a certain target, which would require sensitive surveying and aligning skill, and calibration of devices.

...

Per the rest of your post; this was explained to you as well. Why are you asking us again?

You are not a surveyor

Wallace's experiment specifically involves careful positioning, surveying, aligning, etc. It is a bad experiment, and your execution will only be questioned. The greater the distance, the greater the perfect nature of all elements involved must be.

You should conduct a simple experiment where the distant body should be below the curvature of the earth according to RET curvature; not one which relies on others to assume that a random person on the internet has superior surveying skills.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2018, 12:56:54 AM by Tom Bishop »

Re: Recreating the Bedford Level Experiment - 2018
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2018, 10:28:28 PM »
Sorry Tom, that's an off-topic reply.

If you have something on-topic to add, though, please feel free to try again.
If you've proven yourself immune to logic and incapable of reasonable debate, please understand that I won't be paying you much heed (this means you, Baby Thork, Sandokhan, Tom Bishop, and Totallackey).

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Recreating the Bedford Level Experiment - 2018
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2018, 10:29:05 PM »
Sorry Tom, that's an off-topic reply.

If you have something on-topic to add, though, please feel free to try again.

You stated those quotes in your opening post. How is it off topic?

You said in other posts that you don't want to perform Rowbotham's original water convexity experiments because you already know that the result will be refraction.

You are in error. Severe error. Those experiments are not invalidated because of "refraction".
« Last Edit: May 21, 2018, 10:33:16 PM by Tom Bishop »

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Offline Boots

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Re: Recreating the Bedford Level Experiment - 2018
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2018, 10:29:27 PM »
Let's repeat the experiment again and again and again. As far from the water as possible. What are we afraid of?
Where the senses fail us, reason must step in. - Galileo Galilei

Re: Recreating the Bedford Level Experiment - 2018
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2018, 11:22:16 PM »
How is it off topic?

The thread is about an upcoming experiment, not ones that have already been done.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2018, 12:46:38 AM by Max_Almond »
If you've proven yourself immune to logic and incapable of reasonable debate, please understand that I won't be paying you much heed (this means you, Baby Thork, Sandokhan, Tom Bishop, and Totallackey).

Re: Recreating the Bedford Level Experiment - 2018
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2018, 02:57:53 PM »
So really the crux here is what do the two different models predict?

As far as Round Earth goes, we can give predictions for any height of the camera - and, most telling, is when the camera is just above the height of the targets, which results in the following (as detailed above):



Question is, what does the flat earth model predict? And what do flat earthers themselves predict?

Again, as above, I've already shown what I believe the flat earth model predicts we should see on the Bedford Levels - are there any flat earthers who say it should be something different? Or is everybody happy with that?

I think it would be good to have those predictions in beforehand.

Cheers. :)
« Last Edit: June 12, 2018, 11:49:17 AM by Max_Almond »
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Offline Boots

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Re: Recreating the Bedford Level Experiment - 2018
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2018, 05:18:46 PM »
This seems like a great method similar to the Bedford Level Experiment. I think it's poorly done but the idea is good.

Where the senses fail us, reason must step in. - Galileo Galilei

Offline edby

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Re: Recreating the Bedford Level Experiment - 2018
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2018, 01:10:20 PM »
The question is about what we will see, what do we predict. I predict it will look something like what Max has shown.

HorstFue

Re: Recreating the Bedford Level Experiment - 2018
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2018, 10:14:06 PM »
...  coincidences ...
... coincidence t...

... coincidence ...
. coincidence ...

... coincidence ...
Quite the coincidence that .
Quite the coincidence that

... increasingly absurd coincidences....

... You are just a Coincidence Theorist.
Just a question:
If there are so many coincidences, may there not be some common mechanism, rule or physical law for all of this?


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Online markjo

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Re: Recreating the Bedford Level Experiment - 2018
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2018, 08:28:36 PM »
Quote
Unfortunately, most of his experiments have been invalidated due to the proximity of his telescope to the surface of the river, where the effects of refraction are strongest.

Incorrect. Such an argument is supposing that there is a refraction effect that makes a Round Earth look like a Flat Earth.
Why shouldn't there be refraction effects that can make a round earth look flat when there a number of refraction and/or perspective effects that make a flat earth look round?
Abandon hope all ye who press enter here.

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Offline MegaMan2005

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Re: Recreating the Bedford Level Experiment - 2018
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2018, 02:22:09 PM »
Quote
Unfortunately, most of his experiments have been invalidated due to the proximity of his telescope to the surface of the river, where the effects of refraction are strongest.

Incorrect. Such an argument is supposing that there is a refraction effect that makes a Round Earth look like a Flat Earth.
Why shouldn't there be refraction effects that can make a round earth look flat when there a number of refraction and/or perspective effects that make a flat earth look round?
That is a great argument but I would say that the refractions do not make the water look flat, it is flat on its own.
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Offline FlatEarther21

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Re: Recreating the Bedford Level Experiment
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2018, 03:20:14 PM »
Hi, I'm a new-comer. I found this website via youtube, when I saw Shane Dawson mention it in one of his conspiracy theory videos, talking about why the earth might be flat, I think the proof he had was astonishing, since I used to love NASA, and I don't get swayed easily. I'm looking for someone I can debate theories with.
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FlatEarth
"It is Wednesday my dudes"

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Offline MegaMan2005

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Re: Recreating the Bedford Level Experiment
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2018, 05:23:02 PM »
Hi, I'm a new-comer. I found this website via youtube, when I saw Shane Dawson mention it in one of his conspiracy theory videos, talking about why the earth might be flat, I think the proof he had was astonishing, since I used to love NASA, and I don't get swayed easily. I'm looking for someone I can debate theories with.
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FlatEarth
I will gladly help you get more people for you debate with, just to a certain extent, like, forum rules.
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Re: Recreating the Bedford Level Experiment - 2018
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2018, 03:45:21 PM »
I would say that the refractions do not make the water look flat, it is flat on its own.

So your prediction for the above experiment is...?
If you've proven yourself immune to logic and incapable of reasonable debate, please understand that I won't be paying you much heed (this means you, Baby Thork, Sandokhan, Tom Bishop, and Totallackey).