Propaganda Misfire by National Geographic

The scientific skulduggery of the kind orchestrated by Alfred Russell Wallace at the Bedford Canal in 1870 continues today. Sham experiments are being conducted today and presented as proof that the earth is a sphere. The National Geographic filmed a documentary involving just such an experiment designed to hoodwink the public into believing that the earth is a globe. They conducted an experiment to prove that the earth is a sphere. But their experiment is provably fallacious.

Sometimes the most convincing proof of the flat earth actually comes from those who promote the heliocentric model. “How so?” you might ask. In the effort of heliocentric “scientists” to attack the evidence of the flat earth, they necessarily must engage in all manner of sophistry, obfuscation, and deception. When that deception is revealed, the logical question in the minds of men of reason is “why engage in such deception if the earth were truly a moving globe?” The ineluctable conclusion is that there would be no reason for deception if the earth were as the “scientists” portray it. The earth, therefore, must be flat.

Flat Earth vs. Round Earth | Explorer

The National Geographic documentary carried the clear message that belief in a flat earth is a dangerous threat to science and society. Of course, the National Geographic had to portray some semblance of scientific proof to slam the door on what they viewed as the dangerous theory of flat earth. They turned to a group known as the Independent Investigations Group. The group set up an experiment on the Salton Sea Lake in California to prove that the earth is a sphere.

The commentator (Mariana van Zeller) interviewed James Underdown, who is the founder and chairman of the Independent Investigations Group. Underdown has a B.A. degree in English, not science. Underdown is an entertainer; he is not a scientist. He has toured comedy clubs under the moniker Jim U-Boat. He has written, directed, and acted in films. He was the lead singer in the rock group, The Heathens. He also writes a column, Ask The Atheist. Think about that for a moment. The esteemed National Geographic turns not to a scientist to prove that the earth is a globe. No, they choose an entertainer. It seems that Underdown was selected based on his philosophy of life and skill in persuasion, rather than his scientific acumen. The experiment had more to do with being convincing than being scrupulous.

Underdown explained to van Zeller that “this is the boat base target. It’s [got] horizontal stripes. We’re going to launch a small boat out into the water here with a striped target. And as it gets farther and farther out you’ll start to lose the stripes.”

Van Zeller then explains that “as a boat approaches the horizon, it appears to slowly dip down into the water before disappearing completely. That’s got everything to do with the curvature of the earth. If the planet was flat, the entire boat would remain visible. So, it’ll be a very visual depiction of the curvature of the earth.”

The narrator indicated that the experiment proved that the earth is a sphere. But what is seen proves no such thing. Van Zeller begins her misleading narration by explaining that “at first all the stripes are clearly visible. But, sure enough, as the boat reaches the horizon, the stripes begin to disappear one by one.” Hearing that statement a listener would have the impression that many stripes had been obscured by the horizon. In fact, only one half of a stipe was obscured. And, as we will see, that disappearance was not due to it dropping below the horizon. Van Zeller claimed that the red stripe had “completely disappeared and it’s now getting closer to sort of the middle green stripe.” That was a false narration. Only part of the red stripe had disappeared and the entire white stripe below the black stripe (she called it green) was still visible. The obscuring of the banner did not come close to the middle black (green) stripe as claimed by Van Zeller. Notice she called the dark stripe “the middle green stripe.” That stripe was not the middle of the banner. The fact that it was closer to the bottom of the banner than the top was part of the planned optical illusion.

Van Zeller then interviewed a cameraman, whose camera was positioned approximately 12 inches above the waterline on the shore, who explained, as he is looking through his camera, and as his view is depicted on the screen, that “we’ve lost about one and a half stripes.” Van Zeller then asks him “so, this can only happen why?” The cameraman answers on queue: “because of the curvature of the earth.”

The problem with the statement made by the cameraman is that it was a lie. As one can see in the pictures below, which are screen-shots of the depiction that the cameraman was narrating, only half of the bottom red strip is missing from view and not “one and a half stripes” as the cameraman he alleged. The testing crew used a trick of creating a banner that did not have a uniform number of stripes above and below the black stripe. The top of the banner above the black stripe, there was one red stripe separated by two white stripes. But the bottom of the banner had only one white stripe and one red stripe. That gave the false impression when looking at the banner from a distance that more of the banner was being obscured than was the case. That is why the cameraman announced that “we’ve lost about one and a half stripes,” when in fact, only half of the bottom red stripe was obscured.

Furthermore, we can see the distortion due to light refraction by the misshapen horizontal stripes on the banner. That is the reason the cameraman hunkered down as close to the waterline as possible. Light refraction is most prevalent close to the waterline.

Van Zeller explained that the phenomenon that was being observed was due to the curvature of the earth. She narrated that fact as a graphic (depicted above) was being displayed on the screen showing a ship dipping below the horizon. Under the orthodox view of a spherical earth, the horizon is the point at which the bottom of the banner is supposed to disappear. The problem with that theory is that it is not born out by the observed events. Indeed, when the banner is viewed we find that the disappearance of part of the red stripe takes place in front of the horizon and not at the juncture of the horizon as predicted by van Zeller. The horizon is behind the banner. The banner cannot be blocked by something behind it.

The red stripe on the bottom of the banner is not blocked from view due to it dropping below the horizon on a spherical earth. We know that because the bottom of the banner cannot be obstructed by something that is behind it. The horizon must be in front of the banner for it to be the cause of the visual obstruction. That can mean only one thing. The bottom of the banner is not disappearing from view due to the curvature of the earth. It is being obscured by a combination of perspective and light refraction.

The principal cause of the disappearance of the bottom of the National Geographic banner was light refraction. By crouching down closer to the water, the cameraman enhanced the effect of light refraction. Crouching down also caused his perspective to draw closer to the bottom of the banner, which further augmented the bottom-up vanishing effect. Areas that are equidistant in elevation from the eye-level converge at a point at eye level. But when a person lowers his perspective, that causes objects that move away from the observer to become cut-off from view beginning from the bottom-up.

The maximum angular resolution of a person who has 20/20 Snellen acuity is .98 arcminutes. That is roughly one arcminute, which is 1/60th of one degree (.017̊). When the angular resolution reaches its limit, the object cannot be seen beyond that point. That vanishing point takes place at eye level. For example, in the case of a U.S. penny, which is 3/4 (.75) of an inch in diameter, the penny will disappear from a person’s vision when it gets to approximately 214 feet away from the observer. That is because at 214 feet away, the penny’s diameter will have reached one arcminute (.017̊). Of course, a large object, like the banner in the National Geographic experiment, can be seen at a longer distance before it disappears from sight.

But not all objects that travel away from an observer on a flat plane will be seen to vanish uniformly from top-to-bottom. That is because if the observer is closer to the bottom of the viewed object, he will see the bottom of the object become cut off from view before seeing the top of the object disappear. The disappearance of a distant object from the bottom-up occurs because the person’s eyes are closer to the elevation of the object’s bottom. This is caused by the maximum angular resolution of the person’s eyes being reached first by the object’s bottom. Once that happens, the object begins to disappear from the bottom-up.

The effect of visual disappearance due to angular resolution is much reduced when a telephoto lens is used, as was the case in the National Geographic experiment. A telephoto lens acts to bring the object closer and thus allow a vanished object to reappear because it is brought back within the limits of the angular resolution of the viewer. But the effect on angular resolution by the use of a telephoto lens can be countered regarding the bottom of the observed object by bringing the telephoto lens closer to the surface of the water or ground, as the cameraman did in the National Geographic video. When the cameraman crouched down to within one foot of the surface of the water, the lowered view from the camera enhanced the bottom-up disappearance of the banner.

Rowbotham explains that because a typical observer onshore is closer to the hull of a ship than he is to the masthead when the ship is sailing away from him “[t]he hull of a ship is nearer to the water–the surface on which it moves–than the masthead. Ergo, the hull of an outward bound ship must be the first to disappear.” The phenomenon is well known among scientists, and the Independent Investigations Group, who performed the banner experiment for the National Geographic, certainly knew about that phenomenon. That is why they chose that experiment, and that is why the cameraman made certain to crouch down close to the water’s surface.

Add to the laws of perspective the phenomenon of light refraction, and we have a recipe for the disappearance of the bottom of the banner. But that disappearance has nothing to do with the sphericity of the earth. The fact that the horizon can be clearly seen behind the banner is proof that the banner’s bottom is not being cut off from view due to the earth’s alleged curvature. The banner cannot be blocked by something that is behind it. The National Geographic tried constructing an elaborate experiment to hoodwink the public to believe that the earth is a globe. But the pesky evidence that the earth is flat could not be hidden.

Van Zeller punctuates her scientific charade with the ominous warning of danger, which really was the unstated theme of the National Geographic documentary. With an impassioned inflection in her voice, she states that “thousands of years of empirical scientific evidence is now being dismissed as a mere conspiracy, and that’s where I think it really starts getting dangerous for all of us.” According to van Zeller and her ilk, those who believe in the biblical flat earth are “dangerous.” The devil and his minions consider the issue of a flat and stationary earth a serious matter; perhaps you should too.


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7 thoughts on “Propaganda Misfire by National Geographic

  1. Perspective and light refraction would necessarily affect the entire boat, not just the bottom.
    Every explanation of perspective made shows things disappearing at the vanishing point on the horizon. You never see train tracks disappear bottom up.

    • You are mistaken. This non-uniform disappearance of distant objects is a function of perspective and the angular resolution of the human eye. The vanishing point is determined by the angular resolution of the human eye. When the angular resolution reaches its limit, the object cannot be seen beyond that point. The angular resolution of an eye with 20/20 Snellen acuity is .98 arcminutes. That means that for a person with ordinary eyesight when the viewing angle of the distant object reaches approximately one arcminute (1/60th of one degree, which is .017̊), that object will disappear. If the observer is closer to the bottom of the observed object, he will see the bottom of the object be cut off from view first before the top of the object disappears. That is in part because his eyes are closer to the bottom of the object, which causes the limit of his angular resolution (one arcminute) to occur for the bottom of the object before the limit of his angular resolution is reached for the top of the object.

      When a person is closer to the water when watching a tall ship sail into the distance, he will observe the bottom of the ship disappear first due to perspective. That is because the observer is closer to the water and so the vanishing point of one arcminute (1/60th of a degree) over the water is reached before the vanishing point for the mast of the ship is reached.

  2. Thank you Edward. This real life corporate media shut-down of The Flat Earth needs to be understood. Nat Geo not only lied but they and the CFI goons in blue shirts had plenty of time to fact check their little misinterpretation of the test results. They had to delete the balloon scenes as they were visible on the ground prior to launch. The local amateur Flat Reality Earth Explorers research group have been there again with full vision of the recreation center at 9.6 miles with lasers, mirrors and infrared cameras. We have seen shore to shore at 17.5 and 25+ miles at the same location on several occasions. Oops… “Science is different than the shit they believe in”

  3. I saw this experiment done by PROflat earthers using a powerful laser beam and some type of Gyoscope.

    They were embarrassed that the Laser bean was way off from where it was supposed to be..and the gyroscope was not what they were expecting either…O well…

  4. Fun how you use refraction as an excuse for anything that does not work for you… but forget about it when it explains away what you think you see. Confirmation Bias is the real flat earth

    • You are mistaken about that. I go into great detail about light refraction in my book “The Greatest Lie on Earth (Expanded Edition).” True scientific observation establishes that light refraction causes distant objects to be compressed and cut off from the bottom. There are likely many layers of atmosphere with different optical densities between the observer and the landmark, with a combination of effects. Scientists have confirmed that there is great variation in warmth and humidity that affect the refractive index of air in the boundary layer. But it is clear that the net effect of the variable refraction in the atmosphere is that generally both the apparent horizon and the apparent height of distant landmarks drop. The photographic evidence, samples of which are provided above, proves that fact. That actuality, in turn, refutes the argument of geodesists that light refraction causes landmarks to be elevated and visible when they should be below the horizon of the alleged spherical earth. Geodesists provide no real evidence for their claim. They only provide one-size-fits-all algorithms. But the real, observable evidence contradicts their claim. The photographic evidence demonstrates that atmospheric refraction goes the other way; it causes the apparent height of distant landmarks to drop. The only argument of geodesists against a flat earth is thus effectively invalidated. That leaves us with only one conclusion: the earth is flat.

      The bottom up loss is enhanced by the laws of perspective. If the observer is closer to the bottom of the observed object, he will see the bottom of the object be cut off from view first before the top of the object disappears. That is in part because his eyes are closer to the bottom of the object, which causes the limit of his angular resolution (one arcminute) to occur for the bottom of the object before the limit of his angular resolution is reached for the top of the object.

  5. Thank you brother Edward for exposing these agents of the devil who push the lie and deception of heliocentricity in order to hide God and that our Creator is our Saviour. May God bless you brother Edward.

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