Flat Earth rising: meet the people casting aside 2,500 years of science

I’m here today to tell you that your
government is keeping you divided. With trust in institutions in its
all-time low and the concept of objective truth
seemingly harder to agree upon, conspiracy theories are flourishing. The people that are
perpetrating this hoax and the people that really run this world, they’re not gonna
let go of all that power easily. No one has an official nomination for a trusted source
of mainstream media. The mother of all conspiracies
is surely the Flat Earth. There is no curvature on this earth,
it cannot be measured. But how do you know
that you live on a globe? Can you prove it? I know I’m not crazy so why should I
be bothered if somebody says I’m crazy? We’re not spinning around on the ball. It’s not a clear-cut line. Does the horizon stay to your eye level? I can’t remember. Or do you simply
trust the evidence you’ve been shown? Assuming such a lie would be too big. Well, I can see the curve. Yeah, sure you can. Over the past few years, Flat Earth
communities have sprung up online. Not only sharing research supporting their
theories but often incorporating conspiracies that for many are far more
dangerous. From vaccinations to Sandy Hook. But when I visited truth-seeker
Dave Murphy near his home in Sussex, he seemed keen to distance himself from any
formal grouping of globe denials. I’m not part of any movement, I’m just a guy who
knows the earth’s flat. Describe for me if you will,
what your beliefs are? I personally believe
that we live on a big disc of water, there’s a North Pole in the centre
and all the continents are strung around it. And the edge is what we call Antarctica. Beyond that, who knows what’s down there? So this is where anywhere is beyond here, there isn’t anywhere …
Does that make sense? If this is a realm over 3D space and time, well there can’t be anything
outside it because that implies, you know, 3D space and time. But that only applies here. Right, I wonder if you could describe to me
your circumstances … When you started
to look into this? I’ve spent the last 15 years
looking for truth. I was at 9/11, you know, I stood there watching it and accepted it for what
I saw. Just like everybody else. It wasn’t until about four years later that
I figured out that it can’t have happened the way I saw it. I mean I was
having my midlife crisis about that time. Everyone gets to that point in their
life, you know, around about 40 odd that you start wondering, you know, what is
this all for? What am I doing here? Dave took me down to the beach to show
me the most simple Flat Earth experiment. A curvature calculation. Batteries? I took the battery out. There should be just under three feet
of curvature, hiding of the lighthouse. Do you feel like the mainstream
scientific community will concede to …? They can’t because it means then almost the
the breakdown of civilisation. If you realise that the Earth’s flat
well then hang on, why are we sending things up into space? There is no space,
where’s all this money going to? What’s the point? The reason behind all
this deception is they’ve relegated us to a microbe, a speck of dust in an
infinite void with nothing in control. Powerful people who have got more money
than us, can now say, ‘you do as we say’. How did your family take the news? My son went off and did his own research, came back and he said,
‘yeah, now I agree with you.’ And my ex-wife
actually thinks I’m crazy, she thinks I’m mentally ill. It’s not craziness, it’s
literally what a true scientist should be like. Should be open to everything. Before you became a flat-earther,
did you feel part of society? Now increasingly I’ve
removed myself from this society because it’s a wicked society, it’s evil in places. You just have to turn on that
hypno-box, you know, in the corner and every night you see the wickedness coming out of it. Do you ever
have any doubt? I’ve seen so much now that I can’t, I can’t see
it any other way. Why am I standing here?
I’m a 50-year-old man, I could easily be sitting at home watching the Formula One or some
other mindless activity. In Hyde Park Speakers’ Corner, truth-seekers gather to
spread the word. There are no spinning balls in space. Balls in space come down. Play a game of football,
eventually that ball will come down. There’s no ifs and buts. There’s one up and there’s one down. This is Roxanne Glen,
a relative newcomer to the world of Flat Earth activism. The first time I came here and the first time
I got heckled by a bunch of trolls, I really had to question what
it was I was doing. I realised, you know, this is actually an argument
to fight that I am having here. Is this my fight? And then I went home, pondered on it and went back to my
mundane job, doing my mundane tasks and realised that no, it is. The more you genuinely
take time looking into it, the more it’s like opening up Pandora’s box,
it’s like, you peel back one lie and then you realise, ‘oh they haven’t been
completely honest about that either’. But then why lie? Why do all that? Why not just be honest with us? Is this a growing movement? Yes, yes. I think it is very much so. The public interest in it I think it’s definitely
growing as well, especially with the
children, they’re not buying into everything that they’re shown on TV, like I did when I was that age. What’s changed? We didn’t have YouTube. Thanks to Trump, they are all walking
around going, ‘you are fake news!’ If someone like Trump wasn’t in
office, I don’t think even people would be critically thinking about the media. Roxanne and her friends have been on
tour across the UK for the past seven weeks. You must get some funny looks. Yeah, but good looks as well. There was a lot of people who beeped
and gave us a thumbs up. Really? I was invited to the end of tour party
at a school in west London. Complete with speeches, music
and a glacier mint cake. Despite their vocal distrust of the
media, several people were keen to share their ideas. So pretend there’s a dinner
plate stood in the middle so on the outside, you spin it,
if there’s something outside you’ll zoom off. Right. Stood in the middle, you don’t. And then I did the curvature calc
and I realised that the curvature calc said 240ft
should have been missing from a 30ft elevation. And a 123ft from the 1ft observations
and that’s what clicked then because that’s 49%. I’ve gone as far back as the Egyptian bible
and the scriptures and I am reading these and to me,
when I’m reading these words, you know, these aren’t the words of someone
who’s trying to deceive us. These are the words of someone who was trying
to help and guide us. So imagine spinning at 1000 miles/hour, at the edge of a roundabout,
how tight would you have to hold on? I feel like I’m holding on pretty tight now. We’ve got to the end of this tour now and we’ve positively started a massive wave
of conversation for people. This is not about Flat Earth
but it’s about you. We’re trying to all find that feeling, what we’re all missing, which is love. So in the name of love,
let’s keep telling people that it is flat. Thank you, thank you. Do you think that the Flat Earth provides some
clarity where previously there has been fuzz and mess and complexity? Yeah, I do think it provides a bit of clarity. I am on a journey, I’m also going
through surgery at the moment, on my face, because I got a fracture on my face
that no one knows about. Yeah, I was involved in a horrendous attack, still standing, nearly lost my life though. Went to court, got done for it, been there, done, that was back in 2008. I was knocked out for three weeks by the hospital to repair, in a drug-induced coma. And yeah, I’m still standing. Still fixing myself from that and yeah that’s got nothing to do with Flat Earth
but you know … But doesn’t it though, I mean do you feel
that this there’s … is there’s something in …? Maybe so. It may have changed, kind of your outlook, have changed your willingness
to investigate things. I mean, who knows, right? Maybe so, yeah. I do believe that, I do believe that
sometimes your life experiences mould you into the path you end up going on, or
the pursuit of truth that you’re going on … So, yeah, you’re probably quite right with that. For Roxanne to still be undergoing surgery for the physical scars of domestic abuse a decade ago, was shocking. To say nothing of the emotional impact of such a breakdown in trust. Singing: We know now, that the Earth’s not round That it don’t spin round because the truth’s been found. Despite the celebratory feel to
the event, this was still a fairly small gathering
of committed activists. For a taste of the Flat Earth on a bigger scale, I flew to Denver, Colorado, to join 800 paying guests at the Flat Earth International Conference, the biggest of its kind to date. The world’s going to watch,
they’re going to be amazed, they’re going to be blown away at not the conspiracy theories,
the conspiracy facts. We’re all with the facts. Next to the main auditorium, flat-earthers from all over
were exhibiting their wares. And we leave it alone and it will just be still. How can that hang upside down
anywhere in the world? That’s down to gravity though, isn’t it? Well, in the imagination. It’s opposite, and we’re going to be moving
in opposite directions. and that’s where you get … We’re going to get stuck. The day and night. I mean, how does a lunar eclipse work? That I am not sure about. This is a rocket. What was the idea with this? Basically I just wanted to do a man
a vertical launch. But what’s that got to do
with the flat earth? Nothing, nothing. In the conference itself,
a familiar face was drawing the crowds. So what dropity is, it’s the tendency
for things to fall when you let go of them. You’re a bit of a star here, right?
I mean, come on, don’t be modest. Lots of people have come up to you. I mean people come up to
me and said they’ve come all the way from, you know, Sweden and places
like that just to see me. We’ve got a photographer now. He can’t move anywhere, he’s the man isn’t he? He says the truth. ‘He says the truth’, there you go,
what do you think of that? I am just doing what I have to do. Dave, I love you. Thanks a lot, bro. You better get back to your adoring fans now. I don’t want to sort of take
any of your time … You shut up. Do you want me to slap you? Dave wasn’t the only star attraction
on the bill at this Flat Earth Woodstock. Another speaker,
Denver’s own Bob Knodel. How is everybody doing? Beside your eardrums are bleeding, I understand. Bob, great to meet you. Nice to meet you too. Unlike many of the people I met at the conference,
whose Flat Earth beliefs stem from a literal interpretation
of the Old Testament, Bob’s approach is based on scientific
rationalism. I’ve always been a little bit different,
I’ve always seen the world a little bit different. I was put in special schools, they said that you know
I had a genius IQ which, whatever, but I had a hard time relating
to other people and the world in general. I never was able to understand why
the world seems to be so messed up, you know? Why all these wars, why all the
killing, why do they spend so much money on things like this, when they could just
spend that same money and fix the problems? If you were shown conclusive
proof of a globe earth with your own eyes, how would you feel and would
you be able to adjust your viewpoint to match? Honestly, I would be relieved,
I would be because that would mean that this nightmare is over. Is it a nightmare? It is. It is a nightmare because we’re going against
the entire belief system of the entire world. I certainly do not want to
be in the position that I’m in, you know, being ridiculed, being fired from jobs … Nobody wants that
and the only reason I do it is because I truly care about the
future of humanity. Bob took me up to the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, on the edge of the Rocky Mountains to cast a view out over the flat horizon. What are your hopes and expectations for
the future of Flat Earth? My hopes are for all this
to go through as seamlessly as possible, without, you know, bloodshed and
without you know too much conflict. But the people that really run this world
are not going to let go of that power easily. In the short term, things are
going get a lot worse before they get better but when things do start getting better, we’re going to go into what I would term
a more utopian type of world instead of a dystopian-like world
that we’re clearly headed for. Everyone I’ve spoken to, when you really boil it down, what people want is
the same as what anyone wants, to have some sort of agency to be relevant to
something, to have love, all these things. Yes. Do you feel the Flat Earth
really delivers that in a way that the globe earth never could perhaps? Of course people are going to want to feel like they’re part of something
and not so insignificant, you know, that makes perfect sense. So yeah, when you
realise that and you realise that this world is much more special and
you are much more special, then yeah, it makes a huge
psychological impact, absolutely. Some have referred to the Flat Earth as
a post-truth landscape and whilst this may be meant mockingly, it also reveals a very present need
for finding common ground in the face of irreconcilable
differences. If we’re to address the broader
polarisation of society, attempting to understand,
empathise and build trust, are surely important tools to use whatever the shape of your world.

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