An experiment that will shake every flat earth doctrine believer to their core

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Amanda Vick on Unsplash

The Rogers Commission was tasked in 1986 to investigate the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Perhaps the most memorable part, and certainly the most entertaining of the hearings was when theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate Richard Feynman, in a simple and elegant manner, used a piece of rubber and a cup of ice water to show the cause of the disaster, in the failed O-rings.

I am certainly no Richard Feynman, but I’d like to propose an equally simple experiment that flat earth proponents can use to demonstrate the planet we live on is flat. This experiment can be done in a day and cost perhaps $200,000. That is undoubtedly a significant amount of money. However, if every flat-earther donated a dollar, it could be raised.

If successful, this experiment would show that NASA, along with a cabal of government agencies, airlines, and universities are operating a vast conspiracy. It would expose the most significant scientific fraud in the history of humankind and show the media-loving buffoons who proposed the theory of a flat earth, were indeed correct. All that for under a quarter of a million dollars.

My suggestion: mimic a flight over a flat earth as opposed to a great circle distance.

At 14 hours 15 minutes, Qantas flight 63 from Sydney to Johannesburg is a long flight. While far from the world’s longest flight, it is well over half a days journey.

Image for post
Image for post

Due to the earths curvature, flights like this use a great circle route. For such a long distance, this appears as a curve on the map.

Nevertheless, what if an aircraft took a flat earth route? That would shorten it by roughly 35%. Flying this route would definitively prove that the flat earthers were right all along. While simultaneously throwing out hundreds of years of science, discredit tens of thousands of academics, and expose the millions of people in the scientific community who created the big lie of a spherical earth.

Qantas flight 63 is a scheduled flight that leaves Sydney at 10:55AM and arrives Johannesburg at 5:00 PM.

So, here is my proposal in the spirit of Richard Feynman: Team Flat Earth hangs out at the departure area for flight 63. As soon as the plane pushes back, they rush to their waiting charter jet.

However, rather than flying the great circle route which every flight uses, Team Flat Earth uses the flat earth route.

Based on some rough calculations, they would arrive Johannesburg at approximately 2:00 PM, about 3 hours ahead of flight 63.

After arriving at Johannesburg, Team Flat Earth could check into their hotel. They could then do dinner and then head back to the airport, to welcome their friends arriving on flight 63.

At that point, there are one of two possibilities: Team Flat Earth will have exposed the most significant scientific fraud in the history of humanity. Alternatively, Team Flat Earth will be shown to be the moronic fools they indeed are.

I have suggested this challenge to several flat earth proponents on social media. Their replies and excuses are as moronic as their belief in a flat earth.

Even if the money were given to them, Flat Earthers would find countless excuses not to execute on it. Those who have attempted to engage them in dialogue will find that their retorts are like their claims: a combination of conspiracies and pseudoscience.

That the earth is spherical is a physical reality in many areas. Be it civil engineering, global navigation, to long-range snipers, and much more.

Flat Earth proponents spin a compelling tale. They brilliantly combine drama, lies, conspiracy theories, pseudoscience, and the desire to rage against the machine. These all combine elegantly to deceive those who lack an understanding of the basics of science.

Much to the chagrin of flat earthers, flight 63 is a perfect example of a spherical earth.

Update: May 24, 2020 — I originally wrote this article and used a Singapore to Newark route. A gentleman named Bill Hazelton correctly noted that the flat earth experiment would not work. I have updated it to use a Sydney to Johannesburg route.

I work in information security at Tapad. Write book reviews for the RSA blog, & a Founding member of the Cloud Security Alliance and Cybersecurity Canon.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store