The President has a fight on his hands. I wonder if he has been briefed about the Flat Earthers? They are a stubborn and dogmatic lot, forever fighting with those globists who claim the world is round. You can bet that they will take up the President's challenge with vigour.
Starting way back in the late 1800's in England, the Flat Earth Society's centre of gravity shifted in early 1900's to the USA, where it died out, but in the 1950's and later in the 2000's it was resuscitated.
We start our search for the early Flat Earthers with the English inventor Samuel Rowbotham (1816-1884). A man with a shadowy history,
Rowbotham is famous for a series of experiments that he carried out to demonstrate that the earth was indeed flat. He founded a cult after publishing a pamphlet entitled Zetetic Astronomy (which later ballooned into a 430-page treatise).
Accused of sexual misconduct, he became a lecturer and called himself Parallaz. He twice married the 16-year old daughter of his laundress, and she bore 14 children, of whom 10 lived.
For Rowbotham, there was a layer of fire under the earth (the literal hell) and the heavens were above it. The North Pole was the centre of the flat world.
|Flat Earth Map of the World|
The "official" map of the flat earth shows a huge Ice Wall around its edges, preventing people from falling off the flat earth.
Zetetic comes from the Greek verb Zeteo, meaning to search or to examine, taking nothing for granted. In true Zetetic fashion, Rowbotham decided to prove the world was flat through several experiments, all of which are described in his book.
The Old Bedford Experiments
He scurried off to a canal named Old Bedford, in the country of Cambridge in England, that was over 20 miles long, and travelled in a straight line over the fen or marsh. Living for nine months in cabin on its banks, he made experiment after experiment.
The first one was simple. He fastened a flag to a boat, so that the flag was 5 feet above he water level, then as the boat sailed along the canal, he slipped into the water with a telescope and held it 8 inches above the water as he watched the boat travel along a 6-mile long stretch.
He could see the boat for the full 6 miles; it did not disappear from sight.
Hence, he concluded, the earth did not fall away as a globe would, but must be flat.
He then placed 6 flags a mile apart, all the same height, and used a telescope to peer along their tops. They were all perfectly aligned with each other; none of them dipped down as the globists would have expected because of curvature of the earth.
Watching the slowly receding vessel for a considerable time, it suddenly disappeared altogether! The gentleman co-observer cried out in a tone of exultation, "Now, sir, are you satisfied that the water declines?" It was almost impossible to say anything in reply. All that could be done was to "gaze in mute astonishment" in the direction of the lost vessel, compelled to listen to the jeers and taunts of the apparent victor. After thus wonderingly gazing for a considerable time, with still greater astonishment the vessel was seen to suddenly come again into view? Obliged to admit the reappearance of the vessel; neither of us could fairly claim the victory, as both were puzzled and equally in an experimental "fix." This condition of the question at issue lasted for several days, when, one evening conversing with a "gunner" (a shooter of wild fowl), upon the strange appearance referred to, he laughingly undertook to explain the whole affair. He said that at several miles away, beyond the ferry-house, the canal made a sudden bend in the shape of the letter V when lying horizontally, and that the vessel disappeared on account of its entering into one side of the triangle, and reappeared after passing down the other side and entering the usual line of the canal! After a time a large map of the canal was found in a neighbouring town, Wisbeach, and the "gunner's" statement fully verified.
One source claimed that Rowbotham had told him that he had been "hypnotized" with the idea that the earth was flat when he was seven years old. He later on sold his copyrights and books to a simple minded man and turned to flogging medicines to cure just about any malady, including one he advertised as Dr. Birley's Phosphorous.
Enter Lady Blount
After his death, Lady Blount founded the Universal Zetetic Society to carry on the good work of proving that the Bible was right and globists not only wrong, but sinners to boot.
Lacy Blount took over the experiments after Rowbotham's death, and in 1904 hired a photographer to use his photo-telescopic camera to photograph a distance of 6 miles, back to a fifteen foot square white sheet, with black edges, that she had hung from a bridge over the Old Bedford Level. The photo showed the full sheet, convincing her that the earth had no curvature.
Christine Garwood in her book Flat Earth: The History of an Infamous Idea, describes Lady Elizabeth Anne Mould Blount as a "genteel and tiny tigress", fierce in her fight to preserve the literal truth of the Bible. A geographer, explorer, mathematician, author and poet, at the age of 23 she married 41-year old Sir Walter de Sodington Blount Bt, a descendant of a prominent English family, stretching back to Sir Robert le Blount, a commander of warships for William the Conqueror. An ancestor had the family lands confiscated by Oliver Cromwell, for backing King Charles I; after being released from the Tower of London, he was later restored to grace when Cromwell shuffled off this mortal coil, and regained his lands, where the family home of Mawley Hall was built on hills overlooking the small town of Cleobury Mortiner in Shropshire. The Hall now caters for a handful of weddings each year.
Lady Blount's Universal Zetetic Society (UZS) published a review named Earth is not a Globe Review, and she wrote many of the entries in this 6 shillings a year review.
Magnetic Corsets of Lady Blount
Lady Blount was a vegetarian, the President of the Society for the Protection of the Dar Races, and a poet. Her 1898 novel, Adrian Galilio, or a Song Writer's Story, describes the adventures of a Lady Alma, unhappily married to a baronet with a heart of stone, who does not share Lady Alma's convictions. She launches into an "affair of the heart" with a sympathetic Roman Catholic priest, only to find him later on shot and then kidnapped. Lady Alma reinvents herself as a flat-earth crusader known as Madame Bianka, and tours Europe to bring enlightenment to masses.
|Lady Blount's Mawley Hall|
In the early 1900's Lady Blount continued the good Rowbotham's work with patent medicines, with her own version of his syrup of free phosporous, which she named Lady Bount's Muric Acid. She claimed it cured gout and rheumatism.
Lady Blount branched out into magnetic corsets, vests and gloves, wearing them herself because they were beneficial to her health, with the magnetic currents being responsible. The magnets in the clothing, she claimed, charged the blood and corrected the polarizing of one's system.
She also invented a flying machine with valves that opened and closed during landing; she claimed that anyone who could cycle could fly her plane.
Lady Blount was a master at hustling her books and her other products.
This is a letter she wrote to seek publicity for a book:
One of the letters to Lady Blount's Review had an innovation which might attract the attention of President Obama, given his speech about the need to reduce global warming and to come up with innovative ways to do so.
The letter says that an apparatus to "wash smoke" from the air, so that scientists can see clearly through their telescopes, was not a bad idea:
The Flat Earth movement moved to the USA in the late 1900's.
Finally, if I was a member of the latest incarnation of the Flat Earth Society, I would definitely mail a dozen copies of two of the Society's t-shirts to the President. Imagine the publicity if he wears them in public!