1. I was exposed to the flat earth theory recently. I watched a video called "the Globe's End. The New Distance to horizon" which puzzled me. Could someone please explain this observation. In the video at 1:49 the shot freezes on Gunnison Island. I did research most of the relevant information I believe. I would like someone to explain to me why this island is visible. The data I found. The camera is 5 ft. 3 inches above the surface of the lake, the highest elevation of Gunnison Island is 165 ft. above the surface of the lake, Gunnison Island is 36.75 miles from the camera. I contacted the maker of this video and got the following information as well. The video was taken on August 17, 2017. The time of day was 8:15 pm. The air temperature was 86 degrees. The barometric pressure was 29.98. The humidity was 17%. The water temperature was 79 degrees. According to the earth curvature calculator 768 feet should be obscured by the curve of the earth taking into account the height of the camera. This calculator does not factor for refraction. I am assuming as the temperature of the lake and the air temperature are quite close that there would not be a large temperature gradient. I have run standard refraction calculations and come up with an approximate refraction coefficient of .18. Obviously this is not nearly sufficient to bend the light enough to allow the island to be visible from the camera location. I am assuming that somewhere in here, and most likely having to do with the temperature gradient, I have missed something that is glaringly obvious. Would someone please run these numbers and give me a rational explanation for this observation. I am assuming there is one. I am not familiar with refraction other than a brief exploration of the topic over the last couple of days. This is in all likelihood the deficiency that has led me to not find the answer on my own. I appreciate your help on this matter. This issue has gotten under my skin and I wish to be done with it. Thanks in advance for your help. A final note is that I made my way to this video as the person who produced it is part of my circle of friends and family. He is known to be an honest and intelligent person of high moral character. Therfore I would not assume that he has represented any details in this video. I assume the mistake is one that that I have made.

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2017 at 8:14 PM
  2. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017 at 8:20 PM
  3. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    ex. if what he is actually looking at is Scorpio peak (and Tangent Peak is the green triangle further up), which jives quite well with the sun set position too.


  4. When I contacted him about the details of the video he did verify that he was filming Gunnison Island. He explained that he was quite familiar with the area and the view of the island as he lives nearby and had filmed there many times. He assured me that he had seen the island from different angles and much closer up and that he had no doubt at all that at the 1:49 mark in the video he was filming Gunnison island. I would say that I am leaning toward trusting him on this point. He did inform me that he would be capturing more of the same footage in the coming weeks and that he would be uploading a new video to verify his claim. If I am to assume it is Gunnison Island as he claims there must be a logical explanation for the shot he captured.
  5. I am also keen to receive input regarding refraction and in particular the specific effects of the expected temperature gradient given the atmospheric conditions and water temperature. Thank you.
  6. It is entirely possible that he was looking at Scorpio Peak though he was very confident he was looking at Gunnison Island. There is another section of the video beginning at 23:30 which I chose not to focus on. At this point in the video he captures the smoke stack for US Magnesium at a distance of 27 miles which I did confirm as the correct distance. The expected obscured height here is 390 ft. without refraction and roughly 320 ft. taking refraction into account. I chose not to focus on this section as I do not know the height of the smokestack. But again I would assume at 320 ft. obscured the entire smokestack would be out of view which brings me back to my assumption that I am not factoring correctly for refraction. I have actually just spent some time studying several photographs of the plant and according to my best estimate the smokestack somewhere between 150 ft. to 180 ft. tall.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017 at 10:50 PM
  7. Rory

    Rory Active Member

    Here's the video in question:

    1. To save y'all the trouble (it's very tedious) I'll mention anything of interest - there's not a lot happening during the 26-minute duration, other than repeatedly zooming in and out on birds and the sunset.

    2. At 3:40, he says he shouldn't be able to see the sun's reflection on the water beyond 2.7 miles away. He zooms in on some reflection on the water and says "that's much further than 2.7 miles". But how is he measuring that? Just eyeballing it? He should know it's incredibly difficult to judge distances over water. (At 6:30 he guesses "probably about six miles".)

    3. At 6:11 he says, "the light stops on the flat earth model when it reaches my...when it reaches the same angle, as soon as the perspective ramp up effect ends. You can't see much beyond that." (???)

    4. At 11.08: "you can see how the ramp up effect works as the distance between those light lines increases exponentially until it almost forms a solid line, and the reason why is because it's levelling out as it reaches my observational eye level." And, at 13:25: "it almost looks like solid light right there...which proves that it is a flat earth."

    5. By this point in the video, I would imagine most thinking people would be having serious doubts about the fella's ability to be right about anything.

    6. It does seem that this video isn't really about Gunnison Island at all, but is actually about whether he can see reflected sunlight more than 2.7 miles away. He decides that he can, based on not much really, other than that he thinks what he's seeing 'looks' further away. At 18:30 he actually gets a great shot of the sunset:

    Screen Shot 2017-08-21 at 09.57.25.

    which, were I a flat earther, I would think would be raising questions such as: why is the sun so big - ie, exactly the same size as it has been all day - when it's supposed to have moved thousands of miles away from me, and is just about to disappear? And: what's forming that line of light at the horizon? If the earth is flat, shouldn't that reflection stretch right to the far shoreline, over 30 miles away?

    7. Anyways, having established that the video maker cannot be trusted to provide reliable information, back to the question of Gunnison Island, and the picture at 1:49. Here's what peakfinder reckons we should see from that location:

    Screen Shot 2017-08-21 at 10.03.16.
    Which tallies with what Deirdre says about it most likely being Scorpio or Tangent Peak.

    I guess if you still feel that he's providing accurate information, you could locate the above two peaks in his video, and work out from there where Gunnison Island would be. And if he's adamant, I suppose the thing for him to do would be to get somone to visit Gunnison Island with a high-powered light and see if it's visible from his camera position.

    I'd also imagine taking a look at some of the other videos he's uploaded will be revealing. Even a quick browse shows some incredibly impressive levels of misunderstanding (case in point).
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017 at 6:36 AM
  8. Rory

    Rory Active Member

    GPS of camera: 41.05252769, -112.25458201
    GPS of smokestack: 40.915511, -112.733788
    Distance: 26.73 miles
    Elevation of viewer: ~5.25 feet above water
    Elevation of lake: ~4193 feet above sea level
    Elevation of tower at base: ~4224 feet above sea level
    Expected hidden (standard refraction): 321 feet
    Height of tower: ??? (+31 feet height above water)

    Note: While the Great Salt Lake has a historical average of about 4200 feet above sea level, this level fluctuates. USGS keeps accurate measurements of the lake, which can be seen here. For the days around the making of this video, the surface elevation was 4193.4 feet amsl.

    Alas, I haven't been able to find any information about the height of the tower.

    It is interesting, though, that, while the top of the tower is clearly visible, both the 30-feet tall hill it's built on, and the entire rest of the plant seem to be hidden by something that looks suspiciously like the horizon. ;)
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017 at 7:41 AM
  9. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    where did you get this number? i was looking at some inspection reports (apparently the EPA is ll over U.S. Magnesium) and the topography map said 2015/2016 feet. pg 324

    Not that elevation matters that much, i couldnt find stack height either anywhere either.

    If he actually thought that was Gunnison island (from his house) i would think he would be focusing on that vs. a bunch of birds in the middle of the lake. But the smokestack is a great landmark for him to use in the future (if he can find the height), as well as the nearbyish Kenneth stack which is famous and 1214 feet high.

    That video he is certainly more interested in the sun reflection, than showing the curvature.

    i put a tumbtack half way between him and gunnison island, and tilted as much as i can... as you can see even IF he could see some of gunnison (like from "Spiral pier" 11 miles), he wouldnt be able to differentiate it from the background mountains at that distance and zoom.

    forgive my sloppy lines, heading out to find an eclispse spot :)

    • Like Like x 1
  10. Rory

    Rory Active Member

    Got mine from a few places, but they may all be google-based, therefore unsurprisingly similar.

    freemaptools.com gives 4223.7 feet
    mapometer.com returns 4223/4224 feet
    topographic-map.com says 4222 feet
    elevationmap.net says 4224 feet

    That one in the report's pretty cool though: contour lines every foot. :)
    You'd think so, eh? I guess he didn't realise he was looking right at a smoking gun 10,000% UNDENIABLE PROOF. ;)
    • Like Like x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  11. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    they move around though basd on the month taken... so.. not sure what's happening with that.
  12. I have looked at a few images of the smoke stack and done some scaling work with doors. Using a standard door height of 7 ft. a did a very rough estimate of a 6 ft. scale and then used that to get a rough estimation of the smokestack. It's safe to say that the estimate while not precise is also not going to be hugely inaccurate. I lined up my 6 ft. scale blocks and got 24 of them. That gives us 144 feet. Combined with the height of the hill the plant is located on produces a height of 174 ft.

    What I don't want to do is talk about how some of the view of the smokestack is obstructed and that this may suggest a curved surface of the earth. What I want to do is stick with the curvature math and refraction coefficient and derive a very specific hidden amount we should expect. I then want to compare that with what we see and try to come to a logical conclusion as to why more of the smokestack is visible than should be according to these formulas. Again I am asking for help from anyone who may be familiar with temperature gradients and the specific effect on refraction.

    It is clear to me that when combining the curvature plus refraction and taking into account the height of the tower plus the elevation change there is clearly a discrepancy. I want to solve for this discrepancy mathematically. I am also continuing to search for the actual data on the height of the tower which I should find shortly. But the estimate I made is obviously in the ballpark and clearly not off by a factor of two which is what would be required to simply bring the very tip of the smokestack into view, which is much less than what we actually see.


    Expected Obscured height with refraction: 320 ft.
    Height of smokestack: Maximum actual of 175 + 30 ft. elevation change = 205
    Expected visibility of smokestack: -115
    What is actually seen of smokestack: estimating 50 ft.
    Rough discrepancy in observation: 165 ft.

    The last hard data point missing here is the actual height of the smokestack which I intend to find. But still using my basic reasoning skills and some simple scaling methods it is obvious that smokestack is not tall enough so that it should be visible. I would like a reasonable answer to this question. Thank you.

  13. It is difficult to find images of the US Magnesium smokestack. Here is a low quality image shot from a greater distance. I again applied some basic scaling. If the steel building is 25 ft. tall then the tower is clearly in the 150 ft. range. In my opinion it loks to be nearer to 140 ft. tall. Any other opinions on height?

    smokestack scale 2.
  14. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    that doesnt work. Why dont you just call US Magnesium and ask them?

    -you would need to know how far the smokestack is from the warehouse door and scale it.
    at min. 1/20 a mile.. but theres no train track there so not sure where the camera man is...


    -6 feet also seems low for a industry door as many male workers would be cracking their heads every time they went through the door.

    and you do need to look at what is hidden.. because based on where the kid says he is standing, in order to see the smoke house he has to look 'through' a hill region.. so i'm not even sure that's the horizon where the stack cuts off. (which would make the tower even taller)
    edit: no he can see it fom there upload_2017-8-21_16-21-57.

    and refraction most liekly wouldnt be that much since the top of the tower is not near the water line.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017 at 1:22 PM
  15. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    my opinion is you are wasting your time and should just call the company and ask.
  16. Another image I found and scaled. I am still looking for hard data on the height of the stack but as of yet have been unable to find it. In this image however I feel it is apparent that we are looking at a stack less than 200 ft. tall. Again my best estimate puts it at around 140 ft. Does anyoen else have an opinion on its height?

    smokestack scale 3.
  17. I used a scale of 7 ft. for the door and produced a scale block 6 ft. tall estimating the everage height of a person walking through the door.
  18. jonnyH

    jonnyH Active Member

    The object you are using as a scale reference needs to be the same distance from the camera as the thing you are measuring.

    Try repeating your estimate using the guardrail on the top of the stack as a guide. This should be about 42"


    I'd do it myself, but I'm on the mobile, enjoying a pint at the local.
  19. Okay fantastic idea. I was reluctant to call US Magnesium with such a ridiculous question but I did call and speak to the plant engineer and he pulled up the specs on the stack. I was in grievous error. The stack is 254 feet tall. Combined with the elevation change at the plant above the surface of the lake we have a total height above the lake of 284 ft. Now we are getting in range of my target. The expected obstruction due to curvature subtracting refraction is 321 feet. I would estimate we are seeing roughly 50 ft. of the top of the stack. So now the deviation from what we should expect on our globe has been cut down to roughly 87 feet. This is real progress. Do we have any volunteers for a thorough explanation and computation of temperature gradient effects? Did I hear pint?
  20. One point I would like to bring up for feedback. I have just gone to the video and for the first time I have slowed down the speed and watched the stack segment very carefully. I think if I were to give an honest estimate of what I am seeing based on the apparent width of the stack, size of the plume, etc... I would estimate we are looking at more than 20% (50 ft.) of the stack. My previous estimate of 50 ft. was based on my incorrect estimate of 150 ft. stack. It looked to me to be roughly 1/3 of the stack we are seeing. On further review I would say it looks to be closer to somewhere between 1/3 and 1/4 of the stack. Definitely not half and seemingly more than 50 ft. I would guess it looks to be about 70 to 80 ft. of the stack but this is only a guess. We need more footage that is hopefully clearer. Any opinions on this?
  21. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    i called. nice guys "it's 254 feet"
  22. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    i think you should stop estimating.
  23. Very impressive work by everyone here as I go back over all of the posts. The work on the stack elevation, heading to Gunnison Island, etc... is very concise.
  24. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    321-254= 67 plus land elevation difference (using rory's thing) -23= 44, minus (alleged) height of camera 5.25 feet = 38.75 .
  25. I don't see a problem with estimating as long as I'm not married to my estimates. They are simply numbers I am tossing out to get the conversation started. I'll eject any estimate I make as soon as data comes in that instructs I do so. And just because one estimate was off I don't think means I should throw out all estimates. I've done a lot of estimating in my life as we all have. Sometimes I'm quite close. Other times I'm not. As long as I'm not attached to them it doesn't matter. Estimates can be a starting point and sometimes as in the case of the stack we find they were grossly inaccurate. No problem. I'm much more interested in hard data anyway. Do we have any other estimate on how much of the tower we are seeing? I will of course be contacting the producer of the video and asking specifically for more footage of the stack which should assist in this process.
  26. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    towerstack1sbs. and as you can hopefully see i scaled the screenshot to even wider than the original just to be on the safe side
  27. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    it mucks up the thread with alot of guesses and makes it harder for readers to get to the correct information, as most readers (like me) have low attention spans
    • Like Like x 1
  28. Yes I agree almost exactly with this:

    321-254= 67 plus land elevation difference (using rory's thing) -23= 44, minus (alleged) height of camera 5.25 feet = 38.75."

    Adding in the height of the stack we are seeing puts us very near the number I posted.

    As to the height of the camera I did specifically inquire about this and he assured me he had actually measured the height above the surface of the water with a tape measure. As I said he is a member of my circle of friends and family and is known to be an honest person a good character. I have no reason at all to believe he was lying to me.
  29. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    i dont think he was lying either. i just put alleged because i dont recall if he had his tripod exactly at the water's edge or not.
  30. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    i missed 7 feet from Rory's post #8 where teh current level of the lake is 7 feet lower than the average of 2200 i was using. So now i'm at "31 feet".

    But refraction varies and the calculators are just estimates. From what i recall reading on other threads, you dont get as much refraction further away from the water... not sure if this applies completely as his camera is near the water but the tower top isnt.
  31. The still frame of the stack does not properly illustrate what is seen. View the smokestack scale 4. footage in slow motion. This more accurately reflects the shot. The still shot you posted is at a point when the stack is least visible but there are other points when it is definitely more visible such as this...
  32. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

  33. I am interested in debunking the greatest apparent discrepancy found in the video not looking for the smallest apparent discrepancy. Because there is obviously a rational explanation for even the greatest apparent discrepancy to the globe math. There is no discrepancy. Only a lack of understanding which again brings me back to the effect of temperature gradient on refraction and the temperature gradient and effect we should expect here. I believe this is the missing piece here.
  34. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    yea there might be alot of compression in my shot.. but im not good with how camera zooms affect things. so youre on your own now.. as far as i'm concerned the hard numbers say we should see some of the smokestack so... :) Most members are eclipse watching today, but i'm sure youll get more feedback in the future

    adding the pic i used just to show timestamp

    Attached Files:

  35. Obscured height with refraction: 321 feet.
    Stack height plus elevation increase: 284 feet.

    Stack should be obscrued from view by 38 feet.

    The stack should be 38 ft. below the horizon when taking all facts into account but intead we actually see 50-80 ft. of the stack.


    There is a logical answer to this question but I have yet to find it.
  36. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    oh youre right, i'm backwards. 33 feet i get because i'm placing the camera at 6 feet.

    i disagree. i think you are primarily seeing camera artifacts from a constant moving and shaking camera. he was using a tripod, would be nice if he just filmed it without touching it constantly. look how tall your ducks look in your shot above.

    for other reading https://www.metabunk.org/standard-a...al-evidence-and-derivation.t8703/#post-205947
  37. Rory

    Rory Active Member

    I suppose there are two things that would explain the discrepancy here: one, that the camera is higher than we think; and the other that there is an increased effect of refraction.

    And, of course, there's the possibility that both are at play simultaneously.

    One thing to throw into the hat as far as the camera elevation goes: for the GPS coordinates he gives, topographic data returns an elevation of 4203 feet, which is 9.6 feet above the surface of the lake.

    If we input a viewer height of 14.85 feet (9.6+5.25) that returns an expected obscured amount of 267 feet, which is less than the tower elevaton of 284 feet (254+30) by 17 feet.

    Personally, even though the figures suggest it, I don't think the camera could have been almost 15 feet above the water level. But a somewhat increased camera elevation and a bit of extra refraction seems like a feasible explanation - another couple of feet and an extra 10-15% may be all it takes.

    Note: he measures the height of the camera above the sand (at 0:25), but (as seen at 1:25) the water is a little distance away, and a little lower (not much, though).

    @Karrin Konczal may be interested in this thread on refraction, if not already seen.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017 at 4:23 PM
  38. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    i relooked and he is just a few feet back from the water edge. so that difference is minimal. i'm sure its just typical refraction (and maybe whatever gunk is coming out of those stacks! )
    • Agree Agree x 1
  39. As I said I'm going to assume he is being honest with me. He told me that he measured the height of the camera above the surface of the water and that is why he gave such a specific measurement. There is without any doubt in my mind a contradiction between the globe mathematics and the observation but I do believe that it can be rectified with refraction and particularly the effect of a temperature gradient which I am trying to understand presently as I research the topic.