Attempt at Recreating Rowbotham's Bedford Level Experiment by Flat Earth Believers


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So this is happening this weekend...

In a nutshell: flat earthers of the UK - including Dave Murphy - are off to the Bedford Levels to recreate Rowbotham's famous experiment. Will be interesting to see what they come up with.
So this is happening this weekend...

In a nutshell: flat earthers of the UK - including Dave Murphy - are off to the Bedford Levels to recreate Rowbotham's famous experiment. Will be interesting to see what they come up with.

Wonder if they are going to make the same mistakes (not including the atmospheric refraction) or if they will recreate Wallace's experiment as well -- clearly showing earth's curvature.
Can't imagine the after-party'll be great if they clearly show the earth's curvature. ;)
Well, the flat earthers went to the Bedford Levels and...didn't do very much, really.

Video shows them talking, being happy, someone paddling down the canal in a canoe...and then sort of giving up because of the weather or something (conclusion: the earth is flat).

Also, Rob Skiba just went to Lake Michigan to see the Chicago skyline for himself.

Video shows Rob and some other guys taking a boat across the lake towards Chicago, filming everything, observing the skyline, observing it being increasingly revealed the closer they get, and...concluding that the lake and the earth, therefore, are flat, which they're pretty happy about.

Well, they've got me convinced: convinced that there's absolutely nothing one can do to get through.
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About this:

Some background on the Rowbotham experiment:

Here's the comment I made on this video - (which was apparently deleted.)

They did not recreate Rowbotham's experiment.

They've got the cameras set up on the bridge at the Welches dam pumping station instead of 8 inches above the water surface as Rowbotham did. Rowbotham's formula (8 inches per mile squared) is only useful at surface level. When you are 10 feet above the surface you have to use an entirely different formula. On top of that, they are only guessing that the camera is 10 feet above the water instead of measuring.

At 10 feet above the water surface the horizon would be 3.87 miles away. But at 5.5 miles only the bottom 21 inches of the kayak would be hidden by the horizon, leaving the man completely visible.

If the camera was 12 feet above the surface only the bottom 12 inches of the kayak would be hidden. At 13 feet above the surface only the bottom 9 inches of the kayak would be hidden. Which shows how important it is to know exactly how far above the surface the camera is. Did anyone use a measuring tape?

Is the bridge 10 feet above the surface? Then if the camera is 4 feet above the deck of the bridge then the camera is 14 feet above the surface, isn't it? Did anyone think of that?

And, as far as I can see, they are just guessing that the kayak was 5.5 miles away. That first bridge is the Ely-Peterborough line railway bridge 2.6 miles distant. I'm guessing that they just made an estimate of how far the kayak was beyond the bridge instead of measuring the distance. (In their heart it was 5.5 miles, but how far was it really?) Did anyone use any definite method to determine distance?

And what's the point of the kayak slowly paddling away anyway? Why not just place a stationary target at the 6 mile point? That way you wouldn't be surprised by the weather turning bad and you would know exactly how far away the target is. The target could have horizontal bars of different colors, each a foot high. That way you could really be sure of what is hidden and what is not.
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Rowbotham did use a boat moving away from him, so they did recreate this part of the experiment.

The author of the video put this caption at the end of the video:

The bridge was one third of the way there. Everyone viewing past the kayak past the bridge on the p900 could see it at 5 and a half mile no problem, unilt bad weather and thermals reduced current visibility and previous visibility
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What this really means is open to interpretation.

But at 6:17 the video shows the viewfinder of another camera. We see the kayak just short of a bridge, which is the Ely-Peterborough line railway bridge 2.6 miles distant. This bridge did not exist in the 19th century when the famous experiments were done. This is the most distant view of the kayak this video presents.

Two other YT channels promised coverage of this event but so far they haven't delivered.
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In the video you linked to the height of eye of the camera is at about 14 feet (as is obvious at 3:56). Or 168 inches. At the 8 inches•statute miles^2 rule, that comes out to the horizon being sqrt(168/8) = 4.58 statute miles from the camera.

Here's the comprehensive coverage. I don't think much commentary is necessary. This speaks for itself.

Just one thing. Starting at 7:27:

dmurphy25: The trolls and detractors will point out that because we were observing Matthew [the man in the kayak] from the bridge, we wouldn't see the 16 feet of curvature anyway. But I would like to add in some of the latest and very fine work from Jeranism; who has correctly pointed out that the calculation of 8 inches per mile squared is actually wrong.

Jeranism: You guys told us that it's 8 inches per mile squared, but it's only good up to a quarter of the globe. So how can that be the the correct formula for curvature of the entire earth?
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He then goes into a math tutorial, coming up with a new formula.

dmurphy25: So according to this new information, Matthew should have disappeared under 1.7 miles of curvature, not 16 feet.
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Apparently the earth is now no bigger than an asteroid.
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Apparently the earth is now no bigger than an asteroid.

Jeranism's new formula is to divide the distance to the object by pi. Or as he states it, "multiply by 0.318". Because "the total curvature" is equal to the diameter of the Earth divided by the circumference.

So the size of the Earth now depends on how far away the object in question is.
I'm not entirely convinced that someone isn't trolling there. But his most fundamental error is assuming that you can add together the "curvature" distances of multiple arcs to get the "curvature" of a larger arc. Now the actual mathematical curvature is constant, as it's simply a circle of radius r. But by "curvature" he actually means the "bulge" or "drop" distance (which isn't really a useful distance, as you need the "obscured" distance, but anyway).

That can be trivially disproved. Consider a circle centered on A, with radius r:

A 180° arc from B to D has a drop ("curvature") of r

Half of that arc is the 90° arc from B to C

If the drop of BC was half that of BD then the distance from E to F would be r/2, and so F would be in the midpoint of AE

It's not, it's less, so the sum of the "drops" of parts of an arc is less than the "drop" of the total arc.
As I understand it, this isn't even measuring the same thing as Rowbotham's formula was intended to do.

I'm lifting David Ridlen's illustration from the Earth curvature refraction experiments thread - page 3

Rowbotham's formula is D, and Jernanism's new formula is (attempting) A? But what should be calculated is B.

FE fans unanimously confuse curvature "dropoff," with bulge height, as they only cling to the simple "8 inches per mile squared" as the be-all and end-all of bulge calculation. I use this diagram to clearly illustrate their mistake without going into the trig they have no patience for, which has been working wonders for getting thru to them.

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Jeranism's new formula is a line that descends at a constant angle of 17.7°. Regardless of the distance.
The math in that Jeranism video is probably the worst I've ever seen.

More disturbing than that, though, is that some have instantly bought it.
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Apparently the earth is now no bigger than an asteroid.

This calculator will calculate the radius of a circle given arc length and height (sagitta). The arc length will be double the distance of the kayak (5.5 miles) and the height will be the drop claimed by the FRer in the video (1.7 miles)

The Earth is now 17 miles in diameter. I wonder how many times the participants drove around the world to get to the bridge?

In a nutshell: flat earthers of the UK - including Dave Murphy - are off to the Bedford Levels to recreate Rowbotham's famous experiment. Will be interesting to see what they come up with.

Well, you know, GOOD ON THEM for trying. I wish they would listen to reason before they waste their time.

My comment was

How can you guys so thoroughly do the wrong experiment and use the wrong math?

#1 you did not even reproduce Rowbotham - he shot at 8" over the water and THAT was PROVEN by Wallace to neglect refraction and thus is wrong

#2 wrong experiment - you need to reproduce Wallace's experiment of shooting at 13 + feet over the water looking at CAREFULLY CALIBRATED survey posts placed half-way and then at the end so you can MEASURE exactly how much is obscured.

#3 use the correct equations and don't ignore refraction. The height of a distant object obscured by the curvature of the Earth is given by:

h₁ = √[(d₀ - (√h₀ √[h₀ + 2 R]))² + R²] - R

The geometry behind this is very simple - two right triangles:

Let's say observer elevation is 3m, we want to know what we can see 9659m (6 miles) away, and estimating 20% Earth curvature for refraction (VERY common over water)

√[(d - (√h √[h + 2 R]))² + R²] - R, d=9659, h=3, R=6371000*1.20 = only half a meter would be expected to be obscured at the base of the distant bridge - which is less than the visual acuity of your optics I'll wager.

Your experiment was a complete bust.

If you want to do it right:

Hire some professional surveyors with professional equipment
Don't wait for some dude to ROW all the way down, that was utterly useless
Have them place leveling posts at BOTH ends and one in the middle (professionally calibrated)
AT LEAST do one pair of sightings above 13 feet over the water -- Ideally ALSO do one at 8" and one up higher and compare & contrast
Get the Closure Error by sighting BOTH directions

And watch them laugh at you for wanting a 6 mile long sighting but just keep promising you aren't a crackpot?

(PS I'm aware of but it doesn't allow you to factor in refraction )