"Behind the Curve" - Documentry on Flat Earthers


Senior Member
Metabunk 2019-02-23 06-55-53.jpg

A new documentary has hit the flat-earthisphere called "Behind the Curve"


just to clarify this is not a FE documentary, but a documentary about FE'rs

it is quite a sympathetic portrait tbh - in fact it often takes the shape of a "love story" between the two main subjects (Mark Sargent and Patricia Steere)

I watched it with my wife - and she actually complained that it did not address the science, i.e. their actual beliefs/evidence - the focus being too much on the personalities

you did see all the main conspiracy traits on display (that have been discussed at length on Metabunk).

I won't do any spoilers, but they actually do conduct a couple of experiments, one using a 20k gyroscope, the other a laser and some placards with holes in spaced out over a 17mile(?) straight - and are quite surprised at the results!!!!
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Mick West

Staff member
It's worth watching. It does focus on the people, which I think is fine, as there's plenty of places you can find the technical details. It's got a good message about the need for respectful engagement. It's an interesting inside look at the community, complete with infighting. The popular YouTubers are treated almost like rockstars, and they all clearly see themselves as being special - or at least of being part of something special. So much so that they become stuck in their belief, largely because it would be such a negative thing for them to lose their specialness and their community.

Metabunk 2019-02-21 07-56-19.jpg

The experiments shown actually demonstrate the conventional model of reality is correct. Here's the gyroscope experiment:
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pf44njV8g0

(they find 15° per hour rotation and try to first hide the results, and then explain it away)

And the experiment with the boards is @jeranism, again, demonstrating the curve. This has been brought up before.
Metabunk 2019-02-21 08-19-41.jpg
The light is three miles away, giving a drop of six feet, which is what they find.

Of course, these results are rejected.


Senior Member.
(they find 15° per hour rotation and try to first hide the results, and then explain it away)
i don't currently have netflix so have to see snippets on review videos. In this clip the guy basically says that they have 20,000$ into the gyroscope, so they dont want the experiment to fail.
Source: https://youtu.be/WMrYo9CrxNI?t=944

this reviewer, who is a debunker i've recently run across, does warn us that the documentary is a 'hit piece' and warns viewers to be wary of editing techniques.

Mick West

Staff member
I've added a preset for Jeran's experiment:

Metabunk 2019-02-21 10-12-23.jpg

Offset a bit. The pink line is eye level.
Metabunk 2019-02-21 10-20-09.jpg

The targets are 19 feet high, with the hole (and the light) positioned at 17 feet. The camera is at 17 feet. The targets are at 1&2 miles for the boards with holes, and 3 miles for the light.

The Flat Earth view with no refraction is geometrically perfect with eye level, horizon, holes, and lights all lining up perfectly.
Metabunk 2019-02-21 10-14-41.jpg

On the globe model it's still possible to have them line up with an unrealistically steep temperature inversion, but they are all significantly above the horizon.
Metabunk 2019-02-21 10-17-24.jpg

Mick West

Staff member
Metabunk 2019-02-21 10-24-12.jpg

It's possible to simulate how the results might have happened on a flat earth, requiring an even more unrealistic temperature gradient. However, the position of the horizon is wrong.


Senior Member
Of course, these results are rejected.

so an addendum to the Bob Knodel "gyroscope experiment" is here at

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHJWBP4mbRs

where Bob goes into detail about the experiment, (at about 10 mins in) and criticise the production team (which could be fair comment tbh) but what is fascinating is that two other flat earthers turn up on the podcast (who have a different flat earth model - based on the "pacman model") and an argument ensues

in the chat Bob Knodel references a Guardian article (that he does say is quite sympathetic to the flat earth cause)


although I seem to be having issues with The guardian video

if it does not display search for


anyway the alternative flat earth theorists are called "Limitless & Awake Souls" and have channels on youtube

the "pacman model" guys (Limitless & Awake Souls) have a heavily religious interpretation of reality

here is a debate where they try and explain their model to a pair of "globetard" debunkers

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jj1DSgCJfwk

@ Mick West - what interests me is, is flat-earth on the resurgence? or am I suffering from confirmation bias, because I seem to be seeing it much much more these days (and Metabunk addressing it)
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Senior Member.
Why on earth did they have to go all the way to Lake Balaton?
wasn't there something about Sandors saying lake Balaton "itself" was flat because of geo.. because of the rock the lake was on or something. remember that science forum he was posting in? I might be misremembering. But if i thought there was one flat place on earth and i wanted to prove Fe, that's where i would go too.

Bryan Olson

New Member
SPOILER ALERT, in case you've read this far and it's not spoiled yet.

Until Behind The Curve came out, I though I was only globe-head that showed up to see Jeran Campanella, YouTube's Jeranism, test for curvature of the surface of water in California's Victoria Canal on 25 Nov 2017. I like the film, and think it does a great job of presenting the one clear outcome of the experiment, but there are a couple points I'd like to clear up. Below is a report I wrote a couple days after, which contains some details the film omits, and quite a few that match dead on.

In the video at Globebusters, Jeran shows an illustration with four panels. That may have been the plan, but in the field there were three: one right in front of the laser (which I think is useless), one 1.5 miles down-range with a 6-inch hole 17 feet above the water-line, and one 3 miles down-range, with height-lines drawn on it (I assume; couldn't see it).

By the time I arrived the sun had set and the panel in front of the laser was up. Enrique got a volunteer, Steven, and they left to set up the down-range panels. I stayed at the laser location, as did Jeran and Daniel the camera-man. (Apologies if I have names wrong or misspelled.)

The laser with beam-expander, and the telescope mount that carried it, did not work. Jeran first adjusted the beam-expander with the beam hitting the ground. When Enrique got the 1.5-mile panel up, Jeran aimed the beam using a remote for the telescope mount. Aiming was touchy: it would fail to move, then move way to much. When he got it aimed, Enrique reported by phone that the beam lit the entire panel. To further adjust the beam-expander, Jeran had to hand-manipulate it, throwing off the aim.

Jeran switched to the back-up plan. At the 1.5-mile panel, Steven held a reasonably powerful flashlight. At the 3-mile distance, Enrique held a monster flashlight. Jeran had a long-zoom camera, 17 feet above water, pointed down-range toward Steven and Enrique. The three set up a conference call, and with Jeran directing repeated the following procedure about ten times:

Steven shined his light toward the camera, through the hole in the 1.5 mile panel 17 feet above the waterline. Enrique held his light at 17 feet above water, which was about waist-high for him, and walked to his left so that its light would go around the middle panel. Jeran and I could see both lights in the camera's flip-out viewfinder. As well as Jeran could focus, the lights were sizable balls not dots, and they appeared to be at about the same height. Enrique, at 3 miles, would walk back to his right until his light was occluded by the 1.5-mile panel, centered as well as Jeran could estimate. Then Steven would turn off his light and remove it from the hole. The test was then whether we could see, in the viewfinder, Enrique's light through the hole in 1.5 mile panel, which would support a flat earth. If not, could we see it if he held it over his head, well over 17 feet above waterline, which would support a round earth.

In about 10 tries, with the light held waist-high at 17 feet above water we never clearly saw it through the center panel hole. On one of the attempts, maybe the fourth of ten, we clearly saw it when Enrique lifted it over his head. On that one, Jeran asked him to raise it and lower it a few times, and it would appear when Enrique raised it and vanish when he lowered it. That was the "gasp" moment. Jeran said, "that's interesting." I noted it was the prediction for a round earth. When they repeated the whole procedure, it did not happen again. I suggested having Enrique move from side-to-side a bit when occluded by the panel, in case it was lateral alignment that was off. Jeran accepted the suggestion, but it made no observable difference​

For the record, here's a contemporaneously dated copy.

Behind the Curve shows Jeran doing a laser test at the Victoria Canal a few weeks before the backup flashlight experiment, with the first Flat Earth International Conference in between. I describe a laser and flashlight test on the same evening. Both are true. On 25 Nov 217 Jeran first retried his laser experiment, then switched to the backup. I was not at the laser test shown in the film, though the film shows the earlier laser test failing very much the same way as the one I saw.

Bryan Olson

New Member
I partially mistakenly wrote:

"I was not at the laser test shown in the film, though the film shows the earlier laser test failing very much the same way as the one I saw."

I meant that I was not at the first of Jeran's laser experiment shown in *Behind the Curve*. I was there for the one I described.
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