Need Debunking: Hernando County platforms from more than 10 miles

Hepper

New Member
Here is a video made by wide awake, a flat earther who regularly tries to disprove what he calls the "globe model":
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kd_4a4I5BAs


This is what he did: he put his camera close to water level (approximately 2.5 ft) and tried to find distant platforms marking hazards such as submerged rocks. Apparently, this was done at the Gulf coast in Hernando County, Florida. Here is a list of the various platforms, providing a general description as well as GPS numbers:
https://www.floridagofishing.com/reefs/cw-reefs-hernando-county.html
None of the racks/platforms is taller than 16 ft.

The first platform is found at 9:00 in the video. Wide Awake identifies it as "Bayport North Rack", some 7.5 miles away. The image is heavily blurred, but the object is clearly stationary.

North.PNG

Next, wide awake turns to the left. There, he finds "Cutter Rock", more than 11 miles away (!) (see 12:45 in the video). The object doesn't move so it probably isn't a boat.

Cutter.PNG

Just a little bit further to the left, we find the "Bayport Channel Entrance light" (18:10). This rack is very close to the camera (3.8 miles). The thing next to it is a boat.

Bayport.PNG

I checked the locations of the platforms and the viewing angles on Google Earth and they appear to be consistent with the observations in the video:

Wide Awake.PNG

However, it is not clear to me how we are supposed to see a rack that is 11 miles away. Remember the elevation of the camera relative to sea level is (2.5 ft) and Cutter Rock is not taller than 16 ft.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
However, it is not clear to me how we are supposed to see a rack that is 11 miles away. Remember the elevation of the camera relative to sea level is (2.5 ft) and Cutter Rock is not taller than 16 ft.
In my refraction simulator I have a preset, "Green Laser at 5 feet, 17 miles away"
https://www.metabunk.org/refraction/?~(p~'Green*20Laser*20at*205*20feet*2c*2017*20miles*20away)_
Metabunk 2019-11-28 08-12-13.jpg

Over water, it takes surprisingly little temperature gradient to bend light around the horizon. Typically this will distort any object quite a bit, but if you are just looking at a light then that light will still look like a light.

If you've got cool water, plus the standard atmospheric lapse rate, it does three things:
  1. It partially flattens the curve, raising up distant objects, so more of distant objects are visible than you would expect
  2. It has some light paths close to the horizon that go very far, but distort, leading to vertically compressed images for distant objects.
  3. It allows light paths of indefinite length close to the horizon, limited by dimming from the atmosphere - this allows you to see far distant lights, but usually NOT the objects at the same altitude (as they are too compressed).
This all leads to farther fundamental problems measuring the curve with observations of small objects over water, especially of just viewing lights. That's why using tall buildings and mountains gives a far better set of empirical evidence.
 

Hepper

New Member
The same guy (wide awake) posted another video.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxskMd8JZ-4


This time, he filmed Bill Watts Rack (more than 4 miles away) at a camera height of only 3 feet, using an infrared filter. The rack should be slightly below the horizon, but as you can see, the horizon extends way beyond the rack (notice the small boat in the background at 1:45). This is easily explained by refraction, but does refraction affect infared light the same way it affects visible light?

wide.PNG
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Near-infrared light that a digital camera sees is refracted a little less than red light.
A simple test of if IR refraction would be significantly different from visible light refraction is to see if the edge of a light is split up into different colors - The difference between red and infrared light is less than the difference between red and green. You sometimes see that split under fairly extreme refraction conditions as a "green flash" just right at the top of a setting sun. If you can't see that, then the IR refraction is essentially the same as visible light. If you can see it, then it's less than the vertical angular size of that fleck of green.
 
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