The Conclusive Categorical Conspiracy Compendium
Okay. There has been way too many threads asking about the same damned question, and too many people saying that the governments can't pull together a conspiracy as such, and what not. This will conclusively prove that it is entirely plausible, profitable and, hopefully, probable. Expect me to reference this any time you ask a stupid question about the conspiracy again.
First Topic:How Can They Afford the Conspiracy?Bribes
Let's look at this liberally (keep in mind these are probably near maximized estimates). Who actually kneeds to know?Who DOES Need to Know:
NASA -- Okay, so the top three (at most) need to know, we'll say. These are the guys who actually are controlling the conspiracy, and maybe some of the profit is divided amongst them, but they don't need to be bribed to shut their mouths, and thus have no leverage amongst the others. If we say about three other people in NASA know about it, who are helping with image editing, video editing, and general coverage, but working closely with the top three.
RASA -- The Russians are just about equal if not more active in space exploration as the US, so we'll say these guys have six people helping out with the conspiracy as well. As a matter of fact, tag one more on, just because I'm generous. That leaves us with thirteen people.
China -- Yes, in 2003, China became the third country to independently send a manned spaceship into outer space. However, their space program isn't all that big. As a (very) liberal estimate, we'll say they need about three people. But why don't we tag on one more just to make sure I'm not cheating. That leaves us with seventeen people from the space exploration crews that need to know.
GPS Manufacturers -- I'm going to say they only need one person for this job. There's not really much to do. Machines make most of the chips, and I doubt all of the bosses of the companies need to even bother. They just need to have one guy saying, "Yup, that's right." This guy could even be one of the NASA or RASA members, honestly, but I'm being nice. This rings up to a comprehensive total of eighteen people.
Public Relations People -- NASA or RASA conspirators could fill this role, too, but again, generosity has the better of me, and I'm going to say that the conspiracy hires people to do this, too, since the guys in the space exploration teams are filled with a bunch of pale, pimply white guys, and therefore aren't good at convincing people of the truth. We'll say they need a couple of these guys, bringing the total up to a whopping twenty people.
People Who Have "Been In Space" -- Yes, they need astronauts saying, "Hey! I was up there!" But they're barely part of the conspiracy, they're just people who have a little bit of leverage, and therefore need a bit of bribing. We'll count them as half-people for this count, since they don't really count as conspirators. So, if we have somewhere around fifty people that have "been in space," that means that it counts for about twenty-five conspirators, therefore bringing our total to forty-five which is not as large as is commonly described.
Ice Wall Guards -- These guys don't need to be paid in full, either, as they're only guarding an ice wall. I believe that it was Erasmus who pulled some mathematics on this one, and showed that not that many people were needed to guard the ice wall. As they don't really have any leverage on the conspiracy, they won't count for this part (I'll go back to it later), since this is mostly about who needs to be paid to shut their mouths. Who Does NOT Need To Know:
PotUS -- Why would the president need to know? All he knows is that he's giving money to what he thinks is a space exploration team, and then he sees exactly what everyone in the world sees on TV. He doesn't ever need to suspect a damned thing.
Members of Space Teams -- They see exactly what we see as well, but they're sitting on the ground looking at it "Live." That doesn't mean that they know that the people are actually in space, but they can make a really convincing argument towards it, perhaps. Conclusive Mathematics:
Basically, I'm going to assume that every single person on my list wants to get paid so that they won't talk about the conspiracy. They're going to want a lot of it, too, most likely. Probably enough so that they won't have to work for the rest of their lives? Well, how's about something like one million dollars per year, plus one million in advance. That's far better than most jobs can fetch, and all they have to do is shut up. Minus the top five or so, since they are the runners of the organization.
That brings us to 40 x 1,000,000. Forty million dollars plus forty million every year? Sure, it's plenty of cash, but NASA receives so much more money than that from just governmental funds, and while I don't know much about Russian space teams, I'm sure they do, too. They can easily pay for this, and the undernoted requirements for money, without even breaking a sweat; in fact, they'll be probably pulling a profit, just from the government giving them cash. Maintenance:
There doesn't need to be all that much maintenance, besides damage control. The space exploration programs have maintenance funds from their respective governments, so they're all self-sufficient without having to spend excess money on maintaining the conspiracy (seeing as all the cash they're not spending on research can be spent on the conspiracy).
The only reason extra money might need to be poured into the conspiracy would be for damage control. If we say that this would cost somewhere around five million per year, that still only leaves us with forty-five million per year.
*UPDATED*Ice Wall Guarding:
If you would take note of Erasmus's calculations as far as guards go:
Supposing for a moment that the government does guard it solely by posting men on it, these men are 150 in the air. From that hight they can see at least 15 miles in every relevant direction (this of course is calculating using the RE model... on a FE they might see farther). Thus you can cover the whole wall with just 78,225/30 = 2608 men.
You can decrease it further by giving them snowmobiles and having them ride between waypoints. If they can ride 10 mph and still keep an eye on things, then in one hour one sixth the previous number -- or 652 men -- can cover the wall in an hour. In fact, doing this gives them better coverage, since this way their 15-mile-radius field of vision doesn't have any holes.
Now take the terrain into account -- much of the Ice Wall is probably unapproachable except by air -- and you can trim down the numbers even further.
Strategically locate some helicopter pads (on the wall or floating) and you can have heavy armament on the scene in thirty minutes. Assuming an Apache helicopter can fly 150 mph, in that time they could fly 75 miles, so we would need to place pads every 150 miles, requiring 521 pads. Obviously, if you don't insist on thirty-minute response time, you can do with fewer. Don't forget that the watchmen can see 15 miles away from the wall, so thirty minutes should be more than enough to intercept any boat that tries to approach, snap pictures, and sail to safety.
Of course, this is all assuming that the only means our governments have of detecting trespassers is by looking with their eyes. We're neglecting radar and high-altitude spyplanes, probably with infrared cameras.
We're also neglecting intelligence. Anybody who wants to travel to the ice wall has to leave from someplace, and these someplaces can be watched by agents as well. There aren't too many good places to set on on such a journey from. Then, such expeditions would also have to be planned, and agents could get words about them before they even start. Once they've started, agents could monitor radio transmissions. If they can discover tresspassers a thousand miles away instead of only fifteen, then maybe they don't need so big a force as you say.
Now, I'm going to take this, and say that we need about one-thousand men guarding the wall, again with two shifts each, if we include cameras, infrared, radar, intelligence, and all that good stuff. This is more than I stated previously, but bear in mind that I had been very generous with the amount those men had been paid. Now, seeing as the men practically have no influence (all they do is guard an ice wall; it's not like it's probable they have a lot of friends at all, let alone ones in high places), they don't necessarily need a very grand rate of pay. Therefore I'm dropping my previous estimate to a simple one-hundred thousand dollars per person. That still leaves us with the same amount of two-million dollars to pay for every guard in the wall forces. CONSPIRACY MONEY TOTAL = $47,000,000 USD (Forty-Million U.S. Dollars)
Second Topic:How Does The Conspiracy Benefit?
This is not easily answered, but I've taken some insight into this and made some estimates on how the conspiracy could be making money:Government Paychecks:
It's very possible that the conspiracy runs by just sucking money out of the government that they are underneath. Seeing as the head honchos in those governments don't have to know about the conspiracy, it'd be pretty easy to take money from the government. Also, even if the leaders DID know, it's tax money that's going into the space exploration research, so really, they'd still be pulling profit. Basically, if you chose to believe this option, the leaders of the conspiracy are taking tax money and getting filthy stinking rich off of it. Sounds like a motive to me. Display of Power:
Some people are control freaks. Maybe they get a rush from showing that they can change everyone's mind about the true shape of the Earth. Embarrassment:
So, the government messed up at a really bad time to mess up, and they've been pooling all of the already-angry tax-payers' money into research that eventually led to a less-than-exciting discovery: The Earth is flat. Everyone was wrong. Millions (probably billions) of dollars of money that didn't really belong to them had been basically tossed down the drain for research of the round Earth, when, in fact it was flat. So, instead of angering people and possibly even sparking a revolt of some sort, they made up some stuff. And you know how lies tend to roll and get bigger and bigger until they're inescapable? I'd say a worldwide conspiracy is that concept...to the max.Recruitment/Faithfulness:
Similar to the one above. Maybe the future-conspirators were ashamed that they hadn't reached out to space yet, and they felt that the people were getting hasty and impatient with them, so they decided to say they did it, and qualm the welling resentment of them, so they could ACTUALLY send people into space on a later date, without a bunch of morons knocking on their doorstep asking when they would be done with their space ship. Unfortunately, they later realized that they were wrong the whole time, and therefore had to uphold the conspiracy, lest they be accused of lying, and therefore reverting the resentment to its original state.
Third Topic:What If Someone Squeals?
"Yes," you say, "but what happens when someone leaks the information?"Why You WOULD Leak Conspiracy Information:Fame:
You officially proved that the Earth is actually flat. You'll be in history books for ages!Money:
Interviews with every news station and every magazine ever. You'll be a huge celebrity, and as such, you'll probably be making a fair amount of cash...at least for a little while. Peace of Mind:
It's probably tough to keep that stuff in your head without leaking some of it out every once in a while. It'd be a lot on your conscience.Why You Would NOT Leak Conspiracy Information:Fame:
Some people don't like being in the spotlight all that much. Paparazzi can get annoying, and even though attention may appear to be entertaining, it can get old pretty fast. Money:
You no longer get the big fat paychecks from the conspirators. After all of the press wears out, and starts ignoring you again--meaning no more cash from interviews--you'll probably have to start working again.Peace of Mind:
You just screwed over all of your friends, just because you wanted a few minutes of fame and a lot of cash. Congratulations. Insanity:
If you don't have enough proof, you won't be revered as a revolutionary, you'll be revered as Patient #3562 at the local mental hospital. Death:
While a most likely uncommon side-effect, NASA could easily kill you and say, "He died in a space shuttle accident, I swear." Honestly, by the way it seems on TV, those things are so unstable, no one would ever EVER doubt that someone died while in space due to some random accident (add a bunch of jargon and you've got an incredibly convincing reason for death).
Topic Four:Conclusive Notes:
As you can see, the conspiracy is not only logical, but it's, in its own way, actually quite plausible. With all of these concepts in your face, it's hard to refute AT LEAST the possibility of a conspiracy covering up the shape of the Earth. If anyone wants to rebuttal, though, I gladly welcome it (in fact, I'm probably missing a lot of stuff--but hey, I'm only one guy), and I'll add more to this compendium (hence why it's a compendium).
SO STOP MAKING CONSPIRACY THREADS!!