Flat Earth Cosmography in an Era of Apostasy

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Flat Earth Cosmography in an Era of Apostasy
« on: October 20, 2006, 06:07:36 AM »
Saracen Science - Founder of the Modern Age

Allah's Flat Earth and His Cosmos
by Abul Kasem

Christianized Mohammedanism
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2006, 07:32:45 AM »
Christianized Mohammedanism

  The older Orthodox Christian cosmology (which is flat Earth) was mostly abandoned by papists in the Latin west in favor of Islamic influenced cosmology and theology by the late thirteenth century AD.  Papist theologians like Thomas Acquinas derived their Aristotelian philosophy from Mohameddan teachers and scholars.  Likewise, the cosmology contained in the 'Divine Comedy' by Dante Alghieri and officially accepted by the papacy was not the cosmology of early Christians, but Dante's book and its cosmology is actually Islamic cosmology.  The cosmology of Dante's Divine Comedy does correspond with Islamic teaching about the Underworld and the Cosmos rather than anything the early Church Fathers of East or West believed.  The similarity is attested to by the following article on Dante's 'Divine Comedy':

  Miguel Asin, an Spanish Roman Catholic priest wrote a book in 1918 entitled 'Islam and the Divine Comedy' which exposes in detail the Islamic roots of Dante Alighieri's 'Divine Comedy.'  In 1931 Miguel Asin wrote 'Islam Christianized' - his greatest work which exposed the Mohammedan origins of papal science, philosophy, and civilization.  (Even the papist crusades, among other aspects of late medieval western Europe, are a phenomenon derived from the Saracen themselves.  The crusades were a christianized jihad.  'Islam and the Divine Comedy' was translated and published in English in 1924 and which is still in print:  

John of San Geminiano

John of San Geminiano was an Italian flat Earther of the late thirteenth century.  He was a papist who adhered to the theology of Thomas Acquinas.  He is mentioned in the informative and infidel 'History of the Warfare Between Science and Theology in Christendom' by Andrew Dixon White (AD 1872):

  Having examined his book (in Latin on microfilm obtained via interlibrary loan as it has never been translated into English) revealed that John of San Geminiano actually devotes only two pages to cosmology out of an enormous 800 page treatise that he composed in the late 1200's.  The fact that he only devoted two pages to cosmology (while Cosmas and Aethicus had devoted whole books to the subject several centuries earlier) and that he seems to be the only one among his papist brethren at this time to put into writing flat earth views would indicate that the cosmology accepted in the papal western europe was sinking from an earlier flat earth cosmology to a mere spherical geocentrism during the late middle ages.  The fact that he wrote only two pages dealing with flat Earthism buried in a book of over 800 pages is also an indication that his papist brethren would not have tolerated a more outspoken expression of more traditional views than their own (which were sphericist unlike genuine Christians of the west from earlier times like Saint Augustine).

« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2006, 07:50:09 AM »
Tostatus Versus Columbus

  The leader of the Spanish theological opposition to Columbus's voyages, Tostatus was opposed to the heretical concept of antipodes based on the assertion of Saint Augustine in 'The City of God' that antipodes do not exist.  Tostatus is mentioned in 'The History of the Warfare of Science With Theology in Christendom' by Andrew Dixon White as the head of those offering theological hindrance to Columbus.  Knowledge of the cosmographical doctrines of these conservative Spanish papists would surely prove extremely interesting.  Tostatus should also be credited for offering opposition and obstacle to Columbus's (and Spain's) colonialist ambitions.  An old school churchman:


  Antipodes (i.e. feet opposite) are a geographical location of fantasy in a globular world where a person located on the exact opposite part of a globe from where one is located would be standing upside down relative to oneself, and his feet would be above his head when he was standing straight.  The feet of an antipodal man are literally opposite to one's own as in a mirror.  Hence the term antipodal, or antipodes.  Saint Augustine, among others, condemned the false theory of antipodes in his classic 'City of God.'  The antipodes were considered non-existant by the Church Fathers.  They uniformly condemned belief in them.  Belief in the antipodes is equivalent to believing the world is globular, and the shape of the cosmos is what is usually involved when antipodes are discussed, specifically the false and modern pagan view that the earth is globular held by pagan philosophers like Claudius Ptolemy of Egypt.  The most ancient peoples of every country throughout the world also held that the Earth is flat and correctly dismissed heretical concepts like antipodes which are even offensive to common sense.  However it bears noting that Saint Basil (who did believe the Earth is flat) correctly stated that believing the Earth to be flat is not necessary for the salvation of one's soul.  A rendition of the antipodes drawn by Cosmas Indicopleustes shows how ridiculous they are:

  Saint Augustine wrote in 'The City of God' that "But as to the fable that there are Antipodes, that is to say, men on the opposite side of the earth, where the sun rises when it sets to us, men who walk with their feet opposite ours, that is on no ground credible. And, indeed, it is not affirmed that this has been learned by historical knowledge, but by scientific conjecture, on the ground that the earth is suspended within the concavity of the sky, and that it has as much room on the one side of it as on the other: hence they say that the part which is beneath must also be inhabited. But they do not remark that, although it be supposed or scientifically demonstrated that the world is of a round and spherical form, yet it does not follow that the other side of the earth is bare of water; nor even, though it be bare, does it immediately follow that it is peopled."

  Saint Augustine did not say that the world is globular.  He asserted that even if the world were hypothetically globular that people would not exist in the antipodes, and he is correct without any error whatsoever as the Earth is not globular.

British Flat Earthers of the Elizabethan Era
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2006, 07:56:56 AM »
British Flat Earthism of the Elizabethan Era

  Gerhardus Bouw's book 'Geocentricity' quotes a sixteenth century Danish spherical geocentrist who stated there was a group of conservatives in Britain in the sixteenth century who still followed the flat earth cosmology of Aethicus of Istria.  The book he quoted is written in old Dutch, but Bouw's book is still a good source of information on all matter of cosmological phenomena despite the fact he is a spherical geocentrist.  Bouw is the president of the geocentric 'Association For Biblical Astronomy' headquartered in his hometown in Ohio.  The organization goes back to 1971 when it was founded by Walter Van der Camp as the 'Tychonian Society' (after the sixteenth century geocentric Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe):

  The renaissance era British pundits of traditional flat Earth cosmology were largely ignored as public attention was focused on purveyors of falsehood such as the German Ptolemaic geographer Sebastian Munster (the chief expositor of globularist theory in the century following the Columbian voyages) and the more radical heliocentrists like Nicolaus Copernicus and Galileo Galilei.


  Cercle Scientifique et Historique (CESHE) is a geocentric papist organization with chapters in France, Belgium, and Italy which follows the philosophy of the French geocentrist Fernand Crombette.  The organization publishes a knowledgeable journal entitled 'Science Et Foi' (Science and Faith):

« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2006, 08:48:54 AM »

  A far cry from the followers of Aethicus of Istria, the Muggletonians are a radical puritan heretical sect which developed during the aftermath of the British civil war.  According to Donald Simanek, Muggletonians are the predecessors of the modern flat Earth movement:
Muggletonian History and Bibliography:
Victorian Era Muggletonian Celestial Images Displayıng Newtonian Error:

Heinrich Scherer
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2006, 08:51:07 AM »
Heinrich Scherer


  German Jesuit cartographer and geography and mathematics professor Heinrich Scherer published a flat Earth map of the World in the year of the Lord 1702.  Although most of his maps had religious themes, Scherer was a globularist as some of his other world maps attest.  Heinrich Scherer's Flat Earth World Map of 1702:

  In the nineteenth century, Heinrich Scherer's flat Earth World map was used by Samuel Birley Rowbotham as the pattern for the flat Earth map which was the centrepeice of his book 'Earth Not a Globe.'  At its founding conference in San Francisco in 1945, the United Nations adopted Scherer's World map design as its official emblem.  A print of the original 1703 edition of Scherer's flat Earth world map is contained in 'The Mapping of the World:  Early Printed World Maps (1472-1700)' by Rodney W. Shirley which is the definitive collection of World maps and sea charts of the era of European exploration:

  Scherer's World map is to be commended for presenting the known world (includıng all of the americas) on a solitary flat chart, but at least two important features of Scherer's flat Earth world map decisively support the widely held view that the Jesuits have been more worldly than most of their Latin predecessors:    

  1) Heinrich Scherer's flat Earth world map is a departure from the Mappemundi of the Middle Ages in that Scherer's map does not place Jerusalem at the centre of the Earth.  In this sense, Scherer actually perpetuated the anti-tradition of the globularist cartographers of the renaissance.

   2) The Celestial Mountain is a phenomenon that pervades all ancient flat Earth cosmographies (Christian and non-Christian) and which is absent from Scherer's map as well as from the Zetetic astronomy of Samuel Rowbotham.  As a rule, such phenomena as the Celestial Mountain (mentioned by the Old Testament Prophet Isaiah) are not generally found in the works of latter day cartographers like the Jesuits in spite of the fact that the Jesuits often represent the better part of decadent Western science.

Jacobin Flat Earthism
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2006, 08:56:42 AM »
Jacobin Flat Earthism

  Although it obviously did not characterize the Jacobin movement as a whole, as incredible as it may seem historical evidence exists that a certain late eighteenth century atheist French revolutionary propounded flat Earth doctrines.

Zetetic Astronomy
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2006, 08:58:01 AM »
Zetetic Astronomy

  The Englishman Samuel Rowbotham (1800-1884) founded the modern flat Earth movement and modern flat Earth science which he called Zetetic Astronomy.  

  His successor were (in chronological order):

William Carpentar
Alexander Dowie
Lady Blount
Wilbur Glen Voliva
Samuel Shenton
Charles Johnson

  The second chapter of 'Eccentric Lives and Peculiar Notions' by the Englishman John Michell is entitled 'Loyalists of the Flat Earth' and is one of the most comprehensive histories of the modern flat earth movement to have been published.  The chapter especially contains information on the flat Earth movement in the nineteenth century.  This book is still in print and available from Adventures Unlimited Press:

  Robert Schadewald is the greatest chronicler of the modern fl;at Earth movement.  He wrote many journal articles over more than two decades which shed light on the movement's existence and fairly described its nature.

William Carpentar
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2006, 09:00:23 AM »
William Carpentar

  William Carpentar was Samuel Rowbotham's right hand and directly succeeded him as the leader of the flat Earth movement in Britain and the United States.  He was friends with prominent expositors of flat Earth philosophy throughout Britain and the United States like the black Baptist preacher John Jasper.  Carpentar is the author of '100 Proofs That the Earth is Not a Globe.'

The Unmatched African Philosopher
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2006, 09:05:56 AM »
John Jasper
The Unmatched African Philosopher


  John Jasper spoke in the antebellum vernacular of early american African slaves.  He had been a slave from Richmond, Virginia who was freed with the civil war.  He lived from 1812 to 1905.  I have had his biography for some years, but I located an African baptist church which posted his sermon 'The Lord God is a Man of War' on-line.  The cosmological part of the sermon is entitled 'De Sun do Move.'  As one can discern from the title, Jasper believed that the sun moved and not the earth.  He also believed that the earth is flat.  As a matter of fact, in the late nineteenth century he became lifelong friends with the flat earth writer William Carpenter who had been Samuel Rowbotham's right hand man and most spirited  promoter.  Jasper is a black american ikon of the old school.  He became the most reknown of all African-american preachers in the nineteenth century.  Martin Luther King's own best friend and right hand in the civil rights movement, Ralph Abernathy began his autobiographical history of the civil rights movement with a quote from a sermon by John Jasper.

  'De Sun do Move' by John Jasper:  

  A bound edition of John Jasper's biography 'The Unmatched Black Philosopher and Preacher' by William Hatcher which contains 'De Sun Do Move' is available from:

John Hampden
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2006, 09:07:05 AM »
John Hampden Versus Alfred Russel Wallace

  Charles Darwin's colleague Alfred Russel Wallace has the unenviable distinction of having provided Darwin with the "survival of the fittest" doctrine, the key element of Darwin's evolutionist theory.  In addition to faulty science, Wallace was also interested in spiritsm and was actively involved in seances - an indication of the source of some of Wallace's knowledge.

  Contemporary with Wallace, John Hampden became an adamant believer in Zetetic Flat Earth Astronomy who in 1872 placed a newspaper advertisement challenging anyone who would attempt to prove the world is globular to a wager of 500 British pounds to be determined over the convexity or concavity of an inland stretch of water (to eliminate the wave factor).  Seeking to pigeon hole the flat Earth movement, Wallace was stupid enough to take up the challenge, a decision he later wrote in his autobiography as resulting in the worst experience of his entire life.


  In addition to other contemporary sources, this history is contained in the 'My Life' by Alfred Russel Wallace as well as a 1978 Smithsonian article by Robert Schadewald.  The details of how Wallace originated the "survival of the fittest theory" are contained in 'A Delicate Arrangement:  The Strange Case of Charles Darwin and Algred Russel Wallace' by Arnold Brackman:

Alexander Dowie
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2006, 09:08:03 AM »
Alexander Dowie

  Alexander Dowie was the most prominent flat Earth expositor in Australia during the late nineteenth century.  He lived at various times in Britain, the Unted States, and Australia and published flat Earth literature.  Dowie was Wilbur Glen Voliva's friend and mentor.

Lady Blount
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2006, 09:08:45 AM »
Lady Blount

  Lady Blount was the leader of the Flat Earth movement at the conclusion of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century.  She knew Rowbotham personally while he was in old age.  Blount had the means to publicly promote the Flat Earth movement and did so.  She published the flat Earth movement's flagship journal 'The Earth' and organized events to promote Zetetic Flat Earth cosmography.  She also wrote a flat Earth book in 1899 entitled 'Adrian Galilio.'  'Eccentric Lives and Peculiar Notions' by John Michell contains a chapter ('Loyalists of the Flat Earth') on Lady Blount's involvement in the Flat Earth movement:

Seventh Day Adventists
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2006, 04:18:05 PM »
Alexander Gleason

  The sect which produced the most Flat Earth adherents in the ninetennth century was the Seventh Day Adventists.  Several Seventh Day Adventists authored Flat Earth books based on 'Earth Not a Globe' by Samuel Rowbotham.  The most notable of these is 'Is the Bible From Heaven?  Is the Earth a Globe?' by Alexander Gleason.  This voluminous book is possibly the most informative Zetetic Flat Earth book aside from 'Earth Not a Globe.'

George Price and Henry Morris

  Indicative of the contribution that Seventh Adventists made to Biblical science in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was geologist George M. Price.  Price is considered by friend and foe as the founder (or progenitor) of the modern creation science movement.  Price was Henry Morris's mentor with respect to Biblical science - geology in particular:

  George Price was a catastrophist - the Biblically oriented school of geographical thought prevalent in Europe prior to and throughtout the eighteenth century.  Catastrophism's ideological opponent is uniformitarianism.  The founders of modern uniformitarianism are Voltaire, D'Alembert, Diderot, and King Frederick II of Prussia.  In particular their British colleague John Hutton is credited with this as he was an agent of the French "philosophes."  

  Hutton failed to institutionalize uniformitarianism in Britian.  It was never the less institutionalized during the nineteenth century due to Charles Lyell.

Wilbur Glen Voliva
« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2006, 04:19:58 PM »
Wilbur Glen Voliva

Student of Alexander Dowie

Mayor of Zion, Illinois

'Leaves of Healing' Magazine/Journal which advocated Zetetic Flat Earth cosmography
1930 'Leaves of Healing' Special Flat Earth Issue of 1930 reissued as booklet by Robert Schadewald

Charles Sylvester DeFord
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2006, 08:46:07 AM »
Charles Sylvester DeFord

  Charles Sylvester DeFord was a rural Washington state farmer and Seventh Day Adventist who wrote a flat Earth book in the 1920's which was reprinted several times entitled 'A Reparation:  Universal Gravitation, A Universal Fake.'

  'A Reparation:  Universal Gravitation a Universal Fake' was reprinted by Ye Galleon Press of Fairfield, Washington in 1992 with the assistance of Robert Schadewald who had the historical knowledge to provide a background when one of DeFord's descendents found a copy of it in their attic (which was the third edition which had been published in New York in 1931).  This book went out of print in 2005 when Ye Galleon Press folded:

George Bernard Shaw
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2006, 07:37:10 PM »
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)


'Everybody's Political What's What' by George Bernard Shaw

Samuel Shenton
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2006, 07:41:43 PM »
Samuel Shenton

  The following essay summarily covers the British Flat Earth movement from 1956 to 1971 which is when it was led by Samuel Shenton and his wife Lillian Shenton.  The essay (devoid of illustrations present in the PDF version) is the second chapter from a book entitled 'Can You Speak Venusian?' by Sir Patrick Moore.  The title of the chapter is 'Better and Flatter Earths.'  The following link is to the flat Earth library of Samuel Shenton including books, correspondence and visual materials which is held in Britain:


As I write these words, I am sitting in my quiet study in Sussex, England, looking out over the rose-garden towards the belt of trees which shields us from the sea. There is the gentle breeze so familiar in Selsey, but nothing more. Yet it has been claimed that if the Earth were spinning round, as conventional scientists claim, there would be a howling gale all the time. To see just how this theory works, we must go back almost two thousand years - in fact to the second century A.D., when the most famous scientist in the world was Claudius Ptolemaus, better known as Ptolemy. We know very little about his life, except that he flourished from around A.D. 120 to 180; that he lived in Alexandria, and that he belonged to the Greek school of thought. He was an expert astronomer and mathematician, and also a geographer; his map of the known world was remarkably good, even though he did join Scotland on to England in a sort of back-to-front position. Also, he wrote books. Much of our knowledge of ancient science is due to him, because, by a miracle, his books have come down to us – even though only by way of their Arab translations (Ironically, it seems that the great Alexandrian Library, which contained priceless books dating from the very early days, was destroyed during the time of Arab supremacy. There is a legend that they were deliberately burned by order of the Caliph - because if they contradicted the Koran they were heretical, while if they agreed with it they were superfluous. The story is decidedly dubious, and it may well be that the Library was gradually dissipated by neglect. However, the end result was the same: all the books were lost.)

 A few earlier Greeks, such as Aristarchus of Samos, had taught that the Earth is a planet moving round the Sun, and that it rotates on its axis. Ptolemy could not bring himself to accept this secondary role for the Earth, even though he was quite prepared to believe that the world is a globe. His reason was quite straightforward. If the Earth is whirling round, and the atmosphere is not whirling with it, the result will be constant, violent wind - just as you can experience today if you stand up in an open car which is traveling along the motorway at 60 m.p.h.. For many years I was naive enough to believe that this idea had died a natural death, and it was with some surprise that in 1957 I read some words in a book called Looking at the Stars, written by a professional astronomer - Dr Michael W. Ovenden, Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. Dr Ovenden Was discussing the craters of the Moon, and pointed out that no craters of the same kind are likely on our own world, because 'any large lunar-type crams en Earth would in a few million years be rubbed away by friction with the atmosphere as the Earth rotates underneath it. It is an intriguing idea.  Somehow, however, the murmuring breeze now passing through my rose garden leads me to believe that both Ptolemy and Dr Ovenden were wrong.

 The moving Earth has also come under fire from other researchers. Again I quote Miss Missen - without apology, because her views are so striking. In The Sun Goes Round The Earth, she wrote: 'If the Earth did move at a tremendous speed, how could we keep a grip on it with our feet? We could walk only very, very slowly; and should find it slipping rapidly under our footsteps. Then, which way is it turning? If we walked in the direction of its tremendous speed, it would push us on terribly rapidly. But if we tried to walk against its revolving-? Either way we should be terribly giddy, and our digestive processes impossible.' Equally forthright was Mme. Gabrielle Henriet, whose book Heaven and Earth, published in 1957, is a masterpiece of Independent Thought. I shall return to some of her theories later - notably her revelation that the sky is solid - but for the moment it will be enough to give her disproof of the rotation of the world. She begins by pointing out that the rate of spin given by astronomers is1000 kilometres per hour. Modern aircraft can attain this speed: but 'an aircraft flying at this rate in the same direction as that of the rotation could not cover any ground at all. It would remain suspended in mid-air over the spot from which it took off, since both speeds are equal. There would, in addition, be no need to fly from one place to another situated on the same latitude. The aircraft could just rise and wait for the desired country to arrive in the ordinary course of the rotation, and then land; although it is difficult to see how any plane could manage to touch ground at all on an airfield which is slipping away at the rate of 1,000 kilometres per hour. It might certainly be useful to know what people who fly think of the rotation of the Earth.' Fig 1 The non-rotation of the Earth according to Mme Henriet.
Speaking as an ex-Bomber Command flyer - 1940-45, practically in the Stone Age of aviation - I can only admit that I am speechless; but even if I cannot agree with Mme. Henriet, I have tremendous admiration for her ingenuity. In a British television programme called 'One Pair of Eyes', I was very anxious for her to join me; and she declined only on the grounds that if she faced a TV camera, her false teeth would fall out. I would be the last to deny this possibility (in fact, nothing appeared to be more probable), but I was very sorry about it. Mr John Bradbury also believes in the non-rotation of the Earth, and has put forward his theories on the radio, on television and in lectures to Universities. However, his view of the universe as a whole is so remarkable, and so interesting, that it deserves a separate chapter, and 1 propose to defer discussion of it for the moment. Before passing on, I must pause to give another way of proving that the Earth is motionless. It was outlined at a meeting of the Flat Earth Society some years ago, and it is pleasingly direct. Go out at night-time, point your camera at the stars, and make a time-exposure for, say, a quarter of an hour. When you develop the plate or film, you will see numerous star trails. These trails mill be hard, sharp lines. But if the Earth were moving, the trails would be blurred. Just you try taking a time-exposure out of the window of a moving railway-carriage! When this idea was explained, I did tentatively suggest that the trails might be due to the actual rotation of the Earth and not to the individual movements of the stars. Naturally, this objection was brushed aside with the contempt that it deserved. And to return to Mme. Henriet, it is maintained in her book that the changing seasons cannot be due to the tilt of the Earth's axis, as astronomers say. If the axis pointed me way in summer and the opposite way in winter (see diagram), then very tall buildings, such as the Eiffel Tower, would sway drunkenly from side to side.

  The Independent Thinkers so far mentioned are sober researchers, concerned only with prescience. When we come on to the flat Earth theory as a whole, it is true that we do tend to touch upon the realm of religion, and some Flat Earthers are also Biblical Fundamentalists. However, speaking as an aspiring scientist, I do not propose to discuss the religious aspect here. I must gloss over the comment that it would be impossible for four angels to stand at the corners of the Earth, as stated in the Bible, unless the world were square or at least rectangular. In fact, the ancient Egyptians did believe in a universe which took the form of a rectangular box, with the longer sides running north-south, and with a flat ceiling, supported by pillars at the cardinal points. The pillars were joined by a chain of mountains, and below the crests of the peaks lay a ledge containing the celestial river Ur-nes. The boats carrying the Sun and other gods sailed along this river. When a boat came to a corner, it described a graceful right-angle and continued blithely on its way. Combined with these strictly scientific ideas were various religious ones; in some parts of the Nile Delta it was thought that the heavens were formed by the body of a goddess whose name was, appropriately, Nut, and who was suspended permanently in what must have been an uncomfortable as well as an inelegant position. Egypt lay in the centre of the flat Earth, and is surrounded on all sides by a boundless ocean. It is tempting to dwell upon these old theories. I also like that of Vedic lore, in which the centre of the Earth was marked by a tall mountain, around which moved the celestial bodies in horizontal paths at different heights; the sky was, of course, solid (shades of Mme Henriet). Other Indian thinkers believed the Earth to be carried on the shoulders of elephants, which were in their turn supported on the shell of a huge turtle swimming in the sea. I would feel rather sorry for the turtle, and it is hard to avoid the conclusion that it would end up by being turned into some kind of turtle soup; but it is time to come back to the present century, and to consider one of the most interesting and long-established societies of Independent Thought -
 the International Flat Earth Society.
  It has been in existence for a long time, with its headquarters in Britain; but a few decades ago the kernel of fiat-Earth belief was Zion, Illinois, where Wilbur Glenn Voliva ruled his community with an iron hand. He believed the world to be shaped like a pancake, with the North Pole in the middle and a wall of ice all round. There is no South Pole, but fortunately the icy barrier prevents shins from sailing over the edge and tumbling into Hades - below which, incidentally, is a bargain basement area inhabited by the spirits of a race of men who used to live on Earth before the arrival of Adam and Eve.

  I never met Wilbur, who died in 1942; but I did know Samuel Shenton, who may be described as the Isaac Newton of Flatearthologv. He joined me m the British television programme 'One Pair of Eyes', and his death, early in 1971, was a sad moment. By profession, he was a sign-writer; but his theories made him world-famous, and he was even referred to in a broadcast made by Colonel Frank Borman from the Apollo space-craft during the lunar flight of Christmas 1968. He was utterly sincere and completely dedicated. Developments such as artificial satellites and journeys to the moon caused him no more than a few moments’ misgiving before he was himself again. His great regret was that he had so few followers. As the organizer of I.F.E.S., he did not spare himself - and he continued his crusade in spite of indifferent health; he was by no means an old man at the time of his death. From his home in Dover he continued to write, to lecture, and to make occasional appearances on television.

  Before going any further, let me give the official I.F.E.S. answers to just a few of the questions which spring automatically to the mind. First, just how can one prove, by everyday observation, that the Earth is a globe? Let us try.
Questioner.  How do you explain the fact that if you watch a ship sailing over the horizon, you will see the hull vanish first, followed by the funnels and finally the smoke (if any)?
Flat Earther.  Have you ever actually seen this happen?
(Collapse of questioner, who, in 99 cases out of a hundred, hasn't. But let us assume that he is the hundredth case.)
Questioner.  Well, yes, I have, actually. How do you explain it?
Flat Earther.  By the refraction of light. If you watch the phenomenon several times, sooner or later you will see the entire ship apparently suspended in the air above the horizon - and I imagine you don't believe in anti-gravity? (This is a completely irrefutable argument, and the questioner has no choice but to start bowling on an entirely different wicket.)
Questioner.  Aircraft can circumnavigate the Earth. Fly east - - or west - and eventually you will come back to your starting point. This couldn't happen with a flat world.
Flat Earther.  Of course it could. The Earth is shaped like a gramophone record, and all you have done is to complete a circuit round the central North Pole.
Questioner.  Well, then, try going due south. On your theory, you would go over the edge.
Flat Earther.  But no. One cannot go over the edge, because there is a wall of ice in the way.
Questioner.  The compass direction-
Flat Earther.  You're falling into the elementary trap of supposing that a compass needle always points north. This is not me. Near the periphery of the biscuit-shaped Earth, all compass directions are distorted, and this is why some explorers have deluded themselves into believing in a South Pole.
Questioner.  (after a baffled pause). Look, men have been in space, and have seen the Earth as a globe. They have even produced photographs.
Flat Earther.  Nobody has ever seen the Earth as a sphere; all that the spacemen have been able to do is to see wider areas of the world at any one time, which is quite understandable. I believe you also consider the Moon to be a globe - but if you care to look at it this evening, you will see that it appears as a flat disk.
Questioner.  That doesn't explain the photographs.
Flat Earther.  Fakes, produced by reactionary scientists in order to conceal the truth about the shape of the Earth.

 At this point the questioner usually gives up and suggests adjourning to the nearest hostelry, where he will restore his shattered morale by drinking several stiff whiskies. There are, in fact, only two points upon which the Flat Earther cannot sound convincing. One is his inevitably evasive reply to questions about what the underside of the Earth is like, and what lies below that. The other is his contention that orthodox authorities are indulging in a campaign of suppression. Let me add that not all Fiat Earthers think this; but one has to admit that even some of the most charming and patient Independent Thinkers have inner feelings that they are being 'got at'.

  Following a period of comparative inactivity, the British branch of the I.F.E.S. was revived in 1956, with a good deal of publicity. I reproduce here its official leaflet. ('Secretary', on the penultimate line, is presumably a misprint; the 1 should be a full-stop.) One November 23rd a meeting held in Finsbury Park at the home of the President, Mr W. Mills, put the Society back on a really firm footing. Various abstruse papers were given; one, by Mr Shenton himself, dealt with aerodynamical problems, and was greeted with great respect. Mr Shenton pointed out that if gravity ended at a height of nine miles, as some scientists had maintained, then a parachutist coming down from a great height would miss the Earth altogether. Where he would go then remained something of a mystery. I left the meeting in a mood of deep thought. Less than a year later - to be precise, on October 4th, 1957 – the Space Age started, not with a whimper, but with a very decided bang.

Circular issued by the Flat Earth Society:

THE FLAT EARTH SOCIETY President : Organizing Secretary : W. MILLS, S. SHENTON, 7 Vale Grove, 22 London Road, Finsbury Park, N.4. Dover.
 The International Flat Earth Society has been established to prove by sound reasoning and factual evidence that the present accepted theory, that the Earth is a globe spinning an its axis every 24 hours and at the same time describing an orbit round the Sun at a speed of 66,000 m.p.h., is contrary to all experience and to sound common sense. In ancient times the Earth was regarded as plane, and this is expressed in all literature up to a few hundreds of years ago. The theory has fallen into disfavour, owing mainly to the dogma of modem science and popular education in schools, which leads to prejudice in favour of the globular theory from the start. It is always a pity to allow false theories to pass unchallenged, and it is hoped that the Flat Earth Society will do much to undo the ham that has been caused. Remember that the truth of the plane figure of the Earth can be shown by irrefutable evidence, and anyone who is interested in becoming a member is asked to contact the President or the Organising Secretary1 In future, it is hoped to hold regular meetings of the Society.

  On December 20th, 1956 Sputnik I soared aloft from its launching base in the Soviet Union, and sped round the Earth, sending back its famous 'Bleep! Bleep!' signals, and decisively putting paid to a suggestion made not long before that the whole concept of space travel was utter bilge. This is not the place to discuss the wider implications of the Russian satellite. But what of its effect upon the Flat Earthers? For a few brief days they were disconcerted - but, fortunately, not for long. A calm statement from the Society pointed out that the mere fact of a satellite moving above us did not show the world to be round. It could equally well be the more plausible flat disk, and the satellite would move in much the same way as the Moon, though at a lower level. This satisfied the dedicated enthusiasts. On the other hand, it does seem that the advent of the satellites was probably the main factor in preventing the Society from mushrooming as its organizers had hoped it would do. It is very greatly to their credit that they did not give up. They continued writing lecturing and arguing persuasively. They convinced a few people, but as the years went by, and the first tiny satellites were superseded by massive rocket probes to the Moon and beyond, even Mr Shenton had to admit that the wicket had become very sticky indeed. This was the situation in late 1968, when Apollo 8, carrying Astronauts Borman, Lovell and Anders, departed on the first voyage round the Moon. It is a tribute to the esteem in which Mr Shenton was held that Colonel Borman actually referred to him in a broadcast made from the space-ship while it was between the Earth and the Moon. Not, of course, that Colonel Borman believed the world to be flat; it would have been rather difficult for him to do so, particularly at that moment! A few months later Mr Shenton joined me for a television discussion. It was, in fact, the last time I met him; and the views he expressed then must be regarded as his final word on the subject, because he did very little further lecturing or writing (mainly because of ill-health).

  So let us summarize what he laid down, eloquently and with total sincerity. Originally the Earth was heaved up out of the waters. The North Pole marks the central point; the 60,000-mile periphery, coated with a vast barrier of ice, is what we conventionally call the South Pole. It is this barrier which confines us to the Earth and stops us from being in any danger of falling off. What lies on the underneath of the flat Earth remains mysterious, but there is no reason to doubt that it is highly complicated; it is impossible for us to compute the full extent of the Earth, because we can examine only that part of it which is surrounded by the wall of ice. The Earth may even be infinite, stretching out indefinitely. The Moon is a very small body, moving in an east to west direction; each night it sets later by 28 minutes or thereabouts, so that it shows us different aspects, and produces what astronomers call the phases, from new to full. The Sun is larger, with a diameter of about 32 miles. The Sun's distance is less than 3,000 miles, as is shown by experiments carried out in South America. In parts of this continent, the true latitude lines show that there is a point at which latitude 45 degrees crosses the equator. (I admit to finding this argument a little hard to follow, but all I can do is to explain what Mr Shenton explained to me.) From here you can get a triangulation to the conventional equator, 3,000 miles away. If the Sun is overhead at this moment, then the optical distance must be equal to the distance of the baseline upwards: that is to say, 3,000 miles. As for the astronauts . . . well, they simply went out in an egg-shaped orbit, and the photographs they brought back were distorted due to the angle from which they mere taken. The remaining photographs were subsequently faked by unscrupulous propagandists to disprove the true theory that the Earth is a flat plane. And finally: the entire universe consists of the Earth. Certainly we lie on a great water base; the water seeps right through the Earth's disk, producing our present oceans and springs. With regard to greater distances, it is hard to speculate. There may well be a series or a stream of 'heavens', made up of enclosed spaces and perhaps even inhabited.

What can one say? Mr Shenton's ideas were not the same as those of the Flat Earthers of the early twentieth century - headed by Lady Blount, wife of Sir Walter de Sodrington Blount, who described herself as a mathematician, astronomer and lecturer as well as an explorer, and who believed the world to be flat and of strictly limited extent. However, both treated the conventional globe theory with contempt; both built up organizations to spread their theories; and it may be that in each case the empire was dependent upon its leader. I asked Mr Shenton about the future of the Flat Earth Society, and he was decidedly pessimistic. 'It will die,' he said, 'just as at the turn of the century the great organization set up by Lady Blount died. This is deliberate suppression on the part of orthodox scientists.' And yet - I wonder! Fig 4 Apollo paths, according to Mr Shenton At the moment it would be idle to deny that the International Flat Earth Society is going through one of its leanest periods. It has very few members, no organization, and no leader to match Lady Blount, Wilbur Glenn Voliva, or Samuel Shenton. But somehow I have the feeling that it may survive, just as astrology has done; and frankly I hope it does. Those who believe the world to be shaped like a pancake are among the most attractive of the really Independent Thinkers.

Leo Ferrari
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2006, 07:42:32 PM »
Flat Earth Society of Canada

  The cosmology of Aethicus of Istria was the basis for the exclusive and now defunct 'Flat Earth Society of Canada' (that lasted from 1971 to 1993) which was founded and led by (retired) Professor Leo C. Ferrari of Thomas Acquinas University of Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.

  The Flat Earth Society of Canada was begun at the same time that Charles Johnson took over the leadership of the zetetic Flat Earth Society, but it was far stricter and traditional.  A three year trial to determine sincerity was required before membership was granted.  The society reached a membership of over 100 persons by the early 1980's which mostly included professional class persons such as doctors and lawyers (and one television celebrity I am informed).  

  Ferrari wrote an unpublished essay held in manuscript form in the Thomas Acquinas University Library entitled 'An Expose of the Globularist Hoax.'  It is also significant that the society followed the ancient Christian cosmography of early medieval europe as typified by geographers like Aethicus of Istria and Cosmas Indicopleustes who held that the city of Jerusalem is located at the centre of the earth.  As Ferrari is a roman catholic, the society tended to emphasize Aethicus of Istria in its literature.  The society distributed literature in the form of flat earth tracts.  I have obtained some of these tracts from the Thomas Acquinas University Library which confirm that Aethicus of Istria was the society's role model.  

  The Society at one point changed its name from the 'Flat Earth Society of Canada' to the 'Flat Earth Society.'  We have continued to describe Ferrari's society by its original name to avoid confusion with Charles Johnson's organization of the same name and same time period.  

  The complete archives of the Flat Earth Society of Canada are held by the Harriet Irving Library at the Iniversity of New Brunswick in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada:

Sheikh Abdul Aziz Ben Baz
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2006, 07:43:17 PM »
Sheikh Abdul Aziz Ben Baz

  The former Supreme Religious Authority of Saudi Arabia, the late Sheikh Abdul Aziz Ibn Baz (Ben Baz) issued a Fatwa (Islamic Religious Decree) in the Year of the Lord 1993 declaring that the Earth is flat.  Ben Baz was the contemporary and advisor of the late King Fahd of Saudi Arabia during the era of the first Gulf War.  Ben Baz is also the author of a flat Earth book entitled 'Evidence That the Earth is Standing Still' first published in the Year of the Lord 1974 (Year 1395 from the Hegira of the Islamic alendar) by the Islamic University of Medina:


  Sheikh Ben Baz was the contemporary of Leo Ferrari, another savant who along with Charles Johnson comprised three flat Earth pundits from extremely different backgrounds whose studies never the less produced very similar conclusions concerning the shape of the Earth.

Charles Johnson
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2006, 07:43:59 PM »
Charles  K. Johnson (1924-2001)

Obituary (30 March 2001)
by Tim Bullamore
The Independent (London)

CHARLES JOHNSON was for almost 30 years president of the Flat Earth Society, an American organisation that dissented from the widely held belief that the earth is round.

As a boy he had examined a globe at school and learnt about gravity from his teachers but, notwithstanding the work of Copernicus (whom he dubbed Copernicious), Galileo, Newton et al, Johnson had grave misgivings. From his ranch in the Californian desert - where, admittedly, the world does at
times look flat - he published a quarterly newsletter packed with "proof" that mankind has been duped by a scientific conspiracy.

The earth, he claimed, is a flat disc floating on primordial waters, with the North Pole at its centre and Antarctica its circumference; the sun and the moon are each 32 miles in diameter and hover some 3,000 miles overhead - with heaven a further 1,000 miles in the distance; and Australians, he
maintained with unassailable logic, "do not hang by their feet underneath the world" - as his antipodean wife was only too happy to testify. According to the Flat Earth Society's teaching, sunrises and sunsets are optical illusions and Nasa's space programme is a hoax.

Numerous historical documents and contemporary studies were called upon to support Johnson's thesis. Even Christ's ascension to heaven purportedly lent the Flat Earth Society credibility: if the earth was in fact a ball spinning in space, there would be neither up nor down. According to detailed and complex calculations undertaken by Johnson and his followers, a round world would throw up a 1,700ft-high hump in the Suez Canal, while the Mediterranean Sea would be 60 miles deep towards the middle. "Obviously
water's flat," he told one interviewer. "They're trying to tell you water's bent?"

The society's literature pulls no punches. Its aims are to carefully observe, think freely, rediscover forgotten fact, and oppose theoretical dogmatic assumptions; to help establish the United States of
the World on this flat earth; and to replace the religion of science with sanity.

Charles Kenneth Johnson, who dubbed himself "the last iconoclast", was born in San Angelo, Texas, in 1924. For 25 years he served as an aeroplane mechanic in San Francisco. During that time he was in contact with an Englishman, Samuel Shenton, who was president of the Flat Earth Society, previously known as the Universal Zetetic Society. Before his death in 1972, Shenton decreed that Johnson should inherit his work. Entrusted with this lonely task, Johnson moved to a remote ranch near Edwards Air Force Base and picked up the mantle with enthusiasm. At one time the society could boast some 3,500 members, each paying an annual membership fee of $25.

Although the world at large was slow to accept his work, Johnson remained cheerful and unruffled. He enjoyed smoking a cigar while watching the sun set over the flat desert. He was regularly interviewed by curious journalists and was often invited to speak about his subject. He received large quantities of mail, not all of it ridiculing his work, and on one occasion he starred in an ice-cream advertisement.

In 1995 Johnson's home burnt down, destroying most of his records. His wife died the following year and the society became a shadow of its former self. But his work continues both in America and also in Australia, where a local society, run by people standing upright, has been in existence for 14 years.

Charles Kenneth Johnson, mechanic and campaigner: born San Angelo, Texas 24 July 1924; President, International Flat Earth Society 1972-2001; died Lancaster, California 19 March 2001.


Obituary (8 May 2001)
by Christopher Reed
The Guardian (London)

When Charles Johnson looked out of his window, the view of California's Mojave desert stretching to the horizon neatly confirmed his beliefs as president of the International Flat Earth Society. But what of the frequent arrivals of Nasa space shuttles at the nearby Edwards air force base, and the photographs of earth as a globe that astonauts brought back?

Johnson, who has died aged 76, scoffed. "It's just a stupid old airplane carried piggy-back and dropped over Lancaster (the town where he lived). It hasn't orbited earth, that we know."

The congruence of these two - America's pioneers into the cosmos, and the white-bearded Johnson with his crackpot theories - were further proof, if any is needed, that California rivals England as the home of eccentrics. Through his quarterly Flat Earth News, which once had 3,500 subscribers, Johnson maintained that our planet was a disc of unknown dimensions, with the North Pole in the middle.

For him, the sun and moon, each 32 miles in diameter, circled the disc at a constant height of 3,000 miles. So-called sunsets, which he liked to watch from his porch as he smoked a cigar, were optical illusions. And the 1969 televised moon landing was really filmed in Arizona with a script by science-fiction writer Arthur C Clarke.

Before chuckling at Johnson's wrongheadedness, it should be noted that his society was an English invention. He took over in 1972 from the late Samuel Shenton of Dover, and the society traced its origins to the Universal Zetetic (investigating) Society, founded in England in 1832 by Sir Birley Rowbotham, who wrote a tract called Earth Not A Globe. In 1888, the even more gloriously named Sir Walter de Sodington Blount conducted a series of experiments on the Old Bedford Level canal, proving, he said, that the earth did not curve.

This, at least, was Johnson's account of his society's origins. He and his late Australian wife, Marjory, measured the surface of Lake Tahoe, in northern California, to arrive at the same conclusion. Furthermore, Johnson insisted, his wife did not hang by her feet when she was young -in a place that should never be called Down Under.

Johnson was only eight, and living in Texas, when he became committed to flat earthism. He recalled spinning a globe in class, listening incredulously to his teacher talking about gravity, and then looking out of the window at a lake, where he observed no curvature. He was an articulate defender of his beliefs and, although not highly educated, was a forceful and fluent writer.

He always insisted that the globe theory was invented by scientists - "the same old gang of witch doctors, sorcerers, tellers of tales, and priest entertainers" - attempting to obliterate Christian beliefs. Johnson was convinced that Jesus believed in a flat earth because he "ascended" into heaven, and "if earth were a ball, there would be no up or down."

Born in San Angelo, Texas, Johnson graduated from the local high school, and moved to San Francisco, where he was an airplane mechanic for 25 years. He began corresponding with Shenton, who specified before his death that Johnson should replace him at the society's head, and, by the mid-1990s, its membership had grown to nearly 4,000.

Members paid Dollars 25 a year and were given a map of the flat world. This was also, Johnson pointed out, the insignia of the United Nations, demonstrating that its founders were, at heart, flat earthers.

His last years were marrred by a near-fatal mishap, when his house burned down in 1995. He managed to rescue Marjory, who was, by then, in a wheel chair and needed oxygen to breathe. All his records were burned, and Marjory died the following year.

Johnson moved into a caravan next to the ruin of his home, but local authority officials evicted him because it did not have the required wooden foundations. He moved in with his brother, his only survivor, on the outskirts of Lancaster, and began to rebuild the society. It now has about 100 members.

Charles Kenneth Johnson, flat earther, born July 24 1924; died March 19 2001
Robert Schadewald

In Memory of Bob Schadewald
by Eugenie C. Scott

On March 12, 2000, Robert J Schadewald, former NCSE President, died in Minneapolis, Minnesota, of complications of cancer. He was 57.

Bob was a technical writer by profession, but he was known to NCSE members and many others as a researcher of the scientifically quirky. The creation/evolution issue occupied much of his time, but his true specialty was the turn-of-the-century flat-earth, geocentric, and hollow-earth movements. It would not be an exaggeration to say that he was truly the authority on these early pseudosciences, about which he wrote several articles.

He assembled an unusually complete library of materials on these enthusiasms, including original books and pamphlets as well as copies of obscure and one-of-a-kind items archived at libraries in the US and abroad. Bob was a bibliophile’s bibliophile: whenever he visited a city, he inevitably would check the library’s holdings, and he always made the rounds of used book stores. Bob's library reflected his fascination with how science could be distorted, spun around, and turned inside out to justify false claims, whether those of special creation, or the even more bizarre "theory" of a hollow earth. He delighted in pointing out similarities in how geocentrists, flat-earthers, and creationists marshaled their arguments. One of his prize possessions was a framed certificate declaring him a member of the International Flat Earth Society, headed by Charles K Johnson, of Lancaster, California. He was always happy to relate the story of how Johnson rescinded his membership after he discovered that Bob possessed “spherical tendencies”.

When I broke the news of his death to various friends and associates, the universal response was dismay that Bob had died so young, depriving us of his intelligence, his knowledge, his wit, and his company. “He knew so much!” was a common lament, and indeed, Bob had a wealth of information, seemingly retrievable on a moment’s reflection. I know that I relied a lot on his mental encyclopedia as well as on his keen insight into the people and ideas of the creationism controversy.

For Bob, more than any of us, personally knew and was friends with many of the people whose ideas we disagree with. Readers of RNCSE (and its predecessor, NCSE Reports, which Bob once edited) will recall Bob’s published analyses of quadrennial International Creationism Conferences, which he faithfully attended. There was never any question that he disagreed profoundly with the "research" presented at these meetings, and he gave no quarter in vigorous debate with the creationists participating in these meetings, but he saw no contradiction in going out afterward for a beer with these same adversaries. He made a distinction between creationists whom he considered sincere and who treated the scientific data on evolution fairly (even if they rejected it), and others whom he considered "snake-oil salesmen". When one creationist recently lost most of his personal library in a fire, Bob generously boxed up duplicate copies of his books on the creation/evolution controversy and shipped them off. There are a number of creationists who personally will miss Bob, even though they may not miss his barbed criticisms of their scientific statements or his astute dissections of their logic.

Bob resigned from the NCSE Board of Directors in the mid-1990s, citing increased demands of work as well as some personal reasons. But he remained an "on-call" advisor to me and other Board members, and was a strong proponent of NCSE to the general public. He maintained informal email connections to many other "creationism fighters", sharing information and suggesting strategy up until the last week of his life.

Once, after a typically long NCSE board meeting, a group of us had gone out for dinner. Immersed as we were in the creation and evolution controversy, after a few drinks, we started talking about creationist "scientific models" — laughing about the convolutions of data and theory required to accommodate scientific data within a 6-day creationist model. Much of the conversation consisted of "and can you believe that they actually think…?" as we regaled one another with examples of creationists' apparent ability to believe at least 7 impossible things before breakfast. We were having a pretty good time at the opposition’s expense, when Bob looked up and said, "You know, somewhere, there’s probably a bunch of creationists sitting around a table, drinking beer, and saying, ’those evolutionists! Can you believe they actually think…?’"

We’re going to miss him.

  Robert Schadewald of Burnsville, Minnesota first discovered the existence of the Flat Earth Society in the mid-1970's by noticing 'The Flat Earth Society' listed under Geo-science organizations in Gale Research's Encyclopedia of Associations.  Very intrigued, Schadewald researched the history of the organization so much that he became the greatest authority on the history of modern Flat Earthism in the world.

  As stated as an adjunct to his 1978 Smithsonian article about the wager between John Hampden and Alfred Russel Wallace, Schadewald had written a history of the modern flat Earth movement which he never managed to publish.  This is a great loss as Schadewlad was reguarded by virtually everyone as the most knowledgeable historian of the modern flat Earth movement in the world.  Schadewald said in 1997 that he still intended to have the work published.  Schadewald passed away in 2000.  The manuscript now resides with his wife.


Donald Simanek

Anonymous Venezuelan
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2006, 07:44:59 PM »
Anonymous Venezuelan

  Significant cosmographical knowledge is contained in the following Venezuelan website: