Most people do not question the shape of the Earth.

It is something explained to us as children that we accept and move on. However, for some, the shape of the Earth matters significantly, especially to those who believe it is flat.

A group of people called Flat Earthers who believe the Earth is flat and the concealment of it is a deep conspiracy has long existed. Recently, though, the group has gained a larger audience on social media.

The Flat Earth Society has more than 62,000 followers on Twitter and the idea of a flat Earth has been referenced by celebrities like Shaquille O’Neal and Kyrie Irving.

“We are actively promoting the view that the surface of the known Earth (that is, the continents currently known to mankind) is roughly flat,” Pete Svarrior, a member of the Flat Earth Society wrote in an email.

The second part of the Flat Earth Society’s mission is to encourage skepticism and questioning of everything, “especially authorities,” Svarrior wrote. “The layout of the continents is not dissimilar to that depicted in the United Nations emblem, and the emblems of many international organizations.”

The Flat Earth Society does not expect people to believe the Earth is flat; rather, organization members want people to experience it, Svarrior wrote.

“One of my favorite examples is the Bishop Experiment, an observation of the water and coastline across Monterey Bay which should be impossible under the Round Earth model,” he wrote.

Flat Earthers are a diverse group, Svarrior wrote.

“Many Flat Earthers we encounter outside of the Society are deeply spiritual or religious, which is perhaps less common within the FES (although certainly not absent!),” he wrote. “I’ve also encountered some groups which are much less accepting of dissenters – those who still accept the mainstream Round Earth cosmology as the accurate model. I’d like to think that we’re more dialogue-oriented.”

Matt Long, creator of FlatWorth.com and FlatEarthPodcast.com from Fort Worth, developed his belief of a flat earth from studying the Bible. Long said he and flat Earthers he interacts with do not associate with the Flat Earth Society.

Matt Long, the creator of FlatWorth.com and the FlatEarthPodcast.com, developed his beliefs on flat Earth from reading the Bible. He said that the Bible is a flat Earth book.
Photo by Hannah Lathen

“I didn’t come into flat Earth through any other conspiracy theories; some people jump from one conspiracy theory to the next and then they end up with flat Earth,” Long said. “I came to it from a Biblical search.

“I believe that we are in a world that is not a ball flying through space. That is still is motionless and that everything you think is outer space stars and things like that, outer space does not exist to me. But the sun, moon and stars exist but they are much smaller and much closer around us in a circle above our head we do not go around them or anything like that. And I base that on first and foremost the Bible.”

Long said he started his Biblical journey 10 years ago. Even though he always considered himself a Christian, he had never read the Bible.

“Once I started doing that I couldn’t believe how different it was. I was intrigued by how for example you couldn’t believe the Bible and evolution because the two are mutually exclusive,” he said. “I couldn’t believe the Biblical account of kinds producing after their own kinds and the Darwinian ideals of evolution.”

Long said he looked at the “geological column,” for example, and saw that Noah’s Flood better explained fossil layers than catastrophic processes.

“When I started reading this,” he said, “I started saying, ‘Oh man, I kind of need to make a decision. Am I going to believe the Bible or what I call scientism, which is the religion of science, which is the act of removing God from all theory in relation to the place that we live?’”

Long said he and the flat Earthers believe that the North Pole is the center of the Earth and the outer ring is Antarctica.

Flat Earther Matt Long said that Earth is a flat disk, rather than a planet, with the North Pole in the center of Earth and Antarctica surrounding the edge. He said he believes there is a dome or a firmament covering the planet. The flat Earth map can also be seen on the United Nations Flag.
Graphic contributed by Matt Long

“If you want to circumnavigate the earth, if you want to leave in the east and come back in the west, you can do that because the North Pole is the center and everything just lays out flat,” he said.

When Long started doing research into the different subjects mentioned in the book of Genesis, he came across a video on YouTube from Rob Skiba that talked about flat Earth.

“I had never read the Bible looking for flat Earth clues, but as soon as I did I was like, ‘How could I read this any other way?’ When you read it literally the Bible is unequivocally a flat Earth book,” he said.

In short, Long said the Bible talks about Earth set on pillars under a dome. Psalm 104:5 in the King James Bible reads, “Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed forever.”
Genesis 1:2 in the King James Bible reads, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

The Earth cannot have a face if it is a sphere, Long said.

Genesis 1:7 reads, “And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.”

Long said these verses confirm his beliefs that the Earth is flat and is covered by a firmament or a dome.

“It either comes to rest in Antarctica or beyond Antarctica. It is possible that is comes down far beyond Antarctica,” he said. “There is actually more land that we don’t even know exists beyond Antarctica.”

Dr. Gladys Childs, Texas Wesleyan’s interim dean for the School of Arts and Letters wrote in an email that most Christians would disagree with Long’s beliefs.

“While most modern Christians also accept science as a basis for truth in our world today, there still remains a small fraction of believers who completely reject science and modern thinking in favor of radically literalistic approaches to interpreting the Bible,” Childs wrote. “Once such approach is found in flat Earth theorists.”

After examining the verses Long uses to prove flat Earth in the Bible, Childs wrote that he is a “good example of when someone can be sincere; but, be sincerely wrong.”

“If we were to take all the scriptures extremely literally, then eventually, most human beings would become murderers,” she said. “For example, in Deut. 21:18-21, the Bible says we should stone all children who become rebellious. What parents have children who have not at some point rebelled?”

Long said that people who object to the idea of a flat Earth often ask why people don’t fall off the edge of the planet.

“With Antarctica and the dome, it is impossible to fall off the edge,” he said.

Long said people also question how sunrises and sunsets are possible if the Earth is flat. He said viewing sunrises and sunsets is all about perspective.

“If you are standing on a street downtown and you see street lights and they get lower and lower as they go on towards the horizon,” he said. “That is essentially what the sun is doing. The sun makes circles above us.”

Flat Earthers also view outer space differently than other people.

“While I agree that there are lights in the sky and there are some lights that don’t follow the same rules as the other ones, as the fixed stars, people refer to them as planets, I refer to them as wandering stars,” he said. “I think they are there. I just don’t think they are a place I can get on a rocket ship and land on.”

Long said that once he came to understand the notion of flat Earth, it changed his outlook on everything.

“I watch a sunset and I think about the sun going further away from me as opposed to the ball rotating,” he said. “The same thing with the sunrise. I look at the moon very different now because the moon in our model and according to the bible gives off its own light.”

Long said a huge question people often ask when trying to debunk flat Earth is how could people have gone this long thinking the Earth is a sphere when it could be flat? How could it be flat if images from space are public and America has been to the moon?

Flat Earthers believe there is a bigger plan to deceive people into thinking that everyone is just a tiny part of an infinite galaxy, whereas people are much more significant than that.

“I think the whole lie is to convince us that we are not powerful individuals, we are slaves and we need to do things a certain way in order to not disrupt the laws of society and if we don’t abide by those we are going to be thrown in prison or worse,” Long said.

When Long developed his beliefs in flat Earth, it made him wonder what else he could potentially be lied to about. The first thing he looked at was 9/11 and he does not believe what the public was told.

“I am not saying it was this person or this person, I am just telling you, I don’t believe it,” he said. “I think the whole notion of countries and governments is a way to control people in tiny little pockets. This notion of patriotism, that we are better than someone else, is flawed to the extreme.”

As for the moon landing, Long believes it is fake because he views the sun, moon and stars are inside the firmament, only thousands of miles away at most.

“The moon landing in the 60s, we have been saying we are on a globe for 500 years and that was actually the first time we supposedly, only had the opportunity to go high enough to look back and see if we did live on a ball,” he said.

“By the way, we haven’t gone back.”

Long said it blows his mind when people say the shape of the Earth doesn’t affect them.

“I cannot understand if you were a dog living in someone’s backyard and you got outside the fence,” he said, “you don’t think that would affect the dog’s mindset like, ‘Wow, what else is out here?’”

Dr. Chad Pevateaux assistant professor of philosophy and religion said the notion of a flat Earth is nothing new.

“The ancient Babylonian cosmos was a circle with flat Earth at the center and then the heavens were up and the abyss was down,” Pevateaux said. “Christians are going to overlay that with still a flat Earth, everybody who had anything to do with what was written in what we call the Bible, what Christians will designate with Old and New Testament, everybody who had anything to do with that, believed the world was flat.”

However, there is a mismatch between present knowledge and previous knowledge, Pevateaux said.

“The Bible has a flat Earth view of things, but that is the thing,” he said. “These ancient stories no longer really fit our modern mentalities.”

In some ways, the values and language used in ancient times still affect us today, Pevateaux said.

“’Up’ and ‘down’ are pretty key ways to think about it because up in our modern scientific knowledge, ‘up’ is not what it was for the ancients. For the ancients it was a stable thing,” he said.

Because the Earth is spinning rapidly through space, “up” is a changing, fluid thing, he said.

“Also, down, we would love there to be a firm foundation, we would love for there to be a flat Earth that was stable, but we actually know with plate tectonics and things that down is not what we thought it was,” he said. “The firm foundation is only relatively firm.”

Dr. Bruce Benz, biology professor, said much of Flat Earthers’ understanding is willful denial that comes at a cost.

“In order to understand some of these things, it takes time and effort to embrace how the relationship between particular observations can make sense of the universe and that isn’t something trivial in many cases,” Benz said.
Benz said that every object in the solar system that science has attempted to describe and then accurately depict through imaging is spherical or nearly so. It is because the Earth is spherical that the cycles of night and day exist.

“If it weren’t spherical there would be different cycles,” he said. “We could predict different cycles because it would flat.”

Benz said if someone is exposed to the sun, they would be in sunlight and the moment they stopped being in sunlight, it would be dark.

“In no place except the tropics does sunrise and sunset appear abrupt. There in fact is supporting evidence that it is spherical because as you move away from the equator, dawn and dusk are long-term phenomena,” he said. “Why is that? Because of the sphericity of the earth.”

Long said that anyone interested in the notion of a flat Earth should do the research on their own because the evidence is out there.

“I believe we have the ability to recognize truth,” Long said. “If we have the love for truth in us, I think we are able to recognize it when we see it.”

The Rambler took a poll on twitter Sept. 4 asking, “Do you think the Earth is flat?” Of the 75 people who voted, 23 percent chose“yes,” 73 percent chose “no” and four percent chose “I Don’t Know.”
Graphic by Hannah Lathen

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Hannah Lathen

Hannah Lathen is a senior at Texas Wesleyan with plans to change the world through her work in journalism. Lathen was raised right here in Fort Worth and found her passion for storytelling while working as managing editor for Tarrant County College’s newspaper, The Collegian. Part of her passion for journalism also comes from her drive to make sure the public knows the truth about what is happening around them. Through her writing, Lathen hopes to increase the awareness of those around her. She finds inspiration from prominent figures such as John F. Kennedy all the way to Kim Kardashian West.

Lathen spends her free time jamming out at concerts and protesting unprogressive ideals.

After college, Lathen wants to transition from journalism into activism. Her favorite quotes are “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living” by Nelson Mandela and “If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite,” by William Blake.

Lathen’s motto is “question everything.”

12 Comments

  1. September 28, 2018 at 3:34 pm — Reply

    Great Job Hannah. Here is the link to the entire interview if anyone is interested:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adR2Xi613UI

  2. Daniel Lamoreux
    September 28, 2018 at 4:16 pm — Reply

    Great article, nice to see a FE article without any ridicule. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK MATT!

  3. September 28, 2018 at 5:44 pm — Reply

    Great interview Matt, It was very well done. I recommend watching the full interview on YouTube as well.

  4. September 28, 2018 at 6:04 pm — Reply

    The earth is obviously flat once you take the time to actually look and realize the incredible amount of false indoctrination you have been subject to your entire life. Things that we assume are the only possibility are blinding us from the much simpler answer and truth. If you think the earth is a spinning water ball flying through infinite space, it’s only because you haven’t really looked or thought about it even if you think you have. BEWARE of the disinformation from many sites that try and scare you away like The Flat Earth Society and The Joe Rogan Sellout Experience. Search: Flat Earth Clues. Bubbles in Space. The Flat Earth Podcast. @00 Proofs the Earth is Flat and A STRANGERS GUIDE TO FLAT EARTH 21 QUESTIONS.

  5. Jacob Lee
    September 28, 2018 at 6:21 pm — Reply

    Flat Earth is a beautiful thing that the world needs to see. Its a life changing eye opening experience! Like Matt says God is the creator and he is being hid from us. It takes a lot of courage to take a stand in something like flat earth. Science is a good thing until it forces its philosophical beliefs into the schools and mis directs our children away from our creator. Kudos to Matt! God bless.

  6. September 28, 2018 at 6:46 pm — Reply

    Too bad all the professors quoted are repeating the system’s explanation for everything instead of what we see.

  7. Kurtis Schwartz
    September 28, 2018 at 8:55 pm — Reply

    Well done Matt! Keep spreading the truth, brother! For anyone new to the flat earth truth, research Rob Skiba, ODD reality, Jeranism, Mark Sargent, Ditrh, Flatworth, Crrow777 Radio. These guys have great content and it’s a good way to get started on a new journey and will give you the motivation to go examine things for yourself! Also, Matt, I miss Curious J but you’re doing an awesome job on the podcast! Everyone go subscribe to The Flat Earth Podcast as well! Again, well done Matt.

  8. Jeremiah
    September 29, 2018 at 5:52 am — Reply

    When I found the FE theories I thought it was a joke and that the people were crazy. Somehow I found it again later and decided I would listen to what these crazies had to say and debunk them. That didn’t happen…EARTH IS NOT A BALL!

  9. September 29, 2018 at 8:43 am — Reply

    Matt Long and the FEP’s DITRH rock. The world is observably and obviously not spinning or an oblate spheroid.

  10. Jessica Mason
    September 29, 2018 at 12:33 pm — Reply

    Well written Hannah, great interview Matt… keeping it flat all the way from Canada!

  11. Eric Andrew Hanson
    October 1, 2018 at 10:56 am — Reply

    Thank you Hannah Lathen for this article.
    I have been keeping a close eye on the current discourse around cosmology for a couple of years now and it is nice to see an article reflect fairness like this one.

    What drives me and spurs my interest is having my trust in history and science dissolved by finding the moon landings were faked, the space station is faked and the official 9/11 story is a fiction. This leads me to return to all the “common sense” knowledge that had passed my skeptical review previously.
    It has been a very exciting path for me personally as I am fascinated by how apparently difficult it is to have an open exchange of ideas on the subject of the nature of our world.
    I do hope that our shared conversations about history and science continue to improve and be characterized by patience and careful listening.

  12. Jake Mac
    October 4, 2018 at 12:29 pm — Reply

    What the author of this article has done nicely is shown that even with the best of intentions, there are just people out there that will forever be unable to comprehend the complexity of our world. They will always look for a simplified “truth” that will work with their limited capacities. Understandable to say the least, big and complex things scare people, it is part of our nature.

    As an engineer I am disappointed that we are in the 21st century now and we still have such ignorance about such a simple thing that has been known for quite some time. That everything that these people enjoy today can not work in their simplified world they are yearning for.

    I hope that what these shared conversations bring about a warning to the world as a whole the dangers of such ignorance, fears and lack of true scientific reasoning. I hope we learn from them before we fall back into another dark age.

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