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June 13, 2017

Here are 10 fascinating reactions to the flat-earth billboard story

Some people just want to be heard. Others are mad that people who just want to be heard get heard, especially when it pertains to something they consider a nonsensical conspiracy theory.

That’s my takeaway from the reaction to a story I wrote Monday about the Infinite Plane Society paying for a “Research Flat Earth” billboard on I-76 for the past week.

As if researching that piece – you can see it here if you haven’t yet – didn’t take me down a wormhole of Mariana Trench depth, the reactions drilled even deeper.

This seems like the perfect time to share something with readers: I think the world is round and don’t believe that the elites are hiding land near Antarctica to consolidate power and riches.

But, I also think that if someone ponies up a couple hundred bucks for a billboard that people are talking about in Philly, it’s my job to hear them out.

Now that that’s established, the time has come to share some of the myriad reactions that made their way to my inbox since Monday morning, including the pro and con sides for fairness sake. (And, by the way, they don't even begin to touch on the 130-plus-comment battle playing out at the bottom of the story.)

Here we go:

1. “How badly do you want the truth?” came the question accompanied by a 56-minute video entitled “Cult of Rome v1: Jesus = Helios” and the declaration that “everything we know is a lie.”  JamesPaul vonHelton

2. “The person claiming to be Mark Sargent in the video and the Tim Ozman person you are writing about are one in the same. His name is actually Mark Larson.” – Patrick B. (Ozman didn't respond to a request for comment on this one Monday night.)

3. “There are lots of people who claim that government agents are deliberately sewing misinfo so you'll see some paranoid comments, but in a few hours, the greater FE community will be responding to this. It's really the first unbiased mainstream newspaper coverage yet.” – FLAT EARTH PEOPLE EVERYWHERE

4. “My name is Tim Osman and I have been debunking the flat earth nonsense for 2 years. The Tim Ozman character came out about 9 months ago out of the blue using my name as a nom de plume. Infinite plane society, or Tim Ozman, has written a book entitled 'zombie media marketing' as well. He happens to have extremely effective online presence through different social media platforms. I have spoken with this person several times and those videos are here: 

Debunked his city council escapade here:

Most of the conspiracy crowd fell for this flat earth meme, in which I believe it to be a psychological operation or some kind of stunt from a PR company. The people at the top, all of which I have interacted with, seem to be using this as a money making scheme, where they fill their victims with the conspiracy they want to hear, while robbing their pockets on $120 maps and other worthless swag.” – “The Real Tim Osman”


A group of 'flat earthers' raised money to get their message on a billboard a few miles away from Philadelphia International Airport in June 2017.

5. “Just wanted to ping you an email to say thank you for the integral and unbiased coverage of Flat Earth. As mentioned in the article, there are many factions within this debate, but the agreed upon points stand.” – Spiritual North

6. “Remedy: 100mg Thorazine/hr for these flatards. The burden of proof is on them since they are expounding these ridiculous fairy tales. Just like their counterparts the Christians claiming g*d exists and jesus is coming back may 34, 2011 or June 98, 2013. Lots of delusion! I hope they do send a rocket up in space and get a real dose of reality.” – Randy

7. “The Chicago skyline can be viewed from all the way across Lake Michigan with a telephoto lens. This disproves the globe model. We are talking almost 50 miles. According to the ball earth model, there is no way any part of the Chicago skyline should viewable from 50 miles away. The curvature formula is 8 inches per mile squared. Or simply 8x^2. So 8 inches of curvature the first mile, 32 inches of curvature the second mile and so on. Do the math and realize that we have been lied to my friend.” – Darrell Dragoo

8. "Here is a video that shows NASA faking space. Near the end of this video you will see a harness 'plane'J as day. The CGI failed exposing the harness as the astroNOT floats by. Tough to dispute. Enjoy this fun and informative video.” – Atlantis

9. “I've been looking at it for almost 2 years now and nobody has come close to debunking it. I hope you're not getting too much flack from all the trolls because there are a few out there. I became a flat earther trying to debunk the flat earth.” – Joseph, Iowa

10. “Rarely do I come across an article that is not composed of mockery, ad hominem attacks and lies about our flat earth. It is very important to get the truth out to people as the ball earth model has been totally exposed by an ever increasing momentum of well researched, documented, tested and articulated evidence. There is a massive deception going on and in multiple levels of society and it's up to journalists of integrity like yourself to go as far as they can (without loosing their jobs!)” – HighlandResearch, Scotland

And there you have it. I don't think we're any closer to closing the flat-earth battle, but open discussion is a good thing!