Flat Earth movement grows in US | Sunday Observer

Flat Earth movement grows in US

Every Tuesday at 6 p.m., three dozen Coloradans from every corner of the state assemble in the windowless back room of a small Fort Collins coffee shop. They have met 16 times since March, most nights talking through the ins and outs of their shared faith until the owners kick them out at closing.

“They just do not want to talk about it for fear of reprisals or ridicule from co-workers,” says John Vnuk, the group’s founder who lives in Fort Collins.

He is at the epicenter of a budding movement, one that’s coming for your books, movies, God and mind. They’re thousands strong - perhaps one in every 500 - and have proponents at the highest levels of science, sports, journalism and arts.

They call themselves Flat Earthers. Because they believe Earth - the blue, majestic, spinning orb of life - is as flat as a table.

“This is a new awakening,” Vnuk says with a spark in his earth-blue eyes. “Some will accept it, some won’t. But love it or hate it, you can’t ignore Flat Earth.”

The Fort Collins group - mostly white and mostly male, college-age to septuagenarian - touts itself as the first community of Flat Earthers in the United States. Sister groups have since spawned in Boston, New York, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Chicago.

In Colorado, Ptolemaic-science revivalists have lofty ambitions: raising $6,000 to put up a billboard along Interstate 25 broadcasting their worldview. At the Tuesday night meet-ups, believers invite fellow adherents to open discussions in which the like-minded confirm one another’s hunches and laugh at the folly of those still stuck in the Enlightenment.

“There’s so much evidence once you set aside your preprogrammed learning and begin to look at things objectively with a critical eye,” says Bob Knodel, a Denver resident and featured guest at a recent Tuesday meeting. “You learnasoon that what we’re taught is mainly propaganda.”

Knodel worked for 35 years as an engineer and now runs the popular YouTube channel Globebusters, which has nearly 2 million views across more than 135 videos.

“I’ve researched conspiracies for a long time,” he says. “I’ve looked very critically at NASA. Why is it that the astronauts have conflicting stories about the sky? Is it bright with stars, or a deep velvet black?”

His wife, Cami, shares his views. “Our YouTube channel gets people to critically think,” she said to the Fort Collins group. “The heliocentric model says that we’re spinning at 1,038 mph.

They say you won’t notice it because it’s a continual motion. But you should be able to feel it. You shouldn’t be able to function allegedly spinning that fast.”

The weekly meet-ups also give forum to friendly lines of questioning. Some are straightforward (“What do you say back to people who call you stupid?”) and summon a ready-made answer (“You’re not stupid, period.

They have to understand that there are deceptions going on at enormous levels”). Others stump even the experts. “How are we Flat Earthers supposed to explain to our friends the solar eclipse in August?” asked one attendee. The room fell silent. “We’ll have to do more research and get back to you on that.”

That research tends to fall on the shoulders of movement leaders, many of whom have backgrounds in related fields. Mark Sargent is the father of Flat Earth organizing in the United States.

He worked as a software analyst in Boulder for 20 years before relocating to Seattle, where he sets up Flat Earth meet-ups through YouTube. His channel has amassed 7.7 million video views and almost 40,000 regular subscribers. The Centennial State has been the cradle of the American flat earth renaissance since birth.

- Denver Post 

Comments

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.