Last week on November 9 and 10, the Flat Earth International Conference took place in Raleigh, North Carolina. About 400 people are thought to have attended, flying from around the world to take part. And, well, it looked just wonderful.
The conference included talks by various notable Flat Earth conspiracy theorists, some lovingly titled with things like “NASA and other Space Lies” and "Waking Up to Mainstream Science Lies". Tickets to attend ranged from $109 up to $249.
Now, controversial opinion alert, but while Earth is obviously not flat, I don’t necessarily bemoan these people for meeting up. Everyone likes to feel like they belong, right?
In the BBC video below, for example, one of the attendees just said he wanted to meet other like-minded people. I’d rather they had a different hobby, true, but some people feel alone, and just need others to talk to.
That being said, it would be nice if this flat Earth thing stayed kinda confined to small events like this. In recent times we’ve had basketball players and musicians speak out in favor of it, which you know, isn’t great. The event this year appears to have been a lot more popular than previous years.
And then you get to some of the videos from some of the talks, which are just downright crazy. To highlight one, below is a Q&A (nod to Patheos for picking this up) from the prominent flat-Earther and YouTuber Mark Sargent. It’s weird.
If you don’t want to watch the whole thing, here are some highlights. At 12 minutes in he answers a question about getting the Flat Earth theory into schools.
“I think we’re almost at the critical mass point,” Sargent said. “Science is gonna have to address this, plain and simple. They cannot dodge us forever.”
My favorite bit, though, is when he answers a question about Elon Musk (no! not Elon) around 31:10. The question itself is great:
“I was wondering, people like Elon Musk, who founded the SpaceX programme [Sargent groans in disgust], when they reach, if they actually do produce a rocket capable of reaching the dome so to speak… are they going to strike it and immediately explode, or are they going to hug the edge?”
Can Sargent respond to that? Hell yes he can.
“Okay officially, Elon Musk, anything that man says is an outright lie,” he said, to applause from the audience. “Elon Musk just pulls crap out of his butt on a weekly basis.”
The whole thing just sounds like really great fun, and I’m gutted I missed it. Fortunately, the conference is annual, and there are events in London and Sydney coming up. See you there.