More than 200 conspiracy theorists gathered in Birmingham for the UK’s first-ever Flat Earth Convention this weekend, in the battle to disprove millennia of scientific theory that our planet is a sphere.
Attendees at the event included IT and NHS workers, as well as what The Daily Telegraph describes as “off-grid environmentalists”.
Convention organiser Gary John said: “People are waking up. We’re seeing an explosion of interest in Flat Earth theories and increasing mistrust of governments.”
In discussions held over three days at Birmingham’s Jurys Inn hotel, “guest speakers unveiled their scientific proof that the Earth is more pancake than profiterole”, the Telegraph reports.
“My research destroys Big Bang cosmology. It supports the idea that gravity doesn’t exist and the only true force in nature is electromagnetism,” explained David Marsh, a manager at the NHS Supply Chain head office in Alfreton, Derbyshire.
Although there is disagreement amongst the new wave of Flat Earth enthusiasts about Earth’s exact shape, “most share a core belief the planet has no curvature, and is not moving through space or spinning”, the newspaper adds.
“We know that continuous East-West travel is a reality,” said convention speaker Darren Nesbit. “No one has ever come to, or crossed a physical boundary.”
Nesbit’s own view is that the Earth is supported by pillars and shaped like a diamond, with the North and South Poles in opposite corners.
“I’m not saying this is definitely what is going on, but I think it is a plausible model,” he said.
The number of people who believe Earth is flat “has rocketed in recent years, with self-styled experts promoting the theory – along with some celebrities”, says Metro.
During the last five years, online Google searches in the UK for the phrase “flat Earth” have risen tenfold, according to Google Trends.
Former England cricketer Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff “revealed last year that he was obsessed with a podcast called The Flat Earthers – and coming round to their ideas”, adds Metro.
Flintoff said, “If you’re in a helicopter and you hover, why does the Earth not come to you if it’s round? Why, if we’re hurtling through space, why would water stay still? Why is it not wobbling? Also if you fire a laser about 16 miles, if the world was curved, you shouldn’t be able to see it but you can.”