Total Eclipse of the Mind

Many people think that modern astronomy’s ability to accurately predict lunar and solar eclipses is a result and proof positive of the heliocentric theory of the universe.  The fact of the matter however is that eclipses have been accurately predicted by cultures worldwide for thousands of years before the “heliocentric ball-Earth” was even a glimmer in Copernicus’ imagination.  Ptolemy in the 1st century A.D. accurately predicted eclipses for six hundred years on the basis of a flat, stationary Earth with equal precision as anyone living today.  All the way back in 600 B.C. Thales accurately predicted an eclipse which ended the war between the Medes and Lydians.  Eclipses happen regularly with precision in 18 year cycles, so regardless of geocentric or heliocentric, flat or globe Earth cosmologies, eclipses can be accurately calculated independent of such factors.

Those who are unacquainted with the methods of calculating eclipses and other phenomena, are prone to look upon the correctness of such calculations as powerful arguments in favour of the doctrine of the earth’s rotundity and the Newtonian philosophy, generally. One of the most pitiful manifestations of ignorance of the true nature of theoretical astronomy is the ardent inquiry so often made, ‘How is it possible for that system to be false, which enables its professors to calculate to a second of time both solar and lunar eclipses for hundreds of years to come?’ The supposition that such calculations are an essential part of the Newtonian or any other theory is entirely gratuitous, and exceedingly fallacious and misleading. Whatever theory is adopted, or if all theories are discarded, the same calculations can be made.”  -Dr. Samuel Rowbotham, “Zetetic Astronomy, Earth Not a Globe!” (151)

The Chaldeans used to predict the eclipses three thousand years ago; with a degree of accuracy that is only surpassed by seconds in these days because we have wonderful clocks which they had not. Yet they had an entirely different theory of the universe than we have. The fact is that eclipses occur with a certain exact regularity just as Christmas and birthdays do, every so many years, days and minutes, so that anyone who has the records of the eclipses of thousands of years can predict them as well as the best astronomers, without any knowledge of their cause.”  -Gerrard Hickson, “Kings Dethroned” (40)

The simplest method of ascertaining any future eclipse is to take the tables which have been formed during hundreds of years of careful observation; or each observer may form his own tables by collecting a number of old almanacks one for each of the last forty years; separate the times of the eclipses in each year, and arrange them in a tabular form. On looking over the various items he will soon discover parallel cases, or ‘cycles’ of eclipses; that is, taking the eclipses in the first year of his table, and examining those of each succeeding year, he will notice peculiarities in each year’s phenomena; but on arriving to the items of the nineteenth and twentieth years, he will perceive that some of the eclipses in the earlier part of the table will have been now repeated–that is to say, the times and characters will be alike … Tables of the places of the sun and moon, of eclipses, and of kindred phenomena, have existed for thousands of years, and were formed independently of each other, by the Chaldean, Babylonian, Egyptian, Hindoo, Chinese, and other ancient astronomers. Modern science has had nothing to do with these.”  -Dr. Samuel Rowbotham, “Zetetic Astronomy, Earth Not a Globe!” (153-154)

Another assumption and supposed proof of Earth’s shape, heliocentrists claim that lunar eclipses are caused by the shadow of the ball-Earth occulting the Moon.  The idea is that the Sun, Earth, and Moon spheres perfectly align like three billiard balls in a row so that the Sun’s light casts the Earth’s shadow onto the Moon.  Unfortunately for heliocentrists, this explanation is rendered completely invalid due to the fact that lunar eclipses have happened and continue to happen regularly when both the Sun and Moon are still visible together above the horizon!  For the Sun’s light to be casting Earth’s shadow onto the Moon, the three bodies must be aligned in a straight 180 degree syzygy.

The Newtonian hypothesis involves the necessity of the Sun, in the case of a lunar eclipse, being on the opposite side of a globular earth, to cast its shadow on the Moon: but, since eclipses of the Moon have taken place with both the Sun and the Moon above the horizon, it follows that it cannot be the shadow of the Earth that eclipses the Moon, and that the theory is a blunder.”  -William Carpenter, “100 Proofs the Earth is Not a Globe” (57)

That the eclipsor of the moon is a shadow at all is assumption–no proof whatever is offered. That the moon receives her light from the sun, and that therefore her surface is darkened by the earth intercepting the sun’s light, is not proved. It is not proved that the earth moves in an orbit round the sun, and therefore, by being in different positions, conjunction of sun, earth, and moon, ‘Day some-times occur.’ The contrary has been clearly proved–that the moon is not eclipsed by a shadow; that she is self-luminous, and not merely a reflector of solar light, and therefore could not possibly be obscured or eclipsed by a shadow from any object whatever; and that the earth is devoid of motion, either on axes or in an orbit through space. Hence to call that an argument for the earth’s rotundity, where every necessary proposition is only assumed, and in relation to which direct and practical evidence to the contrary is abundant, is to stultify the judgment and every other reasoning faculty.”  -Dr. Samuel Rowbotham, “Zetetic Astronomy, Earth Not a Globe!” (301)

According to the globular theory, a lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, earth, and moon are in a direct line; but it is on record that since about the fifteenth century over fifty eclipses have occurred while both sun and moon have been visible above the horizon.”  -F.H. Cook, “The Terrestrial Plane”

As early as the time of Pliny, there are records of lunar eclipses happening while both the Sun and Moon are visible in the sky.  The Greenwich Royal Observatory recorded that “during the lunar eclipses of July 17th, 1590, November 3rd, 1648, June 16th, 1666, and May 26th, 1668 the moon rose eclipsed whilst the sun was still above the horizon.”  McCulluch’s Geography recorded that “on September 20th, 1717 and April 20th, 1837 the moon appeared to rise eclipsed before the sun had set.”  Sir Henry Holland also noted in his “Recollections of Past Life” the April 20th, 1837 phenomena where “the moon rose eclipsed before the sun set.”  The Daily Telegraph recorded it happening again on January 17th, 1870, then again in July of the same year, and it continues to happen during lunar eclipses to this day.

It is alleged by the learned that at a lunar eclipse the earth casts a shadow on the moon, by intercepting the light of the sun.  The shadow, it is alleged, is circular, and as only a globe can cast a circular shadow, and as that shadow is cast by the earth, of course the earth is a globe.  In fact, what better proof could any reasonable person require?  ‘Powerful reasoning,’ says the dupe.  Let us see.  I have already cited a case where sun and moon have been seen with the moon eclipsed, and as the earth was not between, or they both could not have been seen, the shadow said to be on the moon could not possibly have been cast by the earth.  But as refraction is charged with raising the moon above the horizon, when it is said to be really beneath, and the amount of refraction made to tally with what would be required to square the matter, let us see how refraction would act in regard to a shadow.  Refraction can only exist where the object and the observer are in different densities.  If a shilling be put in the bottom of a glass and observed there is no refraction.  Refraction casts the image of the shilling UPWARDS, but a shadow always downwards.  If a basin be taken and put near a light, so that the shadow will shorten inwards and DOWNWARDS; but if the rod is allowed to rest in the basin and water poured in, the rod will appear to be bent UPWARDS.  This places the matter beyond dispute and proves that it is out of the range of possibility that the shadow said to be on the moon could be that of the earth.”  -Thomas Winship, “Zetetic Cosmogeny” (78)

In an attempt to explain away the inconsistencies in their theory, heliocentrists usually claim light refraction must be happening on a scale large enough to account for the phenomena.  George G. Carey in his “Astronomy and Astronomical Instruments” claims that this is the reason the full moon has sometimes been seen eclipsed above the horizon before the sunset, due to a “horizontal refraction of 36 or 37 minutes, generally about 33 minutes, which is equal to the diameter of the Sun or Moon.”  Even if this highly-implausible reverse-engineered damage-control explanation is accepted, it cannot explain how Earth-bound observers are supposedly able to see 12,000 miles 180 degrees around “the globe.”

Even if we admit refraction, and that to the extent seemingly required to prove that when the eclipsed moon is seen above the horizon, we are still confronted with a fact which entirely annihilates every theory propounded to account for the phenomenon.  Taking the astronomers’ own equation of 8” to the mile, varying inversely as the square of the distance, for the curvature of the earth, where sun and moon are both seen at a lunar eclipse, the center of the sun is said to be in a straight line with the centers of the earth and the moon, each luminary being 90 degrees from the observer.  This would give about 6,000 miles as the distance of each body from the observer.  Now, what is the curvature in 6,000 miles?  No less than 24,000,000 feet or 4,545 miles.  Therefore, according to the astronomers own showing an observer would have to get up into space 4,545 miles before he could see both sun and moon above his horizon at a lunar eclipse!!!  As lunar eclipses have been seen from the surface of the earth with sun and moon both above the horizon at the same time, it is conclusively proved THAT THERE IS NO ‘CURVATURE OF THE EARTH,’ and, therefore, that the world is a plane, and cannot by any possibility be globular.  This one proof alone demolishes forever the fabric of astronomical imagination and popular credulity.”  -Thomas Winship, “Zetetic Cosmogeny” (78-9)

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