“The Earth is flat,” declared Kyrie Irving, the Duke and now NBA basketballer. Evidently, this sentiment is more popular than one might expect, and close to home too. Not far from Irving’s alma mater, Duke, is the highly educated and tech-focused Town of Cary. Which happens to be the setting of the 2017 Flat Earth International Conference.
The 2017 Flat Earth International Conference must not be confused with the similarly named “Flat Earth Society” which seems more legitimate in the flat-earther world. The Flat Earth Society has a surprisingly wide social media following, 20,000 on Twitter. In fact, there are no fewer than nine paid members living in North Carolina.
The 2017 Flat Earth International Conference is centered around the core beliefs of modern-day flat-earthers, who believe that Earth is flat, motionless in space, and surrounded on all sides by an enormous, Game of Thrones-like wall of ice. Furthermore, many flat-earthers can be cited with more wild theories, although these three tenets seem universal across flat-earther logic.
The 2017 Flat Earth International Conference is a panel of experts, a flat-earthers discussion, and an expo of conspiracy theories and pseudoscience. On November 9, for example, there will be a discussion named “NASA and other space lies.” The esteemed speakers of The Conference are all superstar YouTube conspiracy theorists, such as Richard Hopkins, Jeran Campanella, and Odd TV. In addition to the earthly debate in the spotlight, theories relating to 9/11, Sandy Hook, Illuminati-Lizard-Moon conglomerates, government mind control, the Bible, the moon landing, and Antarctica can be viewed online through their various websites and social media accounts.
The contemporary flat-earthers’ understanding of the world can be traced back to the studies of Samuel Rowbotham, a 19th century scientist from England, who now has a surprisingly hefty following online. Rowbotham created a highly criticized experiment in the 19th century in which he sent a model boat down a six mile river track. His evidence, defending the flatness of the earth, was that the boat did not disappear over the curve of the Earth. To many, this may seem shaky; however, this is one of the great pillars of the ideology of the flat-earthers.
The 2017 Flat Earth Conference, which will be held in Cary at The Embassy Suites Hotel on November 9 and 10 has completely sold out. Some 500 flat-earthers have paid tickets ranging from 150-250 dollars to attend the event. For those still interested in learning about the lies taught to us in elementary school, web tickets are available online starting at 17 dollars.