Sunday 7 February 2016

81)” The distance from which various lighthouse lights around the world are visible at sea far exceeds what could be found on a ball-Earth 25,000 miles in circumference. For example, the Dunkerque Light in southern France at an altitude of 194 feet is visible from a boat (10 feet above sea-level) 28 miles away. Spherical trigonometry dictates that if the Earth was a globe with the given curvature of 8 inches per mile squared, this light should be hidden 190 feet below the horizon.

Phony numbers + refraction

Has that really happened? I don't know; Mr. Dubay only presents claims, but no evidence.
Dunkerque light house is actually 66.35m above sea-level (217.7 feet).

Geometrically it can be seen from at least 29.1km away, a boat 10 feet above water can look at least 6.2km far.
A refraction coefficient of 0.33 at a distance of 45km (28 miles) will give you 6.2+39= 45.2 km of added intersecting sight lines. That means after a sunny day over open water you are able to see the lighthouse from that boat. For more on refraction coefficients and why a value of 0.33 for these conditions over open waters is entirely possible, look here:

Mirages and lighthouses.

You know, we've discussed this in the last few points..

Let's just say that the photographic evidence tells us that these are mirages.
Here are a large set of photographs showing the mirage effect in this location.

A more recent debunking of similar claims by Mr Dubay here

80) “In Chambers’ Journal, February 1895, a sailor near Mauritius in the Indian Ocean reported having seen a vessel which turned out to be an incredible 200 miles away! The incident caused much heated debate in nautical circles at the time, gaining further confirmation in Aden, Yemen where another witness reported seeing a missing Bombay steamer from 200 miles away. He correctly stated the precise appearance, location and direction of the steamer all later corroborated and confirmed correct by those onboard. Such sightings are absolutely inexplicable if the Earth were actually a ball 25,000 miles around, as ships 200 miles distant would have to fall approximately 5 miles below line of sight!

 Empty claim.

The first one relies solely on an eye-witness report of a guy who claims to have seen a certain ship from a long distance. Well... that has never turned out to be wrong in the history of human kind. Eye-witness testimony without any further evidence is scientifically worthless.

The second is almost the same thing, only that the person allegedly stated correct position, appearance and movement of the ship.

Well.. can a bare human eye resolve a ship's appearance from 200 miles away? And can you prove that the guy had absolutely no chance of knowing where the ship was from other sources? Can you prove that he wasn't just one out of thousand people who were guessing and he happened to be the one who got it kind of right? Have you heard of any guy in Yemen being able to repeat this incredible feat from that distance?

The answers are: No, no, no and... no.

Mirages can be seen by sailors, too.

Mirages can be seen by anything that can see. Don't be surprised if sailors see it.
79) “From Anchorage, Alaska at an elevation of 102 feet, on clear days Mount McKinley can be seen with the naked eye from 130 miles away. If Earth were a ball 25,000 miles in circumference, Mount McKinley’s 20,320 foot summit should be leaning back away from the observer and almost half covered by 9,220 feet of curved Earth. In reality, however, the entire mountain can be quite easily seen standing straight from base to summit.

79. Anchorage, again
Inventing new arguments is hard. Different mountain, same story- click the link to  78.

False claim

Denali (FKA Mount McKinley) has an elevation of 6190. Distance to Anchorage is 215km. Even factoring out refraction, the horizon for Denali lies at least at 281km.

78) “From Anchorage, Alaska at an elevation of 102 feet, on clear days Mount Foraker can be seen with the naked eye 120 miles away. If Earth were a ball 25,000 miles in circumference, Mount Foraker’s 17,400 summit should be leaning back away from the observer covered by 7,719 feet of curved Earth. In reality, however, the entire mountain can be quite easily seen standing straight from base to summit.”



 First, there's a very clear superior mirage in that image - the foot of the mountain is not visible, but there is a different colour there (etcetera).

Also, it happens quite often there - the latitude and the geography combine to regularly cause mirages, e.g. theEleutiiam=n Range 
is often visible.

As for the angle, we've already discussed it. It's not much, although this height should be resolvable. Now, I'm not familiar with these mountains, and mountains are known for having so many ridges and angles that I really can't tell if it's straight up or tilted. 

False claim.
Mount Foraker has an elevation of 5304m. Distance to Anchorage is 210km. Even factoring out refraction, the horizon for Mount Foraker lies at least at 260km.

77) "Also from Genoa, on bright clear days, the island of Elba can be seen an incredible 125 miles away! If Earth were a ball 25,000 miles in circumference, Elba should be forever invisible behind 8770 feet of curvature.”

We know...Genoa and mirages.
Yep, it's in the video.

Very phony numbers

Monte Capanne on Elba has an elevation of 1019m. With 300m observation height in Genoa and and refraction coefficient of 0.2 at a distance of 201km you get 207.1 km of added intersecting sight lines. Elba is visible.

Seeing Corsica from Genoa  because of a  superior mirage

76) “From Genoa, Italy 70 feet above sea-level, the island of Capraia 102 miles away can often be seen as well. If Earth were a ball 25,000 miles in circumference, Capraia should always remain hidden behind 5,605 feet, over a mile of supposed curvature.”

Very phony numbers

Monte Castello on Capraia has an elevation of 447m. With 300m observation height in Genoa and and refraction coefficient of 0.2 at a distance of 164km you get 170.9 km of added intersecting sight lines. Capraia is visible.

What did we just say?  Elba is in the video. [

75) “From Genoa, Italy at a height of just 70 feet above sea-level, the island of Corsica can often be seen 99 miles away. If Earth were a ball 25,000 miles in circumference, Corsica should fall 5,245 feet, almost an entire mile below the horizon.”

Genoa has mirages often.

And this one gives us a Youtube movie too.

Miraggi accadono, faccia o requiescat in pace. I don't speak Italian, but google translate does. And I put in Ezio Auditore da Firenze's `requiescat in pace', because references.

See #74 for details.

Monte Cinto on Corsica has an elevation of 2706m. With 300m observation height in Genoa and and refraction coefficient of 0.2 at a distance of 159km you get 260.8 km of added intersecting sight lines. Corsica is very visible.

74) “From Genoa, Italy at a height of just 70 feet above sea-level, the island of Gorgona can often be seen 81 miles away. If Earth were a ball 25,000 miles in circumference, Gorgona should be hidden beyond 3,332 feet of curvature.”

Very phony numbers

The cited 70 feet above sea-level are clearly nonsense when you look at the source of an Italian youtube-video. These pictures must have been taken from one of the tallest buildings or highest points of observation in or around Genoa.

One seems to have been shot from one of the mountains surrounding Genoa.
There's even one scene where you can see a small airplane fly by BELOW the observer.
Monte Fasce just outside the central city is 834 meters high

Here are the coordinates of the building in the first picture: 44°24'16.44"N   8°56'9.37"E.
It's Terrazza Martini Tower, 116m high and standing on roughly 20m ground elevation (according to google earth). The observer is clearly standing higher than that.

Since the 70 feet (21m!) are so utterly misleading and you can't tell the distances from the video, for all following pictures from Genoa I'll calculate with 300m height.

(Sources for calculations: See #69&70)
Gorgona has an elevation of 254m, with 300m observing height in Genoa and refraction coefficient of 0.2 (this is a generous guess for these kinds of conditions) at a distance of 131km you get 143.7km of added intersecting sight lines. Gorgona is visible.

73) “In 1872 Capt. Gibson and crewmates, sailing the ship “Thomas Wood” from China to London, reported seeing the entirety of St. Helena Island on a clear day from 75 miles away. Factoring in their height during measurement on a ball-Earth 25,000 miles in circumference, it was found the island should have been 3,650 feet below their line of sight.


If the numbers are actually correct (impossible to factcheck), a distance of 75 miles (120km) accounts for a curvature drop of 1.13km. Factoring in minimal refraction (sources and calculations see Point 69 and Point 70) gives an extra 150m.
St. Helena is 823m above sealevel (+ 150m refraction), for the ship let's take a crow's nest of 10m height. Add it up and you get 111.4+11.3 = 122.7km. That means it's visible even under minimal refraction influence.

72) “October 16, 1854 the Times newspaper reported the Queen’s visit to Great Grimsby from Hull recording they were able to see the 300 foot tall dock tower from 70 miles away. On a ball-Earth 25,000 miles in circumference, factoring their 10 foot elevation above the water and the tower’s 300 foot height, at 70 miles away the dock tower should have remained an entire 2,600 feet below the horizon.”

Very phony numbers
The distance from the riverside of Hull to Grimsby Dock Tower is no more than 15.5 miles (not 70!), so roughly 25km.
The height of Grimsby Dock Tower of 94m alone, leaving out other factors like ground level elevation and refraction, accounts for a horizon distance of 34.6km from the tower.

71) ” It is often possible to see the Chicago skyline from sea-level 60 miles away across Lake Michigan. In 2015 after photographer Joshua Nowicki photographed this phenomenon several news channels quickly claimed his picture to be a “superior mirage,” an atmospheric anomaly caused by temperature inversion. While these certainly do occur, the skyline in question was facing right-side up and clearly seen unlike a hazy illusory mirage, and on a ball-Earth 25,000 miles in circumference should be 2,400 feet below the horizon.”

Phony numbers + refraction
On his facebook page, the photographer says that he's taking these pictures from the top of a dune at Warren Dunes State Park on the shore of Lake Michigan. The distance from there to the Chicago skyline is 53 miles (not 60), so roughly 85km. The highest dune in this park stands 73m above Lake Michigan, let's make it 75m from a photographers perspective:
Lake Point Tower is 197m high, less than half the size of Sears Tower. From what I can see in the pictures, we can add a few meters because it's ground level is slightly above the lake. Let's make it 200m.
85km distance accounts for a curvature drop (as seen from sealevel) of 570m. A standard and minimum refraction for this distance is this value multiplied with the refraction coefficient k=0.13. That gives you an extra 74m. Putting them on top of Lake Point Tower gives us 274m (still not even Sears Tower level).

Punch in the numbers (see sources at #69) and you get an added distance of 59.2+30.7= 89.9 km. Because the distance between the two points is 85km it means that the sight lines have to intersect. The tower must clearly be visible and for Sears Tower you wouldn't even have to factor in refraction in order to make this work.

There's also a time-lapse video available on the photographer's facebook page. At the end, you can clearly see refraction going on: 

Something about mirages not behaving like they do.

So, here they claim that mirages are 'hazy' and 'illusory'. Also, apparently they think mirages require the object to be upside down?

As we've discussed, mirages happen due to refraction bending the path of light rays. They do not require inversion. The haziness is mostly the different wavelengths, and is dependent on the background. The picture they show fits 'haziness' perfectly, or more properly, discolouration.

70) “From Washington’s Rock in New Jersey, at just a 400 foot elevation, it is possible on a clear day to see the skylines of both New York and Philadelphia in opposite directions at the same time covering a total distance of 120 miles! If Earth were a ball 25,000 miles in circumference, both of these skylines should be hidden behind over 800 feet of Earth’s curvature.

On a clear day, refraction.

They took their time to mention that we're talking about a clear day. Note also the discolouring on the image. I'm not going to spend much more time on pointing out refraction.

You know what? We will describe how to falsify the refraction explanation. 

·                     Three monochromatic high-power lasers; preferably, one red, one green and one blue, because primary colours. Ultraviolet lasers are also an option.
·                     A frequency generator of sufficient power.
·                     Three synchronised detectors.
·                     Other stuff that's not important enough to list.
If you're wondering about the frequency generator and synchronisation, it is because of a trick that allows you to detect dim objects.

So, what is the point? Well, we know that the refractive index depends on the wavelength. A widespread of lasers allows for monochromatic light of different wavelengths, so that one can directly falsify or confirm that prediction.

Ideally, the setup is such that the lasers are aligned in parallel from New York City to Bear Mountain. With a lot of effort, one can place the detectors such that they detect the lasers. If you're afraid of a fake signal, use a music song to regulate the laser. Yes, that can be done, and while it complicates the data analysis it is also extremely powerful as a way of detection.

What will you find? Well, if the refractive theory is true, then the differently coloured lasers will have detectors at different locations. It's that simple.

So far, this has been confirmed. The essence of the experiment isn't that hard - it basically uses lasers to determine the refraction, which can depend on various atmospheric conditions. And would one find this?

Atmospheric effects deleteriously impact free space laser communications. Beam wander, distortion and beam bending can affect pointing and tracking in particular. Mirages are an example of these effects. In June 2006, a campaign was conducted across the Chesapeake Bay by the Naval Research Laboratory to quantify effects of mirages at the marine layer. We imaged a series of lights positioned strategically on a tower across the bay, at Tilghman Island, approximately ten miles away from NRL's Chesapeake Bay Detachment (NRL-CBD). Recorded images were subject to displacement and distortion as functions of temperature, humidity, dew point, and other meteorological parameters. Results from the experiment will be presented and phenomenology discussed. [doi:10.1117/12.800782]

False claim

The distances from Washington Rock are roughly 40 km to Manhattan Island and 80 km to Philadelphia (and not "120 miles").

Looking out from Washington Rock however, you can only look in one direction, which is southeast. Neither New York (NE) nor Philadelphia (SW) lie in this direction.

Let's run the math anyway. Elevation is roughly 510 feet (155m) and not 400 feet. Even if it was in that direction and using the calculation from  #69, Manhattan should be perfectly visible from that vantage point (horizon at 45km).

The drop from the horizon to Philadelphia is roughly an extra 100m. With Philadelphia at 12m elevation, even buildings higher than 88m in Philadelphia should be visible. Factoring in refraction (depending on weather conditions), you would be able to see even more. A rough guessing value for refraction under normal conditions is 0.13 times the expected total drop as seen from sea-level:

Total drop for 80km distance (from sea-level) is roundabout 500m. So that gives you an extra 65m through refraction (with minimum standard value). That means, even buildings in Philadelphia that are only 23m high should come into view under average conditions.

Again, and just in case you're interested, here's a recent study that explains why the refraction coefficient (k)  can be far higher than the standard +0.13, even up to +16 near the ground on hot summer days:

69) “The New York City skyline is clearly visible from Harriman State Park’s Bear Mountain 60 miles away. If Earth were a ball 25,000 miles in circumference, viewing from Bear Mountain’s 1,283 foot summit, the Pythagorean Theorem determining distance to the horizon being 1.23 times the square root of the height in feet, the NYC skyline should be invisible behind 170 feet of curved Earth.”

You asked for refraction? Or is tall buildings being tall sufficient?

So, here we are again. The distance is 60 miles, the elevation is from Bear Mountain ( 1283 feet). Among the clearly visible buildings is the Empire state building (1250 feet), I think?

It doesn't really matter. The height of Bear Mountain allows for a horizon  at 
76 km. However, what we forgot to include is that New York City is at 500 feet elevation itself.

Let's use my intuitive guess from earlier and just add those. That gives us 
89.9851 km, which still isn't enough.

So yes, part of the tall buildings will be hidden. That's why it is called a skyline. Because it's the upper part; the bottom of the buildings is cut off. The Empire state building is 
381 metres high - the 52 m  drop they discuss still allows you to see it.

A quick calculation using the height from Bear mountain, the 500 feet elevation of new york, and inversing the horizon distance formula, tells me that any building higher than 
124.2365 m is visible. That leaves more than a hundred buildings in new york that are visible [Tall buildings in New York].

False claim + phony numbers
I measured the distance from Bear Mountain to Manhattan and it's 40 miles, not 60. The distance to Manhattan Island is between 60 and 65 km. Let's take the 63 km to Empire State Building. You can calculate the distance to the horizon dependent on your height of observation using this more accurate formula:

If you don't want to do that, you can just punch in your elevation on this website and get the same result:

The result is 70.8 km for 393 m height (Bear Mountain). Even if you don't factor in atmospheric refraction or the height of the buildings and even if you don't factor in the 14m ground elevation at Empire State Building according to this topographical map

.. it's a geometrical fact that you have to be able to see Manhattan from Bear Mountain.