61.) It is plain that a theory of measurements without a measuring-rod is like a ship without a rudder; that a measure that is not fixed, not likely to be fixed, and never has been fixed, forms no measuring-rod at all; and that as modern theoretical astronomy depends upon the Sun's distance from the Earth as its measuring-rod, and the distance is not known, it is a system of measurements without a measuring-rod – a ship without a rudder. Now, since it is not difficult to foresee the dashing of this thing upon the rock on which Zetetic astronomy is founded, i
People have believed that the Earth is flat since the beginning of humanity, but the modern Flat Earth hypothesis stemmed from an experiment called the Bedford Level Experiment, conducted in the mid-1800s by a man named Samuel Rowbotham. Rowbowtham, who wrote a book named Earth Not a Globe, started the modern movement by debating scientists publicly and accumulating followers. In the experiment, Rowbowtham attempted to measure the curvature of the earth by observing the curvatures at a local river. He took his results as disproving the theory of a round earth, but future scientists have said that the results he obtained could be accounted for by the parallax effect.
199) From “Foundations of Many Generations” by E. Eschini, “The one thing the fable of the revolving Earth has done, it has shown the terrible power of a lie, a lie has the power to make a man a mental slave, so that he dares not back the evidence of his own senses. To deny the plain and obvious movement of the Sun he sees before him. When he feels himself standing on an Earth utterly devoid of motion, at the suggestion of someone else he is prepared to accept that he is spinning furiously round. When he sees a bird flying, and gaining over the ground, he is prepared to believe that the ground is really travelling a great number of times faster than the bird, finally, in order to uphold the imagination of a madman, he is prepared to accuse his Maker of forming him a sensiferous lie.”
The most commonly accepted explanation of this is that the space agencies of the world are involved in a conspiracy faking space travel and exploration. This likely began during the Cold War's 'Space Race', in which the USSR and USA were obsessed with beating each other into space to the point that each faked their accomplishments in an attempt to keep pace with the other's supposed achievements. Since the end of the Cold War, however, the conspiracy is most likely motivated by greed rather than political gains, and using only some of their funding to continue to fake space travel saves a lot of money to embezzle for themselves.