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.
11) A surveyor and engineer of thirty years published in the Birmingham Weekly Mercury stated, “I am thoroughly acquainted with the theory and practice of civil engineering. However bigoted some of our professors may be in the theory of surveying according to the prescribed rules, yet it is well known amongst us that such theoretical measurements are INCAPABLE OF ANY PRACTICAL ILLUSTRATION. All our locomotives are designed to run on what may be regarded as TRUE LEVELS or FLATS. There are, of course, partial inclines or gradients here and there, but they are always accurately defined and must be carefully traversed. But anything approaching to eight inches in the mile, increasing as the square of the distance, COULD NOT BE WORKED BY ANY ENGINE THAT WAS EVER YET CONSTRUCTED. Taking one station with another all over England and Scotland, it may be stated that all the platforms are ON THE SAME RELATIVE LEVEL. The distance between Eastern and Western coasts of England may be set down as 300 miles. If the prescribed curvature was indeed as represented, the central stations at Rugby or Warwick ought to be close upon three miles higher than a chord drawn from the two extremities. If such was the case there is not a driver or stoker within the Kingdom that would be found to take charge of the train. We can only laugh at those of your readers who seriously give us credit for such venturesome exploits, as running trains round spherical curves. Horizontal curves on levels are dangerous enough, vertical curves would be a thousand times worse, and with our rolling stock constructed as at present physically impossible.”
29.) If the Earth were a globe, it would, unquestionably, have the same general characteristics – no matter its size – as a small globe that may be stood upon the table. As the small globe has top, bottom, and sides, so must also the large one – no matter how large it be. But, as the Earth, which is "supposed" to be a large globe, bas no sides or bottom as the small globe has, the conclusion is irresistible that it is a proof that the Earth is not a globe.
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.