AS THE FIRST of a series of proposed practical experiments with the view to demonstrating the true form of the water's surface, experiments were conducted upon the surface of the Old Illinois Drainage Canal, July 25, 1896; beginning with the bend in the
canal at Summit, Ill., and running up the canal 5 miles to the northeast, to the first bridge.
At the beginning of the line of experiments, a target 22 inches in diameter was fixed upon a staff
driven in the bottom of the canal, so that the center of the disc was just 18 inches, and its lower edge 7 inches, above the water. From this point a boat containing the three observers, with telescope, materials for sketches, etc., was rowed a distance of three miles; the boat was then anchored and an accurate view was obtained of the target.
The whole of the disc of the target was plainly visible, appearing a little above the water, with all the sections of colors of black, white, and red painted upon it. According to the accredited convexity, with the telescope 12 inches above the water, only 5 inches of the top of the disc should have been visible.
When the boat was rowed to the distance of 5 miles from the target it was anchored under the bridge, and another view was obtained with the telescope 12 inches above the water; the target was visible, also the hull or body of a barge located by the side of the target, upon which, at this distance, men were seen working.
At this point also, 5 measured miles from the target, the telescope was lowered to within 6 inches of the water, and through it the target and the barge were as plainly visible as with the instrument 12 inches from the water's surface; the target being plainly discernible against the bank of the canal, in the beginning of the bend in the course of the canal.
With the instrument six inches above the water, the horizon or apex of the bulge, on the basis of assumed convexity, would be about three fourths of a mile away, from which apex the water would curvate away for the remainder of the 5 miles; only three fourths of a mile of the water's surface could be visible to the eye unaided, or aided with the telescope.
The declination in the remaining 4½ miles would be 12 feet; the top of the target, which was 29 inches above the water, should have been 9 feet 7 inches below the line of vision; consequently, not only should the target be entirely invisible, but also the bank of the canal below the tow-path, which was less than 8 feet above the water.
Under the bridge from which the above observations were made, two large targets (one 21x27, the other 26x38 inches) were fastened side by side so that the lower edge of each was 7 inches above the water. The paper of which they were made was white, and they were placed in the sunshine directly beneath the bridge.
When the boat was rowed three miles on the return trip, observation was made with the telescope 12 inches above the water; the entire surface of the targets was plainly visible above the water.
Upon returning to the first target, 5 measured miles from the bridge, the boat was anchored; the sun was shining brightly upon the paper targets under the bridge; the targets were visible at this distance to the unaided eye of each observer in the boat, the eye being about 30 inches above the water.
The canal was quiet and still, with scarcely a ripple on its surface; the conditions were the best and most favorable for the final tests and observations of these experiments. A particular observation was made without the telescope. As the eye came within 15 inches of the surface, the targets became invisible; upon raising the eye again they came into view. Repeatedly the eye was lowered, but each time the targets could not be seen.
To the unaided eye, about three feet of space above the water appeared occulted, and that much of the piers under the bridge appeared out of sight. Will the telescope bring the targets into view again at a nearer approach to the water? Had a boat been alongside the targets it could not have been seen with the eye alone; the body of a barge three feet above the water would have been invisible.
The telescope was placed 12 inches above the water, and through it the targets were plainly visible. The instrument was then lowered to within 6 inches of the surface; the same view was obtained, with the entire surface of the targets in plain view.
The result of the comparison of the conditions of observation with the accredited convexity is the same as in the case of the first target from the view under the bridge, with the instrument 6 inches above the water. The tops of the targets, if the water were convex, should have been 9 feet 10 inches below a direct line extending from the eye over the apex of the bulge to the terminus of the five miles. The accompanying diagram illustrates what would be the conditions and relations of the eye, the line of sight to the occulted objects, upon the basis of the calculated convexity. T represents the telescope, 6 inches from the surface; A, the apex, ¾ of a mile distant; S, the
signals or targets, and B their reflections upon the water beneath.
But the most striking feature was noticed in the last observation at the end of the return journey; important, because it afforded the most unmistakable evidence of the, water's non-convexity. Directly beneath the targets were seen their white reflections upon the water, elongated and waving with the slightly rippling surface. We found here a fact mirrored in the water, which cannot possibly be explained away.
This view, obtained from careful and steady adjustment of the telescope, showed conclusively that not only were the targets seen, but also the water directly beneath the targets. Every foot of the water's surface between the anchored boat and the white targets was visible, also the surface of the water extending up the canal to bridge No. 2,--1½ miles more distant. The timbers to which the targets were fastened and the stones of which the piers were built were visible down to the surface of the canal.
The evidences presented in these observations were most satisfying and convincing. Manifestly, had there been the slightest convexity upon the surface of this canal, with the telescope 6 inches above the water, no reflexions of the targets upon the water beneath could be seen; and with the accredited convexity, any object under the bridge, 12 feet above the water's surface, would have been invisible.
The bridge, the piers, the bank on either side, with the two lines of telegraph poles, and the targets upon the water were carefully observed, as to their relative
size. The last view through the instrument, of the relations of size and dimension of the objects, was the same as in the view with the unaided eye, one half mile from the bridge. There was no distortion; there could have been no refraction nor mirage. For comparison, carefully-drawn sketches were taken of each observation.
The same views can be had under similar conditions, with the targets and objects standing out in bold relief and in plain view, as indisputable testimony to the truth of the Koreshan Cosmogony, and in refutation of the modern system of science built upon the assumption of the water's convexity.
Once more the telescope is used to revolutionize science! Three hundred years ago, it was with the greatest difficulty that scientists could be induced to look through the magic tube; at that time, observation through it meant conversion to the new system. Today, this scientific instrument is put to a new use, and the principal difficulty now is to induce leaders of modern scientific thought to use it upon the surface of any body of water.