“In the Times newspaper of Monday, Oct. 16, 1854, in an account of her Majesty’s visit to Great Grimsby from Hull, the following paragraph occurs: ‘Their attention was first naturally directed to a gigantic tower which rises from the center pier to the height of 300 feet, and can be seen 60 miles out at sea.’ The 60 miles if nautical, and this is always understood when referring to distances at sea, would make 70 statute miles, to which the fall of 8 inches belongs, and as all observations at sea are considered to be made at an elevation of 10 feet above the water, for which four miles must be deducted from the whole distance, 66 statute miles will remain, the square of which multiplied by 8 inches, gives a declination towards the tower of 2,904 feet; deducting from this the altitude of the tower, 300 feet, we obtain the startling conclusion that the tower should be at the distance at which it is visible, more than 2,600 feet below the horizon!” –Dr. Samuel Rowbotham, “Earth Not a Globe, 2nd Edition”
Indoctrinated naysayers will often retort that light refraction off the water’s surface could account for such phenomena. To begin with, the idea that we cannot differentiate between the refracted light of something and the thing itself is preposterous, but even assuming we couldn’t, surveyors’ general allowance for refraction is only 1/12th the altitude of the object observed, making it a completely implausible explanation. Using the previous example of 2,600 feet divided by 12 gives 206, which subtracted from 2,600 leaves 2,384 feet that the tower should have remained below the horizon.