The whole flat Earth movement seemed to have been dying down for a hot minute – I don’t think I’ve written a story about it for a couple of months after fairly regularly scheduling over the past few years – but it turns out they were saving it for a big one up there in the heights of stupidity.
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We’re surprisingly not in Florida for this one, but instead New Zealand of all places where a 36 year old car wash employee called Jamie Mathew Sutherland (always suspicious of Mathews with one t and the car wash employee thing is a bit of a red flag too) threatened to kill his friend Louis Lanz with a crossbow after Lanz insisted that the Earth was flat. Lanz had previously bet his best friend since primary school $10,000 that the Earth was flat, but Sutherland became infuriated when Lanz refused to give him the money.
This is how Lanz told it:
Mr Sutherland quickly jumped on that bet – we shook hands and then he said ‘you owe me $10,000’.
He was starting to make threats in order for me to pay up.
I believe I’ve won. I believe I’m right.
It was kind of a joke for me – it was more of a ‘I bet you $10,000 because I’m so sure I’m right’.
I told him many times it was just a joke bet … the way I said it was in a joking manner; he just didn’t take it that way.
[He said] if you don’t pay it I’ll get a crossbow, I’ll shoot you and your father, put you in the trunk and they’ll never see you again.
Wow. Didn’t think I would ever write a story where a Flat Earther was the reasonable man in the story, but here we are in the summer of 2019 and it’s literally happening right now. It is worth noting that the whole thing plays out like a New Zealand version of Dumb and Dumber that just isn’t funny, especially when you learn that the pair took the case to court where a judge pretty much told them to stop being idiots and get lost. Classic.
For more of the same, check out this Antarctic expedition to the end of the world. What happened to that?