His name is “Mad” Mike Hughes and you can see why.
The man believes the earth is flat and he plans to prove it. In his own, custom-built rocket, no less.
You would think flat earthers would just get into a plane and have a look out the window instead.
Not in this case. What can you expect from a 60-year-old limo driver who builds his own rockets, tells The Associated Press he knows about aerodynamics and fluid dynamics and how things move through the air, about the certain size of rocket nozzles, and thrust but then declares that he doesn’t believe in science!
This weekend Hughes plans to launch a homemade rocket over a ghost town called Amboy in California in an effort to prove, once and for all, that the Earth is flat, reports IFL Science. The town of Amboy belongs to Albert Okura, who bought it in 2005 for $435,000.
Hughes is a flat-Earther, a conviction proclaimed loudly and clearly in the giant “RESEARCH FLAT EARTH” branding on his rocket from a group of the same name.
Hughes has reportedly spent years and $20,000 building the steam-powered rocket from salvage parts in his spare time, and will be livestreaming the launch over the internet. Fans won’t be allowed to view the event in person for safety reasons.
This is not the first time that the daredevil has built a rocket to launch himself in. In 2014 he was injured quite badly and needed three days to recover after launching in a homemade rocket, reports IFL Science.
Saturday’s launch is scheduled for between 2pm and 3pm local time, when Hughes will create steam by heating 70 gallons of water in a tank. He plans to travel a mile at about 500 mph and an altitude of 1,800 feet, and then pull two parachutes. The rocket will be launched from the back of a converted motorhome purchased for $1,500 on Craigslist.
With the first launch hopefully successfully behind him this Saturday, Hughes plans to build a rocket that can take him to space so he can see the flatness, or not, of the earth for himself.
You have to admire the man. He has a dream and he believes in himself and his dream. He’s a self-taught rocket scientist, whether he admits it or not.
“If you’re not scared to death, you’re an idiot,” “Mad” Mike Hughes told Associated Press. “It’s scary as hell, but none of us are getting out of this world alive. I like to do extraordinary things that no one else can do, and no one in the history of mankind has designed, built and launched himself in his own rocket. I’m a walking reality show.”
A twist in the tale
Apparently Hughes only took up his “flat earth” conviction recently and for practical reasons.
According to the Washington Post, Hughes had planned to launch the rocket in 2016 but a Kickstarter campaign (“From Garage to Outer Space!”) raised only $310 of its $150,000 target.
He tried other schemes and eventually announced a plan to prove the flat Earth theory on a Flat Earth community Web show.
“We want to do this and basically thumb our noses at all these billionaires trying to do this,” Hughes said in the pitch video, standing in his Apple Valley, Calif., living room, which he had plastered with drawings of his rockets, reports the Washington Post.
“They have not put a man in space yet,” Hughes said. “There are 20 different space agencies here in America, and I’m the last person that’s put a man in a rocket and launched it.”
Comparing himself to Evel Knievel, he promised to launch himself from a California racetrack that year (2016) as the first step in his steam-powered leap toward space.
The Kickstarter campaign failed and a year later Hughes called into a Flat Earth community Web show to announce that he had become a recent convert, reports the Washington Post.
So here we are. A Flat Earth GoFundMe subsequently raised nearly $8,000 for Hughes that helped him to finally get his rocket finished. Saturday is D-day and I for one wish the crazy daredevil all the very best.
That’s not all.
After Saturday’s event, Hughes plans to announce another launch according to the AP: the launch of his campaign to become governor of California! No jokes.