‘Mad’ Mike Hughes— an advocate of the Flat Earth conspiracy theory as well as the building of your own steam-powered rocket— achieved part of a goal he’s been working towards since it failed last November: launching himself into the atmosphere to disprove the alleged roundness of the Earth.
Hughes managed to blast himself some 1,875 feet into the air last Saturday before a hard, hard landing in the Mojave Desert, effectively proving his many haters (who voiced their skepticism by posting pictures of Wile E. Coyote strapped to a rocket, captioned “He’ll be fine”) wrong.
His success came not without some trouble, however. The 61-year-old limo driver— who crafted his mobile home into a ramp, modifying it to launch from a vertical angle— reached a speed of approximately 350 mph before pulling his parachute. He then began to drop so fast he was forced to deploy a second one, proceeding to land with a thud and a broken rocket.
When asked by AP how he felt after his daring stunt, Hughes answered “relieved. I’m tired of people saying I chickened out and didn’t build a rocket.” He added, “I’m tired of that stuff. I manned up and did it…This thing wants to kill you 10 different ways. This thing will kill you in a heartbeat.”
The following are videos of the rocket shot by Amboy town manager Carlos Aceves well as footage of Hughes being pulled out of the wreckage and examined by paramedics:
Though Hughes promised he was “fine,” he was immediately taken to the hospital for an aching back.
'Mad' Mike Hughes, who believes Earth is flat, blasts off in self-built rocket pic.twitter.com/9robUMaLBX
— Ruth V. Abe (@Ruth_v_abe) March 26, 2018
“Am I glad I did it?” concluded the daredevil, “Yeah. I guess. I’ll feel it in the morning. I won’t be able to get out of bed. At least I can go home and have dinner and see my cats tonight.” A man of simple tastes.
As for the what the future holds? A Rockoon. What is a Rockoon? An invention of Hughes’ own making, consisting of a rocket designed to hitch a ride into the air aboard a gas-filled balloon, then separating and launching Hughes to a height where he can see visual proof of Earth’s curvature (which begins at ~6.6 miles, or 35,000 feet.) Stay tuned for that.
“Do I believe the Earth is shaped like a Frisbee? I believe it is,” he said in a video posted to his Facebook page. “Do I know for sure? No. That’s why I want to go up in space.”
One need not launch themselves into space aboard a DIY rocket to prove the Earth is round, but who cares?
“My story really is incredible,” Hughes told AP. “It’s got a bunch of story lines — the garage-built thing. I’m an older guy. It’s out in the middle of nowhere, plus the Flat Earth. The problem is it brings out all the nuts also, people questioning everything. It’s the downside of all this.”
Amen to that.