25 Mar 2018
'Flat-Earther' launches himself in self-made rocket to prove his theory
"Mad" Mike Hughes has finally done what he has been promising to do since years: he has launched himself in his self-made rocket from Amboy, California.
The rocket scientist went 1,875 feet upwards before hurtling down and landing Mojave Desert.
Did this prove his long-held belief that the Earth is flat? Not really. "That's why I want to go up in space," he says.
The man has been on a mission since 2017
Last year, Hughes declared himself a 'flat-Earther,' one of several people who believe the Earth is flat.
For this, he said he would fly to space to click photographs of the 'flat' Earth and prove astronauts have been lying all this while.
After giving an interview, Hughes managed to raise thousands of dollars from his peers for his mission.
And the believer did try
Hughes making a rocket, putting himself in it and launching himself eventually became as much of an attention-grabber as his 'flat Earth' theory.
To his credit, he tried, but problems piled up one after the other, mostly 'technical issues' and warnings by the Bureau of Land Management.
Last month, he made his third failed attempt to fly away in a self-made rocket.
Success comes to those who try
Apart from a backache, yesterday's launch went fine, he says. "I'm tired of people saying I chickened out. I manned up."
For the launch, originally scheduled for November'17, he converted his mobile home into a ramp to launch himself from.
There seemed to be high chances for another cancellation as wind was blowing heavily, but around 3pm, without a countdown, Hughes' rocket lifted up.
'Mike branded us Rocket Town,' says a thrilled land owner
The drop was not without problems either. After opening one parachute, he was dropping too fast, and had to deploy another.
But he landed relatively safely. The rocket broke in two places, as it was supposed to.
Albert Okura, who owns the land, said the whole thing lasted 3-4 minutes. "Mike branded us as 'Rocket Town'," Okura said. "It was amazing."
Critics aren't satisfied: 'Where's video proof?'
The first time he self-launched in a self-made rocket was on January 30, 2014. Then he traveled 1,374 feet up and needed three days to recover.
However, about this launch, critics aren't satisfied. Where's video of him climbing into the vehicle, they asked.
But Hughes is glad he did. "I'll feel it in the morning. I won't be able to get out of bed."
Hughes now plans to build a "Rockoon," run for governor
Hughes' next plan is to build a "Rockoon"- a rocket that will be carried into the atmosphere by a gas-filled balloon, then separated and lit.
He expects it to take him 68 miles high.
The release has been planned for August. A documentary crew is following him around.
Apart from that, he also wants to run for governor. "This is no joke," Hughes insists.