spaceSpace and Physics

Conspiracy Theorist's Cunning Plan To "Prove" Flat Earth With Homemade Rocket Just Hit A Small Snag


Tom Hale

Senior Journalist

clockNov 27 2017, 16:49 UTC

Rocketman "Mad Mike Hughes" has had a setback. Mad Mike Hughes

Last week, flat-Earther “Mad Mike Hughes" blasted into his 15-minutes of fame following reports of his plan to launch himself in a homemade rocket. Unfortunately, this madcap publicity stunt has suffered a setback.

His plan was to launch himself in a steam-powered rocket over the ghost town of Amboy in California on Saturday, November 25. Hughes told The Washington Post on Friday that the Bureau of Land Management wouldn't allow him to launch himself in a rocket, claiming they have no records of granting permission to carry out the stunt over public lands.


Nevertheless, the launch is still going ahead later this week from a patch of private land near the original launch site.

"It's still happening. We're just moving it three miles down the road,” Hughes told The Washington Post on Friday. "This is what happens anytime you have to deal with any kind of government agency."

“I don’t see [the launch] happening until about Tuesday, honestly. It takes three days to set up. You know, it’s not easy because it’s not supposed to be easy.”


The latest update from the flat-Earth YouTube Channel MGTV History on Monday said the launch will take place on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday this week. Stay tuned to his YouTube channel and his website, where the launch will be live streamed.


Hughes is a 61-year-old limousine driver and stuntman who believes that the Earth is flat. He has suggested that he hopes to use his rocket launches to someday "once and for all prove the Earth is flat." The launch is being sponsored with the help of a flat-Earth research group. On the crowdfunding page for this project, it says: "Knowing that NASA doesn't send anyone to space, Mad Mike could be one of the only people up in the air in a rocket. This is important we get behind him."


Hughes built the rocket himself at an impressively low cost of $20,000. The plan is to launch himself in the steam-powered rocket, painted with a big "RESEARCH FLAT EARTH" sponsor on the side, at speeds of up to 800 kilometers per hour (500 miles per hour) to fly a distance of 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) over the Mojave Desert. 

"I don't believe in science," he told The Associated Press last week. "I know about aerodynamics and fluid dynamics and how things move through the air, about the certain size of rocket nozzles, and thrust. But that’s not science, that’s just a formula. There’s no difference between science and science fiction.”

“If you’re not scared to death, you’re an idiot,” Hughes said, speaking about the risk of homemade rocket flights. “It’s scary as hell, but none of us are getting out of this world alive."

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