The flat-earther who promised to turn heads with his own homemade rocket launch "to prove the earth is flat" has finally followed through on his promise Saturday. "Mad" Mike Hughes launched 1,875 feet above the Mojave Desert east of Los Angeles in his own rocket.
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_YzNZE287QQ" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>
In an interview with Associated Press after the launch, he said his back is aching but other than that the former stuntman is fine. After being checked out by paramedics, Hughes said he was "relieved" adding, "I'm tired of people saying I chickened out and didn't build a rocket. I'm tired of that stuff. I manned up and did it."
Related coverage: <a href="https://thegoldwater.com/news/16741-Flat-Earth-Rocket-Man-Will-Launch-In-February-This-Time-On-Private-Land">Flat Earth Rocket Man Will Launch In February, This Time On Private Land</a>
The launch was originally scheduled for last November but was scrubbed several times due to issues with the Bureau of Land Management and mechanical problems. The launch was nearly scrubbed against after his rocket began losing steam. Waldo Stakes, his friend who is helping him with the launch said the psi was dropping to 340 when they needed 350.
"I told Mike we could try to keep charging it up and get it hotter," Stakes said. "He said, 'No.'" The rocket launched shortly after 3 p.m. taking Hughes to speeds up to 350 mph before deploying a parachute. "This thing wants to kill you 10 different ways," Hughes said. "This thing will kill you in a heartbeat."
The whole flight lasted about three to four minutes and Hughes landed about 1,500 feet from the launch ramp. Many people doubted he would actually make the rocket and launch himself. Retired NASA astronaut Jerry Linenger said, "I hope he doesn't blow something up."
Related coverage: <a href="https://thegoldwater.com/news/12832-U-S-Government-Shuts-Down-Flat-Earther-s-Rocket-Launch">U.S. Government Shuts Down Flat-Earther's Rocket Launch</a>
Linenger orbited the earth over 2,000 times during his four-month stint in space in 1997. "Rocketry, as our private space companies found out, isn't as easy as it looks," he said. Hughes main reason for the launch was to prove the earth is flat. "Do I believe the Earth is shaped like a Frisbee? I believe it is," he said. "Do I know for sure? No. That's why I want to go up in space."
"My story really is incredible," Hughes explained. "It's got a bunch of storylines — 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."
Hughes launch was documented by a film crew which plans to release the footage in August. It's not clear how Hughes "proved the Earth was flat" with his launch.
Tips? Info? Send me a message!