Self-styled daredevil who believed Earth is flat dies after Calif. rocket crash

Clay Curtis
February 26, 2020

Daredevil inventor and flat-Earther 'Mad' Mike Hughes has been killed after his homemade rocket was involved in a crash.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said its officers were called to a rocket launch event at around 2 p.m. on Saturday.

A video posted to Twitter by journalist Justin Chapman showed the rocket being launched.

Hughes, 64, crashed-landed his steam-powered rocket shortly after take-off in the Californian desert on Saturday 22 February. He said the rocket went straight into the ground.

"It was unsuccessful, and he passed away", longtime collaborator Waldo Stakes told the Associated Press, declining to comment further.

It was a tragic end for Hughes, perhaps the most visible and colourful advocate of the theory that Earth isn't a sapphire-and-emerald globe revolving around a massive star but rather a flat plane with a tiny sun above it.

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Hughes's rocket takes off Saturday with what appears to be a parachute tearing off during its launch near Barstow, Calif. Hughes said he wanted to fly to the edge of outer space to see if the world is flat or round.

"Sheriff's Aviation and Specialized Investigators have responded to conduct the investigation", the statement added. This particular launch was only supposed to take Hughes 5,000 feet in the air, according to Discovery.

"Mad Mike" Hughes launched himself into the heavens in a steam-powered rocket he built himself, to confirm his theory that the Earth is shaped like a Frisbee.

At the time, Hughes stated that he built his homemade rocket mostly through, "trial and error", and admitted, "You don't get a lot of second chances, though, in the rocket business". "I know about aerodynamics and fluid dynamics and how things move through the air", Hughes said. I'm an older guy. "The problem is it brings out all the nuts also".

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this hard time".

Hughes recently signed on with the Science Channel to document his project on the television programme Homemade Astronauts, the channel, which is part of Discovery, said in a statement. "It was always his dream to do this launch & Science Channel was there to chronicle his journey", the network said.

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