Flat Earth Researcher Told He Can't Blast Himself Into The Sky At 800KM/H On Public Lands

61-year-old stuntman and amateur Flat Earth theory researcher "Mad" Mike Hughes, who planned to launch himself some 550m up at 800km/h in an untested homemade steam-powered rocket over the Mojave Desert ghost town of Amboy, California yesterday in some sort of gambit to prove the Earth is flat (spoilers: it's not), will not be doing any of that that this weekend.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch on October 30, 2017. Photo: AP

Instead, Hughes told the Washington Post, Big Daddy Government has thrown a few obstacles in his way.

Per the Post, the Bureau of Land Management has confirmed it had no record of giving Hughes "verbal permission" to hold the rocket launch on public lands as he had previously claimed, meaning that the rocketeer has decided to delay the launch date and move the location "three miles [4.83km] down the road".

"I don't see [the launch] happening until about Tuesday, honestly," Hughes told the Post. "It takes three days to set up... You know, it's not easy because it's not supposed to be easy."

"Someone from our local office reached out to him after seeing some of these news articles [about the launch], because that was news to them," BLM spokesperson Samantha Storms told the paper.

It's not the first time Hughes has planned to launch himself into the sky in a homemade rocket — a prior attempt in 2014 earned himself injuries from intense G-forces and a rough landing — but as the Post noted, he's only recently become a Flat Earth convert "after struggling for months to raise funds".

Hence the "RESEARCH FLAT EARTH" slogan on the side of his rocket, and Hughes' plans to launch himself progressively higher into the sky if Saturday's planned event was a non-lethal success.

In a Kickstarter post from 2016, Hughes wrote "Mad Mike Hughes always wanted to be famous. So much that he decided 'What can I do to become and instant super star dare devil?' So he decided to break the world record for the longest ramp jump in the world ... He is the current world record holder for a ramp rocket jump, but he wants to shatter that record on February 12th 2016 (Just 1 day before his 60th birthday)."

While crowdfunding only raised him $US310 ($407) of his $US150,000 ($196,918) goal then, the Flat Earth connection later helped him raise $US8000 ($10,502) of the eventual $US20,000 ($26,256) it cost to build the rocket.

However, the BLM decision seems to have bought Hughes some time before the potentially deadly manned test of his DIY scalding steam missile — time which he apparently does not intend to use to reconsider whether this is a good idea.

"I don't believe in science," Hughes previously told the Associated Press. "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."

[Washington Post]


    I say we just let him go...........see what he finds.

      I can't help but feel like he is just trolling both sides of the fence for shits and giggles. Someone should tell him that a hot air balloon can go higher then 550m and would certainly help him discover whatever...

      Last edited 27/11/17 5:01 pm

      I feel like he's going to find out about rapidly expanding gasses in a fragile container, coupled with the effects of falling from great heights upon the human body.

        A truly worthy cause. These are questions that need to be answered; I say let him go.

    "Flat Earth Researcher"?

    I'm pretty sure that's a contradiction of terms.

      Yep, in conspiracy circles "research" usually refers to Googling the conspiracy and then clicking on blogs or YouTube videos that fail to cite any peer reviewed science but support their pre-determined conclusion. So this guy might be going to an awful lot of effort to prove something people have understood for thousands of years using a basic knowledge of astronomy and mathematics, but... at least he's trying something different? I guess. And if it all goes horribly wrong and the gene pool improves, so whatevs.

        They still need that key circular argument they can latch onto. It takes a while to refine the whole conspiracy down to just that one thing.

    I think they should be doing everything they can to let him. For the sake of formula.

    who planned to launch himself some 550m up

    550m? I'm confused.

      Yeah, pretty sure it would be safer and easier to just walk up a hill... or tie a go-pro to a kite.

      ...or indeed, set out on a mission to find the Edge.

      Still... *popcorn*

      Yeah, he could just go to the providence mountains, it's 80 miles from where he lives and has an elevation of 2100m.

      Or he could launch a weather ballon with a camera on it.

      Nowhere near high enough to see far enough to observe the curve of the of the Earth.

        You can observe the curvature of the earth at sea level. In fact that's the best place to do It, in the middle of an ocean.

    I'm sure he believes in Flat Earth Theory just as much as all the pharmacists who have their research funded by Big Pharma companies believe in their employers ideals.

      This. I doubt he believes any of it, but he knows he has an expensive hobby he can't fund himself so he decided to scam flat earthers out of their money. It's win-win for everyone really.

    Ignoring all of the sheer stupidity and ignorance he's already displayed, how is this supposed to prove the Earth is flat? That's not nearly high enough to see anything of value nor does it prove there's an edge to the world. He should save himself the effort (and embarassment) and just go have a yarn with Felix Baumgartner.

    That 'I don't believe in science etc' quote is a keeper ;)

      I know, right. "There is no difference between science and science fiction"
      Yeah there is. It's right there in the name: fiction
      Right up until that quote I thought he was clever for using the Flat Earth angle to get attention and money, but afterwards...

    Will the people who kickstarted this be culpable when he inevitably ends up in a casket at the end of this?

    "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.“


    This is hilarious! Are you sure this is not some kind of satire article? Seriously?

    He will probably end up proving natural selection rather than the curvature of the earth

    "I don't believe in science, I know about aerodynamics and fluid dynamics and how things move through the air, about the certain size of rocket nozzles, and thrust.

    If only there was a shorter way to describe those fields...
    Rocket Alchemy?

    The earth is a disk, get over it!

      Balanced on four elephants, who are standing on a giant turtle?

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