Somewhere in California, a man is getting ready to be launched on a rocket that he built from scrap metal. The man is nervous, but he is committed to his cause. That man is "Mad" Mike Hughes, and he's about to do something extraordinary. He's 61 years old, but he never gave up on his dream of one day reaching space. This is a man who believes that he will etch his name in history. Why? Because Mad Mike Hughes hopes to be the man who proved once and for all that the Earth is flat. Sure, there are doubters. There are some that are even joking about the likelihood of his death. But it's hard not to admire a man who has made his dreams come true. That's more than many of us can ever hope for.
In truth, the man is not as comical as he might sound or appear. This is a guy who has a surprisingly solid understanding of rockets, and what he has built doesn't look too bad. And it's hard not to agree with him when he expresses disappointment at the lack of space exploration in recent years. People used to go to space all the time. And that filled us all with a sense of wonder. Now, America doesn't seem to care about space exploration anymore. In NASA's place, there are a number of billionaires who want to fund their own exploration into space. But as of yet, those projects seem to have trouble gathering any momentum.
It's easy to root for the little guy, and Mad Mike Hughes definitely fits that bill. He's a true underdog. Will his rocket succeed? Will he prove that the Earth is flat? Or will he fail spectacularly? We'll find out pretty soon...
15 His Rocket Is Powered By Steam (Yes, Steam)
The first thing you need to know about Mad Mike Hughes' rocket is that it's powered completely by steam. Yes, steam. You might think that steam-powered vehicles are a little outdated, since the last time they were in widespread use was back when we had steam-powered trains and boats. Obviously the majority of humankind has moved on to better, more advanced means of propulsion, but Mad Mike Hughes' is not one of those people. His rocket is going to be powered by heated water, and the steam will escape through a nozzle in the rocket engine to provide the thrust needed to get this rocket off the ground.
While it might seem a little far-fetched, the truth is that this type of rocket is pretty common. It was used by another daredevil, Evil Knievel for his famous Snake River Canyon jump. It's also used as a propulsion engine in various experimental situations. A variation of steam rockets involving nuclear power and salt water has even been proposed as a method of interplanetary space travel.
14 He's Already Made One Successful Rocket Flight
For everyone hoping that this guy will crash, don't hold your breath too long. This crazy redneck has actually already pulled off this stunt once before, and it went pretty much according to plan. This was way back in December of 2015, and he launched himself into the sky in his "SkyLimo" rocket engine that was also powered by steam. The launch went well, and earned him a place in the Guinness World Records for the longest jump in stunt history. He was a little shaken up after he made it back to the ground, but all in all he came out of the ordeal relatively unscathed. He had to be helped to his feet after his friends found him where his rocket had landed.
It's no surprise that a rocket launch like this one is a disorientating thing to experience. The g-forces that one experiences in a rocket like this one are no joke. There are varying reports about how fast the rocket goes when it's launched, but the ballpark figure is about 350 miles per hour. This is why after his jump in 2015, he was left immobilized in his trailer home for 3 days after the ordeal. The g-forces are just so strong.
13 This Is Only The Beginning - He Wants To Do More Launches After This One
According to Mad Mike Hughes, steam-powered rockets such as his SkyLimos are just the beginning. This guy has some pretty crazy plans about what he wants to do with the rest of his life, and they are pretty ambitious – even for a daredevil like him. His end goal is to make it to much higher altitudes, and to do this he will construct what he calls a "Rockoon." This new rocket design will consist of an advanced hot air balloon, which tows a rocket. The rocket will then ignite when it reaches a high altitude, allowing him to possibly escape Earth's atmosphere, or at least get very, very high.
If you thought this plan was verging on the suic*dal, the next phase of this madman's journey will carry an even higher chance of fatality. Why does he want to get so high? Well that's simple. He has some very strange ideas and theories about the shape of the Earth, and he wants to prove everyone wrong. But perhaps his logic is best summed up by this quote from the mad rocketeer: "Here's why nothing great happens anymore: People think of reasons to say no instead of saying yes."
12 He Believes In The Flat Earth Theory
If building a rocket in his backyard and launching it isn't crazy enough, this guy also has some very strange theories about the shape of the Earth. That's right, he's a "flat-earther," and this is one of the most motivating factors in his race to space. In case you've never heard of this conspiracy theory, flat-earthers believe that the Earth is flat, instead of being a globe. The proponents of this belief are actually far more numerous than you might think, and many are very passionate about the way they see the world. Mad Mike Hughes is definitely one of these people, and that's why Flat Earth Organizations around the globe are actually sponsoring his launch and funding him.
The beliefs of flat-earthers are quite varied, and many of the various factions actually fight with one another about what version of the flat earth theory is real. But in reality this point of view is nothing new, as the ancient Hebrews believed in something very similar. And of course, the civilized world believed the world was flat for a long time. But what all flat-earthers agree on is that we've been lied to about the shape of the Earth, and the only way to know for sure is to go there yourself and experience it firsthand.
11 In His Own Words, He "Doesn't Believe In Science" And Thinks That The Laws Of Aerodynamics Are "Just A Formula"
Putting aside his slightly eccentric beliefs, there's something really admirable about building your own rocket ship and piloting it into the sky. A guy like that must be pretty smart, right? Well Mad Mike Hughes has also made some slightly strange comments about his own intelligence and the way he built his rocket. Some of these comments have people doubting how safe the rocket really is...
Some of his more hilarious quotes include: "I'm a pretty bright guy. I know how air moves around things," and, "I don't believe in science. I know about aerodynamics and fluid dynamics and how things move through the area, 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."
But he also seems to fully understand the risks involves, and he once said: "Well you know, you have to be concerned with every risk. There needs to be a certain amount of control put on it, but at the end of the day it is still a daredevil stunt. It is not a computer generated image, like you see on TV or some movie in Hollywood -- this is the real thing a guy built, a rocket he's sitting in it and he can be dead in 10 seconds.”
10 He Has A Daredevil Past And Wants To Do Even More Crazy Stunts
Mad Mike Hughes already has quite a reputation as a daredevil. He's participated in tons of different stunts before, including jumping a limousine 103 feet, crashing into a pile of tires. This stunt won him yet another place in the Guinness Book Of World Records for the longest limousine jump. This stunt also left him with several broken ribs, although this wasn't the only time he got injured while being a stunt man. He also severely injured his back in two separate occasions while attempting various stunts.
One of the people that Made Mike Hughes is often compared to is Evil Knievel. But Mad Mike Knievel doesn't like these comparisons. He has referred to Evil Knievel as an "average stuntman" who "stole Elvis' style." In truth, Made Mike is trying to make a name for himself as the best daredevil ever. In his own words, he revealed: "I think jumping from one country to another would put me in a place in daredevil history that no one can match."
9 He Has Spent $20,000 On His Homemade Rocket
It may surprise you to learn that Mad Mike Hughes is spending a lot of his own money on this project. To date, Mad Mike has spent $20,000 of his own hard-earned money on this exciting project, and he's hoping that extra investment will end up in one of his best launches ever. And by all accounts, Mad Mike Hughes is not a particularly wealthy man. He works as a limousine driver when he's not busy doing insane stunts, and lives in a trailer home in California. Most of his money goes not to drinking or going to watch sports events, but new parts for his rocket.
And most of his time is spent with a wrench in his hand, making the rocket as good as it's going to be. That kind of dedication is pretty admirable, even if you don't agree with his ideas about the shape of the Earth. Speaking of which, it's worth mentioning that various flat Earth organizations have also donated money to him, supposedly upwards of $8,000 to finance this launch.
8 The Rocket Is Made Out Of Mostly Scrap
$20,000 may seem like a hefty sum, and more than enough to build a viable rocket. But those who know a thing or two about rockets will tell you that it takes more than a few thousand to get a rocket off the ground. That's why Mad Mike has been scrounging around for parts wherever he can. Sometimes, he has to get pretty creative, and that means using scrap whenever he can. His "launch tower" is just a motor home that he built a ramp on. He bought the motor home for $15,000 on Craigslist. Much of the metal on the rocket is salvaged aluminum from various metal shops. Such things are easy to find for Mad Mike, seeing as he is involved with sheet metal shaping in Nascar. He converted the nozzle for his rockets from an old aircraft air filter. And finally, he painted the rocket with cheap Rust-Oleum paint.
There's something really cool about a makeshift, ramshackle rocket that some crazy dude has made in his spare time. And Hughes himself agrees, saying “A guy who builds his own rocket in his garage, about to jump a mile is pretty cool,” Hughes said. “It’s the most interesting human interest story in the world.”
7 There Are Some Who Say He's Just Conning People Out Of Their Money
This story is gathering some serious momentum in the media and online, and people are starting to ask questions. Just what is his endgame? Does he really expect to survive this? Is this just some kind of practical joke? Can he really be serious? Some people have even suggested that his Kickstarter campaign is just a massive con to trick people into donating money. It has been suggested that he has targeted flat-earthers because he knows they are weak-minded, gullible people. Either way, he's gathered in thousands of dollars in donations, and now it's time to deliver.
But there have been times in the past where questions have been raised. His most recent test was supposed to be manned, but the rocket was accidentally triggered prematurely by a volunteer before Mike could even get inside. Some say it wasn't an accident at all, but a decision made by Hughes because he was scared about his safety. Others say he's just using the flat Earth theory for media attention, and doesn't even believe in it. One thing's for sure, the whole "flat earth" angle has really helped him get a lot of media attention.
6 He Could Get Even Higher If He Just Went To The Top Of The Burj Khalifa
The media has latched onto Mad Mike primarily because of his wacky flat Earth theories. He has been painted as a man who wants to fly into space in order to prove that the Earth really is flat. But how will he actually prove anything at an altitude of just 1,800 feet? That is not even close to leaving the Earth's atmosphere. Taking photos from this height would be nothing new. The Burj Khalifa is considerably higher than 1,800 feet, at a whopping 2,720 feet. If Mad Mike really wanted to prove the Earth was flat by getting to a high altitude, then surely a trip to Dubai would be much cheaper and safer? That's not even mentioning the fact that countless mountains are much higher than 1,800 feet.
It seems that the media might be guilty of misinterpreting Mad Mike's actual goals here. He never actually claimed to be interested in disproving the round Earth theory with this launch. This was merely supposed to be phase one in a much larger, more extensive plan to launch higher and higher until he really can look back and see for himself whether or not the Earth is flat.
5 People Who Fund Him Could Potentially Get Charged With Assisting Someone Else Take Their Own Life v
Many people are laughing at this guy and joking that he's probably going to regret making this decision (if he's lucky). But what happens if he does pass away? It would be a tragedy, and all but the most sadistic wouldn't feel saddened by it. Many people have asked why the authorities aren't doing anything to stop this foolishness. But America is indeed the land of the free, and people are free to blow themselves up in rockets if they're so inclined. And Mike Hughes fully appreciates the risk of death in this situation, saying, “It’s scary as hell. But none of us are getting out of this world alive.”
Waldo Stakes is one local CEO who has been encouraging Hughes, and has supported him greatly. He commented: “Nothing is out of reach. Anything can be done. You just have to put enough money, time and thought into it.” Albert Okura is the owner of the town where Hughes will be launching. He has given his permission for the launch, saying, “It is absolutely the most wacky promotional proposal I have had since I purchased the entire town in 2005. He is a true daredevil and I want to be part of it.”
But some people will knowledge of the law have raised questions about what will happen if Hughes does die. Will the people who supported him and funded him be charged with assisted suic*de? I guess we'll just have to wait and see...
4 If He Ever Reaches The Van Allen Belt, He Will Be Fried By The Radiation
So what happens if Mad Mike Hughes manages to progress to "phase two" of his space-faring dreams? We mentioned before that in order to truly prove the flat Earth theory correct, he has to get much, much higher. And to do this, he's going for the aforementioned "Rockoon" plan, something that he has been developing alongside his CEO friend Waldo Stakes. This plan will launch the rocket after it has been dragged up into the upper atmosphere by a gas powered balloon.
But what happens then? In order for this plan to be a success, the rocket must break free of the Van Allen belt. This is an area in the upper atmosphere where there are extremely high levels of radiation. Astronauts who have passed through this belt were exposed to more radiation in those few seconds than they were in their entire lives. It's no joke. So how does Mad Mike Hughes expect to pass through this belt of radiation unharmed? If he's going to be using a cheap rocket made from scrap metal, he will probably get completely fried by the radiation. Alternatively, if he gets stuck or he doesn't pass through the belt fast enough, he will also be exposed to lethal amounts of radiation.
3 He Wants To Become Governor Of California
And what about phase 3 of Mad Mike Hughes' crazy plan? Well, that stage is a little closer to home. Believe it or not, he wants to become the Governor of California after he's had his fair share of space exploration. Deep down, Mike Hughes might actually believe that he will one day prove the world is flat. In his mind, this will make him one of the most important figures in history. And if you're being celebrated for proving those "liars" at NASA wrong, a spot as Governor wouldn't be too much of a stretch to imagine.
And we all know that stranger things have happened in the world of politics, especially recently. If Arnold Schwarzenegger can become the "Governator" then why can't Mad Mike? Perhaps it's a sad realization that this is entirely within the realms of possibility. Even the current president of the United States has managed to prove a lot of people wrong.
2 He Believes That NASA Lied To Everyone, The World Is Run By Freemasons, And That Elon Musk Is Building Fake Rockets
The concept of a flat Earth isn't the only strange conspiracy theory that Hughes believes in. He also thinks that the world is run by freemasons, and that NASA is lying to everyone about their space missions. Furthermore, he thinks that Elon Musk and all of the billionaire funded space programs are nothing more than a ploy, designed to give people false hope about space exploration.
“It’ll shut the door on this ball Earth,” Hughes promises of his launch. He also bragged that “we want to do this and basically thumb our noses at all these billionaires trying to do this. They have not put a man in space yet. There are 20 different space agencies here in America, and I’m the last person that’s put a man in a rocket and launched it. They take all the credit and they have all the money, but all they do is hire people, and they still haven't launched a human being."
Once, on a radio show centered around the flat earth theory, Hughes claimed that “John Glenn and Neil Armstrong are Freemasons. Once you understand that, you understand the roots of the deception.”
1 He's Not The Only One Trying To Reach Space - Rapper B.o.B. Is Also Raising Money For Space Research
Mark Hughes is hardly alone in his views about the shape of the Earth. There are quite a number of other celebrities who have demonstrated a belief in the flat Earth theory, including even Shaquille O'Neal. But perhaps the most outspoken in recent years is rapper B.o.B. He has become a zealous supporter of this theory, and has tweeted about it numerous times. Examples of his past tweets include, "I'm going up against the greatest liars in history... you've been tremendously deceived," and "I question the international laws that prevent you from exploring Antartica and the North Pole... what's there to hide?"
He has even started a GoFundMe page to raise funds for scientific research, including weather balloons that will be able to prove that the Earth really is flat. Who knows? Maybe him and Mad Mike Hughes can team up and prove us all wrong together. Stranger things have happened...
Sources: dailymail.co.uk, 4chan.com