Seeking to prove that a conspiracy of astronauts fabricated the shape of the Earth, a California man intends to launch himself 1,800 feet high on Saturday in a rocket he built from scrap metal.
Assuming the 500-mph, mile-long flight through the Mojave Desert does not kill him, Mike Hughes told the Associated Press, his journey into the atmosflat will mark the first phase of his ambitious flat-Earth space program.
Hughes’s ultimate goal is a subsequent launch that puts him miles above the Earth, where the 61-year-old limousine driver hopes to photograph proof of the disc we all live on.
“It’ll shut the door on this ball earth,” Hughes said in a fundraising interview with a flat-Earth group for Saturday’s flight. Theories discussed during the interview included NASA being controlled by round-Earth Freemasons and Elon Musk making fake rockets from blimps.
Hughes promised the flat-Earth community that he would expose the conspiracy with his steam-powered rocket, which will launch from a heavily modified mobile home — though he acknowledged that he still had much to learn about rocket science.
“This whole tech thing,” he said in the June interview. “I’m really behind the eight ball.”
That said, Hughes isn’t a totally unproven engineer. He set a Guinness World Record in 2002 for a limousine jump, according to Ars Technica, and has been building rockets for years, albeit with mixed results.
“Okay, Waldo. 3 . . . 2 . . . 1!” someone yells in a test fire video from 2012.
There’s a brief hiss of boiling water, then . . . nothing. So Hughes walks up to the engine and pokes it with a stick, at which point a thick cloud of steam belches out toward the camera.
He built his first manned rocket in 2014, the Associated Press reported, and managed to fly a quarter-mile over Winkelman, Ariz.
As seen in a YouTube video, the flight ended with Hughes being dragged, moaning from the remains of the rocket. The injuries he suffered put him in a walker for two weeks, he said.