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‘Mad’ Mike Hughes – limo driver turned rocket man

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‘Mad’ Mike Hughes – limo driver turned rocket man (photo courtesy of Mike Hughes)

Homemade rocketeer intends to prove the Earth is flat 

“Mad” Mike Hughes is convinced that the Earth is flat.

The 61-year-old California limo driver is so certain in his belief that he built a rocket out of $20,000 worth of scrap metal and parts, with the intention of launching himself from the Mojave Desert to the edge of space. The launch, set to occur in November, was mysteriously scrubbed at the last moment, prompting an undeterred Hughes to announce a new plan involving both the rocket and a very expensive balloon.

I spoke with Hughes last week and found him to be friendly and more than a little eccentric. His worldview - that nearly everything we accept as reality is actually a smoke-and-mirrors show operated by the government - isn’t one that I subscribe to, but it was fun to talk with him about it.

Hughes’s Facebook page is populated with a mix of fellow believers and belittling social media bullies. To his credit, Hughes responds to the latter with respect, merely suggesting they conduct their own research on the subject.

TME: Why do you believe that the Earth is flat?

Hughes: We live in a country where everybody has free thought and speech. At least that’s what it used to be based on. After four to six months of steady research, I could no longer dismiss the fact that Earth is flat.

I research everything, from our history, to our laws and our wars. I have three lawsuits in court right now where I’m the attorney. I’m the prosecutor. I also taught myself how to be a rocket scientist. I could no longer dismiss the fact that we live on some kind of a Frisbee or a disc. We do not live on a globe. It isn’t possible.

TME: There are probably millions of images of Earth taken from space - some dating back to 1947 - which show the Earth as a globe. For all of those images to be doctored would take a massive conspiracy involving countless people.

Hughes: Most things do. Look up the Antarctic Treaty. That country has been militarized. Everything is smoke and mirrors. Think about this. Australia – which is supposedly on the other side of the planet – is upside down yet they’re holding the waters in the ocean. Now how is that happening? How is the sun actually 93 million miles away? We were taught that the moon is illuminated by the sun. It’s not. The moon emits its own light. And the dark side of the moon is actually warmer than the side that’s lit. These are some examples. Nothing is what we think it is.

TME: There’s a lot to unpack there. I’m not sure where to start.

Hughes: I’m not saying just take my word that the Earth is flat. I want people to do their own research like I have. Research your city council and congressmen. Research the laws that your legislature passed last year. Research everything.

TME: I’m looking at a picture of the $20,000 rocket that you’ve built. It looks impressive. A couple of weeks ago, you planned to launch yourself to the edge of space from the Mojave Desert but something stopped you. What happened?

Hughes: We had a verbal agreement with the Bureau of Land Management in that area. They were going to leave it up to the FAA. I’m launching from private property in the town of Amboy. I was going to land on an abandoned airstrip. At first they had no problem with it, but once it started to get worldwide publicity, everybody started changing their stories and now they’re saying I never actually talked to anybody. But it was all worked out. One thing I want to clarify is that this rocket was never supposed to prove that the Earth is flat. I was never going to go high enough to do that. I have a plan to go 62 miles up to the edge of space. It’s going to cost $1.8 million and that could happen within 10 months.

TME: Wouldn’t it be cheaper and less deadly to just try to drill through the Earth to the other side to prove your point?

Hughes: You can’t. That’s another fallacy. The deepest hole ever drilled is seven-and-a-half miles and it was done in Russia. It took 12 years. You cannot drill through this planet. It dulls every drill bit. All the stuff that you learned in school - that the core is molten nickel - it’s all lies. No one knows what’s in the center of the Earth or how deep it is. I’m no expert at anything, but I know that’s a fact.

TME: You’re an impressive limo jumper. I saw a video of you jumping your limousine over a bunch of cars, Evel Knievel-style.

(On September 28, 2002, Hughes jumped his limo 103 feet in a three-ton Lincoln Town Car stretch limo in Perris, California, landing him in the Guinness Book of World Records).

Hughes: The night before, I was up all night working on that car. When I got to the race track, it didn’t even have brakes on it. I kept circling until I got enough speed and after the jump, I knocked down a concrete K-Wall and broke my back in two places. But it was worth it because I wound up on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

TME: So how do you plan to prove once and for all that the Earth is flat?

Hughes: I’m going to have a balloon built at about $250,000 with $100,000 worth of hydrogen in it. It will lift me up about 20 miles. Then I’ll fire a rocket through the balloon that will pull me up by my shoulders through a truss for 42 miles at 1.5 g’s. People will be able to talk to me on the internet on the way up - if I’m still conscious. Everything will be controlled remotely. Even if I’m unconscious, they can use the controls to bring the balloon back. That is the plan. That is if I don’t burn up coming back through the atmosphere. 


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