We’ve all heard of the people that believe the Earth is flat and while most of us laugh at the idea, there’s one guy that wanted to use science to actually prove this theory. Did he manage to do it? His quest of proving that the Earth is flat turned out to be a stunt that captivated an entire world, similar to what Evel Knievel did a few decades ago.
Here’s the story of Mike Hughes, the man who built a rocket in his garage!
20. The Inventor
Also known as “Mad” Mike Hughes, the 61 California resident invented and built a steam-powered rocket. But that was not the only thing that made him famous all around the world…
19. Proving A Theory
He knew that there was only a way he could prove the Flat Earth theory – we won’t call it a fact, because it’s not. Hughes, a limo driver, began his quest by building a rocket. His journey was twisted, but in the end, he managed to do it!
18. A Courageous Man
What you didn’t know about Hughes is that he loves how Evel Knievel lived and the man’s acrobatics have always fascinated him. So, believe it or not, he wanted to be the one that would fly on his homemade rocket.
17. To Space!
Yes, Hughes wanted to build and ride a rocket to space. He began a fundraising campaign to get all the material needed for the rocket. At first, he could only gather about $300. Then, people began hearing about his quest…
16. Thousands of Dollars
As soon as people heard about his impossible mission to get to space, more people sent him money. He gathered almost $8,000, and even celebrities pitched in to help him. He built two rockets so far!
His dream would become true, but not before facing some issues. You guessed it – bureaucracy!
15. Permission To Launch
Not everyone can launch rockets to the sky, but Mike claimed that the Bureau of Land Management verbally agreed to let him launch the rocket – with the condition that the Federal Aviation Administration had to agree. Later, the BLM denied that they even talked to Mike.
Would he give up?
14. Moving to the Desert
Thankfully, Mike could move his launch to the Mojave desert where the law enforcement couldn’t stop his mission. Belonging to the “Flat-Earthers” group, his quest was very important. He could prove that the Earth is a flat disc by seeing it from up high…
13. Flat Earth Theory
The theories of Earth being flat include the belief that the Arctic Circle is at the center of the Earth, which is a disc surrounded by ice walls at the edge to keep the water from falling. Yes, that’s odd, and it makes no sense!
12. About Gravity
Flat-Earthers have also figured out gravity, claiming that it’s an illusion and that the Earth-disc goes up at 32 feet/second to keep us from going upwards… Leaving strange theories aside, the rocket scientist built the vehicle that will take him to serious heights.
11. Launch Day
The launch day arrived, and Mike was ready to get into his rocket and show the world the truth, unfiltered by space agencies, which he doesn’t trust. Equipped with a walkie-talkie and a suit, the man was ready for the countdown…
10. The Take Off
The man pressed two buttons and after he was told that the crew was ready and at a safe distance, he launched into the air, leaving behind a stream of smoke and a lot of noise. But things didn’t really go according to plans.
9. A Few Seconds Into The Sky
Mike planned to reach 500 miles per hour so that he would get high into the sky, but the ship only got as high as over 1,875 feet, reaching only 350 miles per hour. What did he experience during his flight?
8. Everything Was So Fast!
“A lot happened there in four or five seconds. The thing is, your body can’t keep up with what is happening to you,” explained the self-proclaimed stuntman in an interview with the media. Everyone was wondering what was his take on how things look from up there…
7. Failed Mission
Unfortunately, Mike didn’t get as high in the sky as he wanted to, so he didn’t manage to see if the Earth was really flat or not. His rocket landed after the first parachute was deployed, with the second one being activated too late. The paramedics were there, checking if Mike was all right.
6. Some Back Pain
Because of the force of the landing, Hughes had some back pains and had to be taken to the hospital for investigations. They had to make sure he was in one piece. But that’s not the end of his mission!
5. Joking About His Dream
The flat-Earther even made an appearance at the Tosh.0, where the comedian Daniel Tosh talked about the flat-Earth beliefs and the man’s failed mission. They joked about the next mission, and Mike concluded that he would one day get to space.
4. Making Headlines
His stunt made headlines all around the world, and when he was interviewed by Vice and asked about his flat-Earth theory, his honest response was:
“I don’t know! I don’t have the answers. I’m not an expert. I’m just one guy who pushes the envelope and questions everything.”
3. Glad He Did It
Mike also admitted that he was glad he did it and that he will find an answer to that question one way or another. Meanwhile, Jerry Linenger retired NASA astronaut, had some words about Mike’s mission.
2. Rocketry Is Not Easy
“I hope he doesn’t blow something up. Rocketry, as our private space companies found out, isn’t as easy as it looks,” explained Linenger. It is impressive that he built that rocket and hopped inside it, though!
1. Dream Big
This man is really motivated and, although “Mad” Mike Hughes couldn’t prove that the Earth is flat or round, he is not done! Among his future plans, he wants to build another rocket and candidate for the governor position.