In this March 6, 2018, file photo, “Mad” Mike Hughes reacts after the decision to scrub another launch attempt of his rocket near Amboy, Calif. (James Quigg/Daily Press via AP, File)

Flat-earther Mike Hughes dies in California rocket crash

He said in a video that his goal was to eventually fly to the edge of outer space to determine for himself whether the world is round.

A California man who said he wanted to fly to the edge of outer space to see if the world is round has died after his home-built rocket blasted off into the desert sky and plunged back to earth.

“Mad” Mike Hughes was killed on Saturday afternoon after his rocket crashed on private property near Barstow, Calif.

Waldo Stakes, a colleague who was at the rocket launch, said Hughes, 64, was killed.

The Science Channel said on Twitter it had been chronicling Hughes’ journey and that “thoughts & prayers go out to his family & friends during this difficult time.”

Hughes also was a limousine driver, who held the Guinness world record for “longest limousine ramp jump,” for jumping 103 feet (31 metres) in a Lincoln Town Car stretch limousine, at a speedway in 2002.

A video on TMZ.com showed the rocket taking off, with what appears to be a parachute tearing off during the launch. The steam-powered rocket streaks upward, then takes around 10 seconds to fall straight back to earth. Shrieks can be heard as the rocket plows into the desert.

Freelance journalist Justin Chapman, who was at the scene, said the rocket appeared to rub against the launch apparatus, which might have caused the mishap with the parachute.

In March 2018, Hughes propelled himself about 1,875 feet (570 metres) into the air. He deployed one parachute and then a second one but still had a hard landing in the Mojave Desert in California, and injured his back.

“This thing wants to kill you 10 different ways,” Hughes said after that launch. “This thing will kill you in a heartbeat.”

He said in a video that his goal was to eventually fly to the edge of outer space to determine for himself whether the world is round.

“I don’t want to take anyone else’s word for it,” he said in the video, posted on the BBC News website. “I don’t know if the world is flat or round.”

READ MORE: B.C. daredevil wows crowd at legion with ‘good times and bad ideas’

In another video posted on his YouTube site, Hughes said he also wanted “to convince people they can do things that are extraordinary with their lives.”

“My story really is incredible,” Hughes once told The Associated Press. “It’s got a bunch of story lines — the garage-built thing. I’m an older guy. It’s out in the middle of nowhere, plus the Flat Earth. The problem is it brings out all the nuts also.”

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lacombe Fire Department continues to serve through COVID-19

FD asks citizens to continue to comply with public health orders

LACOMBE EXPRESS: A Message From the Publisher

In good times and bad the Lacombe Express is here to provide valuable, trustworthy information

Town of Blackfalds, Lacombe County sign Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework (ICF) Master Agreement

Municipalities that share a common boundary must create an Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

A message from Central Alberta Co-op

Please remember to practice social distancing at all our locations.

COVID-19 world update: 6.6 million U.S. jobless claims; alcohol sales banned in Bangkok

Comprehensive digest of coronavirus news items from around the world

Armed Forces reports 20 military suicides last year, largest number since 2014

Armed Forces reports 20 military suicides last year, largest number since 2014

‘Little to do with COVID:’ Landowners, law experts criticize well cleanup bill

‘Little to do with COVID:’ Landowners, law experts criticize well cleanup bill

Most Read