Flat-Earth Believer Cancels Launch in Homemade Rocket
Bureau of Land Management throws wrench into 'Mad' Mike Hughes' plans
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2017 3:35 PM CST
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Daredevil/limousine driver "Mad" Mike Hughes is shown with with his steam-powered rocket earlier this month.   (Waldo Stakes/HO courtesy of Mad Mike Hughes via AP)

(Newser) – A limousine driver who planned to launch himself into the sky in a homemade rocket this Saturday to prove the Earth is flat won't be doing that, and not just because the Earth is definitely not flat. "Mad" Mike Hughes says he had to call off his planned launch after the US Bureau of Land Management stepped in—and also after his "motorhome/rocket launcher" broke down in his driveway, the Desert Sun reports. Hughes, 61, tells the Washington Post he got verbal permission from the Bureau of Land Management last year to launch from public property in Amboy, California. A spokesperson for the bureau says it has no record of speaking to Hughes, who didn't apply for a needed permit. The spokesperson says they reached out to Hughes after seeing media coverage ahead of his launch.

“This is what happens anytime you have to deal with any kind of government agency," Hughes says. He calls the decision to cancel the launch "very disappointing." He says he plans to try again from private property next week. Hughes spent $20,000 building a steam-powered rocket in his garage. Gizmodo reports he planned to use it to launch himself 1,800 feet into the air at 500mph. Should he survive that, he says he plans to eventually launch himself miles above the Earth in order to definitely prove it's flat. Hughes recently converted to the theory of a flat Earth in what could easily be interpreted as a way to increase donations toward his rocket.

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