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

VIDEO: Vernon Girls Trumpet Band holds street concert for self-isolating seniors

Residents of The Hamlets at Vernon were treated to a concert from a safe distance Saturday afternoon

North Okanagan district updates list of sandbagging stations

Severe weather over the weekend has communities bracing for potential flooding

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan, Shuswap

Environment Canada is forecasting strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy downpours in parts of the Interior

North Okanagan farmers’ markets excited to welcome artisans back amid COVID-19

Provincial health officer announced non-food items to return to markets this weekend

WorkSafe BC conducted 70 inspections in the Okanagan amid B.C.’s reopening plan

WorkSafe BC has conducted 100 inspections at restaurants across the province since May 19

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

District offers safety tips after cougar spotted near Lake Country school

The animal was seen on a walking trail near Peter Greer Elementary Saturday morning

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Similkameen winery co-owned by Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C.’s provincial health officer is part of the original ownership group of Clos du Soleil in Keremeos

Shuswap man reported missing by RCMP has been found unharmed

Salmon Arm resident apologizes for having caused anyone concern

Emergency crews rush youth to hospital after quadding accident in West Kelowna

West Kelowna Fire Rescue’s new off-road vehicle was used in the rescue

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

Most Read