61-year-old Mike Hughes wanted to prove the Earth was “shaped like a Frisbee.” (He didn’t.)
“Mad” Mike Hughes, a California limousine driver, shot himself about 1,875 feet into the air in a steam-powered homemade rocket on March 24. The idea? To get as high as he could in order to obtain damning photographic evidence against the international conspiracy to disguise the shape of our planet.
After numerous delays due to mechanical difficulties with the steam rocket and logistics disputes with the Bureau of Land Management, Hughes lifted off about 200 miles east of Los Angeles, somewhere near Amboy, California. The $20,000 rocket headed skyward at a blistering 350 MPH before dropping back toward our infuriatingly round planet.
Hughes deployed first one parachute and then another when his speed failed to adequately decrease. Paramedics retrieved the injured would-be space cadet from the wreckage of his craft for examination. Hughes sustained only minor injuries. Mostly, he was “relieved.” Hughes continued, saying: “I’m tired of people saying I chickened out and didn’t build a rocket. I’m tired of that stuff. I manned up and did it.”
Afterward, Hughes further expressed his satisfaction with the project. “Am I glad I did it? Yeah. I guess,” he said. “I’ll feel it in the morning. I won’t be able to get out of bed. At least I can go home and have dinner and see my cats tonight.”