DIY Rocket Scientist “Mad” Mike Hughes Dies Attempting To Prove The Earth Is Flat

A US stuntman and amateur astronaut has died after his homemade rocket crashed in the Californian desert, sparking tributes to a man who devoted his life to proving the Earth is flat.

“Mad” Mike Hughes, 64, died on Saturday afternoon when his steam-powered rocket crashed near Barstow, California.

Citing eyewitnesses, BBC reports Hughes’ rocket launched successfully and flew a considerable distance. However, an apparent malfunction saw the rocket fall from the sky without its parachute.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department confirmed it had been called to the site of a rocket crash, where a man was pronounced deceased.

Speaking to the Associated Press, associate and fellow rocketeer Waldo Stakes confirmed Hughes died in the attempt.

“It was unsuccessful, and he passed away,” Stakes said

Hughes had built a reputation as one of the flat earth movement’s more dedicated researchers, who was set on disproving the fact our planet is spherical.

The former limo driver and self-styled NASCAR innovator attempted similar launches in the past.

In 2018, Hughes flew nearly 600 metres into the air before returning to the ground. He suffered compressed vertebrae as a result of the flight, but remained steadfast in his goal to eventually travel far enough into the sky to prove his point.

Speaking to reporters in 2017, Hughes was adamant his amateur rocketry could circumvent traditional notions of physics and aerodynamics.

“I don’t believe in science,” Hughes told the Associated Press in 2017.

“I know about aerodynamics and fluid dynamics and how things move through the air, about the certain size of rocket nozzles, and thrust. But that’s not science, that’s just a formula. There’s no difference between science and science fiction.”

Hughes was filming a documentary with US television network The Science Channel at the time of his death.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this difficult time,” a channel representative told

“It was always his dream to do this launch, and Science was there to chronicle his journey.”

Rest easy, Mike.