Mike Hughes was an American limousine driver, daredevil, and flat-Earth conspiracy theorist, known for flying in self-built steam rockets. He died on February 22, 2020, while filming a stunt for an upcoming Science Channel television series.
Hughes lived in Apple Valley, California. Since 2002, he set a Guinness world record with a 103-foot (31 m) jump in a Lincoln Town Car stretch limousine. Moreover, Hughes stated during an interview with the Associated Press in 2018 that he had planned to run for governor of California.
According to the Associated Press, Hughes built his first crewed rocket on January 30, 2014, and flew 1,374 feet (419 m) in just over one minute over Winkelman, Arizona. According to CBC News, Hughes collapsed after the landing and it took him three days to recover. Hughes stated that the injuries suffered from the flight put him in a walker for two weeks. There was no video of Hughes entering the rocket and there were doubts that he was in it when it launched.
Flat-Earth rocket fundraising and launch
In 2016, Hughes launched a failed fundraising attempt for a rocket that earned $310. Moreover, after professing his belief in a flat Earth later that year, Hughes gained support within the flat-Earth community. His post-flat-Earth fundraising campaign made its $7,875 goal.
Similarly, he had said he intended to make multiple rocket journeys, culminating in a flight to outer space, where he believed he would be able to take a picture of the entire Earth as a flat disc. Moreover, he claimed in November 2017 that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) had given him verbal permission more than a year prior to launch his rocket, pending approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.
2020 launch and death
On February 22, 2020, Hughes, at the age of 64, died near Barstow, California, following the crash-landing of a self-built rocket he was piloting. Following Hughes’ death, a public relations representative stated: “We used flat Earth as a PR stunt… Flat Earth allowed us to get so much publicity that we kept going! I know he didn’t believe in flat Earth and it was a schtick.”
In popular culture
Hughes appeared in the music video for the Death Valley Girls’ song “One Less Thing (Before I Die)”. The 1:53 min long video was directed by Kansas Bowling and featured footage of his “Flat Earth” rocket launch in Apple Valley.
Hughes was the main focus of the 2019 documentary Rocketman: Mad Mike’s Mission to Prove the Flat-Earth.
- Full Name: Mike Hughes
- Date of Birth: February 9, 1956
- Date of Death: February 22, 2020
- Aged: 64
- Birth Place: Barstow, California, U.S.
- Other names: “Mad” Mike Hughes
- Occupation: Daredevil
- Known for: Amateur crewed rocketry, Flat-Earther
- Residence: California, United States
- Known for: Amateur manned rocketry; Flat-Earther
- Books: Whoops Airlines
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Reference Mike Hughes