Flat-Earther “Mad Mike” Hughes Dies after Crash-Landing with Homemade Rocket

"Mad Mike" was building rockets to see with his own eyes whether the Earth looked like a Frisbee or not.

Flat-Earther “Mad Mike” Hughes Dies after Crash-Landing with Homemade Rocket
1, 2

“Mad Mike” Hughes, a self-made engineer and Flat Earth conspiracy theorist, died February 22 after attempting to launch 5,000 feet with a steam-powered homemade rocket in Barstow California. He was 64.

The stunt was part of an upcoming Science Channel series Homemade Astronauts. Science Channel confirmed Hughes’ tragic death with a statement published on Twitter.


A video shows the moment of the launch, where the parachute deployed too early and caused the accident can be seen drifting behind the rocket.

The rocket was an ambitious DIY Project, and Mad Mike had built it in his backyard by spending $18,000. He had previously successfully launched in March 2018.

“Mad Mike” was famous for his belief that the Eart was flat, and he wanted to prove his theory by going to space. He wanted to see the Earth's shape with his own eyes. 

In an interview, he said, “Do I believe the Earth is shaped like a Frisbee? I believe it is,” he had said. “Do I know for sure? No? That’s why I want to go up in space.”

However, apparently his Flat-Earther persona could have been a PR stunt. In a BuzzFeed News interview, public relations representative Dabid Shuster said, “We used flat Earth as a PR stunt. Period. He was a true daredevil decades before the latest round of rocket missions. 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 schtick.”

Regardless of whose words you choose to go by, Hughes had previously said that he was doing his rockets because he wanted to convince people to do extraordinary things with their lives. And most of all, he wanted to inspire people all around the world. 

Follow Us on

Stay on top of the latest engineering news

Just enter your email and we’ll take care of the rest:

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe at any time.