It’s anyone’s guess where “Mad” Mike Hughes gets his nickname, but you may have heard it before. In November of 2017, Hughes announced a plan to ride his home-made rocket into the sky with the ultimate goal of proving that the Earth is flat. His first launch never got off the ground due to government regulations, but on Friday, he announced that he’s going to try again, sometime around February 3.
Hughes does not believe that the Earth is the shape of a sphere, according to a video released on Friday on his Facebook page. He has said that he doesn’t believe in science and that public schools are “programming centers.” He claims that he doesn’t like the word “flat earther,” but his rocket is painted with the words “flat earth.”
In November, his attempts to launch were quashed when the Bureau of Land Management shut down the attempt. Hughes had originally planned to launch his rocket from up into the sky, eject himself with a parachute, and the rocket would crash onto Bureau land. This time, Hughes says, he’s going to do a vertical launch so that the rocket lands on his own property.
The flat Earth hypothesis states that Earth is shaped like a disk, or dinnerplate, as opposed to a beach ball. Science has repeatedly shown, starting 2,000 years ago, that the Earth is spherical. Notably, NASA has many pictures of Earth from space, showing its shape. However, many flat Earther’s don’t believe in the photos or the science, which is why they want someone on their side to go up and get their own pictures.
However, this particular launch isn’t intended to immediately prove the flat Earth hypothesis. “I never said this jump or launch was supposed to prove anything with the flat Earth,” Hughes said on the video. “It’s just supposed to be for publicity.”
After the launch, and an allegedly upcoming documentary about his life, Hughes hopes to use the publicity he’s gathered to fundraise for a launch into space that should be high enough to actually show the curvature—or lack thereof—of the Earth.
In the video, Hughes also mentioned his plans to run for governor of California.