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Daredevil and Flat Earth theorist "Mad" Mike Hughes dies in rocket crash

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Posted at 12:56 PM, Feb 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-23 14:56:15-05

Daredevil and Flat Earth theorist Michael "Mad Mike" Hughes died Saturday in a rocket crash. Hughes, 64, wanted to prove the Flat Earth theory by taking photographs of the Earth from a homemade rocket.

Saturday's rocket launch was to be featured on the Science Channel, which was chronicling Hughes' attempts to launch himself high enough in a homemade rocket to take pictures of the curvature — or lack thereof as far as Hughes was concerned — of the Earth. This particular launch was only supposed to take Hughes 5,000 feet in the air, according to Discovery.

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In this Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, photograph, daredevil/limousine driver Mad Mike Hughes is shown with with his steam=powered rocket constructed out of salvage parts on a five-acre property that he leases in Apple Valley, Cal. Hughes plans to launch his homemade contraption on Saturday near the ghost town of Amboy, Calif., at a speed of roughly 500 miles-per-hour.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mike Hughes' family and friends during this difficult time. It was always his dream to do this launch, and Science Channel was there to chronicle his journey," Science Channel said in a statement.

Although police did not positively identify Hughes, San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Public Information Officer Cindy Bachman said Saturday in a statement, "A man was pronounced deceased after the rocket crashed in the open desert during a rocket launch event. Medical aid was staged for the launch and was on scene immediately."

Hughes had previously completed a successful launch in March 2018, which sent him 1,800 feet in the air.

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"Mad Mike" Hughes launched himself into the heavens in a steam-powered rocket he built himself, to confirm his theory that the Earth is shaped like a Frisbee.

"The Flat Earth thing is like everything else to me," Hughes told CBS News in October 2018. "I just want people to question everything. Question what your congressman is doing, your city council. Question what really happened during the Civil War. What happened during 9/11."

At the time, Hughes stated that he built his homemade rocket mostly through, "trial and error," and admitted, "You don't get a lot of second chances, though, in the rocket business."