Mike Hughes, a go-it-by itself daredevil, limousine stunt driver and self-taught astronaut who professed to think that the Earth was flat and who was identified to supporters as Mad Mike, died in a rocket start in the California desert on Saturday. He was 64.
Darren Shuster, Mr. Hughes’s publicist, confirmed his death. Mr. Shuster, who was not at the launch on Saturday, reported his client’s previous information to him that morning asked, “Is the media likely to be there?”
Around 2 p.m. on Saturday, San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies were named to a rocket launch on private home in Barstow, Calif., about 120 miles northeast of Los Angeles. “A gentleman was pronounced deceased after the rocket crashed in the open up desert,” the sheriff’s workplace stated in a statement.
A video clip of the launch posted by Justin Chapman, a freelance journalist, shows Mr. Hughes’s steam-run rocket capturing off into the sky and a parachute slipping down to the earth. Times later on, the rocket plummets and crashes in close proximity to the start site.
The start was being filmed for “Homemade Astronauts,” a new tv collection for the Science Channel, which is owned by Discovery.
“Our views and prayers go out to his household and buddies all through this difficult time,” Discovery wrote on its site. “It was generally his dream to do this start, and Science Channel was there to chronicle his journey.”
He is survived by two children.
The launch that killed Mr. Hughes was supposed to take him 5,000 toes into the air, Discovery mentioned, contacting it “only the 1st move toward an even more ambitious intention in place exploration.”
Mr. Hughes and Waldo Stakes, his longtime associate, dreamed of sending the brazen stuntman “62 miles into the air, clearing the Karman Line — the border among Earth’s atmosphere and outer space,” in accordance to Discovery. Element of the men’s plan concerned a “Rock-oon” — a mix rocket-balloon that Discovery mentioned was “still currently being created.”
In 2018, Mr. Hughes built headlines immediately after he released himself almost 2,000 ft into the air before a difficult landing in the Mojave Desert, The Linked Push claimed.
On Sunday, the documentary’s Instagram web site focused a post to Mr. Hughes. “Although there were being numerous issues we disagreed on,” it mentioned, “we located commonality in his point of view of the human affliction.”
Calling him a “soft spirit” with “empathy for the entire world that contrasted with his community persona,” the publish claimed that Mr. Hughes “was typically lonely and felt his achievements as a daredevil had been neglected.”
He as soon as worked for NASCAR, was a self-taught rocket scientist and earned a Guinness World File, in 2002, for longest ramp bounce in a limousine, but Mr. Hughes’s legacy may be dominated by his purported perception in a flat Earth.
The A.P. when quoted Mr. Hughes as saying that he considered the Earth was formed like a Frisbee, but he also conceded that he couldn’t say for particular that it was.
“Do I know for absolutely sure?” he claimed. “No. Which is why I want to go up in space.”
Alluding to that legacy, the “Rocketman” Instagram tribute explained that “right now, numerous are laughing at Mad Mike,” but that “no a single laughed more challenging at Mad Mike Hughes, than himself.”
Mr. Hughes “didn’t seriously care if the Earth was flat, and was completely all set to concede his error after he could see it with his individual eyes in a last stunt that he was doing the job toward,” the write-up go through.
Mr. Shuster, his publicist, preserved that Mr. Hughes’s professed flat-Earth beliefs were just meant to garner revenue and publicity for his stunts.
“He was eccentric and believed in some governing administration conspiracies, for confident, but it was a P.R. stunt,” Mr. Shuster reported. Over all, he said, Mr. Hughes’s objective was to be an inspiration for all People in america.
“He wished to be a hero,” Mr. Shuster reported. “That’s what drove him.”