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January 12, 2018

Flat-earth rocket pilot on February launch: I expect 'more viewers than the Super Bowl'

Whether the Eagles make the big dance or not, 'Mad' Mike Hughes plans to be the star of the weekend

What goes up must come down.

When it comes to football, if the Eagles go down on Saturday, they won’t rise up for an opportunity to win Super Bowl LII early next month.

But that’s neither here nor there to “Mad” Mike Hughes, who believes his event scheduled for the day before the Super Bowl will draw more international attention than big game itself.

If his name rings a bell, it’s because you heard about the daredevil/limousine driver’s plans to ride a rocket into space back in November to highlight flat-earth awareness.

That whole endeavor never took off on account of red tape at the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management. That’s no longer the case, Hughes told PhillyVoice on Friday afternoon.

Now that he’s found some private land in the “ghost town” of Amboy, California – complete with a brand-spanking-new road that’ll enable him to get his motor home and rocket gear to the site – the risky endeavor is a go.

“It’ll be a vertical launch, me strapped into the rocket with 6,000 pounds of thrust, going up about three-eighths of a mile,” he said, noting it’s a prologue to a major launch this Fourth of July weekend. “It’s the ultimate Wile E. Coyote move.”

As with the scrubbed mission, this is in part an event which he hopes will get people to investigate the ideology which holds the earth is flat – despite quite a bit of evidence to the contrary.

He said it would’ve happened back in November if international publicity hadn’t prompted government bureaucrats to “cover their asses” by pointing out that his launch site crept 150 feet into federal land.

“I could’ve been arrested so at that point, I just went home and got back to work,” he said. “Nobody could’ve predicted the amount of attention I got. But guess what? It’s about to happen again.”

"Some people think I’m the man who will change the world and, who knows, maybe they’re right." – 'Mad' Mike Hughes

Hughes, who said he plans to run for governor of California once he’s able to file petitions in late February, noted that the whole flat-earth wrinkle prompted some unexpected drama.

Someone set up a fake website pretending to be him and anonymous online haters questioning his every move. In fact, his website seems to have been hacked, redirecting people to on Friday.

“It’s the ultimate conspiracy theory. I hate to use that term because it’s a CIA term, and that’s the last organization that I want to be a part of,” he said. “Flat-earth divides people and that’s the last thing we need these days, more divided people.

“All I’m saying is people should look into it or investigate it, just like they should investigate and research everything in their lives. Research the post office. Did you know you can mail a letter for three cents? I’m looking at one right now. Look into everything. Santa Claus. The Easter Bunny. The Bush family. Research your City Council. That’s where they start stealing the money from you in the first place.”

He said this sort of introspection started when he was a young man who didn’t know why “20 people weren’t running for president” in lieu of a two-party system “which sucks.”

It carried over to the aftermath of 9/11 when he remained silent instead of sharing his “It didn’t happen” theory because “if you say that, you’re branded as a crazy person.”

“Once you start dealing with people’s belief systems, cognitive dissonance kicks in, and that’s a disease,” he said. “People don’t want to know the truth. They just want their beliefs justified.”


While he’s using Super Bowl Weekend as a chance to garner attention, he said, “The Super Bowl means nothing. Are the (Eagles) going to make it this year?”

“I should get more viewers than the Super Bowl,” said Hughes, adding the launch will be aired on Noize TV. “The Super Bowl halftime show is nothing but bulls***. You think I care what Tom Brady does? It doesn’t matter. He throws a football.

“People in Finland and Hungary don’t care about the game, but they’ll care about this launch. Of course I'm nervous. Who wouldn't be? But some people think I’m the man who will change the world and, who knows, maybe they’re right.”

When told that people in Philadelphia might disagree with his stance on the importance of the Super Bowl, Hughes conceded that he thinks people everywhere should be nicer to one another.

“I just wish everyone the best,” he said. “Have a great time, but look into everything and always ask questions.”

With that, he said he was off to field more calls, work on launch logistics and start painting his new rocket with lime-green paint.

Should things go according to the plan he shared, liftoff will be around 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 3.