Mike Hughes, the flat Earther who planned to launch himself 1,800 feet high in a homemade rocket on Saturday, Nov. 25, said that he postponed the feat after he could not get permission from a federal agency to launch on public land in Amboy, California.
He explained that the Bureau of Land Management told him he could not launch his rocket as planned on weekend despite that the federal agency already gave him verbal permission more than a year ago pending the Federal Aviation Administration's approval.
Hughes said that he was initially told by the BLM that it was up to the FAA to approve the launch. A BLM representative, however, said that its local office does not have any record of speaking with Hughes and that he did not apply for the required special recreation permit to conduct an event on public land.
"Someone from our local office reached out to him after seeing some of these news articles [about the launch], because that was news to them," said BLM spokeswoman Samantha Storms.
Failure to get the necessary federal permits was not the only problem. The self-taught rocket scientist also encountered technical issues with his motorhome/rocket launcher, which stopped working for a day.
Hughes said that the initial plan was to set up the rocket in Amboy on Wednesday but the BLM's denial along with the mechanical problems led to the cancellation of the plans.
Flat-Earth Space Program
The 61-year-old, who believes that planet Earth is flat, said that successfully launching himself into a 500-mph, mile-long flight through the Mojave Desert will mark the first phase of an ambitious flat-Earth space program.
Hughes' ultimate goal is to launch himself miles above planet Earth, where he hopes to see what the shape of the Earth is really like.
In a flight fundraising interview with a group of flat-Earthers, Hughes mentioned about shutting the idea of a ball Earth. The limo driver, who has spent the last few years building steam-powered rocket made from salvage parts in his garage, told the flat-Earth community that he plans to expose the conspiracy with the help of his rocket.
Hughes isn't the only flat-Earther trying to prove the world is flat. Earlier this year, conspiracy theorist D. Marble said that he brought a spirit level aboard a flight to find out if the dipping of the plane's nose would compensate for the Earth's curvature. He said that the air bubble in his level remained centered, which he claims proves the Earth is flat.