Nov 202017
 

The headline is more than a little misleading. “Mad Mike” here isn’t a rocket scientist; in fact, this actual-Flat-Earther states quite clearly that he doesn’t believe in science. Still, he spent a whole lot of money building himself a “skycycle”- like rocket vehicle with which to lob himself into the air.

If you have time to kill and want to chuckle sadly, take a look at this winners Facebook page. He’s not just any Flat Earther, he’s one of those belligerent ones. He thinks that somehow lobbing himself a short distance into the sky will “prove” the Flat Earth delusion to be true… where somehow decades of high altitude balloons, sounding rockets, orbital flights and missions to the moon and beyond somehow all seemed to miss it.

And if there was any lasting doubt that the news media is just not very good, here’s a collection of headlines that will make aerospace engineers – including former rocket engineers like myself – want to pull their hair out:

Self-Taught Rocket Scientist Mad Mike Hughes Plans to Launch Over Ghost Town

This barmy self-taught scientist called ‘Mad Mike’ is going to launch himself over California in a homemade rocket

Not only is there a whole lot of copying off each other – rather than, you know, actual journalismizing – there’s the repeated mis-use of the word “scientist.” Even disregarding the fact that he doesn’t believe in  science, there’s the basic fact that he’s not actually *doing* any science.

 Posted by at 11:12 am
  • Derek

    He’s a good candidate for the Darwin Awards. I wonder what the headlines will be when he fails and ends up killing himself. At least it will be safe to bet that he’ll fail. But the question is: how spectacular will that failure be?

    There’s more to rocket science than putting numbers into a formula, way more, and if someone has little grasp of that then they’ll fail.

  • Michael

    Only $20,000? That’s the second thing that leaped out at me. The first was his name: I went to junior high school with a Mike Hughes who was bright but in retrospect would have tried something like this (the one in California is the wrong age).
    He might have been better off to find the guys who proposed SpaceCub: they had plans based on real engineering.

  • Kopis

    Richard Feynman – Scientific Method (note – *ANYONE* following teh “Method” is a scientist by definition. Paying a university for ‘official’ letters after your name only indicates you’ve been properly indoctrinated/brainwashed):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KmimDq4cSU

    Also note just because *anyone* can be a “scientist” doesn’t necessarily mean they’re correct or have a valid viewpoint. Flat Earth is a prime example, anyone spouting flat Earth nonsense richly earns the crackpot/nut-job label. A completely opposite example is Clyde Tombaugh (1906 – 1997), discoverer of Pluto.

  • Paul Leatzaw

    Gee..why is the earths shadow on the moon during a lunar….oh never mind….

    • Paul451

      What makes you think it’s Earth’s shadow? It’s the “anti-moon”, which is normally invisible in the sky.

      [Seriously (well…), that’s the FE explanation.]

  • Paul451

    He’s not just any Flat Earther, he’s one of those belligerent ones. He thinks that somehow lobbing himself a short distance into the sky will “prove” the Flat Earth delusion to be true…

    Good for him. I have trouble getting southern hemisphere Flat Earthers to go outside and look at the south celestial pole.

    I hope they build a small memorial for him at the spot where he crashes and dies: “This spot marks the point of impact of Michael “Mad Mike” Hughes. At least he did the experiment.”

  • allen

    I had a flat-earther tell me that the USAF regularly intercepts balloon-borne cameras and replaces the pictures with ones that fake the curvature of the earth.