Before you rush off to your family dinners and celebrations, we should take a moment today and give a tip of the hat to a man with a vision. I’m not sure if this is one of those visions which result from too many doses of hallucinogenic drugs or something, but it’s clearly a vision of some sort. A California man by the name of Mike Hughes is going to finish his turkey dinner, take a couple of days to make some final preparations and then launch himself into the sky in a rocket of his own design on Saturday. But this is no challenger to Elon Musk we’re talking about here. Mike is using steam power for his spacecraft and the reason for the flight is even more spectacular. He’s going to prove that the Earth is flat (Washington Post)…
…He’s known by the moniker “Mad Mike” but is he really crazy? More to the point, I have to wonder if he even believes in this Flat Earth stuff or if that’s just a hook to draw more of an audience. I mean, how does anyone buy into that idea if they have enough of an IQ to tie their own shoes? (With apologies to a couple of NBA players.) Come on, man. Even I laugh at the Flat Earth people and I pay for a yearly Plus membership at Mysterious Universe.
All joking aside, my first impression when I heard about this story was to assume that on Saturday, Hughs is going to die. Or at least be horribly maimed. But now that I’ve seen some of his exploits on film, he does indeed seem to have learned enough of the basic mechanics involved to build a functional rocket powered by steam. But now he’s shooting for a one-mile flight at speeds in excess of 500 mph. How far can this guy push his luck before a mistake becomes terminal?
And even worse, what if he reaches the desired altitude and takes a picture, only to find out that the world is round after all? I hate to burst the guy’s bubble but I’ve actually traveled the entire way around the globe, leaving from California heading west and coming back home from the east. Trust me, Mike… there’s no edge.
But we’ll end with the same question I was circling around above. Can Mike Hughes actually do this and not die? Hey… Evel Knievel lived to be nearly 70 and wound up dying of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Stranger things have happened and I sort of miss the age of the original daredevils. Give ’em hell, Mike. And if you do find an edge to the world, try to be careful. That first step is a doozy.