The man who would be king of steam-powered rocketry has announced his next estimated time of departure from Earth (or at least its surface) in a spaceship with a steaming whistle. Mad Mike Hughes, holder of the current record for highest steam-powered rocket flight and hero of the Flat Earth crowd, revealed he is going back to his original launch site – private property along Route 66 in Amboy, California – and will take off on February 3rd. If that date doesn’t ring a bell, you may know it by its other name: Super Bowl Sunday.
That’s right. Mad Mike Hughes says on his Facebook page that he’s working “from sun up to sundown” to get ready to pull off the biggest stunt of his life on a day when all of the U.S. and much of the planet will be eating wings and watching football or halftime shows. While that may cut into his viewership, he’s been able to solve his other problems – government and money.
Locating the launch back in the private ghost town owned by Albert Okura got the federal government – specifically, the Bureau of Land Management – off of his back for trying to conduct his launch on public land. Mikes says this will keep the feds and the public away from the historic event: “The public is not invited and spectators will be chased off the property.” Hughes has also solved his financial problems, at least for this launch, by teaming up with NOIZE TV, whose motto (attributed to “some drunk dude”) is: "Doing things and getting things done all while making a difference."
According to the Facebook page and Hughes’ new website (now being managed by NOIZE TV), the network has exclusive broadcast rights and will air the launch live for $5, which will include a one-month subscription to the rest of its programming. NOIZE’s influence is already showing … Hughes has painted his red rocket bright green (photo here) at its request. NOIZE is filming the preparation and other content that will become a full-length documentary that will help Hughes raise the $1.8 million he needs to build a bigger rocket to propel his 62 miles into space for his flat earth photo op project. (promo video here)
This steam rocket part of his project really does put Mad Mike Hughes in the daredevil category and a successful trip – even with it being up against the Super Bowl – will go a long way towards getting him the kind of future coverage that Evel Knievel received for his various stunts. Fighting the feds gets him fans from that crowd and his plan to photograph proof of the flatness or curvature of the earth gets attention from the small but recently vocal Flat Earth contingent.
Is Mike Hughes mad? Not yet, but he might be on Super Bowl Sunday if no one tunes in.