On a lighter note: Rocket powered Flat Earther makes his bid to join Darwin Award winners

by | Nov 27, 2017 | Launches, On a Lighter Note

There are still some in the world who hold onto stupid beliefs in spite of all of the evidence. No – we do not mean climate change or moon landing deniers, or even certain religious creationists…although we do have our doubts about all of them, but rather those Flat Earthers, like the famous former England cricketer Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff, who, despite all the evidence, still believe that the Earth is flat rather than spherical. While Freddie will just argue the point, one of his soul-mates in America intends to prove the theory once and for all by firing himself into near space using a home-made rocket.

“Mad” Mike Hughes in front of is rocket. Courtesy: Mad Mike Hughes/Facebook

The limousine chauffeur and self-taught rocket engineer, “Mad” Mike Hughes (pictured), has built a rocket out of scrap to blast himself high enough to prove the theory one way or the other. Well, either this, or it is his bid to join the winners of the Darwin Awards.

For the uninitiated, the Darwin Awards are named in honour of Charles Darwin, the father of evolution theory with its “survival of the fittest” premise, and are handed out to those who improve the human gene pool by removing themselves from it in a stupid way. Thus, the awards are normally given out posthumously.

Let us hope that “Mad” Mike has a safe flight for his sake, and does not win a “Darwin” himself. That is, if the authorities let him do it in the first place.

Rockets have, of course, played a part in the achievements of past winners of the Darwin awards. While the one about a US Air Force sergeant fitting a JATO rocket engine to his Chevy Impala automobile to then blast himself into the side of a cliff is just an urban legend, there are a few true ones involving rockets. One of these award winners was a chap who in 1995 tried to parachute off the Niagara Falls on a rocket-boosted jet ski. Neither the rocket nor the parachute worked, due to water getting into the mechanism, and he plunged fatally into the drink.

Other winners used different technologies to terminate themselves. While your correspondent has heard a similar story in a non-PC joke, a dim-witted Texan teenager really did decide to play “Russian roulette” with a self-loading semi-automatic pistol, increasing his odds of a self-inflicted fatal shot from one in six to one in one. He departed this Earth (flat or otherwise) in the year 2000.

During the same year, an Iraqi terrorist called Khay Rahnajet was “hoisted on his own petard”, or rather on his own letter bomb, when he did not put enough stamps on it, and it was “returned to sender”. He forgot it was a letter bomb and removed himself from the world via his explosive opening of the epistle.

And finally, there was the Michigan man who in January last year, fatally ejaculated himself (words used advisedly here) through his car’s sun roof after his car went out of control and crashed while he was attempting to “entertain himself” with both hands off the steering wheel. Well, you could say that is one way of spreading his genes.

For those who want to eject in a more normal way see here. But don’t forget to take the golf clubs with you.

Update on 26 March 2018: “Mad” Mike Hughes finally made his flight to an altitude of 1,875 feet in the Mojave Desert on 24 March 2017.  He had a harder than expected landing after a partial parachute failure, but survived the flight. “I manned up and did it.” he said. No word yet on whether he still thinks that the Earth is flat.




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