Self-styled daredevil who believed Earth is flat dies after Calif. rocket crash

"Mad" Mike Hughes' home-made rocket launches near Amboy, Calif., on Saturday, March 24, 2018. The self-taught rocket scientist who believes the Earth is flat propelled himself about 1,875 feet into the air before a hard-landing in the Mojave Desert that left him injured. (Source: Matt Hartman via AP)

BARSTOW, Calif. (AP) - A colleague and a witness say a self-styled daredevil died Saturday after a rocket in which he launched himself crashed into the ground.

The Daily Press of Victorville reports that “Mad” Mike Hughes died after the homemade rocket crashed on private property in Barstow about 1:52 p.m. near Highway 247.

Waldo Stakes, a colleague who was at the rocket launch, said Hughes, 64, was killed.

Justin Chapman, a freelance journalist, told The Associated Press that he and his wife witnessed the crash.

Chapman said the rocket appeared to rub against the launch apparatus, which might have torn the parachutes attached to it. He said the rocket went straight into the ground.

In March 2018, Hughes talked to the AP before propelling himself about 1,875 feet into the air. He had a hard landing in the Mojave Desert.

At the time, Hughes said he believed the Earth is flat.

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