Friday Funny – ‘Flat Earth researcher’ likely to win a Darwin Award

You’ve all surely heard of the Darwin Awards, where some people remove themselves from the gene pool for the benefit of mankind by taunting natural selection:

Natural selection deems that some individuals serve as a warning to others.   Who are we to disagree? The next generation, ever and anon, is descended from the survivors.

This fellow, one Mike Hughes of California, who bills himself as:

The Only Man in History to Design, Build, and Launch Himself in a Rocket

Mike thinks the Earth is flat, and NOAA, NASA, and everybody else is wrong on that fact. So, to prove it, he’s made a rocket to go to the edge of space to prove it to himself.

In this Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, photograph, daredevil/limousine driver Mad Mike Hughes is shown with with his steam-powered rocket constructed out of salvage parts on a five-acre property that he leases in Apple Valley, Cal. Hughes plans to launch his homemade contraption on Saturday near the ghost town of Amboy, Cal., at a speed of roughly 500 miles-per-hour. (Waldo Stakes/HO courtesy of Mad Mike Hughes via AP) (Associated Press)
The launch Winnebago. Photo from Mike Hughes website madmikehughes.com

A story in the Washington Post says:

Hughes is a 61-year-old limo driver who’s spent the last few years building a steam-powered rocket out of salvage parts in his garage. His project has cost him $20,000, which includes Rust-Oleum paint to fancy it up and a motor home he bought on Craigslist that he converted into a ramp.

Besides the fact that limo drivers aren’t generally rocket scientists, there’s only one major problem; he’s used a similar design for his “steam powered rocket” as the infamous Evel Knievel, who tried and failed to launch a similar contraption over the Snake River Canyon back in September 1974.  Stuntman Eddie Braun did successfully zoom over the canyon — using Knievel’s original blueprints — in September 2016.

In a story by BGR, we get a clearer picture:

Mike Hughes, who has made it known that he doesn’t “believe in science,” has built a steam-powered rocket which he intends to ride into the sky. His aim doesn’t seem to be to put the flat earth debate to rest — at the altitude he’ll be reaching, he wouldn’t be able to see much of a curve, and even if he did it’s not like he’d admit it — but rather to promote a flat earth group that is helping to sponsor his flight.

If you’ve ever debated a flat earther online — and if you haven’t, I probably wouldn’t advise it, because logic and reason are completely lost on them — you’ll usually reach a point where one of you says “If we could travel to space you’d see the truth.” The rocket Hughes plans to ride skyward isn’t capable of such a feat, but it’s better than nothing. As for the potential dangers of the flight, he’s well aware of the risks.

“If you’re not scared to death, you’re an idiot,” Hughes explained. “It’s scary as hell, but none of us are getting out of this world alive.” While that may be true, taking your life into your own hands with a steam-powered rocket still requires a mix of guts and stupidity.

Umm, yeah. Looks like steamflunk.

Our friend, Dr. Roy Spencer, recently said on Facebook post that he’d like to nominate Hughes for a Darwin award “pre-humously”.

I second that motion.

Saturday, Nov 25th, while people are watching football and eating turkey leftovers, hughes plans a Pay Per View coverage of his Darwin Award event launch. In my view, he’s just another stuntman with a crazy idea to make fame and money.

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Toneb
November 24, 2017 12:04 am

A member of the Flat-Earth Society, when asked how many members they had, said …
“Loads – we have members all around the Globe”.

lewispbuckingham
Reply to  Toneb
November 24, 2017 12:08 am

That’s why I am not superstitious, because superstition brings bad luck.

Gary Pearse.
Reply to  lewispbuckingham
November 24, 2017 3:04 am

I’ve got a bigger inferiority complex than you have!

Reply to  Toneb
November 24, 2017 12:27 am

😉

Robert from oz
Reply to  Toneb
November 24, 2017 12:31 am

Comedy gold .

Paul r
Reply to  Toneb
November 24, 2017 12:38 am

Shouldn’t he have answered “four corners of the world.”

gnomish
Reply to  Paul r
November 24, 2017 1:17 am

this body-shaming of Gaia has got to stop!

Reply to  Toneb
November 24, 2017 1:20 am

Good one!

Eric
Reply to  Toneb
November 24, 2017 6:14 am

Hahaha!!!!

RockyRoad
Reply to  Toneb
November 25, 2017 6:45 am

I look at the sun (with filter, of course) and it’s round. I look at the moon and it’s also round. Every planet I can see with my telescope is similarly round (not perfectly round, but close enough).

You’d think Flat Earthers could project that shape into 3 dimensions, but apparently not.

I’m wondering what gives Mad Mike Hughes the idea planet Earth, which also appears round from space, the idea that of all celestial bodies the one we live on is FLAT??

…and then there’s his “Mad” honorific.

Reply to  RockyRoad
November 29, 2017 9:34 am

Yes, but we’ve never seen the other side of the moon… NASA says they have pictures, but they say that men have been there, too, so… ;^)

Reply to  Toneb
November 26, 2017 2:47 pm

It must be a flat Globe… I doubt he will be seriously injured simply because that contraption will never get off the ground. Of course if it explodes with him in it…

John in NZ
November 24, 2017 12:23 am

Is it possible to tell the difference between a person who believes and someone who is winding you up?

gnomish
Reply to  John in NZ
November 24, 2017 1:15 am

no
Poe’s Law is the relevant phenomenology

Mat
Reply to  John in NZ
November 24, 2017 2:09 am

It’s not a belief, it’s a test in critical thinking. As in who can, and who can’t (aka Open minded vs Bigoted)…

Andy Pattullo
Reply to  John in NZ
November 24, 2017 8:06 am

Very good point. He may be smarter than appears and if his goal was free, and widespread publicity, which can be traded for gold, then he has succeeded without ever warming up his sky kettle.

SteveT
November 24, 2017 12:33 am

Sixty one seems a bit old for the Darwin award, if you are removing yourself from the gene pool does it require having no offspring before your death?

Just a thought.

SteveT

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  SteveT
November 24, 2017 12:58 am

On this evidence he has no kids. If he had he would have more common sense.

BillT
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
November 24, 2017 2:13 am

If he had kids he would prolly have removed himself sooner. Insanity is infectious, you catch it from your kids.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
November 24, 2017 1:49 pm

Having kids doesn’t require, or produce, common sense.

F. Leghorn
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
November 25, 2017 3:35 am

Jeff Alberts on November 24, 2017 at 1:49 pm
Having kids doesn’t require, or produce, common sense.

Yeah, but a lack of common sense often produces kids. Probably why we have so many dumb offspring in the world.

Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
November 26, 2017 2:50 pm

See the movie, “Idiocracy”.

JasonH
November 24, 2017 12:38 am

He’ll come in nose first about 10ft in front of that truck.

David Chappell
Reply to  JasonH
November 24, 2017 12:57 am

That’s if the boiler doesn’t blow while he’s still on the ramp.

KiwiHeretic
Reply to  David Chappell
November 27, 2017 2:04 pm

How will he shovel coal into his boiler whilst in flight?? I don’t see a coal scuttle anywhere. Problem right there. He might need a two-man crew… one to shovel and the other to take pictures. Sorry, I meant “two-person” crew. Can’t say “man” anymore as I’m sure it’s a gender-neutral rocket.

rocketscientist
Reply to  JasonH
November 24, 2017 7:58 am

His failure to believe in science, doesn’t seem to stop him from using what little he does know to further his stunt.
Sadly physics is a cruel mistress, like the sea she cares not on whit for your naivete.
I saw an interesting bumper sticker recently:
“NO LIVES MATTER. THE UNIVERSE DOESN’T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT YOU”

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  rocketscientist
November 24, 2017 9:59 am

I enjoy science sayings, puns, and jokes, periodically.

Vicus
Reply to  rocketscientist
November 24, 2017 1:12 pm

Ohh. I’m getting that bumper sticker!

AlexB
Reply to  rocketscientist
November 25, 2017 2:09 pm

Does dead matter matter?

joelobryan
Reply to  JasonH
November 24, 2017 10:17 am

JasonH,
That was my thought as well. Boiler with super-heated water for thrust? He has no idea how little sustained thrust he’ll get out thing. Certainly not enough to lift the weight of his contraption and his own weight more than 40-100 feet. Just high enough to be too low for a parachute to save his butt from ground impact.

Ed Zuiderwijk
November 24, 2017 12:56 am

I bet he has a horseshoe nailed onto the contraption somewhere. One may wonder whether he had the right side up.

Ellen
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
November 24, 2017 8:50 am

That’s a silly superstition. But I am reliably informed that horseshoes give luck whether you believe in them or not.

Marnof
November 24, 2017 1:00 am

It matters very little that he doesn’t “believe in science.” Science believes in him.

vukcevic
November 24, 2017 1:03 am

Man could be onto something, just take a look at the moon, our nearest heavenly body, it’s flat as a pancake, nothing like as a lump of cheddar cheese.

vukcevic
Reply to  vukcevic
November 24, 2017 3:33 am

It’s just a publicity stunt with an attempt to make some money on online ‘pay per view’ comment image?strip=all&w=858

Stephen Skinner
November 24, 2017 1:04 am

“If you’re not scared to death, you’re an idiot,”
If you’re not scared to death and don’t know what you’re doing and still carry on, you’re still an idiot.

Nigel S
Reply to  Stephen Skinner
November 24, 2017 1:17 am

‘A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned,’ he said, ‘for he will be going out on a day he shouldn’t. But we do be afraid of the sea, and we do only be drownded now and again.’

J M Synge, ‘The Aran Islands’ 1907

Larry D
Reply to  Nigel S
November 24, 2017 4:49 pm

“Oh Lord, thy sea is so vast, and our ships are so small.”

Notanist
November 24, 2017 1:07 am

If he really built all that stuff, particularly if he actually gets it into the air, requires a lot more rationality than your average loony-tune is capable of. That said, the difference between an obsession and an enthusiasm is whether you’re observing it or experiencing it, and this guy being all in to the extent that he’s actually going to launch himself off the planet in this thing, that’s going to get a nod of respect from me no matter how insane any of the rest of it turns out to be.

gnomish
Reply to  Notanist
November 24, 2017 1:24 am

yeah- this is the main reason i like people, actually- the best ones create themselves.
i get to see how their sincerest, most assiduous efforts pan out.
all these experiments i might never try – i get to see how they go for free.
authenticity is wonderful.
this is human nature, btw- what distinguishes us from all other creatures on this ball of water with a few dry spots.
revel in it. it’s what makes us great, really.

Reply to  Notanist
November 24, 2017 1:31 am

We know that climate skeptics have been compared to Flat-Earthers. One of the differences is that Flat-Earthers pay no attention to empirical evidence, such as circumnavigation of the globe, while climate skeptics cite previous warm and cold periods during the Holocene that occurred long before humans began emitting CO2 in substantial quantities.

All the guy has to do is buy a round-the-world air ticket and he can determine whether or not the world is a globe or flat just by traveling in the same direction for a couple of weeks. Probably cost less than what he spent on the rocket and launch pad.

Mat
Reply to  Frederick Colbourne
November 24, 2017 2:21 am

Attempting to falsify that claim, that the Earth is round, is the scientific method. Is it not? As appose to a faith based belief (taking it on faith as most do) that it is round.

gnomish
Reply to  Frederick Colbourne
November 24, 2017 2:36 am

follow your logic to the ineluctable conclusion mr Colbourne
as it is self evident that he could make that cheap experiment, you must therefore understand that he is not interested in answering that question
why do you mistrust your own reason?

Ben of Houston
Reply to  Frederick Colbourne
November 24, 2017 6:47 am

Fredrick. It’s both simpler and more complex than that. They consider the Earth to be circular with the Antarctic forming a giant ring around the planet. So, circumnavigation mean only that people can fly or sail in a circle.

However, Just check air flight times throughout the Southern Hemisphere. With this model, A flight from South America to Africa should be ten times the length of one from New York to London. However, it’s not.

ferdberple
Reply to  Frederick Colbourne
November 24, 2017 6:47 am

it is round.
=======
like a pizza.

ferdberple
Reply to  Frederick Colbourne
November 24, 2017 6:47 am

it is round.
=======
like a pizza.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Frederick Colbourne
November 24, 2017 8:34 am

@Ben;

I hesitate to ask, but how do they explain the extended arctic/antarctic days and nights? Or even the change in the sun’s elevation as the seasons progress?

Urederra
Reply to  Notanist
November 24, 2017 1:44 am

I read the story a couple of days ago. He already did. This is not his first attempt. In his first attempt, with a smaller rocket, he broke one leg.

Ben of Houston
Reply to  Notanist
November 24, 2017 6:44 am

If he was sending up a camera, I’d call him a dedicated enthusiast. However, he’s quite likely going to get himself killed, and the rocket doesn’t seem to even be capable of proving what he’s trying to show.

Flynn
November 24, 2017 1:07 am

He already won a WTF award in my books …

And if he has no kids, he’ll soon have no more equipment to make some.

Editor
Reply to  Flynn
November 24, 2017 5:16 am

We have to give him credit for having balls now!

rocketscientist
Reply to  Ric Werme
November 24, 2017 8:19 am

Nope!

Nigel S
November 24, 2017 1:08 am

The flat earthers are fans of CAGW I understand. Joshua Slocum is said to have been introduced to Paul Kruger as sailing round the world. The response was “Captain Slocum is sailing in the world”.

http://www.cantab.net/users/michael.behrend/ebooks/PlaneTruth/pages/Chapter_06.html

dudleyhorscroft
Reply to  Nigel S
November 24, 2017 4:01 am

Why are you surprised that Captain Slocum was sailing “in the world” when Mrs Slocum put her pussy into the microwave to dry it out a bit after it had got soaked in the railn.

dudleyhorscroft
Reply to  dudleyhorscroft
November 24, 2017 4:02 am

Sorry, “rain”.

Nigel S
Reply to  dudleyhorscroft
November 24, 2017 5:07 am

Mrs Slocombe but you’ve (all) done very well. Captain Slocum was an all American hero, much like our host.

Reply to  dudleyhorscroft
December 3, 2017 11:33 pm

“Mrs Slocum put her pussy into the microwave to dry it out a bit after it had got soaked”

Was she a contortionist ?? ( 8-))

Hugs
November 24, 2017 1:16 am

Our friend, Dr. Roy Spencer, recently said on Facebook post that he’d like to nominate Hughes for a Darwin award “pre-humously”.

Let’s hope the poor man does not kill himself, even if it would serve the gene pool.

ClimateOtter
November 24, 2017 1:21 am

I don’t get the, errrr, ‘thrust’ of his argument.

Tony Garcia
Reply to  ClimateOtter
November 26, 2017 2:54 am

Flatearther, soon-to-be flatliner.Simple enough?

Adam
November 24, 2017 1:46 am

Here’s what I don’t get. According to the Washington Post he’s attempting to reach an altitude of 1,800 feet. A plane, on the other hand, will get him to 39,000 feet. Why doesn’t he take some of his $20,000 and just take a plane. Or are those a NASA conspiracy too?

Nigel S
Reply to  Adam
November 24, 2017 2:21 am

‘Lawnchair Larry’ got to 15,000 feet in 1982.

Ben of Houston
Reply to  Adam
November 24, 2017 6:51 am

Or if he doesn’t trust any corporations, rent a Hot Air balloon. That will get him far higher than 1,800. Even if he was right and the Earth was flat, he’s thousands of miles away from “the edge” and couldn’t see it if he wanted to.

E.M.Smith
Editor
Reply to  Adam
November 27, 2017 7:26 am

In a few hours I can drive to 8000 feet up the Sierra Nevada mountains. Cost about $40 round trip.

A few decades back, I drove to 12,000 feet top of the volcano in Hawaii (one of the smaller islands. They rent bikes and you can plunge down the mountain at velocity… extra big brakes… Maui I think…) it was fun to look down on jets landing at the airport and transiting between Islands. Spectacular view and some curvature visible. Cost from California with airfare and hotel ought to be under $1000.

All this leads me to think he is just a thrill seeker looking for a gimmick to fund his toy rocket ride..

MENoll
November 24, 2017 2:05 am

If he lands on the other side, guess he will have to build another rocket to let us know he was correct.

Don K
Reply to  MENoll
November 24, 2017 5:24 am

There’s pretty much no “other side” around Amboy, CA where he plans to fly this thing. There’s a nice symmetric 80m high volcanic cone, some modest mountains — rugged, but not very high, and a bunch of dry lakebeds. I have a few questions about how he plans to land this thing … assuming that his “planning” has gotten that far.

Craig W
November 24, 2017 2:18 am

Oh man that’s both funny and sad.
Darwin-Dunning-Kruger effect perhaps?

gnomish
Reply to  Craig W
November 24, 2017 2:41 am

no. no more than is halloween is a manifestation of belief in the supernatural.
it’s fun. it’s performance.
why so serial?

Frederic
November 24, 2017 2:23 am

“If you’re not scared to death, you’re an idiot,”

Ok, you’re are scared to death, but you still are an idiot.

Mat
November 24, 2017 2:33 am

Flat Earth is an (a fun) exercise in critical thinking. Attempting to falsify something is after all the scientific method. And like the “it’s OK to be White” postings, it’s one of the great trolling’s of all time. It shows us our own bigoted thinking, in that you’re not as open to certain possibility’s as you might think you are. And that nearly all our beliefs are indeed faith based, in that we have faith in other’s data and conclusions. The blurry line between Nut and Scientist…

rocketscientist
Reply to  Mat
November 24, 2017 8:24 am

Well if the Earth was flat all the rich tycoons and developers would own all the “rim property” for casinos, hotels, and private estates. The view of the sky would be spectacular!
But if its flat, who lives on the “B” side?

Mike
Reply to  rocketscientist
November 24, 2017 12:12 pm

Does it not rest on a turtle or elephant or something?

Dan Davis
Reply to  rocketscientist
November 24, 2017 1:30 pm

Who lives on the “B” side? – We do!!
Those on the “A” side are something you just can’t believe!

Mark - Helsinki
November 24, 2017 2:33 am

on a positive note, he’s someone willing to act on his beliefs at great personal risk

On a negative note, he might kill himself.

While I think the guy is misguided based on what I understand myself about astronomy, I will refuse to sneer at him, which is what imo Anthony and Spencer and others are doing.

I really admire you guys, but this kinda leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

How many of you are willing to put your neck on the line for what you believe? (including me)

gnomish
Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
November 24, 2017 2:44 am

hey- let’s mock rudolf nuryev cuz he thinks he’s a duck!

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
November 24, 2017 3:03 am

I’m with Mark..
He’s ‘A Character’, he brings people together to talk and think.
He brings and he is ‘Diversity’

And in a world filling up with World blah blah organisations, Internatiaonal this-that-others and all sorts of United and Intergovernmental shyte, so The Lord help us (and this guy not least) – we need diversity.
Are we here ourselves not exactly expressing that?

He is A Hero – in the mould of Eddie The Eagle – England’s best ever ski-jumping champion

And if the world isn’t flat, why do you need a boat or something to pull you along when you do water skiing – huh?

Reply to  Peta of Newark
November 24, 2017 4:38 am

Peta of Newark

And by the guys own website address ‘madmikehughes.com’ he’s well aware he’s out there.

Good luck to him. Hope he makes a few quid just for the entertainment value and his courage to actually do something in life.

NorwegianSceptic
Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
November 24, 2017 3:23 am

Suicide bombers also put their neck on the line (and the rest of his limbs/organs too) for what they believe in. Just sayin’ ….

Mark T
Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
November 24, 2017 8:04 am

You mock people like this to serve as reminder to others that sometimes, there are stupid answers. It’s not brave, or commendable, to do something completely devoid of rational thought, something that is actually absurd in every way.

Mark - Helsinki
November 24, 2017 2:40 am

I would say an idiot is someone who believes something and is not willing to put themselves on the line for those beliefs and would rather put someone else on the line for those beliefs.

Flat earth has religious tones, so does the big bang, believing in both the same kind of misguided belief

NASA’s challenger mission killed Astronauts because of “belief” the dodgy rocket would manage OK, the believers didnt put their own necks on the line, they put the astronauts’ necks on the line.

While misguided, this is in the spirit of old science, using one’s self for experiments to try prove a point, like the guy who proved Ulcers are bacteria by injecticng himself
Just because we dont agree with his theory of a flat earth doesn’t mean we sneer at someone willing to put their own neck on the line.

I hope he succeeds so that he will show once and for all the earth is not flat. I’d rather that than he kills himself, and I certainly do not find it funny, and the academic sneering from Spencer is poor form.

Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
November 24, 2017 4:35 am

While I get what you are saying….

On a “seriously?” note: I don’t believe that other scientists sold tickets or tried to make money off their experiments to prove their beliefs. Its one thing to test a hypothesis on yourself if it goes against the mainstream and push the boundaries of science. It’s another entirely to make outrageous claims and sell tickets to your folly under the guise of science. One is utilizing the scientific method (albeit in an unconventional way), and the other is selling snake oil.

My money’s on snake oil. This man is nothing more than a wanna be showman with a flimsy even ridiculous platform. I’m going to PROVE the Earth is Flat! Just watch me….more important is the last–watch me, on PAY PER VIEW.

So yes, I will sneer at this idiot. Because what he is doing isn’t science, it isn’t even related to the pioneers of science. He has no altruistic intentions, no burning curiosity that is satisfied, his intention is to make money and prove his convictions as correct. It’s called bias.

Anyone with any kind of scientific training knows how ridiculous this is and can see it for the flim flam it really is. Real science begins with observation, gathering what has been done, what has not been done, questioning why, what, how..etc. Postulating a hypothesis, and it’s counterpart the null. Experimentation, data collection, conclusions–all reproducible and NONE of it to PROVE A SINGLE POINT. Science does not prove anything, science gives evidence either way. No scientist in the world will say they are 100% certain as certainty is a BIG word in science.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
November 24, 2017 3:12 pm

“I would say an idiot is someone who believes something and is not willing to put themselves on the line for those beliefs and would rather put someone else on the line for those beliefs.”

That in no way describes an idiot. That describes a hypocrite.

November 24, 2017 2:40 am

Steam-powered!

Nigel S
Reply to  daveburton
November 24, 2017 5:10 am

Comin’ into Los Angeles
Bringin’ in a couple of keys

by the looks of him.

Twobob
November 24, 2017 2:57 am

The Hugh’s Fella, needs to be to be carful.
If he upsets the elephants or the turtle,
It could unsettle the world as we know it.
It is life but different.

ozspeaksup
Reply to  Twobob
November 24, 2017 5:02 am

such a pity Terry Pratchetts passed on
he would have loved this
go Discworld;-)
Rincewind and the unseen uni would be happy to assist im sure;-)
lol

Twobob
November 24, 2017 3:03 am

If he straps a solar panel and a wind generator,
to his missile, he could apply to California guvnor, for a grant.

ACK
November 24, 2017 3:13 am

I do hope the poor man knows his intended direction of travel. On the evidence of the arrow directions on his rocket, he doesn’t.

November 24, 2017 3:21 am

Everybody knows the earth is ROUND! Like a pancake!

paqyfelyc
November 24, 2017 3:40 am

well, this man surely does stupid research, but at least he is doing it properly, with real experiment, not with “model”. IF he succeeded in launching his rocket (obviously it won’t work, alas ; just hope he doesn’t blow himself apart), he WOULD see the rotundity of Earth.
Nothing of the sort can happen regarding CAGW, which as LESS science content that this poor man’s attempt.

Jim Masterson
Reply to  paqyfelyc
November 24, 2017 6:49 am

>>
. . . he WOULD see the rotundity of Earth.
<<

He won’t at 1,800 feet. He wouldn’t at 18,000 feet. Maybe he would at 180,000 feet.

Jim

E.M.Smith
Editor
Reply to  Jim Masterson
November 27, 2017 7:59 am

As you gain altitude, you can see a farther horizon line, thus evidence for curvature, even if you do not see it yet “side to side”. That’s part of why the crow’s nest was on old sailing ships. Just a bit better and farther view. Similarly, the first thing seen on an approaching ship was the top of the mast, then the rest “rises” into view. Need good eyes or optical gear to see it though. We’re talking over a 100 miles and a wooden pole with flag.

I’ve had the experience of seeing the horizon line move out and have never been to 180,000 feet, so I think it happens a lot lower than that. At 12,000 ft looking out to sea from a volcano top I remember thinking there was some slight curvature observable. I suppose it might have been seeing what I expected; seeing the curvature of the horizon line not the “edge” of the earth… but that curved horizon line is a product of the curved earth… on a flat earth, any altitude ought to result in the horizon reaching the edge, once clear of local obstacles.

commieBob
November 24, 2017 3:55 am

In my view, he’s just another stuntman with a crazy idea to make fame and money.

The ‘crazy’ part is important. It’s about showmanship. As Gorgeous George told Cassius Clay:

… always be outrageous.

link

If lots of people pay good money to watch the stunt then he’s succeeded.

Steve from Rockwood
November 24, 2017 4:25 am

Who is crazy, the guy who claims the Earth is flat, or the thousands of people who show up to see if he is right?

Jim Masterson
Reply to  Steve from Rockwood
November 24, 2017 6:11 am

It’s hard to not look at a train wreck– especially one happening before your eyes.

Jim

November 24, 2017 4:54 am

This is one of flat earth proofs

http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/235a73b625789cbbed839be87c3aa41c

Looks like he’ll need to stock enough fuel to pass the edge

Reply to  jaakkokateenkorva
November 24, 2017 4:56 am

Let’s try again
comment image

He can perhaps greet the ship of fools on his round trip back.

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  jaakkokateenkorva
November 24, 2017 1:39 pm

Finnish religious flat earthers going by this map think they are the actual center of the universe almost 😛

to be fair to the flat earthers, they have slightly better arguments than that, many of which seem quite plausible to not so enlightened but honestly non conspiratorial people.

Same with the man made CO2 climate change “theory”, in many ways it has similarities to the flat earth theory in how it is presented to an unwitting victim :D.

F. Leghorn
Reply to  jaakkokateenkorva
November 25, 2017 5:07 am

I don’t understand what would make the Arctic cold if it were in the center. And what would make the sun go around in a circle? And what makes it go away at night? And only over part of the earth? Just how small and close to the earth is it?

Sorry for the pontificating on an idiotic subject.

Shawn Marshall
November 24, 2017 5:26 am

One can stand at the seashore easily see the curvature of the earth – and then calculate by the disappearing mast trick as the Greeks did – but there is no fame and fortune in that.
Hope the trickster lands safely and invents another gag.

Bruce Cobb
November 24, 2017 5:43 am

The “flat-earth” angle is simply part of the funding for this foolishness, and part of the schtick. I don’t believe for one second that he actually believes in a flat-earth. He’s an Evel Knievel wannabe, out for fame and hopefully fortune. Yes, it’s crude, stupid, and somewhat crass, but in a weird way it’s also very American. I wish him luck, and hope he doesn’t get killed in the process.

vukcevic
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
November 24, 2017 7:46 am

no need for any concerned.
Latest technology parachutes are neatly packed in the back, just above paddle wheel steam powered turbinecomment image

Jer0me
November 24, 2017 6:07 am

The Only Man in History to Design, Build, and Launch Himself in a Rocket

I’m sure others have said the same, but I’m pretty sure this is not accurate. I recall at least one instance of a Chinese guy building one and firing himself off after the invention of gunpowder?

I think it ended badly as such ventures are likely to…

Roger Graves
November 24, 2017 7:18 am

But why shouldn’t flat Earth be the accepted theory? Give me control of all research funding and I will guarantee to have the scientific establishment espousing flat Earth theory within a year or two. Here’s how it would work.

First, I would cause all research funding in anything to do with Earth sciences to suddenly dry up, and let it be known that the funding gatekeepers were interested in flat earth theory. It wouldn’t be stated so bluntly of course. Dear me, no. It would be stated perhaps as a need for a critical re-examination of the geosphericity paradigm. Sooner or later, some ambitious young man or woman would take the bait, and wham – they would find themselves with so much research funding they would be able to open their very own research institute with a staff of a couple of dozen or so, and a quiet understanding that all of it would disappear if they failed to produce a stream of research papers supporting flat Earth theory. At this point all the other ambitious academics out there would get the idea and start queuing up for their research funding.

As to the rest of it – ousting old-school journal editors and replacing them with flat-Earth friendly editors, ensuring that peer review is done only by your pals, and so on, the trail has already been blazed by the CAGW crew. Nothing to it!

Ben W.
November 24, 2017 7:40 am

Uh, Evel Knievel already did the steam rocket thing. . . about 44 years ago. . .

Mark T
Reply to  Ben W.
November 24, 2017 8:11 am

I don’t believe he did the actual design, the the difference is somewhat pedantic.

November 24, 2017 7:44 am

He may cool the Earth to space by hitting the convection preventing, heat trapping CACA gas firmament.
comment image

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  jaakkokateenkorva
November 24, 2017 1:41 pm

I think the “ISS is in a swimming pool” is the craziest part of the flat earth claims tbh.

Ian Macdonald
November 24, 2017 8:10 am

Not sure you could tell from a suborbital flight anyway. I believe the view from the ISS is not immediately conclusive as it’s still much closer than the Earth’s diameter; the roundness is only apparent if you watch long enough to see that stuff is going past. Apollo 8 gave us the first full view of the Earth from space as a globe, and in some ways that stole the show from visiting the.moon.

The fact that the horizon is curved at sea is inconclusive since it would look much the same if the horizon were the edge of a disc.

Mark T
Reply to  Ian Macdonald
November 24, 2017 8:17 am

But a ship’s mast dropping below the horizon as it went out to sea certainly would not be the same if the earth was a disk. Nor could it be explained if the effect appeared at every beach, since not all can possibly be on the edge.

Javier
November 24, 2017 8:32 am

I don’t know about flat earth, but he is going to get a flat face.

Steve Oregon
November 24, 2017 9:16 am

When I first read a story reporting this guy’s silly stunt I was more struck by the idiots in the comment section who had been duped into feeling compelled to explain how they know the earth is not flat.

November 24, 2017 9:32 am

“If you’ve ever debated a flat earther online …”

Must be like debating a climate alarmist.

Editor
November 24, 2017 9:57 am

Gotta love these wild self-promoters! Really…this guy raised enough money and found sponsors, built a rocket (of sorts), converted a motor home…..terrific. He has been, unfortunately, born a hundred or so years too late….in 1867 he would have been lauded a genius adventurer.

So, amusement may be appropriate — but you have got to give the guy credit — he does more than just sit in his armchair and write snarky comments on blogs.

Earthling2
November 24, 2017 10:19 am

I sometimes wonder if the flat earther’s really believe it, or whether the whole schtick is just some comedy act amongst comrades, in defiance of modernity? I have known a few, and my take was that they are just messing with us. Although, some of them thought the world was only 6,000 years old too, and seemed to be deadly serious about that and had a whole library of books to prove it. I guess we just don’t know what goes on inside some people’s heads.

Simon
November 24, 2017 10:29 am

“Mike thinks the Earth is flat, and NOAA, NASA, and everybody else is wrong on that fact.”
Does it not seem ironic that people here are laughing at this guy, because he doesn’t accept what NOAA and NASA above are saying, but are happy to disagree with them when it comes to what they have to say about the affect of CO2 on our warming planet?

Hugs
Reply to  Simon
November 24, 2017 11:00 am

I’m bigger than that, said Garfield.

Spencer analyses satellite data. Those things that orbit the globe. I don’t see any irony there. What I see from your side is misunderstanding what is skeptism and what is, err…, stunting.

Simon
Reply to  Hugs
November 25, 2017 9:59 am

But But But… Spencer doesn’t dispute that we are warming and that CO2 plays a part in that. His satellite data is showing a whole lot more warming lately too.

November 24, 2017 11:08 am

Ugh….how’s he going to land?

Ken Mitchell
November 24, 2017 11:17 am

The ONLY way this makes sense is if “Mad Mike” is engaged in a spectacular attempt to fake his own death.

November 24, 2017 12:33 pm

In the several articles on this guy I have read, I have not read that he thinks the earth is flat. It would appear that his main sponsor is “Research Flat Earth”. Just because his main sponsor thinks the earth is flat does not necessarily mean that he does.

November 24, 2017 1:43 pm

Wait. Consider. What -if- he gets to the edge and then explodes? Wouldn’t the resulting explosion tip the rest of us into one corner? He must be stopped no matter how infinitesimal the possibility because of the potential dire consequences. Just. Like. Climate. Alarmism.

Cointreau
November 24, 2017 1:56 pm

I’m a regular reader of this site and I believe global warming is a massive hoax. I also believe that conventional science is barmy. I struggle to believe that the Earth spins around at 1000 mph while our
atmosphere stays glued to it by magic gravity,
I struggle to believe the big bang theory. as well. Our sun is supposedly orbiting the center of our galaxy
at 514k mph, so how is the Earth able to orbit this speeding bullet? Relative motion? The moon landings
were an obvious hoax. Rockets cannot work in the vacuum of space. Ships do not dip below the horizon
and if you can see buildings from 80 miles away then where is the Earth’s curvature? I also think NASA
is a joke.

donald penman
November 24, 2017 2:08 pm

I think that the fact that you can see further when you climb a high building would indicate that the earth is curved ,assuming there are no hills in the way etc. , because if it was flat you would not be able to see any further . I think he will be able to see further if his attempt comes off this is clear unlike the nonsense we are being told about global warming and computer modelling. I think it is clear from reading the article that he is only saying that he thinks the earth could be flat to get sponsorship for his attempt. It is very wrong to accuse someone of being stupid just because they are prepared to do something dangerous people who climb mountains should be regarded as stupid in that case.

BallBounces
November 24, 2017 4:52 pm

Dr. Spencer has a great sense of humous!

Kassandra
November 24, 2017 4:55 pm

Wouldn’t a hot air balloon be a lot easier?

bleD
November 24, 2017 6:12 pm

Actually one can map the surface of a sphere onto a plane or flat surface. The pole stands at centre, the equator makes a circle centred at the pole and the opposite pole lies on a circle infinitely far away. The mechanics of motion is very queer however from this perspective, but can be similarly mapped. Areas on this plane have a very different interpretaion too.

November 24, 2017 11:02 pm

Roger Knights
November 25, 2017 2:30 am

Only in America.
Similarly with that full-size Ark-replica in Tennessee.

Gunga Din
November 25, 2017 9:18 am

Hmmm…I wonder if it’s possible to cross check the membership of the Flat Earth Society with the membership of the Union of Concerned Scientist?

Bob in Castlemaine
November 25, 2017 10:22 pm

Opps….

Mr. Hughes is 60 years behind the times with his theories, it’s old hat, all been thoroughly investigated before! Back in 1957 the forward thinking aficionados of the BBC Goon Show knew pretty much all there was to know about steam powered rocketry and flat earth denial. Permit me to quote from their learned discourse:

“Seagoon:
Ahem. That music was intended to give you a mental picture of the change in plan.

Milligan:
Yes.

Seagoon:
Thank you. With the shortage… With the shortage of petrol, the invention of the aeroplane had to be delayed.

Milligan:
Yes.

Seagoon:
Thank you. But still the burning question was to get guns to the garrison at Fort Spon.

Milligan:
Yes.

Crun:
As luck would have it, gentlemen, I’ve got here the plans of a steam-driven rocket.

Milligan:
Yes.

Seagoon:
And goodbye Gladys Young. That would overcome the petrol shortage. We’ll build one right away!

Moriarty:
Ah, I suppose this means the end of the horse-drawn Zeppelin.

Grytpype-Thynne:
Oh well, Moriarty. Et sequitor ad nausium, spon.

Moriarty:
Ow! You got to go…

Moriarty and Grytpype:
Oooww!

Ellington:
Oh, Moriarty. Now stop plugging your record and remain silent while I plug one of mine, do you mind?

Bannister:
[over Ray] Play it buddy!

Ray Ellington Quartet:
[Musical interlude]

FX:
[gunshots]

Greenslade:
Ladies and gentlemen, that sound was specially recorded to give you a mental picture of the records they’re playing at the besieged garrison of Fort Spon.

Seagoon:
Never mind, folks. If you were in this BBC studio you’d see, apart from the tatty curtains, bare floorboards, and outdated guilt scrollwork (specially commissioned by the corporation), a large steam driven rocket.

Milligan:
[off] Oohho!

Seagoon:
Ahoi-hoi-hoi-ohho! Now gather round, early British aviators!

Omnes:
[moans]

Seagoon:
[over] Early British rhubarb. Early British rhubarb. Rhubarb, rhubarb. Rhubarb rhubarb! R-r-rhubarb! And, custard.

Intellectual:
Pardon me, I’m from the er, Geographical Society.

Seagoon:
[off, barely audible] I’m from the rhubarb!

Intellectual:
May I come along to your flight, so that I can photograph the Earth from a great height?

Seagoon:
Whatever for?

Intellectual:
Because, sir!… There are some stupid fools who are still arguing whether the Earth is round or flat.

Seagoon:
And so?

Intellectual:
I’m going to prove to them that it is flat.

Seagoon:
Prove the Earth is flat? Hahaha! What a waste of time!

Intellectual:
Why why, why?

Seagoon:
Everybody knows it’s flat!

Intellectual:
Aha ha ha ha har.

Seagoon:
Aha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haa!

Intellectual:
Aha ha ha har!

Seagoon:
Aha ha ha!

Intellectual:
But there are idiots in this world, you know.

Seagoon:
Have you met them?

Intellectual:
Met them? I listen to you every week!

FX:
[fanfare]

Milligan:
Folks! That chord was to give you a mental picture of a steam driven rocket about to take off – what a thrill for you all.

FX:
[clink clink clink clunk clunk clink (hammering)]

Eccles:
[over, sings] [garbled] some broccoli, land on my dream! I travel the road in broccoli. I travel…

Seagoon:
Here, Eccles!

Eccles:
What what?

Seagoon:
Let me help you with that flange.

FX:
[fast hammering]

Seagoon:
There! That’s got it off!

Eccles:
I was trying to get it on! I tried to get it on!

Crun:
Gentlemen, I’ve been driven here from Ryegate to say this line… Um-gad! Erm, erm er… The rocket is… ready. Horayoo-oow!

Spriggs:
He’s gone in the direction of down! Now out, about this rocket gentlemen. Now, who knows how to drive it?

Seagoon:
Drive it? Good heavens! You’re not going to let a little thing like that stop us?

Bloodnok:
Of course not! We can decide who’s to drive when we’re up there.

Seagoon:
Yes. We’ll draw lots.

Eccles:
I can’t draw lots! I don’t even know what shape they are!

Seagoon:
Shut up, Eccles!

Eccles:
Shut up, Eccles!

Seagoon:
Shut up…

Omnes:
Shut up, Eccles!

Seagoon:
Shut up, Eccles!

Moriarty:
Ahh, gentlemen, one thing. One thing, gentlemen. May I take an Arab stallion on board with us?

Bloodnok:
You filthy swine!

Moriarty:
What?

Bloodnok:
What ever for?

Moriarty:
What ever for? To prove that the horse still has it’s place in air travel! Especially if it pulls a Zeppelin!

Bloodnok:
Yes, and I’m taking an elephant!

Seagoon:
Are you mad?

Moriarty:
[over] Are you mad?

Bloodnok:
Of course I am! You don’t get normal people taking elephants on rockets, do you?

Seagoon:
Well, he’ll have to travel third class.

Bloodnok:
If you wish.

Seagoon:
How old is the elephant?

Bloodnok:
Why do you want to know? Tell me, tell me before I strike you down! Why?

Seagoon:
Well, if the elephant’s under fourteen, he’d travel at half fare.

Bloodnok:
Oh.

FX:
[telephone receiver picked up, dialled]

Bloodnok:
Hello, just a moment. You speak to the lady, would you?

Seagoon:
Hello? Ah, can you tell we how old this elephant is?

Female:
Yes, he’s six an’ half.

Seagoon:
Are you sure?

Female:
I should hope so, I’m his mother.

FX:
[telephone receiver put down]

Seagoon:
That was a trunk call. Now…

Milligan:
I don’t wish to know that.

Seagoon:
Kindly leave the theatre.

Milligan:
I say look here.

Seagoon:
Now then, who’s going to be at the controls when we take off?

Eccles:
Um, well, which way are we going?

Seagoon:
Up!

Eccles:
Oh, I’ll drive, I know that way.

Seagoon:
Stout fella!

Eccles:
Me, a stout fella? You’d make two of me!

Seagoon:
I’ll make two of you! Give me that axe!

Eccles:
What? Get away!

FX:
[phone ringing, receiver being picked up]

Seagoon:
Yes? Right.

FX:
[receiver being replaced]

Seagoon:
Gentlemen?

Eccles:
Yup?

Seagoon:
The garrison at Fort Spon are desperate!

Eccles:
Oh hohoho!

Seagoon:
Ah hahahahaha!

Eccles:
Hahehehe!

Seagoon:
Ahahahum!

Eccles:
Yup.

Seagoon:
We must take off at once! Rifles on board?

Bloodnok:
Yes.

Seagoon:
Right. Close plinge doors.

Eccles:
Plinge doors closed.

Bloodnok:
[over] Close plinge doors!

Seagoon:
[garbled]! Secure ports.

Eccles:
[over] Secure ports.

Seagoon:
Close all berks!

Milligan:
Close all berks.

Bloodnok:
[garbled]

Seagoon:
Bluebottle, tighten your belt.

Throat:
[burp]

Bluebottle:
Why captain?

Seagoon:
Your trousers are falling down.

Seagoon:
Full steam! Maximum power!

Milligan:
Maxum power.

Seagoon:
[garbled]

Milligan:
[garbled as above]

Seagoon:
Right!

Milligan:
[garbled]

Seagoon:
Cut the string!

FX:
[recording of a train whistle, followed by a train leaving a station, slowly being sped up]

Seagoon:
Men! Put on your pressurised shin pads and switch on oxygen. I’m going to accelerate to thirty miles an hour!

Bloodnok:
Don’t be a fool, Seagoon. No man can live at that speed!

Seagoon:
To devil with it Bludders, I’ve always lived dangerously. Hang on!

FX:
[train leaving station, slowly being sped up (as before)]

Spriggs:
Oh steady! Steady you demon of the speed! Beware! Observe: the wallpaper’s already coming away from Bluebottle’s hat!

Intellectual:
Er, could you slow down just a bit here, I want to take that photograph of the Earth.

Eccles:
Oh here. I just saw the Earth through the clouds.

Intellectual:
Did it look round?

Eccles:
Yeah, but I don’t think it saw me.

Seagoon:
You’re right, Eccles! And look! There’s the besieged Fort Spon, directly beneath us. Quick! Parachute the rifles down to them.

Bloodnok:
Rifles away!

Seagoon:
They’ve got them!

Moriarty:
They’re loading them!

Bloodnok:
They’ve fired!

Seagoon:
The enemy are all dead! Success!

Moriarty:
Curse! This is the end of the horse-drawn Zeppelin!

Greenslade:
And it’s also the end of the horse-drawn Goon Show. Goodnight!

Moriarty:
Goodnight!

FX:
[closing music]

Milligan:
[over] [garbled]

Greenslade:
That was the Goon Show, a BBC recorded program featuring Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe, and Spike Milligan. With George Chisholm, The Ray Ellington Quartet, Max Geldray, and the orchestra conducted by Wally Stott. Script by Spike Milligan and Larry Stevens. Announcer Wallace Greenslade. The program produced by Pat Dixon.”

Taken from the Goon Show of January 10, 1957. Indeed they were men before their time.

http://www.thegoonshow.net/scripts_show.asp?title=s07e15_wings_over_dagenham

Daz
November 26, 2017 2:55 pm

Can’t help thinking he’s smarter than many give him credit for. As reported on an article on him on Gizmodo: “he’s only recently become a Flat Earth convert “after struggling for months to raise funds”. Sounds like he simply found himself a crowd of loonies to fund his fun project.

Sadly the article also notes that we’ll have to wait another couple of days before we see if he pancakes or not because he didn’t have the appropriate permission to perform the launch on public lands.

JCalvertN(UK)
November 27, 2017 5:18 pm

Is that an open bay I see behind the driver’s seat? Maybe it’s a ‘pickup rocket’ with room at the back for a couple of crates of beer and some motor-mowers?

I think he would probably get up higher, in more safely, if he used a smallish Cessna.

devil
November 28, 2017 6:38 am

Science denier (atmospheric physics) are laughing about science denier (celestial physics).
Well done.

————————————
the long summer is coming

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