— Justin Chapman (@justindchapman) February 22, 2020
Mike Hughes, un estadounidense que levaba varios anos recadando fondos a través de excéntricas campañas para demostrar que a Terra é plana, morreu este sábado no deserto de Mojave, en California, ao bater contra o chan o foguete co que se lanzara para demostrar os seus postulados. Hughes, alcumado “O Tolo”, estaba a gravar un documental para a canle Science Channel, propiedade de Discovery Channel, co que quería constar a teoría terraplanista. As autoridades xa abriron unha investigación para coñecer as causas do accidente do foguete, construído por Hughes e un compañeiro. Ao parecer, o paracaídas que incorporaba o aparello resultou danado no lanzamento.
Despois de coñecerse o falecemento, anunciado pola propia canle, algunhas das persoas próximas a Hughes expuxeron que non estaba realmente convencido da súa teoría terraplanista, senón que era un medio de propaganda para captar financiamento. Así, entre os seus apoios principais estaba o da Sociedade da Terra Plana (The Flat Earth Society), unha asociación que doou uns 17.000 dólares para o proxecto.
O obxectivo do foguete, construído polo finado na súa propia casa, era acadar os 1.500 metros de altura e demostrar desde alí que a Terra ten forma de disco.
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By now I’m sure many of you have heard that Michael J. Hughes – ‘Mad’ Mike – perished yesterday during a rocket launch. Although there were many things we disagreed on, we found commonality in his perspective of the human condition. He had a soft spirit and empathy for the world that contrasted with his public persona. He was often lonely and felt his accomplishments as a daredevil had been forgotten. Ultimately, he just wanted to lead a meaningful life. He had very little money, but he found a way to bring excitement and purpose to his life by doing affordable stunts with rockets that he built himself using spare parts. His flat Earth perspective brought attention and needed funds to his stunts, but it was a double-edged sword that also brought him ridicule. He didn’t really care if the Earth was flat, and was fully ready to concede his error once he could see it with his own eyes in a final stunt that he was working towards – going 62 miles up to the edge of space in a contraption known as a rockoon. The stunt that took his life was never intended to prove anything; it was just another way for Mike to raise awareness and funding. The filmmakers are deeply saddened at the news of Mad Mike. We didn’t know what to expect when we decided to document his unusual life, and were fully prepared to dismiss him and his crazy ideas – but we ended up going on an incredible adventure and we gained new perspectives on how people view the world and our place in it. As Carl Sagan said, “We should confront ignorance with kindness” – something that’s not always easy to do, and sorely lacking in today’s world. Right now, many are laughing at Mad Mike, but as Mike said, “If you can’t laugh at me, then you need to get a better sense of humor!” No one laughed harder at Mad Mike Hughes, than himself. He will be deeply missed. www.RealRocketman.com 🚀 #thisisrocketman Filmmakers: @tobybrusseau @directorlinn