back to article A Hughes failure: Flat Earther rocketeer can't get it up yet again

An American bloke, who reckons Earth is flat as a frisbee, is on a quest to send himself into space to verify his theory. And on Sunday, he failed to even launch a rocket to a few hundred feet. Limousine driver, self-taught rocket maker, and headline generator "Mad" Mike Hughes hoped to blast off his homemade rocket from …

  1. The Man Who Fell To Earth
    FAIL

    1,800 feet

    If he's dumb enough to think that 1,800 feet is enough altitude to tell him anything, he should just ride the elevator up the Burj Khalifa building. That's roughly 2,700 feet.

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: 1,800 feet

      "Hughes estimated he will need to raise about $2m to bankroll his adventure"

      You can get a round the world plane ticket for less than £1000. Won't that do?

      1. TheVogon Silver badge

        Re: 1,800 feet

        Anyway, how do they explain satellites in orbit, how GPS works, how compasses work, that we can measure our rotation relative to the moon, sun and planets, observe them with telescopes, the phases of the moon, and the above point how otherwise could you sail or fly round the planet?!

        1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: 1,800 feet

          Anyway, how do they explain satellites in orbit, how GPS works, how compasses work, that we can measure our rotation relative to the moon, sun and planets, observe them with telescopes, the phases of the moon, and the above point how otherwise could you sail or fly round the planet?!

          None of them produces "youtuber ad revenue". Move along.

        2. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: 1,800 feet

          Anyway, how do they explain satellites in orbit, how GPS works, how compasses work, that we can measure our rotation relative to the moon, sun and planets, observe them with telescopes, the phases of the moon, and the above point how otherwise could you sail or fly round the planet?!

          Epicycles.

        3. Marco van de Voort

          Re: 1,800 feet

          You are trying to reason with people that have left reason behind. Not a logical thing to do :-)

        4. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: 1,800 feet

          "how do they explain satellites in orbit, how GPS works, how compasses work..."

          I dont believe there is anyone on the planet who thinks the world is flat. I've looked for their websites before now. Plenty of people might say they are a Flat Earther , but they are just attention seeking.

          I think there is a "society" but its had to radically revise its main policy and ethos to "ok the earth is round , Us "Flat earthers" will now fight for common sense instead, like our name suggests"

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 1,800 feet

            "Plenty of people might say they are a Flat Earther , but they are just attention seeking."

            You might think, but gullibility (especially in the US) has no apparent physical limits. Just look for instance at # people who believe in religion and / or deny things with overwhelming scientific and directly observable evidence like evolution and anthropomorphic global warming.

            This illustrates it quite well I find: https://www.venganza.org/about/open-letter/

            1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: 1,800 feet

              Rubbish! Everybody knows 1,800 feet isn't high enough to observe the Great A'Tuin in all its majesty

              I'll get me coat. The one with "The Last Hero" in the pocket

              1. 9Rune5
                Pint

                Re: 1,800 feet

                "Rubbish! Everybody knows 1,800 feet isn't high enough to observe the Great A'Tuin in all its majesty"

                That is one way of describing the act of looking up the business end of a turtle to determine its sex (AKA "The Big Bang Theory").

                Oh brutah how I miss the smell of a freshly printed Discworld novel. Today was perfect reading weather and here I am with one less favorite author around. 'Buggrit.

      2. hititzombisi

        Re: 1,800 feet

        (Taps the nose) But how do you know the planes are not taking a circuitous route?

        1. stu 4

          Re: 1,800 feet

          ah... for those unfamiliar with what has now become, like belief it invisible friends, MASSIVE* with our transatlantic cousins - this youtuber is a good summary of what they believe in...

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgY8zNZ35uw

          *I get comments from the flatards on my paramotor videos claiming it proves you can see the edge, etc... the ignorance is astounding.

        2. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: 1,800 feet

          he could just send up a camera on a spaceplane, like wot El Reg did, and observe the curvature of the planet. ®

          Well that's what you say. But I've never seen it.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
            Devil

            Re: 1,800 feet

            And remember, the Playmonaut mysteriously drowned. He knew too much...

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 1,800 feet

            Flat earthers dismiss photographic evidence as lens distortion

            1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: 1,800 feet

              35 000 feet on any commercial flight.

              Flat earthers not only can't explain how geostationary satellites work, they have a tenuous grasp of basic mathematics, so spherical trigonometry is a mystery to them. Orbital mechanics, therefore, is "right out".

              1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                Re: 1,800 feet

                so spherical trigonometry is a mystery to them. Orbital mechanics, therefore, is "right out".

                Well, to be fair, trigonometry is a mystery to me as well. What I finally managed to learn at school (not all of it) is now a long-forgotten memory. And so for me, orbital mechanics is also right out.

                I helped with my nephew's homework last year, and realised that I've completely forgotten how to do long division.

                Don't tell anyone that I do water system design calculations for a living...

                1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                  Re: 1,800 feet

                  Don't tell anyone that I do water system design calculations for a living..

                  I haven't done long division for a long time either. That's what calculators/computers were invented for.

                  After all, you wouldn't have a cat and meow yourself!

                  You would?

                  Oh..

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: 1,800 feet

                Pfft, you know nothing, flying around the 'globe' is obviously impossible because your plane would be upside down by the time you got to Australia if the earth wasn't flat.

                Remember, the moron is strong with the flat earthers, there is an amazing demo of that by a British GP.

          3. CRConrad
            Unhappy

            Re: El Reg camera on a spaceplane

            Seems that effort never quite (sorry:) got off the ground:

            http://www.theregister.co.uk/Tag/lohan

            http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/10/02/lohan_faa/

            I'm guessing mainly because the driving force behind it, Lester Haines, checked out permanently a little over a year ago: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/12/27/the_life_and_times_of_lester_haines/

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: 1,800 feet

          "(Taps the nose) But how do you know the planes are not taking a circuitous route?"

          Ever heard of "Great Circles"? Obvious, innit.

      3. macjules Silver badge

        Re: 1,800 feet

        You can get a round the world plane ticket for less than £1000

        You mean, 'across the world' for him, surely? Mind you, the Flat Earth Society does advertise itself as a truly global organisation.

        1. JLV Silver badge
          Trollface

          >the Flat Earth Society does advertise itself as a truly global organisation.

          Are you so sure?

          globe

          ɡlōb/

          noun

          noun: globe; noun: the globe

          1.

          the earth.

          2.

          a spherical or rounded object.

          1. JLV Silver badge

            Re: >the Flat Earth Society does advertise itself as a truly global organisation.

            To be clear: not a flat Earther, so don't lump me with them.

            But global is probably not a word that would fit them very well, considering that its etymology is derived from precisely what they don't believe to be true. Maybe they'd think of themselves as a `truly flat organization` instead, which has the advantage of fitting corporate jargon. Truly planar?

          2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: >the Flat Earth Society does advertise itself as a truly global organisation.

            a spherical or rounded object

            Objection yer honour! I think the learned gentleman means "oblate spheroid".

    2. el_oscuro

      Re: 1,800 feet

      ..Or he doesn't even have to leave San Bernardino county. Just drive about an hour west to the Rim of the World Highway. Some of those passes are above 8,000 feet.

      1. ForthIsNotDead

        Re: 1,800 feet

        <quote>..Or he doesn't even have to leave San Bernardino county. Just drive about an hour west to the Rim of the World Highway. Some of those passes are above 8,000 feet.</quote>

        Rim of the World Highway. Did you see that, everyone? **RIM OF THE WORLD** HIGHWAY.

        They were hiding it in plain sight all along. Just toying with us. The bastards.

        1. The Nazz Silver badge

          Re: 1,800 feet

          re Forthisnotdead

          I'm somewhat confuddled now.

          A friend of mine, at the actual pub and not facebook, last night said that he'd recently experienced the Rim of the World, nonTM, and yet i'm sure he's also said he's never been outside the UK, certainly not San Bernadino and certainly not by train.

          Surely there must be some other explanation?

          1. onefang Silver badge

            Re: 1,800 feet

            "I'm somewhat confuddled now.

            "A friend of mine, at the actual pub and not facebook, last night said that he'd recently experienced the Rim of the World, nonTM, and yet i'm sure he's also said he's never been outside the UK, certainly not San Bernadino and certainly not by train.

            "Surely there must be some other explanation?"

            How much had your friend been drinking?

    3. SquidEmperor

      Spike Milligan has done it!

      Someone needs to show him the footage from the Irish Space Program...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esOiB_fanzI

    4. Valerion

      Re: 1,800 feet

      Why does he need to go up?

      Can't he just journey to the actual edge of the earth?

      1. Scroticus Canis
        Facepalm

        Re: "Can't he just journey to the actual edge of the earth?"

        They are still looking for it! Anyway lack of proof of an edge does not prove there isn't one.

        Where have I heard that before?

      2. onefang Silver badge

        Re: 1,800 feet

        "Why does he need to go up?

        "Can't he just journey to the actual edge of the earth?"

        Coz that's much further away than going 1,800 feet up.

    5. The Man Who Fell To Earth
      WTF?

      The real queston for our age

      Now that the Falcon Heavy launched Musk's Tesla into space, is "How many flat earthers own Tesla's?"

  2. jonathan keith

    Although...

    Of course, when he does return from his historic space-trip with the shattering news that planet Earth is not actually flat after all, the rest of the loony brigade will simply claim that the deep-Feds got to him with their brain rays.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Although...

      Alternatively he could just say that he went half mile up and the Earth is flat as a pancake. Then ask for more money to go even further to confirm this. Rinse, repeat. This guy does not seems like he is trying to learn something.

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: Although...

        This guy does not seems like he is trying to learn something.

        He's a flat-earther...

        1. Unep Eurobats

          Re: Although...

          Of course he doesn't believe the earth is flat. He's simply discovered that playing the part of someone who does, in his own 24/7 reality show, is fun and lucrative for him and, let's face it, entertaining for the rest of us.

        2. phuzz Silver badge

          Re: Although...

          He didn't used to think the world was flat, but he didn't get any funding until he started playing to that crowd.

          Basically he's found a bunch of gullible people, and a way to exploit that gullibility for free publicity, at the very least.

          1. Dave Hilling

            Re: Although...

            Either that or people are giving him money hoping for his spectacular demise... I vote its more the later than the forme.

        3. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

          Re: Although...

          He's a flat-earther...

          Alternatively, the suggestion made elsewhere in the comments that he's not a flat-earther himself – he's just milking flat-earthers for funding – warms my heart.

      2. 2+2=5 Silver badge

        Re: Although...

        > Alternatively he could just say that he went half mile up and the Earth is flat as a pancake. Then ask for more money to go even further to confirm this.

        And, if by some miracle, he gets high enough to be able to the whole of the earth's disk is in his field of vision without killing himself, he won't be able to discern any vertical curvature and will triumphantly claim that the earth is a flat disk (with features like continents sliding across it). :-)

      3. HelpfulJohn

        Re: Although...

        <quote>Alternatively he could just say that he went half mile up and the Earth is flat as a pancake. Then ask for more money to go even further to confirm this. Rinse, repeat. </quote>

        This sounds like a very good ploy for getting the gullible and the stupid, who outnumber the wise and wonderful, to pay for flights to Mars.

        "We just need some more funding for the RTG's, the glasshouses and the Lunar Farside telescopes and we'll *finally* outwit the lying NASA/JPL/NSA bastards. Send donations to SpaceX at ..."

      4. mosw

        Re: Although...

        "This guy does not seems like he is trying to learn something."

        Yes, the farce is strong in this one.

  3. PhilipN Silver badge

    "Mad" and "California" (twice) in the same report

    Why am I not surprised?

  4. Christoph Silver badge

    Why repeat the experiment?

    Sending up a steam-driven rocket to check whether the Earth is flat? This was already tried many decades ago and described by the BBC in the report "Wings Over Dagenham" first broadcast on 10 January 1957.

    Flat Earth Society member: 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.

    Flat Earth Society member: Did it look round?

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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why repeat the experiment?

      Bit before my time, but isn't that from the Goon show?

      1. John G Imrie Silver badge

        Re: Why repeat the experiment?

        Yep, The BBC used to have a Goon show, but the wheels fell off.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I believe the moon is made of cheese and I'm starting a crowd funding page to get the £50bn I need to get there. All donors will be guaranteed to get a piece of cheese, that is if they can find me after I've run off with their money.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Too late

      But Wallace and Gromit have already proved that

    2. defiler Silver badge

      Indiegogo Away!

    3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Are you taking a giant spaceship full of port and crackers to the Moon? Then sign me up!

    4. Michael Strorm

      I'm not worried about you keeping all the money for yourself.

      I'm worried about you running off with my share of the cheese.

    5. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      "All donors will be guaranteed to get a piece of cheese, that is if they can find me after I've run off with their money."

      Grytpype-Thynne, is that you? (A-a-a-a-a-o-o-o-rgh!)

  6. bigphil9009

    From the school of Richard Hoagland

    After watching the first YT clip embedded in the article I notice he has adopted the same talking style as the Daddy of All Pseudoscientists Richard C Hoagland - talk in excruciating detail about the most inconsequential parts of the topic while avoiding saying anything of any substance regarding the main thing they are there to talk about.

    He will go far.

    (Probably about 1,000 feet before exploding in a shower of skin and muscle being blown from his bones, or something)

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. notowenwilson

      Re: So about the same height as LOHAN then

      Too soon

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Live footage of the launch was sold on a pay-per-view channel at $5 a pop"

    Which it would seem explains everything. $$$

    1. vir

      Re: "Live footage of the launch was sold on a pay-per-view channel at $5 a pop"

      Maybe this is just an epic troll of flat-earthers? "If they are dumb enough to believe the earth is flat, parting them from $5 should be a walk in the park."

      1. A-nonCoward
        Coat

        Re: "Live footage of the launch was sold on a pay-per-view channel at $5 a pop"

        Easier to get money from round-earthers. NASA ain't got a mission of any magnitude since how many years ago? and still over 6,000 employees.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: "Live footage of the launch was sold on a pay-per-view channel at $5 a pop"

          NASA ain't got a mission of any magnitude since how many years ago?

          I think you'll find they're still being kept quite busy.

          1. Hans 1 Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: "Live footage of the launch was sold on a pay-per-view channel at $5 a pop"

            I think you'll find they're still being kept quite busy.

            Wow, I am sure our lone el'reg flat earther you are replying to is gonna come back at you with FBI^H^H^H,NSA^H^H^H,CIA conspiracy of some kind involving the KGB^H^H^HFSB, 610 Office, MI5, RG, Five Eyes, BND, DGSE, MSS, NTRO agencies ... these agencies all fight each other regularly, however, for some unexplained reason all agree the flat earth reality must be hidden from ordinary folks ...

            @el reg: I don't think you can call out flat earthers, earth is NOT round but sort of spherical, at least, that is what I learned at school ...

            Crikey, this is funny, I wonder how flat earthers can find boffins literate in rocketery ...

            1. JPeasmould

              secret organisations

              You forgot to mention the Milk Marketing Board.

              1. Steve K Silver badge

                Re: secret organisations

                How dairy!

          2. jeffdyer

            Re: "Live footage of the launch was sold on a pay-per-view channel at $5 a pop"

            Not quite Gemini or Apollo territory, really, is it.

            Currently NASA only exists to allow the US government to subsidise their aerospace industry.

            1. jeffdyer

              Re: "Live footage of the launch was sold on a pay-per-view channel at $5 a pop"

              Plenty of Septics here then, clearly.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

            Get back to me

            when Belarus establishes a presence on the other side of the heliopause.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "Live footage of the launch was sold on a pay-per-view channel at $5 a pop"

            "Or approximately equal to the GDP of Belarus (95th richest country in the world)."

            Factor of 10 out there, it's about $180 billion.

    2. arctic_haze Silver badge

      Re: "Live footage of the launch was sold on a pay-per-view channel at $5 a pop"

      A tax on stupidity? Serves them well.

      By the way, the guy may not be mad, after all. Flying on top of that thing would be insane but pretending to try while counting money seems in the good old tradition of showmanship.

  9. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

    Sadly, it used to be easy to see for yourself that the flat-earthers are morons. I've done it myself, while sipping Johnny Walker Blue Label. At Mach 2.

    Yup, the Concorde flew high enough to clearly see the curve of the planet. Which is, you know, curved.

    1. A-nonCoward
      Happy

      Besides you, Malcolm, pretty much everyone here takes the "curvature of the Earth" on faith, they were told so by The Party and The Official Church, and they say amen to that, obediently, as they should.

      As to you, you saw an optical illusion, so, sorry... :-)

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Besides you, Malcolm, pretty much everyone here takes the "curvature of the Earth" on faith

        Taking it on faith? I used trigonometry to demonstrate that the Earth isn't flat -- and that was when I was 13 years old. Give it a try yourself.

      2. MJI Silver badge

        At the seaside

        With good binoculars.

        You can see ships appearing over the horizon.

        You see the top first (sails if a sailing ship).

        If someone wants to fund me a trip to Cornwall in the summer I will spend a week researching it.

        I will need my assistants.

        I reckon £2000 will cover rental of place and food.

        1. lglethal Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: At the seaside

          Come come MJI, we all know the real reason the ships looked like they disappeared over the horizon - to quote the late flat earth prophet Sir Terry of Pratchett :

          "The disc, being flat, has no real horizon. Any adventurous sailor who got funny ideas from staring at eggs and oranges for too long and set out for the antipodes soon learned that the reason why distant ships sometimes looked as though they were disappearing over the edge of the world was that they were disappearing over the edge of the world."

          1. MJI Silver badge

            Re: At the seaside

            Ah but we live on Roundworld.

            Discworld has its own set of issues.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: At the seaside

          Flat Earthers invoke a special kind of perspective in which things on the horizon shrink differently to things mere feet above of it.

          And somehow this also explains the sun setting over the ocean.

          ie they make shit up so their world view is unchanged

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: At the seaside

            "ie they make shit up so their world view is unchanged"

            Along with half the human race.

            1. MJI Silver badge

              Re: At the seaside

              OK I just need £2000 for research in the summer

              The research team will be ready. And I know the perfect beach to research from, looks east across Fal Estuary.

              Remember flat earthers my research project.

              I take paypal, cash or cheques.

      3. Andrew Newstead

        Observing for your self

        A simple bit of astronomy and travel can show you the Earth has a curved surface. Spot the pole star in your sky, note where it is in relation to the northern horizon. Travel a fair distance south and make the same observation again and see if it changes. If you are in the northern hemisphere then the the pole star will get closer to the northern horizon and on the equator the pole star will be on the horizon and will disappear over the horizon as you travel further south. This can only happen if the surface of the planet is curved.

        And before you ask, yes I have carried out this test when I went on holiday from the UK to Crete a few years ago ago and got a definite change in position of the star patterns. If you accurately measure the angles involved you would be able to calculate using some simple trig the actual diameter of the Earth.

        1. ibmalone Silver badge

          Re: Observing for your self

          Yes, there's an entire battery of things we've been doing to demonstrate it since the Greeks at least, long before we had the ability to return from more than a handful of metres above the surface while surviving to report observations. Flat earthers can be divided into wind up merchants and those who have their natural scepticism tuned to paranoic levels. (Edit: or fraudsters out to make money from category #2.)

        2. Andy the ex-Brit

          Re: Observing for your self

          That only works if you start from the assumption that Polaris is essentially infinitely far away. If instead you assume it's a bright dot a mere few thousand or million kilometers directly over the north pole, of course its angle relative to you will change as you travel away from the pole.

          Note: not a flat-earther. This is just an example of how you can wrestle with evidence until it matches your assumptions.

    2. Patrician

      A flat earther will say that the curvature you observed while on Concorde (so jealous by the way) was due to the curved windows distorting the view outside.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        A flat earther will say that the curvature you observed while on Concorde (so jealous by the way) was due to the curved windows distorting the view outside.

        A flat-earther will thus insist that we return to the days of rectangular windows on the Comet.

        (I'm not going to provide links. Look it up for yourselves.)

        My mum flew on a Comet once. Fortunately she lived for another 62 years.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Comet

          I have flown on one too

          Early 60s as a baby

  10. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Free ride available

    Perhaps he could ask SpaceX nicely to hitch a ride on the maiden flight of Falcon Heavy, which is (hopefully) being tested on 6/2/18: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbSwFU6tY1c

    1. Notas Badoff

      Re: Free ride available

      And.... you'll even put him in the driver's seat and let him steer?

      (too cruel, too cruel)

      1. defiler Silver badge

        Re: Free ride available

        He can make broom-broom noises all the way.

        Hoping for no boom though.

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Free ride available

          He can make broom-broom noises all the way.

          That's fine by me. I'm wishing Mr Musk well and hoping for a clean sweep.

  11. A-nonCoward
    Mushroom

    "Curvature" proves nuthin!

    Seeing the so-called "Earth Curvature" proves nothing! Very sophomoric to try to use a rocket, manned or not, to "prove" the Earth is not flat.

    That "curvature" results from an optic illusion due to the density of atmospheric gas near and far from the surface, something that is well known and easy to measure.

    Just notice that, as you go UP, which is only one way (up!), the "curvature" seems to increase, though when you are close to the ground there is no such a thing, actually the appearance on flat ground or by the sea is as if you were inside a bowl, that "horizon" seems to be higher than you are.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: "Curvature" proves nuthin!

      Pictures of Chicago taken from lake Michigan from about 2 and 30 miles away showing the bottom of the towers dropping below the horizon + comments from flat Earthers.

      1. A-nonCoward

        Re: "Curvature" proves nuthin!

        you're just confirming the curving effect of atmospheric gases at different presures, i.e., altitudes. You're correct, those pictures show that, which proves my point and very simple and basic physics. Optics is science, you know.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: "Curvature" proves nuthin!

          "you're just confirming the curving effect of atmospheric gases at different presures, i.e., altitudes. You're correct, those pictures show that, which proves my point and very simple and basic physics. Optics is science, you know."

          So how come no flat earthers have crowdfunded the cost of a cheap aircraft and flown to the edge the flat earth and taken photos or video to prove it yet? Gotta be cheaper than building rockets that only "prove" the "optical illusion".

        2. David Nash Silver badge

          Re: "Curvature" proves nuthin!

          So please provide an experiment that will show, one way or the other, that the earth is flat, or (approx) spherical.

          ie. not "it looks flat, so it's flat" but "X can't possibly occur if the earth is flat" and conversely "Y can't possibly occur if the earth is not flat".

          That's how science works. Not on opinion and "it looks to me like.."

          As an example, physicists repeatedly attempt to verify relativity by performing experiments that are consistent with it, and which have the ability to disprove it. Not because they don't believe it but because they are seeking to confirm what appears to be correct. So far it's held up every time.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Curvature" proves nuthin!

        "Pictures of Chicago taken from lake Michigan ..."

        Pretty convincing, though as a scientist so always on the look out for sources of experimental error I must point out you "might" be looking at a wave. Yes I know it's a lake, but its a big one and has big waves too.

    2. Winkypop Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: "Curvature" proves nuthin!

      Obvious troll is obvious!

      Flat wrong.

      1. A-nonCoward
        Childcatcher

        Re: "Curvature" proves nuthin!

        that's what they called Galileo. And Wegener. And Darwin.

        Except for the part about the monkeys, I'm proud to stand with them, to protect Science from the fallacies of established a priori doctrines!

    3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: "Curvature" proves nuthin!

      Seeing the so-called "Earth Curvature" proves nothing! Very sophomoric to try to use a rocket, manned or not, to "prove" the Earth is not flat.

      Yes, one would think that simply going up would not be useful.

      He should really fire that thing horizontally, in a perfect straight line (which should, technically, be easier). At some point he will the fly over the edge of the disc, and can then have the satisfaction of sending back images of the elephants as he sails off into space, knowing he was right. Or something.

    4. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: "Curvature" proves nuthin!

      @ A-nonCoward

      Listen, you are not funny anymore, you are on tech site, here, not youtube ... you are wasting everybody's time with your delusion. We all know we cannot convince you because it is your faith, spherical earth is not a faith, it is common knowledge, we know, can prove by experimentation. Eratosthenes proved it over 2000 years ago ...

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eratosthenes

      End of story, good bye!

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: "Curvature" proves nuthin!

        Oh Hans 1

        He's the most entertaining commentard we've had here in ages. Leave him alone.

    5. Patrician

      Re: "Curvature" proves nuthin!

      I really hope you are playing devils advocate here ...

  12. DudeMan

    Your'e joking, right?

    It's hard to tell whether this mental midget is just trying to stay relevant and in the news or seeing how long he can milk this thing. I wonder if he knows you can stand on any one of 1,000 ft. cliffs overlooking the ocean and notice that the horizon is, in fact, curved. It doesn't require much effort or much money, but it does require common sense, of which he has none. SMH

    1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      Re: Your'e joking, right?

      To show him the curve all he needs do is take a skydiving class & make his first real jump. You're high enough to see that "optical illusion" very well. You're also high enough that should you fail to pack your chute properly, Darwin will erase your Flat Earth arse from the role of Humanity.

      1. A-nonCoward

        Re: Your'e joking, right?

        Exactly! Thank you!

    2. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Your'e joking, right?

      It doesn't require much effort or much money, but it does require common sense, of which he has none. SMH

      No, nor does calling a mate in Australia, we all know they are dishonest when they claim it is summer down there and time for the kids to go to bed as I write this comment ... You cannot trust Aussies or Kiwis, OK, what about Argentinians, no, cannot trust them either (Falklands!!!!!!!!), Chilians, maybe ? Maybe ? Go explain seasons, time zones on a flat earth ... good luck, matey!

      1. onefang Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Your'e joking, right?

        As an Aussie, I'm glad you put the joke icon on that. Have an up vote, and a XXXX.

        1. lglethal Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Your'e joking, right?

          "Have an up vote, and a XXXX."

          Jeez, making him have a XXXX, thats a bit cruel isnt it? It was only a joke after all...

          1. onefang Silver badge

            Re: Your'e joking, right?

            "Jeez, making him have a XXXX, thats a bit cruel isnt it? It was only a joke after all..."

            Meh, I don't actually like beer, but I do live in Queensland, so I just went with what I know.

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Devil

        Re: Your'e joking, right?

        Don't be ridiculous! Clearly Australia is fictional!

        Every so-called Australian that you meet or see on telly has been on Neighbours. I mean, I know they claim it's a documentary, but we all know it's really one of those scripted-reality shows like TOWIE. It's a show about a drama school, like Fame, only with less singing. They all leave that for when they come over here and go on Top of the Pops.

        Basically transportation was a con. They really just loaded them on ships, sailed off, and chucked them over the edge. It was only introduced because juries wouldn't convict in many death-penalty cases - and this was the only way to persuade them.

        Transportees had been sent to America before, but that was massively unpopular, and they revolted. They couldn't send them to real colonies (like India) for the same reason, so they had to invent Australia and New Zealand. Hence faking the ridiculous Duck Billed Platypus.

        For further proof, who would willingly drink XXXX? And why would anyone share a country with all those snakes, spiders, crocodiles, drop bears etc? I mean - giant stinging nettle trees!?!?

    3. ibmalone Silver badge

      Re: Your'e joking, right?

      wonder if he knows you can stand on any one of 1,000 ft. cliffs overlooking the ocean and notice that the horizon is, in fact, curved.

      Given the replies, almost certainly.

  13. Arezzo

    What a relief. It looked for a moment like The Register might publish a story that did not contain "boffin."

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Relief indeed.

      However, the story does obviously contain a buffoon.

  14. Private Citizen.AU
    Facepalm

    A rocketeer that cannot comprehend Gravity?

    How can you launch a rocket to altitude without a basic comprehension of gravity?

    Formation of planets is a function of gravity, at a certain mass gravity will drive the surface towards the centre and that generally forms ball like objects, A celestial body rounded by gravity is one of the criteria of being a planet. That is what I remember from high school science.

    By his reason the moon is flat too and every other planet we have seen is flat. Rings of Saturn become the 2 dimensional handles of Saturn.

    We should ban him from launching his rocket on the off chance he knocks the frisbee that is the moon off the fabric that that the stars are painted on.

    1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

      Re: A rocketeer that cannot comprehend Gravity?

      Obviously, circles have gravity. He's part of one and he gravitates towards its centre. The fact that there's "no there there" is immaterial (except for the gravity part, natch, because mc2 or something).

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: A rocketeer that cannot comprehend Gravity?

      Gravity is just a theory.

      Scientists disagree about gravity.

      Intelligent push is the only truth.

      1. onefang Silver badge

        Re: A rocketeer that cannot comprehend Gravity?

        'Gravity is just a theory.

        "Scientists disagree about gravity.

        "Intelligent push is the only truth."

        That theory sucks as much as gravity.

        1. Hans 1 Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: A rocketeer that cannot comprehend Gravity?

          Scientists disagree about gravity.

          No they don't ... gravity is a distortion in space-time caused by higgs bosons (mass), what is so hard to understand about that ? Simple explanation, next one, please ...

          1. TechnicalBen Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Higgs don't cause gravity or spacial distortions!

            Higgs give particles "mass", but don't create/cause "gravity". Those two are separate things.

        2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: A rocketeer that cannot comprehend Gravity?

          "Intelligent push is the only truth."

          That theory sucks as much as gravity.

          Nope. That theory doesn't suck. It blows.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: A rocketeer that cannot comprehend Gravity?

          "Now - do you want to also disprove mathematics whilst we're at it?"

          2 + 2 = black. Don't use Zebra crossings.

          1. John G Imrie Silver badge

            Re: A rocketeer that cannot comprehend Gravity?

            Well that was easy, ARGH!!!!!

    3. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: A rocketeer that cannot comprehend Gravity?

      How can you launch a rocket to altitude without a basic comprehension of gravity?

      Launch failed!

    4. ariels-again

      Re: A rocketeer that cannot comprehend Gravity?

      An infinite planar Earth of constant density will have a constant gravitational field (independent of height above the Earth), e.g. https://physics.info/gravitation-extended/practice.shtml#2. Flat-earth rocketry is *easier* than N(A)SA-funded rocketry.

  15. monet

    I had to sign up for an account just so I could thank you for that headline. Thank you.

  16. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    This calls for an innovative new crowdfunding model.

    We could call it TwatStarter.

    1. Alistair Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Bah!

      @Stevie:

      How about Idiogogo?

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Bah!

      A crowdfunding site to pay for morons to hurt themselves in spectacular ways for our amusement?

      Isn't that what Channel 5 is for ?

  17. onefang Silver badge

    "Contrary to some press reports, Hughes was not trying with this particular flight to prove the Earth isn't a sphere. He is a believer in the Flat Earth theory, and is mostly funded by Flat Earthers. His goal is to get into space – or at least above the 62-mile mark that officially marks the Kármán Line where the atmosphere ends and space begins – and prove whether or not our planet is a ball or a disc."

    Er, so he's not trying to prove the Earth isn't a sphere, by trying to prove the Earth isn't a ball? If basic geometry is beyond him, no wonder his rocket didn't work.

  18. Palpy

    AFAIK, the chap was not a flat-Earther --

    -- until he found he could get money from them for his steam-powered rocket. Though not very much money.

    "Hughes is actually a fairly recent convert to the truth of a flat earth, as he tells a fellow flat-earther in a recent fundraising interview for the project. ... Completely coincidentally, this conversion to horizontal honesty came around early 2016. This just so happened to be about the time Hughes’ previous Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for an Evel Knievel-style rocket flight to space—in which he didn’t say a word about flat earth or conspiracies—raised exactly $310 of his $150,000 goal." Alex McLevy writing for AVClub.

    It's cupidity, though that does not rule out stupidity (of a certain flavor).

    The crack about stupidity notwithstanding, I would not be able to do what he's done so far. Nor would I want to... especially the "pulled moaning from the wreckage" part: YouToob.

    1. graeme leggett

      Re: AFAIK, the chap was not a flat-Earther --

      Aligns with my thoughts on the matter. There are plenty of flerfers out there who probably think that funding this is 1) upping publicity for the Flat Earth cause 2) sticking it to The Man 3) makes a change from clicking on flat earth 'proofs' on YouTube.

      He could ride this for a while. A quick look at aforementioned YouTube videos or twitter and he'll have all the tropes of flat earthers which he can repeat to keep them hooked. Any failure can, if required, be put down to intervention by government agents, illuminati, NASA, HAARP, chemtrails, Elders of Zion trying to stop THE TRUTH being shown to us 'sheeple' who've been indoctrinated by teachers combined with mind altering aluminium in vaccinations.

  19. Bitbeisser
  20. Oscar Pops

    I’ve always wondered...

    ... exactly why is it so vital that the truth about flat Earth is kept from us? Seems like a lot of effort... for what?

    1. arctic_haze Silver badge

      Re: I’ve always wondered...

      Because if the Earth did not rotate, we would have no cyclones and anticyclones and weather forecasters would be unemployed ;)

      1. VinceH
        Coat

        Re: I’ve always wondered...

        If the Earth did not rotate, I don't want to live on the dark side, but could we please make sure I'm located somewhere that it's permanently dusk? That would mean it's always evening, and that tomorrow would never come - which is when I would next have to go to work.

        TIA.

        1. Hans 1 Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: I’ve always wondered...

          That would mean it's always evening, and that tomorrow would never come - which is when I would next have to go to work.

          That would mean it's always evening, and always beer o'clock!

          TFTFY

        2. PhilBuk

          Re: I’ve always wondered...

          Isn't that the spec. for one of Slartifartbast's planets?

          Phil.

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: I’ve always wondered...

        and anticyclones and weather forecasters would be unemployed ;)

        Now there is a myth. Weather forecasters.

        I mean they claim they've got satellites and super-computers and theories. But we all know it's seaweed and chicken entrails really.

    2. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: I’ve always wondered...

      Oscar Popes

      Actually, that is a good point. I wish I'd have thought of it. Now you ask it, it seems obvious.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: I’ve always wondered...

      "... exactly why is it so vital that the truth about flat Earth is kept from us? Seems like a lot of effort... for what?"

      Good question. Especially in light of the fact much of the population until fairly recently already believed the Earth to be flat anyway from their own basic experience. Actually, it probably never crossed the minds of most people, other than maybe sailors.

  21. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    I would have thought....

    ....that observations throughout the centuries that fit with established theories that the earth is round would be enough to show that the earth is not flat. Everything seems to point that way, and nothing seems to point to the earth being flat.

    Isn't this all enough for him? Doesn't he follow the whole thing through logically and see that established fact after established fact just falls apart from his illogical beliefs. Just from that simple premise, everything needs to change, for the flat-earther. Gravity? Pah! there's no such thing, the earth, stars, sun and moon are *accelerating* upwards at 9.8 m/s/s! They really believe this shit.

    The trouble is, there are flat-earthers from all around the world...

  22. meanioni

    South Pole

    Dear flat earthers.

    Please explain the South Pole? :-)

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: South Pole

      "It's a conspiracy!"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: South Pole

        i wonder if he's had the Flu vaccine.........

    2. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

      Re: South Pole

      Duh! The south pole does not exist as such. It's a ring of ice around the edge of the *disc* that is the Earth. In other news, effect does not follow cause, 1+1+4 (except for small values of 4), and the surface area of a sphere is inversely proportional to its radius.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: South Pole

        "Duh! The south pole does not exist as such. It's a ring of ice around the edge of the *disc* that is the Earth"

        You missed the disc edge effect by which if you try to keep walking away from the North Pole you actually travel around the circumference of the ice ring. So does light, which is why it's pointless to try to visit the edge.

        (There's an A C Clarke story a bit like this.)

    3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: South Pole

      Isn't the South Pole where the Great Old Ones hang out?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hughes has also said he plans to run for governor himself at the next election.....

    ...and then President.

    Lets face it, equally crazy things have happened before.

    No Joke, because there is every chance this could happen.

  24. teknopaul Silver badge

    No need to fly

    You can tell the earth is round sitting on the beach in California watching ships sail to the horizon.

    Provided you are not in a petrol smog caused by the rocketeers and other gasheads.

    1. Alistair Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: No need to fly

      @teknopaul:

      That could also be from the Hipster devops dude with the candycane mocha latte vape goning on.

  25. Pointer2null

    Helium balloon anyone?

    Maybe the fact that a balloon is round is putting him off using one?

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: Helium balloon anyone?

      I doubt that a buffoon in a helium balloon at 1800 feet would get as many pay-per-view TV hits as a buffoon in his home-made rocket.

      Jumping out of a helium balloon at 120000 feet might be a different matter!

  26. Winkypop Silver badge

    Never argue with a flat earther

    You will end up in a ball.

  27. macaroo
    Angel

    California the Land of Fruits and Nuts

    This man is in the right place. If he doesn't kill himself he will probably get elected governor.

  28. DougS Silver badge

    Why does he need to be in the rocket?

    Can't he put a camera on it that releases and parachutes back to Earth, or sends a picture back via shortwave? Or for that matter, weather balloons are able to reach high enough altitude that the curvature of the Earth is clearly visible.

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Why does he need to be in the rocket?

      No because "something something Guvermint... something something".

    2. graeme leggett

      Re: Why does he need to be in the rocket?

      The standard Flat Earth replies to pictures from amateur balloons and rockets is "fish eye lens"

      Because to get a wide angle view on a lightweight camera they generally have a lens that introduces distortion.

      And they stick to this line even if experts apply image correction to de-spherical the image, or show that the image is not distorted in the central part of the image.

      If there was an answer easy enough to convince Flat Earthers it would have been deployed by now. Unfortunately they are that bone-headed.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Why does he need to be in the rocket?

        Well presumably he could satisfy himself that the camera he's using has a lens that isn't distorting images by taking a wide angle picture with it and comparing it to what his eyes see. Unless he thinks the conspiracy from the round Earthers goes so far as to make cameras that switch to a fish eye lens when they detect they are above the atmosphere!

  29. wolfetone Silver badge

    Well, at least he's trying to find out the truth for himself. Which is more than what other flat earth wankers can say.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Genuinely intereested. What would reaching a height of x miles actually show and at what value of x would you have to reach to confirm that the Earth wasn't a 'flat disk' just by visual observation? Wouldn't the Earth always look flat?

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        No idea. But at least if he goes up in to "space" he can see the curves for himself. The other clowns just bring spirit levels on to planes to "prove the Earth is flat"

    2. Reality_Ccheque

      Indeed, and simultaneously prove that Darwin was right!

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    no worries, he'll be in the darwin awards before we know it!

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Flat-earther to flat-liner in 60 seconds.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Conspiracy theory....

    I did recently read an article on the hollow earthers - even they think the flat earthers are nuts!!!

    The flat earth lot claim that it's a conspiracy about the earth being flat - but I can't work out who would gain from it? You could claim that the moon landings were faked in order to save face for the US*, but why hide the shape of the earth?

    I do find it interesting how people can believe in something so much despite evidence to the contrary.

    *I believe that they did land on the moon, using it as an example

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Conspiracy theory....

      "You could claim that the moon landings were faked in order to save face for the US"

      But faking it is uneconomical: https://youtu.be/P6MOnehCOUw

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Conspiracy theory....

        Yeah, but it's only taxpayers' money though! 'MERICA!!!!

        Thanks for the clip though

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well, obviously...

      "I did recently read an article on the hollow earthers - even they think the flat earthers are nuts!!!"

      Surely it is self evident that if the earth is hollow, then it can't at the same time be flat.

      Unless it gets a puncture, of course...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Conspiracy theory....

      It came to me in the small hours of the morning....

      There is an international cartel of globe makers with a vendetta against the 2D map makers!!

  32. JDX Gold badge

    If only someone else was launching a rocket today with a live video feed.

  33. Martijn Otto
    Joke

    Why do we need a rocket at all?

    Just drive to the end of the world, take a picture of the great abyss at the end. All the proof you need that the eart is indeed flat as a penny.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kerbal

    Hmm, so he's actually in the rocket? I have so many questions...

    Looking at the size of rocket, I don't think he has enough solid fuel to achieve the height he is after, let alone the edge of space.

    What shielding is between him and the rocket engines?

    Is there a parachute module at the front to bring this back to ground safely?

    Has he had training for the g forces he'll experience on launch and not black out?

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: Kerbal

      If you're having ∆v problems I feel bad for you son, I've got 99 boosters all in stage 1.

  35. zaax

    which proves the earth is round

    And he won't untill he allows for a spinning earth in his launch calculations

  36. Evil Auditor Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Brilliant!

    Giving your rocketeering attempts a flat-earther spin for squeezing money out of stupid to fund your hobby. Fucking brilliant.

  37. Andrew Moore

    In fairness...

    "You can't get anyone underneath there – that thing will kill you, blow you apart," he said on camera. "It'll scald you to death and blow the skin and muscle off your bones, OK? You'd be a skeleton and then it would probably blow you back around 50 foot."

    Surely that's what everyone was paying $5 a pop to see...

  38. sisk Silver badge

    I'm glad to hear he's trying to get to space and not just high enough to see the "flat horizon" that he expects to find. All the sudden I'm rooting for him to succeed. If a flat-earther gets into space and comes back saying he was wrong maybe we can finally put this idiocy to bed.

    Sadly, unlike a lot of you, I think most flat earthers actually believe it. Depending upon the day it's either because I have great faith in the power of stupidity or no faith at all in any basic level of intelligence.

  39. Mike Moyle Silver badge

    Foolish, maybe, but probably not enough to kill himself.

    He is, after all, "California man", not "Florida man".

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: California man

      Brendan Fraser?

  40. Mike Moyle Silver badge

    Have any Flat-Earthers ever "explained"...

    ...if the Earth is a disk centered on the North Pole, why it doesn't take several times as long to fly from, say, Sao Paulo to Johannesburg as it does to fly from Chicago to Zurich? On a globe, each pair is on a (very roughly) east-west line and are comparable distances -- in the 4500 - 4600 mi. range, while on a flat disk SP-JB should be at least twice as far, being 2 - 3 times further out from the center.

  41. Imsimil Berati-Lahn

    Point of order regarding terminology

    Flat Earth is a hypothesis, not a theory.

  42. Wibble
    Facepalm

    Anyone can see the curvature of the earth from the ground...

    It's piss-easy: stand on a beach at the water's edge and look at a ship at sea. Even without binoculars, you can see the ship disappear over the horizon. Watch the hull disappear first, then the superstructure.

    Anyone who sails going back millennia has known this.

    In fact when sailing, when sitting in the cockpit, if you can't see the bow-wave of a moving ship, it means it's more than about 2 miles away.

  43. Reality_Ccheque

    For less than a grand, he can strap a go-pro onto a weather balloon. However, I've checked the go-pro menu and there is no 'showboating' option.

  44. Brian Allan 1

    California is the home of weird people!

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