Mad Mike Hughes really is the man who fell to Earth – twice after launching himself into the skies with a homemade steam powered rocket.
His latest flight took him 1,875 feet into the air above the Mojave Desert in California.
Hughes landed safely but nursing a bad back, took to his bed.
The last time the 61-year-old crackpot engineer and flat Earth believer flew, he spent three days in bed recovering.
He cited proving the Earth was not round was one of the reasons for his flight. The others are not really that clear.
Ramshackle rocket built from scrap
Hughes buckled himself into his ramshackle rocket built from scrap metal and repurposed appliances for a launch that just happened without any countdown.
His flight engineer Waldo Stakes estimated the rocket reached 350mph before Hughes decided to deploy his parachute. But he plunged rather than floated back to the ground and had to open his second chute to slow down enough for a safe landing.
“I’m tired of people saying I chickened out and didn’t build a rocket. I’m tired of that stuff. I manned up and did it,” said Hughes while medics looked him over.
“This thing wants to kill you 10 different ways. This thing will kill you in a heartbeat.
Reaching a giddy height
“Am I glad I did it? Yeah. I guess. I’ll feel it in the morning. I won’t be able to get out of bed. At least I can go home and have dinner and see my cats tonight.”
This was the second time Hughes ventured into the sky in a contraption constructed in his garage.
In 2014, he attempted a similar flight and reached 1,374 feet.
“My story really is incredible,” Hughes said. “It’s got a bunch of story lines — the garage-built thing. I’m an older guy. It’s out in the middle of nowhere, plus the flat Earth. The problem is it brings out all the nuts also, people questioning everything. It’s the downside of all this.”
His next venture is a plan to surmount obstacles to reach giddy heights again – as governor of California.