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Howard Hughes: Madness & Power

Fifty miles off the coast of Nantucket, 250 feet beneath the Atlantic, lies the RMS Republic and her secret treasure. As soon as Republic sank in 1909, rumors spread of a precious cargo, but the ship has kept her secrets intact for over a century, until now. Life-long treasure hunter Martin Bayerle joined Connie Willis (email) for all four hours to discuss how he has devoted the past 35 years of his life researching the shipwreck and proving the existence of her reputed cargo of 150,000 American Eagle gold coins, a bounty worth a billion dollars in today’s economy, and his quest to recover the it on his second attempt at the Republic.

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Howard Hughes: Madness & Power

Show Archive
Date: Sunday - January 16, 2005
Host: Art Bell
Guests: Michael Drosnin

Former Wall Street Journal reporter, Michael Drosnin shared details into the bizarre life of reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes. In his investigation, which culminated in the publishing of his book Citizen Hughes, he had access to thousands of never seen before documents, many in Hughes own handwriting. He was "like a villain in James Bond movie," who had his hands in the CIA, the Pentagon, the Mafia and the White House, said Drosnin. He successfully bribed numerous influential people, including Pres. Nixon for $100,000, Drosnin alleged.

Hughes was solely motivated by his intense fear of the outside world, he revealed.In the last 20 years of his life he descended into madness, living naked in hotel rooms with the windows blacked out, shooting up codeine, growing his hair down to his waist, and storing his urine in mason jars. Yet on another level, he remained completely lucid and was able to write quite well, Drosnin noted.

During the first hour of the interview, Drosnin spoke about his research into the Bible Code, in which it's claimed that computer software is able to reveal hidden prophetic messages stored in the text of the Bible. What convinced him of its reality was the correct prediction of Yitzhak Rabin's assassination, which he found out about a year before it happened, said Drosnin. He regularly meets with heads of intelligence agencies, as well as heads of state, to share information he has gleaned from the Code, he added.

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