Over the years there have been statements and personal accounts of people who claim Hughes had an obsessive-compulsive disorder and drug addiction which turned him into isolation. Reportedly he no longer cut his hair or fingernails. Change in overall attitude/ personality with no other identifiable cause. Some have theories about disease. Others say it is more likely that he suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder, commonly known as OCD. He allegedly held excessive need for privacy; kept doors locked or closed, wouldn't let people in. Another common belief is that he was so afraid of being contaminated that he refused to leave his room or have contact with anyone outside of his entourage. Although for a select few it may all seem a bit too convenient....
Consider for a moment that his last photograph was reportedly taken in 1956 or 57 then died roughly twenty years later in Houston, Texas of kidney failure. Can it really be possible for a man of his popularity and status to simply disappear for twenty years without at least one single photograph or video taken? Besides that, when one takes into realization that this man was consistently in the headlines with a new celebrity girlfriend attached more frequently than magazines are published it becomes that much more difficult to believe. Did he suddenly suffer an overnight overhaul of such magnitude? Don't forget all reports of his current status was merely heard by word of mouth with no official evidence of all the rumors that had circulated from the late fifties to his reported death in the mid seventies.
Frankly for me personally, I can't honestly say I believe either side.
Here's an exerpt:
"1956: Howard Hughes, Texas millionaire who had inherited Hughes Tool Co., specializing in drill bits for oil wells, had expanded into aircraft design and manufacturing. He was buying his way toward control of the U.S. electoral process. He bought Senators, Governors, etc. He had developed Hughes Aircraft's position as the U.S.'s leading defense contractor. He finally bought his last (and biggest) politician: newly elected Vice President Richard M. Nixon, via a $205,000 non-repayable "loan," secured by a $13,000 vacant lot, to Nixon's brother Donald. The money was ostensibly for Donald's failing restaurant, "Nixonburger," in Whittier, California. A few months later, the restaurant closed. The money was never repaid. Instead, Donald Nixon used it to finance his way into Mob-connected real estate operations.
Early 1957: V.P. Nixon repaid the favor by having the IRS and Treasury Department grant tax-free status (refused twice before) to the "Hughes Medical Foundation", sole owner of Hughes Aircraft, creating a tax-free, non-accountable money funnel or laundry for whatever Hughes wanted to do. The U.S. Government also shelved various anti-trust suits against Hughes' TWA (Trans World Airlines), etc.
January 17, 1957: Jean Peters, a Hollywood star who had been romantically involved with Howard Hughes, divorced Stuart Cramer.
Early March, 1957: Howard Hughes lived in a secluded bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel, romancing movie stars. Unfortunately for him, his business and political success had caught the eye of an even bigger fish. Onassis conceived a brilliant, ruthless, carefully planned event: He had Hughes kidnapped from his bungalow, bribing and using Hughes' own men (headed by Chester Davis, born Cesare in Sicily). Hughes's other men quit, got fired, or stayed on in the new Onassis organization.
March 12, 1957: Noah Dietrich, Hughes's right-hand man for 32 years, suddenly got fired, by "Hughes", over the phone, and never saw Hughes again.
March 13, 1957: Howard Cannon, City Attorney of Las Vegas, Nevada (who later became Senator Cannon) arranged a fake "marriage" between Hughes and Jean Peters in Tonopah, Nevada, to explain Hughes's sudden loss of interest in chasing Hollywood stars. Jean Peters received $1 million cash to take part in the deception. No actual record of the marriage has ever been found. The fake wedding was announced in Louella Parson's gossip column, leading some unkind souls to remark that Howard Hughes and Jean Peters were apparently married by a Parson name Louella.
Hughes, battered and brain damaged in the scuffle, was carted off to the Emerald Beach Hotel in the Bahamas. The entire top floor had been rented for thirty days for the "Hughes party" with "top security." Hughes, now a helpless invalid, was shot full of heroin for thirty days, then dragged off to a "hospital" cell on Onassis's private island, Skorpios, where he was the only "patient". Onassis now had a much larger power base in the U.S. (the Hughes empire), and control over V.P. Nixon and other Hughes-purchased politicians�as well as that wonderful money-laundering device, the "Hughes Medical Foundation."
The following was written two years before Hughes reportedly died.
Howard Hughes is dead," said Tiger Eye. "He died on Tenos, a Greek island, on April 16, 1971. His coffin was lowered into the sea the next day, off the coast of Tenos.
"Lots of people know, they just don't talk about it. It's called the Golden Silence -- omerta."
Reference: a front-page article in Midnight, a Canadian newspaper, dated October 18, 1971, showing two photographs. In one, a feeble-looking man is seated in a wheelchair, his head covered with what appears to be a bandage or surgical cap. He is attended by two men and a woman, who, according to Midnight, "bears a startling resemblance to Jackie Kennedy Onassis." In the second snapshot, the two men are helping the paralyzed figure walk, while the woman looks on.
"I took the pictures from the cruise ship Oriana, on which my wife and I were enjoying a 10-day holiday," explained [George] Duncastle. "We passed close to Skorpios, and the guide on board called our attention to the island."
On August 30, 1971, Midnight had published an article with "eyewitness reports" about a mysterious, crippled old man on the Island of Skorpios. As a result of this article, according to Midnight, a number of people came forward with additional information. Koula Markopolis, a Greek national and a registered nurse, told Midnight that she had been on Aristotle Onassis's personal payroll for two and a half months, from November, 1968, until January, 1969. Further she said:
"I was hired because I have a good knowledge of English. Mr. Onassis told me that the patient I would be taking care of was an Englishman.
"The job was on the Island of Tenos. I was paid a very high salary to go there ... [and told] that people who talk about Mr. Onassis's personal business do not work for him long.
"There were three other nurses and two doctors at Mr. Onassis's private hospital on Tenos, but there was only one patient.... I thought at the time that he was about 50, but he could have been older or younger." [Hughes would have been 63 in 1968].
"We had to feed him, bathe him, clean up after him. Sometimes he seemed to listen to us talk, but there was seldom any sign that he understood. Mostly he stared.
"He was quite tall, probably well over six feet tall before he was injured." [Hughes was 6'3"]
"He weighed practically nothing, just skin and bones, no muscles. He was helpless, like a baby. His body was wasted away."
The Greek nurse said her patient was called Mr. Smith. Miss Markopolis describes his injury:
"One of the worst I've ever seen..... The entire back of his head was a scarred mess. If had been operated on several times. There was a metal plate under the skin to protect the brain where the bone was broken away.
"I was told that part of his brain had been removed years ago. From the condition of the man I could only assume that it was true. He really had no reason to be alive. He must have had tremendous will and a strong constitution before he was injured."
Miss Markopolis left the employ of Aristotle Onassis in January, 1969.
"Mr. Onassis ... gave me a large bonus and said he knew I would protect the privacy of 'my poor friend,' as he put it.
"There was a paralyzed and brain-damaged man on Tanos. He was being taken care of like a prince by Mr. Onassis."
Was Onassis's mysterious patient Howard Hughes? If so, who was back in the States minding the machinations of a billion-dollar empire? Or could it be that a "control center" existed somewhere else?
Midnight quotes a tour guide on the Greek ship Hellas.
"I saw [the man] in the wheelchair many times in three years past. Our ship always moved close to Skorpios to let tourists have a look at the island ... [the man] was there on nearly every good day.... This spring past it was  that I last saw him. He is no longer there."
A BURIAL AT SEA
According to Midnight, American Army Major David Cordrey said he saw the same man.
Major Cordrey witnessed on April 18 of this year , a burial service in the Ionian Sea.
"Two high-powered speedboats [came] out from Skorpios end started clearing the waters around a rocky point at one end of the island," said the major.
"Later in the day, people gathered on the rocky point. I was curious and watched through my binoculars. One was a priest. One was Jackie Onassis, and one was Ted Kennedy. They and the others went through a ceremony over a coffin, and then watched while it was lowered into the sea."
But Tiger Eye said Howard Hughes died on April 16, 1971, and was buried the next day -- at Tenos in the Aegean Sea.
Tenos is a Cycladic island, about 75 miles southeast of Athens, in the Aegean Sea.
Skorpios is an Ionian Island, about 160 miles west of Athens, in the Ionian Sea.
Was one man buried, or two? If so, who were they?
KEY YEAR: 1957
Tiger Eye said that Howard Hughes had been helpless and out of the country since 1957.
Could a shift from the natural desire of a powerful man for privacy, to a calculated effort by others to conceal the fact that he was no longer running the Hughes empire be distinguished?
Much of the basic information about Howard Hughes's pre-1957 existence was published in Howard: The Amazing Mr. Hughes, by Noah Dietrich, Hughes's righthand man -- from 1925 to March 12, 1957.
The background of the man who, in 1925, inherited the Hughes Tool Company, is well known. During the thirties, Hughes, the famous aviator, broke the record for an around-the-world flight and was greeted by a ticker-tape parade in New York City. He designed airplanes and angled unsuccessfully for government contracts. He adored women and had his picture taken with a stream of actresses and protegees. In 1942, he hired press agent John Meyer to curry favor with politicians, generals, and the like. (John Meyer is now press aide to Aristotle Onassis; one of his responsibilities is watching over Jackie.
"During the late 1940s and through the 1950s Howard's political contributions ran between $100,000 and $400,000 per year," says Dietrich. Among the recipients were "councilmen and supervisors, tax assessors, sheriffs, D.A.'s, governors, Congressmen, Senators, judges, Vice-Presidents and Presidents."
Johnny Meyer seasoned the bait with glamorous women. And it worked. In 1943, Hughes Aircraft was awarded its first large government contract -- for $70 million.
Hughes's "reclusiveness" seems to date from a plane crash on July 7, 1946, when he was critically injured. Reports of his injuries vary. Dietrich mentions nine broken ribs, bad burns on the left hand, and left lung collapsed and filled with blood. Other accounts include severe facial burns, a skull fracture, and a crushed cheekbone that had to be removed. Hughes was left with facial scars and could no longer make normal use of his left hand. Apparently, he also suffered a hearing impairment, and became increasingly deaf.
After his recovery, Hughes grew a mustache to help cover his scars. He became obsessed with the need to protect himself and spent nearly all his time in seclusion. He surrounded himself with ex-FBI men like Robert Maheu, ex-cops, and Mormons, who he thought might be more trustworthy than others. Tales of his eccentricities were never ending. Hughes and Dietrich did most of their business over the phone.
Early in 1957, one of Hughes's Houston lawyers suggested that Dietrich have a guardian appointed for Hughes, because the lawyer believed he was out of his mind. Dietrich refused. Two weeks later, Dr. Verne Mason, Hughes's personal physician and by this time, Director of the Hughes Medical Foundation, made the same suggestion: "Declare Howard Hughes incompetent." Again, says Dietrich, he refused.
On March 12, 1957, Dietrich quit, over the phone, in a conversation with "Hughes," who was supposedly then in residence at his very private bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
According to many accounts, Howard Hughes "married" actress Jean Peters the very next day -- May 13, 1957. They'd dated on and off for a number of years. But Hughes had squired a string of actresses and had showed no inclination to settle down with any one of them.
Stanton O'Keefe, in his book, The Real Howard Hughes Story, describes the marriage ceremony:
"A classic example of Hughes's penchant for secrecy. It took place in Tonopah, Nevada. Senator Howard Cannon, who was then the city attorney of Las Vegas and a personal friend of Hughes, took care of all the legal arrangements -- including the trick maneuver that protected the validity of the marriage contract while allowing the couple to register under assumed names."
The wedding was "announced" in Louella Parsons's column. Reporters combed Nevada, but were unable to find any trace of the marriage. One of them finally remarked, "The nearest I can come to it is that they were married by a Parson named Louella."
For several years after their "marriage," Hughes and Jean Peters were supposed to be living in a Bel Air mansion, but the owner of the house never saw the "husband." The couple was not seen in public together in over thirteen years of marriage, and there is no record of their ever having been photographed with each other.
After "Hughes" moved to Las Vegas late in 1966, their "marital life" consisted, or so it seemed, of devoted Jean Peters flying out from an empty house in Bel Air to visit "Howard" in Las Vegas for half an hour or so, every couple of weeks. After thirteen years of "marriage," Jean Peters filed for a divorce. It came through in June 1971. Jean allegedly got $2 million out of the deal.
Was this "marriage" only an elaborate explanation of why Hughes stopped chasing movie actresses in 1957?
If Hughes was buried at sea in April, 1971, was his "divorce" a ploy to quell persistent rumors that he was dead, or dying? Dead men don't get divorces. Or do they?
Jean Peters isn't talking.
A FAREWELL TO VEGAS
"Hughes" supposedly departed from the penthouse at the Desert Inn, Las Vegas, on Thanksgiving Eve, 1970. The timing is important. Rumors were rife that Hughes was ill or dying; demands were being made that he appear in person to reorganize his Las Vegas empire. Things were getting hot.
Was it really Howard Hughes who departed from Las Vegas -- or was it, once more, the Hughes double?
Then someone surfaced in the Bahamas. "Hughes" was quickly passed through Customs under the watchful eye of the U.S. Consul -- without ever making an appearance.
WERE THE SHOES
OF HOWARD HUGHES
After December, 1970, some descriptions of the rare "Hughes" sightings became increasingly bizarre.
Was the real Hughes seriously ailing somewhere? Were careful preparations being made to see that even his death did not interfere with the smooth operation of the Hughes empire? And by whom?
From the many conflicting descriptions of Hughes sightings in 1971 and 1972, there may even have been two Hughes doubles floating around the world for a time.
One was described as a tall, scrawny, sickly, bearded semi-cripple, weighing less than one hundred pounds, with six-inch-long fingernails and scraggly white hair down to the middle of his back, who occasionally wore Kleenex boxes on his feet to avoid contact with the ground.
The other "Hughes" was a vigorous, well-groomed executive, who wore a neat Van Dyke beard, kept his gray hair cut to the normal length, shook hands freely, was said to chat with visitors, and gave interviews every now and then -- but only to people like the President of Nicaragua, or else over the phone.
Bob Rehak, the skipper of a luxury yacht who said he brought "Hughes" from the Bahamas to Florida in February 1972, gave a newspaper interview describing his "Hughes" this way: "He had this stringy beard, real thin, and it came halfway to his waist. His hair was real fine, too, down over his shoulders. . . During those twenty-two hours, he used up six to eight boxes (of tissues), wiping his chin, wiping his face, his hands, his spoon, nearly everything he touched."
Rehak said his passenger constantly wrote notes on a yellow legal pad. "It was a funny thing -- after he got through writing something on a pad or using a box of Kleenex, his men would tear it up in little bits and throw it overboard."
Tiger Eye insists that Hughes died in 1971. Yet the masquerade continued. Why?
LITTLE GREEN REASONS
To quote Clifford Irving: "There are about two billion little reasons -- all of them green."
Dietrich reports Howard Hughes's first "major" purchase of an election. It involved the contribution of $60,000 to a successful senatorial campaign in 1952. Hughes moved on to bigger things.
A few weeks after the election in November 1956, Hughes negotiated a $205,000 "loan" to new Vice President Richard M. Nixon's brother, Donald. (See The Nixon-Hughes "Loan"; the "Loan" No One Repaid, by Nicholas North-Broome.) The loan was said to be for the purpose of bailing out Donald's failing restaurant, Nixon's, in Whittier, California. Specialite de la maison was the "Nixonburger."
"Security" for the loan was a vacant lot, assessed for tax purposes at $13,000. The lot belonged to Nixon's mother. The restaurant went bankrupt a few months later. No one knows what happened to the $205,000.
Some observers have intimated that Hughes's loan to Donald, in effect, "bought" Vice President Nixon for Hughes. Shortly thereafter, the troubles of Hughes's airline, TWA, were over; an antitrust suit against Hughes Tool was quietly shelved; various investigations of other Hughes operations ground to a halt.
But perhaps the nicest thing that happened to the Hughes empire is described by Dietrich:
"Something curious happened one month after the loan was made [February 1957]. The Internal Revenue Service made a reversal and ruled that the Howard Hughes Medical Foundation was entitled to tax-exempt status. The request for tax exemption had twice been refused by the IRS and the Treasury Department. But early in 1957, Howard was able to win that status for his foundation, which owned all the stock in Hughes Aircraft."
Result: All the proceeds from Hughes Aircraft, estimated as at least half a million dollars a year, are swallowed up by the Hughes Medical Foundation, with headquarters in Miami, Florida. The sole trustee of the Foundation is Howard Hughes. As a privately-owned, tax-exempt foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Foundation is not required to render any account of how much money it receives, and how it is spent, except to the IRS.
Was an open-ended money funnel set up, into which millions of tax-free dollars could disappear? Wouldn't the man who controlled such a funnel be in a position to control U.S. elections -- and thus, the United States -- through tax-free "contributions"?
And what about the Hughes Vegas casinos which, oddly, lose money while the other casinos rake it in?
Does the "lost" money find its way somehow into the "Hughes" tax-free Hughes Medical Foundation? Where does it go from there?
Hughes has been reported to have tried to "buy" the Bahamas. Or was it Nicaragua?
What about "buying" Biafra, reputed to be sitting on a pool of oil, and subjecting it to some "top secret medical research" -- conducted by a "top-secret" Hughes communications and weather satellite?
Hank Greenspun, editor of the Las Vegas Sun, explained that the unsuccessful attempt to break into his files in the summer of 1972 was because his files contained "Hughes's game plans for the election of Presidents, Senators, and Governors..."
If the price of a Vice-President is a quarter of a million dollars, what would a President cost?
Thanks, I thought I should be a little more thorough considering many people may be hearing of these theories for the first time.
Leaving the public eye...maybe, but suddenly as it was and the fact there was no photo, video, or audio of him released the last twenty years of life is what is hard to swallow. Either way, I'm not entirely convinced by one or the other.
I retrieved the exerpt from the infamous Gemstone files through a site. Here
As for the information within it, its mentioned in various if not countless places although each seems to vary in many respects.