The Hoax is a 2006 movie starring Richard Gere. It recounts a strange situation from the early 1970s, when author Clifford Irving claimed to be the mouthpiece for the eccentric, reclusive billionaire, Howard Hughes. Several theories exist about what was really going on, most notably the theory advanced by the Gemstone thesis. The Hoax has a unique perspective, with Irving being used as a pawn in a subtle chess game involving President Richard Nixon.
Thus reads the description for my latest video, “The Hoax Offers Theory”, published to YouTube on April 24, 2016. The clip, which clocks in at about 10 minutes and 30 seconds, can hopefully be viewed at the top of today’s blog entry.
Clifford Irving, according to the received wisdom, wrote a fake autobiography of Howard Hughes. A purported Howard Hughes phoned a group of seven reporters and denounced the Irving autobiography as a hoax. But Irving claimed that the voice of Hughes on the phone call to the reporters was probably a fake. At any rate, the Clifford Irving autobiography was pulled out of publication.
Later, in 1999, the supposedly fake autobiography was published in Santa Fe in a private edition, and went out of print. But in March 2008, John Blake Publishing, a British company, issued Howard Hughes: The Autobiography. That autobiography (perhaps not the true suppressed autobiography) is available as a Kindle e-book.
In the Clifford Irving version of things, “on the cusp” of old age, a disillusioned Howard Hughes is urged by an intimate lady friend code-named “Helga” to secretly journey to India and hopefully refresh his soul. In Benares, India, Hughes meets a reputed holy man named Sai Baba. Sai Baba asks Howard Hughes, “In the years left to you, if you knew beyond doubt that you wouldn’t fail, what is the one thing that you would do?”
Hughes had no immediate answer. “You don’t have to answer now,” said the reputed holy man. It wasn’t until much later that Hughes decided to write an honest autobiography, to include “warts and all.” Clifford Irving was known to Hughes through Irving’s father. Tentative talks on the book began.
So, in this version of things, Clifford Irving really did collaborate with Howard Hughes on his autobiography. But what happened later may have been that Hughes got cold feet. The eccentric billionaire was notorious for his difficult business practices and tendency to be a hard man to pin down. Howard Hughes, in this version, suddenly decided to pull the plug on the autobiography.
(This subject was covered at my Ersjdamoo’s Blog web site on August 7th, 2013. )
Something called the “Gemstone Files” however claims the “Mormon Mafia” gave Clifford Irving an already-written insider biography of Hughes. This secret biography purportedly contained hidden, suppressed details about Howard Hughes and his life. Irving allegedly used this secret biography to write his book, and camouflaged things by saying he had interviewed Hughes when he had not.
The movie, The Hoax, offers a different theory, involving then-President Richard Nixon and Howard Hughes, who uses Clifford Irving as a pawn in a masterful chess game. The theory given by the 2006 movie is that yes, Clifford Irving began it all as a hoax. But then Howard Hughes got wind of the book-in-progress and used Irving to manipulate President Nixon. Through an intermediary, Hughes sends Irving a box of files detailing money paid to Donald Nixon, the president’s brother, as well as incriminating information about Bebe Rebozo, a Florida banker and businessman who was a friend and confidant of President Nixon. This was done by Hughes as leverage against a TWA lawsuit, theorizes the movie. First Howard Hughes plants the damning information with Irving. Nixon gets wind of it and is scared. Then Hughes appears via a public telephone interview and denounces Irving’s book, thereby appearing to Nixon to be a true friend. A grateful Nixon administration quickly kills the TWA lawsuit, and Howard Hughes is saved a fortune in possible lawsuit payments.
You will likely not understand much of this unless you are familiar with the theory advanced by the Gemstone Files manuscript.
——- Sources ——-
 “Howard Pulls the Plug”, Ersjdamoo’s Blog, August 7, 2013. https://ersjdamoo.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/howard-pulls-the-plug/