Howard Robard Hughes
and the strange case of Richard Robard Hughes
When I was young, Howard was always in the news, most often for refusing to testify before Congress or for buying another Las Vegas casino. I grew up and married. Hughes had become utterly eccentric by then, hiding away on the top floor of his Desert Inn hotel and then running off to Nicaragua.
I could not have imagined that my life would have intersected with his. I was just a little girl from Long Island.
The quirkiest time of my life had to be the Hughes years, although several other segments have come close to qualifying. It all started with a tarot card reading. I was young and new to Las Vegas. I became friends with a Japanese girl named Machi and when she learned from my husband that I could read tarot, she clamored for a reading. Her cards were unfortunate, predicting an immensely traumatic event in the near future and when it came to pass, she told everyone. Suddenly, I was in demand and I found myself at the home of a meticulous Japanese housewife named Maria, cards spread before me, seeing something just a little outrageous.
I struggled to understand what I was seeing….”you are surrounded by money, but you can’t get your hands on any of it”. She gasped, then rattled off the craziest story, a story that I was on the precipice of stepping into. a story that would go on for three years. Alice down the rabbit hole, skirts a billowing.
“Papa knows a man”. (She always referred to her American husband as papa) “He is Richard Robard Hughes, the illegitimate son of Howard Hughes. He is hiding from the FBI.” And so it began. “When Richard comes back to Las Vegas, I will introduce him to you.”
I learned that he was being sued by a man in New Mexico (Mr. Swann) for defrauding him of a significant amount of money. Richard’s stance was that he borrowed the money predicated upon a transfer of funds promised by his biological father, Howard R. Hughes. During the trial, it was asked of Richard how, precisely, he communicated with his “father” and Richard replied that he had a transmitter in his ear and received communication via satellite. It was 1973!!!! Officially, there was no such technology at that time, . He submitted to an x-ray and indeed there was a small fuse-like object close to his ear drum. I was shown the x-ray and I saw the object clearly. That was early in 1975. And there STILL was no such technology, but there it was.
Richard fled New Mexico when the court refused to accept his x-ray as proof of having a highly sophisticated and technologically advanced device implanted in him. His lawyer had tried to subpoena Hughes but Hughes did not appear as ordered leaving Richard alone to face the wolves. Richard decided to run and he ran to Las Vegas And that’s where the adventure began, skirts a billowing.