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I have decided to create this page devoted exclusively to the fact that Elvis/Jesse wrote that Howard Hughes helped him to accomplish his escape on August 16, 1977.

My good friend, Ron Collamore, has written an article for me to post on this subject. Below you will see his article. Also, below I will display Elvis’s/Jesse’s handwritten comment about Howard Hughes from my copy of the rough draft of his book. I will display Jesse’s letter first to set the stage for all that follows:

Jesse's letter about Howard Hughes' faked death

When you read the following accounts about Howard Hughes, take note that Jesse says that Howard Hughes helped him in 1977. The public account is that Mr. Hughes died in 1976…but the newly released information shows that Mr. Hughes faked his own death and did not die until 2001. That is definitely a “WOW!!!!”

Back when Jesse wrote his book, no one had ever published anything about the fact that Howard Hughes faked his death. Only Elvis would have had the inside information to know that Howard Hughes was still alive in 1977 as Jesse wrote in his above letter for the book.

The name which I have blacked out in several of Jesse’s letters is the first name of the person who appears in the published book as “Bern”. I never expose anyone else’s identity who appeared under a pseudonym in the actual published book.

Below is the article which Ron Collamore wrote and Emailed to me this morning. He makes many very valid points about the correlation between Elvis and Howard Hughes. Jesse’s letter above, says it all about the connection with Howard Hughes.

I thank Ron so very much for all of his time and effort which he put into this very well written article. Ron published a newsletter back in the old days. In fact, he picked up the torch and began his newsletter right after I ceased publishing mine in 1991. So, Ron goes way.y.y.y back with all of this also.

I’ve never met Linda and Jesse, but I do know they are telling the truth. Why? Because of this article which appeared on the bottom half of the front page of Lincoln Journal Star dated August 8, 2010. The title: “Book recounts ‘ secret life’ of Hughes: The aviator died in 2001, retired Nebraska guard commander concludes in research,” by Richard Piersol.

I took one look at it and threw down on a chair in the living room. I’d gone to the dinning room, but I’d felt the urge to read the article. So I did.

“There are a lot of woolly, fabulous tales out there about Howard Hughes, the famously reclusive, eccentric billionaire.

And the Wikipedia version of his life is not the only one that “needs additional citations for verification.”

The Martin Scorsese movie “The Aviator” advanced the images and legends of Hughes and his obsessive compulsions.

Hughes officially died in April 1976, an emaciated, drug-addicted, long-haired, tragic, lonely old man who proved to some people money couldn’t buy happiness.”

(Before and after the August 16, 1977 events, everybody was talking about Elvis and drugs. Did you know that from April 1976 to August 1977 was 16 months apart? Elvis had left Graceland on August 16th.)

“But not really, according to a new book, “Boxes: The Secret Life of Howard Hughes,” by Douglas Wellman, assistant dean of the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, based on research done by the former commander of the Nebraska AR Guard.

The book says eight years before his “death,” Hughes substituted a Las Vegas derelict for himself and escaped his identity, yet continued to operate his business affairs until his stand-in died and his family overturned his famous will in court. It says Hughes spent his exile in the Panama Canal Zone, the Florida Panhandle, Arizona and Alabama in the privacy he craved. He assumed the identity of aircraft maintenance supervisor Verner “Nik” Nicely, the name of a real person who disappeared while working with or for the CIA in Panama. “

(Seems like Elvis and Howard Hughes were living in the same lifestyles. They had changed their names: Elvis = Jesse and Howard =Verner. I didn’t know about Howard Hughes and his involvements in helping Elvis to escape his lifestyle until after I’d read this article and Linda posted Jesse’s handwritten letter about the Colonel, Howard Hughes and others who had helped him on her web site a couple months later.)

Reportedly, as they say.

Hughes died in 2001, at age 96, according to the book. Hughes had lost access to his fortune but won the heart of a woman, married her and stayed married 31 years until his death, according to the book.

The wife, Eva McLelland, who died last year, told her story to Mark Musick, who had been documenting this off-road saga for almost a decade. Wellman wrote the book for him.

“It is a wild story,” Musick acknowledged. “It changes history.”

(The most incredible story about Elvis will be after the August 16, 1977 events. More details eventually will come out in public.)

“This is the same calm, clear-headed Mark Musick who flew F-4s, commended the Mebraska Air Guard for four years, worked for Stratcom and was the keynoter at Lincoln’s 2009 Patriot Day observance. He is a retired major general and is chief operating officer for a venture capital company.

Musick said he met McLelland when he was working as a fundraiser for the Arbor Day Foundation in Lincoln, She had some land to bequeath, the book says, and Musick helped her get the Veterans Administration to build a home ramp for her husband.

Musick didn’t meet her until three years later, after her husband died. Then Musick accompanied her to the Gulf of Mexico to distribute her husband’s ashes. There, she revealed to him that her husband, Nik, really was Howard Hughes.

Musick told her that was hard to believe.

Eight years later, after devoting himself to research and documentation of McLelland’s story, Musick understands the skepticism but believes her story.

“He wanted to escape the limelight,” Musick said. “He could never go anywhere without being recognized. He found a way to disappear.”

(That’s what Elvis did too.)

Back to the article, “The task of documentation convinced Musick that McLelland’s story was true. Everything checked out, he said, and the mistakes he made, she caught.

“Everything she said, I could find something that fit,” Musick said.”

(Thankfully Elvis had found Linda to help him. Without her, we would never know the truth. It has not been easy for her. Because of her love for Elvis, she has been willing to do her web site for all of us.)

To continue with the article, “Boxes” refers to the mystery of Hughes’ unopened moving containers and also, consciously or not, to the compartments of his life, kept separated, to help him to protect himself from real and imagined threats, including the Internal Revenue Service.

This is not the kind of project Assistant Dean Wellman of the University of Southern California would attach his name to without a certain faith. He has worked his share in the light and shadows of show business.

“It is an extremely wild story,” Wellman said by telephone.

He met Musick through an Air Force colonel he trusted implicitly and who worked with Musick on a project.

“I didn’t have the clearance to know what it was,” Wellman said.

Wellman produced a TV show that focused on Hughes’ famous Spruce Goose airplane, so he was familiar with some of the background.

“As you go through the material, you find the historical record is frequently contradictory, and Eva’s story suddenly shed light on that,” Wellman said.

Others familiar with Hughes told Wellman that the new version made sense of Hughes for the first time.

“There absolutely have to be two Howard Hughes characters, and when you match it with Eva’s story, you can see the real Howard is with Eva,” Wellman said. “I wish we had the smoking gun, but all we can do is put up the mountain of circumstantial evidence.”

(Could Elvis be the smoking gun? Did Elvis and Howard Hughes meet after August 1977? Any photos?)

“I went back and forth on this as I wrote the book.

“I went back there (to Alabama) and tried to politely see if I could shake (Eva’s) story, and she was completely consistent.”

Down to the helicopter landing on the Alabama lawn.

Eva’s Howard continued to conduct his business through his aides, even after his stand-in died, the book says.

And finally, Mr. Wellman said, “This is a man who spent his entire life trying to throw people off his trail. This is exactly the kind of thing he’d do. It makes more sense than it doesn’t.”

(Back in the dinning room, I’d handed my mother the paper and mentioned to her about the article. Then I’d said, “That’s how Elvis did it.”)

Below is my original article on this topic.


Boxes The Secret Life of Howard Hughes…well- researched book states that Howard Hughes faked his death also.

In recent months a book has been published stating that Howard Hughes brought in a derelict to stand in for him eight years before his “reported death” in 1976. The stand-in lived as Mr. Hughes until 1976 when the stand-in passed away. At that time it was announced that Howard Hughes himself had passed away. The book states that Mr. Hughes lived for 31 years under an assumed name. I have not read this book yet myself. A friend of mine, Ron C., emailed me and made me aware of the existence of this book.

However, I have done several searches and found some very interesting articles, interviews and reviews of the book on the Internet.

Below are several links and several of the printed articles for you to peruse. I think you will find many parallels with Elvis/Jesse and his decision to leave us on August 16, 1977. Interestingly, Elvis/Jesse had originally planned his “death” to take place in 1976 also…but said he “chickened out” and so it was not carried out until 1977.

Here is a very brief excerpt from one of the articles…the link to which you will find below:

The book says eight years before his “death,” Hughes substituted a Las Vegas derelict for himself and escaped his identity yet continued to operate his business affairs until his stand-in died and his family overturned his famous will in court. It says Hughes spent his exile in the Panama Canal Zone, the Florida Panhandle, Arizona and Alabama in the privacy he craved. He assumed the identity of aircraft maintenance supervisor Verner “Nik” Nicely, the name of a real person who conveniently disappeared while working with or for the CIA in Panama.”

Click here: Musick: Howard Hughes lived on



BILL RADKE: A lot of people will tell you money doesn’t buy happiness, and they can point to a lot of wealthy, unhappy people. One of the most famous being the late billionaire Howard Hughes. But a new book makes the improbable claim that Hughes lost his money and still lived happily for a lot longer than you thought. Author Douglas Wellman, welcome to Marketplace.

WELLMAN: Thank you very much, Bill. I’m happy to be here.

RADKE: The official story is Howard Hughes died in 1976 drugged up, maybe mentally ill, emaciated. You tell a very different tale.

WELLMAN: That’s quite correct. This information came to me via a international guard major general, who was involved with a charitable organization. He was helping a woman named Eva McLelland deal with the health issues of her husband and after the husband died, she told him the story that the man in fact had not been the Verner Nicely he had claimed to be, but in fact was Howard Hughes.

RADKE: He appointed a drug-addled homeless man to fill in for him, assumed a new identity and lived secretly in Alabama with this woman, new wife, until a few years ago?

WELLMAN: Until a few year ago. Verner Nicely, as he called himself, was actually the identity of Verner Nicely, who had disappeared in the mid-60s on a CIA mission, according to his son.

RADKE: This being a business show, I have to ask: What happened to all his money?

WELLMAN: Nick, as he called himself, his response to Eva, when she asked later, where did all the money go, he said, “My relatives screwed me out of it.”

RADKE: Now this is a fantastic story and I can’t verify it. Now there is some hearsay, I wonder what it’s like for you to have written a non-fiction book that a lot of people are going to take as fiction.

WELLMAN: I had a very good friend, he came into my office. He could not help but smirking at the entire idea. Three weeks later, he saw me on the street, he ran up and grabbed me and said, “You’re right, it’s got to be true.” So yeah, it’s a little difficult.

RADKE: When I introduced you, I referred to troubled rich people teaching us that money doesn’t buy happiness. Does this version of events teach us a lesson about money?

WELLMAN: I think it does. Hughes, of course, initially reveled in his money. But when he was in the movie business, he and actress Billie Dove took off and lived in a dirt-floor cabin in Arizona, which he later commented was one of the happiest periods in his life. He was an interesting man. He spent tons of money on movies and aircraft, but his own life was very, very simple.

RADKE: Douglas Wellman thanks for joining us.

WELLMAN: Thank you so much for having me.


Douglas Wellman’s new book, Boxes: The Secret Life of Howard Hughes has been published by WriteLife ($10.95, 191 pages).


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Eva McLelland was good at keeping secrets, and she had a big one. Sworn to secrecy for thirty-one years until the death of her husband, Eva was at last able to come forward and share a story that turns twentieth century history on its head and fills in puzzling blanks in the mysterious life of the tycoon Howard Hughes. How could Hughes appear to witnesses as an emaciated, long finger-nailed, mental incompetent, yet fly a jet aircraft four months later? How could a doctor describe him as looking like a “prisoner of war,” when at the same time investment bankers, politicians, and diplomats who met him said he was articulate and well-groomed? The answer is a perfect example of the brilliance of the elusive billionaire. He simply found a mentally incompetent man to impersonate him, drawing the attention of the Internal Revenue Service and an army of lawyers who pursued him, while he conducted his business in peace from Panama with his new wife, Eva McLelland. Sound fantastic? It is. However, after seven years of research and verification, Eva’s story produces the final pieces in the mysterious puzzle that was Howard Hughes. Douglas Wellman has been a television producer and director in Hollywood since 1980. He is currently Assistant Dean of the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Deborah.


…and lastly, here is a very well written review which is published on Amazon.com 

 6 of 7 people found the following review helpful:5.0 out of 5 stars Easier to Believe It Than To Doubt It,June 24, 2010
Shirlee Severs “Photographer/Owner-Vintage Ph… (Nevada)See all my reviews(REAL NAME)
This review is from: Boxes The Secret Life of Howard Hughes (Paperback) The world believes that Howard Hughes died on April 5, 1976, at the age of 71 and that he was using the alias of “John T. Conover” when his body arrived at the morgue in Houston, Texas, on the day of his death.But the world might have to change what it believes about Howard Hughes since the publication of this book — which claims that that Howard Hughes actually lived to be 96 years old and died as recently as 2001 in Alabama after assuming another man’s identity in 1969, installing a mentally deranged drug-addict imposter in his place, and being married to one Eva Renee McLelland for 31 years.That probably sounds as outlandishly implausible to you as it did to me — before I read Boxes — The Secret Life of Howard Hughes.Boxes (the title refers to Hughes’s compulsive refusal to unpack his belongings from his beloved cardboard carry-alls) presents exhaustively researched, abundantly documented, and compellingly fascinating evidence that, to wit: In 1969, when Hughes snuck out of the Desert Inn where he’d lived in seclusion for three years, he left in his place a shell of a homeless man picked up, presumably, on the streets of Las Vegas. And that was the “Howard Hughes” the world followed as he was hauled around the world on stretchers (Bahamas, Nicaragua, Canada, back to Nicaragua, London, back to the Bahamas, and Acapulco), reportedly on his death bed for seven years, until the poor man, John T. Conover or whoever he was, died of neglect.Meanwhile, the real Howard Hughes, according to the book, moved to the Panama Canal Zone, showing up there in September 1969 as one Verner Dale Nicely and posing as an aircraft maintenance supervisor at Howard Air Force Base, and conducted his affairs through a cadre of shadowy Mormon aides, sometimes meeting high-ranking officials, flying experimental aircraft, and chatting over the phone with friends, partners, and journalists for the next many years, till he disappeared for good, living with his wife Eva in complete seclusion for the better part of 25 years.Hughes’ alter-ego, Verner Nicely, was born in 1921 in Ohio, served in the Navy during World War II, went to work in Panama for the CIA in the late 1950s, and was last heard from in late 1967 when he was assigned to the incipient War on Drugs in South America. Verner Nicely was 15 years younger, five inches shorter, and had different colored eyes than Howard Hughes, but Hughes was passing himself off as “Nik” Nicely (which he pronounced NICK-e-ly) when he met Eva McLelland in Panama in October 1969.The two were married in Panama on May 13, 1970 (more than a year before Hughes’ divorce from Jean Peters was finalized).The book is based mainly on the highly detailed (and documented, complete with photos) memories of Eva McLelland. Eva unraveled “Nik’s” secret slowly but surely through her years being married to one of the world’s great mystery men.
Indeed, this story being true, it’s about one of the richest, most famous, and most unusual men in the world pulling off one of the greatest-in-history disappearing acts.And Eva kept it a secret of her own till a year after the death of Howard “Nik” Hughes, her husband, when she told the story for the first time to Mark Miller.Miller worked for the foundation to which Eva had bequeathed some land she owned in Alabama; during their dealings, they became friends. He even accompanied Eva to Florida, where she scattered her husband’s ashes, and on the way back to Alabama she unloaded the whole tale on him. Miller didn’t fully believe her until after he’d compared her stories to the public record for more than five years.That’s when Miller brought in Douglas Wellman, the author of the eventual book. Wellman met Eva McLelland when she was in her 90s (she died in 2009 at the age of 93), did his own research, and came to the same conclusion as Miller: This was “Mrs. Howard Hughes.”The only way to know whether or not you believe this story is to read the book, judge it on its own merits, and come to your own conclusion. That’s what I did. And I came away with a warm feeling about it: that this tortured genius did find someone to love him and could, in his way, love in return.In short, it’s much more endearing to believe Boxes than the conventional wisdom about Howard Hughes, because this book has a happy ending.

Footnote to the above article:

My good friend, Susan, wrote the following to me today regarding my above article about the new book which states and documents that Howard Hughes may have faked his death also:

“Hi Linda dear, I just reread your post about Howard Hughes . It brought to memory an Elvis book I have, by Earl Greenwood called Elvis Top Secret. In chapter six of this book it talks about the relationship and friendship of Howard Hughes and Elvis Presley . Yes, it seems they knew each other and had a secret friendship . This book says Howard and Elvis first met in the mid-to-late 1950’s. They had secret phone conversations for years . Hughes advised Elvis to be most wary of those closest to him . It’s very interesting reading .”

I once read this book myself but it was at least 19 years ago (prior to the end of my newsletter publication, if memory serves me). But I did not own that book and I have no copy of it on hand now (again if memory serves me). So, I sincerely thank Susan for refreshing my memory about the Howard Hughes mentions in the Greenwood book. When I was preparing to post my article a few days ago, I knew that I had read somewhere about Elvis being friends with Howard Hughes but could not recall the places that I had read that…and so I did not mention it in my article without having documentation of that fact.   

It is also worth noting that Howard Hughes made much of his fortune from his work in the movie industry….Hmmmm!! Wonder if???  Again my thanks to Susan for coming to my rescue.


SUNDAY, APRIL 29, 2012

Here is a YouTube video showing Elvis boarding the Howard Hughes owned Hughes Airwest plane when leaving Fresno after his two shows there in April 1973.  In this footage, the name of the plane is very, very clearly shown. I provide this because of the facts I have already provided showing that Elvis was friends with Howard Hughes.  Elvis/Jesse wrote in his book that Howard Hughes was one of the people who helped him to pull off his fake death in August, 1977.

Elvis at Fresno Air Terminal, 1973

Uploaded by markinthe808 on Aug 20, 2011

April 26, 1973. Our journey to the FBO at Fresno Air Terminal to catch Elvis as he departs the day after performing his two back-to-back sold-out shows at Fresno’s Selland Arena.




A recent article which I shared included some of the facts about Howard Hughes and Elvis which further substantiated the facts which Jesse shared in his book.  Jesse wrote in his book that Mr. Hughes was one of the people who helped him to pull off his “retirement” on August 16, 1977.  

Ron wrote to me about a statement which Ed Parker made in his book:

… on page 72, he writes, “Before Elvis purchased his own jet aircraft, he periodically leased them from other airline companies. Alleghany, Ozark and Hughes’ Air West (Elvis always called their yellow jets, “screaming canaries”) were the principal aircraft leasing companies that he used.” Again it was published in 1978. One year after August 16, 1977. Ed mentioned Howard Hughes and Hughes’ Air West.

Below is a copy of this quote from Ed Parker’s book:

Ed Parker's book page 72

Also, another good friend, BlueRose shared the following collage of images which “coincidentally” shows images of Howard Hughes, Elvis, his father Vernon, Dr. Nic and the Hughes Airwest planes.

BlueRose writes:  “there are no coincidences….”  

Howard Hughes Elvis collage

I extend my heartfelt thanks to Ron and BlueRose for their invaluable contribution this time and in times past.



Below is another photo of Elvis deplaning from a Hughes Airwest plane.

Elvis leaving a Hughes plane in 1973 Elvis Presley Life Thru A Lens

Photo from:  Elvis Presley  Life Thru A Lens on Facebook


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