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have any tangible proof that it's Hughes. So we got close to
publishing time when Hughes's associate--oh, what was his
name?--who'd worked with him, blew the whistle. And at first, we
questioned his motive--whether he was really blowing the whistle or
whether there was something else involved. Whether Hughes had
changed his mind at the last moment--and Hughes has been known to
change his mind every five seconds on occasions. Well, the rest, as
they say, is history. Clifford Irving had pulled off one of the best
hoaxes ever. It's a shame, too, because it was a hell of a good
What was the significance of this whole hoax at LIFE or for
Oh, it was a terrible blow to all of us! To us and to
What kind of blow? You mean a public relations blow?
Sure! A credibility blow! Yes. Very embarrassing.
Well, that coincided with the last year of LIFE. Do you--I mean,
was it just one more depressing event, or--
The best way to put it is we didn't need that, too.
Since we're on that subject: what was your thinking through the
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