Past Imperfect
Case 39 focuses on cases of disappearance,
perfectionism, excessive control, and

Howard Hughes was well known as an aviator,
movie producer, and billionaire. He died April
5, 1976, after 10 years of reclusion in, among
other places, a hotel room in the Desert Inn
Hotel in Las Vegas. He produced several films:
Scarface, Hells‘ Angels, Invasion U.S.A. and in
1956 The Conqueror, with John Wayne in the
leading role of Genghis Kahn. The Conqueror was
shot in the Nevada desert in 1954. This was
also the ground of the Nevada test sites where
in the 1950’s, more than 100 nuclear tests have
been executed. The fall-out of the nuclear
tests stretched over large parts of the United
States. The dust was ever present, cast and
crew of The Conqueror rolled through the sand
during the countless fighting scenes and played
with Geiger counters (which reacted). People
living in that area (declared ‘safe’ by the
authorities) had parties and pick-nicks in the
sand. Howard Hughes shipped 60 tons of Nevada
desert sand to a Hollywood studio, to rebuild
scenes for extra shooting. Many of the people
Past Imperfect

present in the area of the Nevada test sites died of radioactive diseases, including many of those working with The Conqueror. Hughes took The Conqueror out of distribution, leaving only him to be able to watch the movie over and over again. The Nevada Desert is close to Las Vegas, only 150 miles from the Desert Inn Hotel. Hughes, a spider in the political and corporate web, bribed and manipulated several presidents, among them Nixon, to stop nuclear testing on his doorstep.
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