Howard Hughes' Secret Life/ Autistic Boy's Messages

Hosted byRichard Syrett

Howard Hughes' Secret Life/ Autistic Boy's Messages

About the show

In the first half, researchers Mark Musick and Douglas Wellman joined Richard Syrett to discuss the history-changing story of Eva McLelland and her reclusive life married to a mystery man she discovered was Howard Hughes. Wellman described Hughes as a genius who was on the cutting edge of everything from aviation to satellite communication. According to Wellman, Hughes annoyed everyone with whom he worked and his life was eventually overrun by lawyers. He vanished from public life and replaced himself with body doubles, Wellman revealed, noting the last photo taken of Hughes was in 1954.

Hughes began using body double Brucks Randell in 1957, Wellman continued. Even Hughes' chief aide did not physically see him from 1958 through 1973, he added. According to Musick, people either saw a charming, healthy, in command Hughes or what appeared to be a drug-addicted, mentally incompetent man."We have two separate Hughes characters: the one he's got to throw people off his trail and the one who shows up when he has to in order to keep his businesses running," Wellman said.

Only five aides, including Bill Gay, knew the whole story, Musick disclosed. He reported on his first meeting with Eva McLelland, who he met in 2001 after her husband had died. McLelland confessed that she had been married to Hughes, who had changed his appearance as well as his name. Musick pointed out that her story was consistent every time she told it and his investigation supported what she had told him. "I concluded after four years of really not believing [McLelland]... what's she telling me is absolutely the truth," Musick said.


During the second half of the program, Tahni Cullen shared her own spiritual struggle and her family’s journey with son Josiah, who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (nonverbal, low functioning, severe) at an early age. At 7 years old, Josiah began typing words on his iPad, revealing surprising wisdom from such a young, nonverbal child, including messages that seemed to come from Beyond.

Josiah expressed an interest in the iPad and used a picture-based communication app to speak with us, Cullen explained. He had a hard time putting together actual puzzles at his therapy center, but on the iPad he could solve puzzles very quickly, she added. Josiah was eventually taught a simple communication technique in which he could spell and learn by pointing to letters. Cullen recalled the day she was reading Josiah a passage from a children's Bible about Jesus healing a blind man, and Josiah replied, "God is a good gift giver," his first ever independent sentence. "It was at that moment that something divine, something supernatural, something intersected our lives that changed our lives forever," she said.

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