Howard Hughes Crash
On July 7, 1946, Howard Hughes undertakes the first flight of his XF-11, designed to be the highest, fastest spy plane of its time. But the propeller fails, leaving Hughes without power. He crashes in Beverly Hills, destroying two homes and scarring himself for life.
A man in Laramie, WY owns a 1940s altimeter he received from his father, who claimed it came from the fiery crash. He’d been a Hughes employee for over 34 years and was there the day of the accident. Based on this altimeter’s near-perfect condition, experts are skeptical of its connection to the crash, but footage from Martin Scorcese’s The Aviator and a visit to Hughes’ “Spruce Goose” at the Evergreen Aviation Museum could challenge this assertion.
History Detectives determines if the altimeter can be traced back to America’s first billionaire.
Season 5, Episode 6
Tukufu Zuberi Location:
Los Angeles and McMinnville, Oregon
- Also in Season 5 Red Cloud Letter How was a leader of the Lakota people connected with the controversial sculptor of Mount Rushmore?
- Also in Post War: 1945-1960 Pop Lloyd Baseball Field Why was this baseball field named after an African-American ballplayer in a time of racial tension?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Wartime Baseball Is this baseball evidence of an unusual ballgame that took place during segregation?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Liberia Letter Does this letter help to trace one freed man’s dream to return to Africa?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Civil War Sabotage? The steamship Sultana exploded one night in 1865, killing more than 1,800 people. Was the disaster a result of Civil War sabotage?
- Related Investigation The Ni'ihau Incident What do these metal parts reveal about the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor?
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