How Howard Hughes And A Fake Will Changed Melvin Dummar's Life
Some 50 years ago, a Nevada man picked up a stranger on the road in Nye County. It was dark. The man was lying in the dirt. He was haggard.
He gave the man a ride.
Melvin Dummar said the man he picked up was none other than billionaire Howard Hughes.
When Hughes died nine years later in 1976, a handwritten will turned up in Utah. The will stated that Hughes wanted to give 1/16th of his estate to go to none other than Melvin Dummar.
Dummar died a week ago. But Geoff Schumacher had interviewed him for his book, “ Howard Hughes: Power, Paranoia and Palace Intrigue." He talked to State of Nevada about how that fateful meeting changed Melvin Dummar's life, and not for the better.
During that long 1967 road trip from rural Nevada to Las Vegas, the man he picked up told Dummar that was, in fact, Hughes.
“Dummar was very skeptical of this, as anyone probably would be,” Schumacher told State of Nevada.
Schumacher said Dummar would tell later people he forgot about the incident until a mysterious visitor and a hand-written will showed up at a Utah gas station where he worked. The visitor quickly disappeared but Dummar pursued his case, and a Las Vegas jury rejected the will as a fake after a months-long trial.
“When I interviewed Dummar, and I spent two and half hours with him, I don’t believe he was lying to me,” Schumacher “I believe he picked somebody up in the desert as he was coursing from Gabbs, Nevada, to Las Vegas. I do not believe it was Howard Hughes.”
Schumacher is writing an article about his time with Dummar for the January issue of Desert Companion magazine, which is published by Nevada Public Radio.
Geoff Schumacher, author, "Howard Hughes: Power, Paranoia and Palace Intrigue"