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Melvin Dummar
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    (August 28, 1944- )
    Former gas station owner in Willard, Utah
    Claimed to have encountered Howard Hughes wandering in the desert and given him a ride to Las Vegas
    Was allegedly left 1/16th of the Hughes estate in a will discovered at Mormon church headquarters
    Inheritance would have been worth $156 million
    Will ruled to be a forgery (1978)
    He claimed he had never seen the will before.
    Then his fingerprint was discovered on the envelope the will had come in, and he changed his story to say that a man had dropped the envelope off at his gas station with a note to deliver it to the president of the Mormon church in Salt Lake City.
    The purported will was rife with spelling errors, named as executor a man who had quit the Hughes organization years earlier, and referred to Hughes' H4 Hercules flying boat as 'the Spruce Goose,' a nickname Hughes hated and never used.
    His wife Bonnie worked for a magazine called 'Millionaire,' where she had access to Hughes' signature.
    Nearly three decades after the will had been ruled a forgery, he sued the main beneficiaries of the Hughes estate, claiming they had conspired to defraud him (2007).
    He lost again, with the Federal District Court ruling his claim had been 'fully and fairly' decided in 1978.
    His story's credibility was boosted when former Hughes pilot Robert Diero came forward to claim that he frequently flew Hughes to a brothel located near the place where Dummar claimed to have met the billionaire.
    Of more than a hundred bogus claims made against the Hughes estate, his was the most memorable.
    He inspired Jonathan Demme's award-winning film 'Melvin and Howard.'
    Roger Ebert wrote, 'Dummar is the kind of guy who thinks they ought to make a movie out of his life. This time, he was right.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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