The Aviator LbNA # 61945
|Placed Date||May 26 2012|
|Location||Spring Creek Greenway Trail - Phase II, Humble, TX|
Howard Robard Hughes, Jr., an aviator and film director, was born on September 24, 1905, in Humble, Texas. He was a businessman, film producer, film director, and aviator. While he is largely known for being one of the wealthiest men and one of the most famous recluses, Hughes had many professional accomplishments before withdrawing from public life. Son of a successful oil drill tool manufacturer, he inherited the family business in 1923 at the age of 18. He used some of his fortune to finance films, beginning in 1926. He produced several movies, including the World War I epic "Hell's Angels" (1930), which featured expensive aerial fight sequences and a then-unknown actress named Jean Harlow. Some of his other significant films were "Scarface" (1932) and "The Outlaw" (1941). During his days in Hollywood, Hughes developed a reputation for being a playboy, dating such actresses as Katherine Hepburn, Ava Gardner, and Ginger Rogers.
Hughes developed a passion for flying and founded his own aircraft company in the early 1930s. Besides designing and building planes, he risked his own life several times testing planes and setting new world air speed records in the mid- to late 1930s. While he is credited with many aviation innovations, such as the first retractable landing gear, he is also remembered for one of his biggest flops—the Spruce Goose. Hughes labored on this oversized wooden sea-plane for years, finishing it in 1947. It was only flown once. After a terrible plane crash in 1946, Hughes began to retreat from the world. He bought part of RKO Pictures in 1948, but he never visited the studio. In the 1960s, he lived on the top floor of the Desert Inn in Las Vegas, Nevada, and conducted all of his business from his hotel suite. Few people ever saw him, which led to much public speculation and rumors about his activities. It was thought that he suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder and had a drug problem. Hughes eventually left Las Vegas and began living abroad. In 1971 an allegedly authorized biography of famed recluse was announced, but it turned out to be a scam. The authors were later imprisoned for fraud.
Hughes died on April 5, 1976. After his death, numerous fake versions of his will surfaced, leading to a battle over his fortune. In 2004, Hughes' life returned to the spotlight with the feature film The Aviator, which depicted his early days. Leonardo DiCaprio played the billionaire as a dashing, troubled young man. He was nominated for an Academy Award.
From Highway 59 go west on FM 1960 to Kenswick Drive and go right to Jesse H. Jones Park. Drive past the Nature Center, turn left and park in the next lot on the left near the Judy Overby Bell Trailhead.
Walk west on the Judy Overby Bell Trail a little over 1 mile to the bridge that crosses over Cypress Creek. Study the large map on the right to see where you are. Cross over the bridge and, from its end, count about 140 steps. You should see a couple of "Stump Chairs" on the right. Have a seat. Behind you, about 20 steps into the woods, there is a large Loblolly Pine tree. Behind it, hanging on a Yaupon bush, about 3 feet off the ground, you will find the box. Be sure to seal bag and box and hang it back where you found it.