The Clue for Solving the 18 1/2 Minute Watergate Mystery

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On Wednsday, I reported that the National Archives is considering using a CSI-ish procedure that could produce clues as to what was said during the infamous 18 and 1/2 minutes missing on one of Nixon’s Watergate tapes. The story got much attention, and several Watergate historians–who often don’t agree on anything–told me they each are hoping that the testing yields something.

The procedure, which is rather straightforward and can be done relatively quickly, would try to determine if there are tell-tale indented impressions on one of the two pages of Nixon chief of staff Bob Haldeman’s notes from this meeting–impressions that might have come from possibly missing notes that correspond to the 18 and 1/2 minute gap.

Today, I received an image of that particular page.

Does it literally hold the key to solving this Watergate mystery?

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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