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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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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