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One of the great political mysteries — what was said by President Nixon during a suspicious 18-minute gap on the Watergate tapes — could soon be solved thanks to a keen-eyed amateur sleuth and modern crime-fighting technology
“Wow — I suddenly realised that at the top of page two, the discussion of Watergate was ending,” Mr Mellinger told The Times, “The first page of notes went right up to the time they started discussing Watergate. I believe page two was about the last minute of the 18-minute discussion.”
Mr Mellinger has convinced the archives to subject the existing notes to electrostatic detection analysis, which can capture indentations on paper. The hope is that what was written on the allegedly missing pages can be recreated.
Electrostatic Detection Apparatus
ESDA is designed principally for the examination of single page documents, which are placed carefully over a gentle vacuum and then covered with an aerosol and/or glass beads. An electrostatic charge is induced over the document, and the combination of the vacuum and the static charge on the aerosol and glass beads highlights indentations by filling the grooves with visible material.