When the skeletal remains of Hollywood screenwriter Gary Devore were found strapped into his Ford Explorer submerged beneath the California Aqueduct in 1998 it brought an end to one of America's most high profile missing person cases.
The fact that Devore was on his way to deliver a film script that promised to explain the 'real reason' why the US invaded Panama, has long given rise to a slew of conspiracies surrounding the nature of his 'accidental' death.
It didn't help that Devore's hands were missing from the crash scene, along with the script, and that investigators could offer no plausible explanation as to how a car could leave the highway and end up in the position it was found a year after he disappeared.
Now the Daily Mail can exclusively reveal that Devore was working with the CIA in Panama and even a White House source concedes his mysterious death bears all the hallmarks of a cover-up.
The findings, published in a new documentary The Writer With No Hands, are the first testimonies ever aired that give credence to the theories that surrounded the case in the late 90s.
Chillingly, the British research team - which was warned to drop the investigation by a Department of Defense contractor - has also secured testimony from the coroner which reveals the human hands said to be recovered from Devore's car were in fact around 200 years old.
'Someone in authority lied. Or made a shocking error,' producer Dr Matthew Alford tells Daily Mail.
'There could be an innocent explanation for the hands but it is as extraordinary as the conspiracy theory and very suspicious.'
Devore, who wrote Dogs Of War, Raw Deal and Time Cop, had been working on his directorial debut: The Big Steal.
Once a truck driver, he had made a successful career shift into Hollywood. He was a friend to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tommy Lee Jones's best man, and ex-boyfriend of Janet Jackson.
The Big Steal, he told friends, would be 'the hardest hitting film studios have ever seen', featuring 'disturbing details' about the US invasion of Panama.
The first draft of the script, shown exclusively to the Daily Mail, tells the story of American operatives robbing a Panamanian bank to cover up for 'something much more serious'.
One line reads: 'With good natured suspicion, Romos speculates on US intent. All this to pick up Noriega?'
Another: 'It sounds like the Pentagon planned the bank robbery and the war is just a diversion.'
Devore's research for the end product included an article from London's now defunct Sunday Correspondent alleging dictator General Manuel Noriega had compiled a stash of sex tapes featuring top-ranking US officials.
Noriega, the article explains, ran a well-known 'honey trap': inviting diplomats to his home filled with alcohol, drugs, beautiful women, and beautiful men - and covertly filming their antics.
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