“The disappearance of the Sea Dragon did not trigger an immediate search. In fact, it wasn't until a full six weeks had passed that the U. S. Navy rather reluctantly mounted one. Recriminations concerning the costs of the massive and unsuccessful search for Amelia Earhart almost two years previous were still on the minds of Depression-strapped politicos. In addition, there were those who wouldn't have put it past Halliburton to have staged a ’disappearance’ to generate additional publicity for his stint at the 1939 San Francisco Exposition. There had been reports that he had confided in friends before the voyage that he ‘might just disappear.’ ”
There were other, more off the wall speculations, some of which were quite bizarre like the one which suggested that he might be emulating Rip Van Winkle and would pop up again twenty years later then write a book about it. One less bizarre but still quite off the wall was as recalled in my book;
“The Halliburton legend did not die slowly. Reports of sightings kept cropping up. In a letter sent to Bill Alexander by a mutual acquaintance some time after Halliburton's disappearance came this fanciful surmise. ‘We keep hearing strange rumors about Halliburton - the latest being that they were in Mexico - having brought over a cargo of opium and couldn't get back into the United States - I didn't understand quite why - but that one's supposed to have come from two sources - I don't know what to think - I still keep hoping Paul's alive, naturally --.‘ ”
As time passed it became obvious that all speculation, bizarre and otherwise, was unfortunately just that. An American icon of his times was irretrievably gone. The last line, "The rest is silence," in the1940 Bobbs Merrill book composed chiefly of his letters to his beloved parents, Richard Halliburton His Story of His Life’s Adventure, aptly sums up the ultimate truth.