Mel Gibson's father—once known for his anti-Semitism and rather eccentric Catholic views—died May 11 in Thousand Oaks, Calif., the New York Times reports. His death went unreported at the time, even by family; only California records revealed his passing. But Hutton Gibson, who lived to 101, did make headlines during his lifetime. In 2003 he told the Times that 9/11 planes were run by remote control and the Holocaust didn't kill so many Jews after all: "Go and ask an undertaker or the guy who operates the crematorium what it takes to get rid of a dead body," he said. "It takes one liter of petrol and 20 minutes. Now, six million?" He added in a 2004 radio interview that the Holocaust was "maybe not all fiction—but most of it is."
His words coincided with Mel directing of The Passion of the Christ and led to a rift between Mel and two major studios. Hutton also belonged to a Catholic splinter group that adhered to 16th century orthodoxy and ran its own schools and chapels. Newsweek notes that Hutton was recognized among Catholic traditionalists for his anti-Vatican views and newsletters he wrote like "Is the Pope Catholic?" and "The Enemy Is Still Here!" Born in Peekskill, NY, in 1918, Hutton served in the Marines, was married twice, had six sons and five daughters, and became a Jeopardy! grand champion. He later lived in West Virginia, where he drove 300 miles to a traditionalist church in Pennsylvania—until a "power struggle" erupted and Hutton left to set up a church of his own, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported at the time. (Read more obituary stories.)