In the midst of his birthday celebration in Abu Dhabi, Southampton billionaire Derwood Hodgegrass sent out a cryptic teaser on Facebook at around 2 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17. The message, coupled with a picture of a sleek, grey DNA strand, noted, “I have a big new project in the works. An announcement will be forthcoming.” (see screenshot below)
Hodgegrass was not available for comment on Tuesday, but one of his assistants said the billionaire would be sharing one of the many ideas and innovations coming out of his Elysium Workshop think tank—which was also responsible for Hodgegrass’s much maligned Sea-Lysium VII ocean warming device, as well as his snow elimination system: Sky-Lysium 1.0 and the accompanying SnowBlank rockets.
“Oh, man, this one is going to cause some serious waves back in the States,” the Hodgegrass staffer said, while also acknowledging that the DNA strand image is actually relevant to the new project. “That’s really all I can say at this time, but Derwood is giving the world a gift that will grow in importance with each passing generation.” He noted that the announcement would likely come before the weekend, “if Derwood decides he’s finished with Abu Dhabi and Dubai by then—and if he actually gets some sleep before Friday.”
Friends partying with Hodgegrass in United Arab Emirates say the eccentric Hamptonite has always taken umbrage at sharing his birthday with St. Patrick’s Day. “The Emirates is pretty well removed from American and European St. Patrick’s celebrations—no one is wearing green in Abu Dhabi today,” Hodgegrass’s longtime friend and attorney Howard Sneed said, shouting over sounds of thumping music and laughter, during a brief phone conversation on Tuesday. “He and the Prince are are dragging us all over the place on this insane yacht,” Sneed continued, naming Hungarian artist Nisan Täuschen among their companions on Tuesday and listing a few luxe destinations, such as the sprawling Ferrari World and several islands around the city, before abruptly hanging up.
Hodgegrass is said to visit the United Arab Emirates several times each year, spending much of his time with an unnamed local royal—known only as “the Prince”—who is rumored to keep a harem of sorts for his visiting Hamptonite pal. Some of Hodgegrass’s most over-the-top displays of wealth in the Hamptons appear to be directly inspired by his experiences on the Persian Gulf, according to insiders.