In those daysof the "Space Race", 1960's there was a lot of student involvement just to boost patriotism, many sub programs at school's I remember many nights in Jr. High out on the baseball field looking up through the science teachers 6" scope, it looked huge to us.
Interestingly enough he was a member of the "Flat Earth Society" too, made us all chuckle a bit, our school had a few small refractors that could be checked out for the weekends, the skies were a lot clearer then, Jupiter was my first light discovery then and it still holds me to the eyepiece now.
I don't know how much truth is in the guy's story, but would you begrudge an old astronomer his glory days?
I wish I had more time to spend with him,
Whether or not facts are embellished about the mirror, I wouldn't know,
Would I personally pay that much for an 8" ?
Only if there was some documentation of it's past and of it's optic quality.
I just accepted request to list it, it's up to him to sell, it is a beautiful scope in pristine condition for its age, near 50yrs give or take.
I don't have a camera that can get a real clear pic of the write up, do what you can with it, sorry.
I had a Meade 8" on a very similar pillar mount in the early 90's, battery powered clock drive, that's the scope I learned polar alignment, and found M57 with only Will Triton pointing the way.