Air force officer, missing for 35 years, found in California



Missing air force captain found after 35 years

Air force: Captain William Howard Hughes found in California living under the name Barry O’Beirne. Jennifer Griffin has the story.

An air force officer — that was involved in classified planning and analysis of the NATO-control and for the last seen record of more than $ 28,000 in 1983– is found in California.

William Howard Hughes, Jr, a former Kirtland Air Force Base officer with top security clearance, was arrested in his home after an investigation of fraud where a false identity which he had used, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations said in a press release.

Hughes was charged with desertion and is being held at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield.

Hughes, a captain, was in command, and communication systems during the Cold War. He has specialized in radar surveillance.

He was 33 years old and single when he disappeared, according to news reports from the time of his disappearance.

This undated photo released by the U.S. air force shows Captain William Howard Hughes, Jr., which was officially declared a deserter by the air force Dec. 9, 1983.

(Air force photo via AP)

Hughes was last seen withdrawing thousands in Albuquerque in the summer of 1983 after returning from a two-week vacation in Europe.

He had just completed a stint in the Netherlands, where he worked with the NATO officers on the Airborne Warning and Control electronic surveillance aircraft. He was supposed to be back in Albuquerque, in August of that year.

“Interviews of friends, acquaintances and colleagues failed to disclose information about Hughes’ whereabouts,” OSI said. “The checks with law enforcement agencies both in the United States and abroad is also not succeeded to find him.”

An Office of Special Investigations spokeswoman told the Albuquerque Journal that there is no indication that Hughes was involved in the Soviet Union, or that a secret information is leaked.

Hughes told authorities after his arrest Wednesday that he was depressed about the fact that in the air force and decided to leave. He created a false identity and lived in California ever since.

It is unclear whether he had a lawyer who can respond to his name.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Edmund Initiative is a news editor for Follow him on Twitter @EDeMarche.

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