Air Force officer who vanished in 1983 is found in California

Clay Curtis
June 12, 2018

The U.S. State Department was investigating Hughes - who claimed to be "Barry O'Beirne" - for possible passport fraud when he revealed his true identity. Inside his townhouse they discovered a to-do list and a list of books Hughes planned to read upon his return.

After the Air Force formally declared Hughes a deserter in December 1983, his family said in an Associated Press article printed in the Journal on January 20, 1984, they believed he had been abducted.

Prior to his disappearance, Hughes was last seen in New Mexico withdrawing a total of $28,500 from his bank account at 19 different branch locations. His sister Christine said, "We do not feel he disappeared voluntarily", detailed the Albuquerque Journal.

The Air Force Office of Special Investigations said in a news release this week that it had captured William Howard Hughes, Jr., at his home after a fraud investigation involving a fake identity he had been using.

As it turns out, it appears to be exactly what Hughes did. Nevertheless speculation persisted that Hughes may have been abducted by or defected to the Soviets. Hughes was arrested at his residence without incident June 6 on charges of desertion, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations announced in a news release Thursday.

Although Hughes told the authorities he abandoned his air force career because he had gotten "depressed", and assumed a fake identity before settling down in California, the AFOSI authorities said there were a number of questions that still remain unanswered regarding his disappearance, which will be revealed as investigation into his actions continued.

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At the time of his disappearance, Hughes was in his early thirties.

In the wake of those disasters, Los Angeles Times journalist Tad Szulc reported in July of 1986 that intelligence officers believed the rockets may have been sabotaged with Hughes' help. Hughes also had top security clearance and deserted his post on July 25, 1983. Investigators were interviewing a man claiming to be Barry O'Beirne. Some believed that the perpetrators were from the Soviet Union.

"Interviews of friends, associates and coworkers failed to disclose information regarding Hughes' whereabouts", the AFOSI wrote. Although Hughes had access to "U.S".

Hughes was taken into custody by special agents from the Travis Air Force Base and is being held at the military base.

A spokeswoman for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations told the Albuquerque Journal there's no sign Hughes leaked classified information or was involved with the Soviet Union, but that investigations are underway.

"Until we have the whole story, we don't have the story", Ms Card said. He could face up to five years of confinement, forfeiture of all pay and dishonorable discharge from the Air Force.

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