Missing Air Force officer found 35 years later

Missing Air Force officer found 35 years later

He was supposed to return to Albuquerque, N.M., on August 1 of that year. But no one ever saw him again.

His vehicle sat in the Albuquerque airport's parking lot.

Captain William Howard Hughes Jr was last seen on 25 July 1983, when he withdrew a total of $28,500 (£21,300) from 19 bank branches around Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he was stationed following his return from service in Europe.

Then his picture appeared on the news and TV satellite trucks showed up Monday on their quiet, tree-lined street in Daly City, just south of San Francisco, and it became clear their neighbor was not who they had thought.

There was even speculation that Hughes may have been abducted by or defected to the Soviets. That would be "totally out of character for the Bill we knew", she said.

"We do not feel he disappeared voluntarily", his sister, Christine Hughes, had said, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

Investigators previous year caught a fugitive in Florida who had been living under another identity since 1972. 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. 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.

William Howard Hughes Jr. was arrested at his home after a fraud investigation, the air force Office of Special Investigations said in a press release.


Hughes has claimed that he was depressed about his time in the Air Force and so made a decision to leave.

A high ranking Air Force officer who had gone missing 35 years ago, was apprehended by officials in California. Hughes's disappearance, in the eyes of some, fit right into the puzzle.

In 1985 and 1986, several French and American rocket ships failed to launch properly and subsequently exploded, including the Challenger space shuttle.

"Szulc quoted an unidentified intelligence officer who told him, "[Hughes] is worth his weight in gold to the Russians in terms of future 'Star Wars, ' if we have them".

In retrospect, William Howard Hughes, Jr. was maybe not the kind of guy you wanted to guard your national security.

Military officials said Hughes had access only to secret information pertinent to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Although Hughes had access to "U.S". Friends and co-workers also didn't provide any information, the Air Force said.

Investigators with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations "said at this point there's no indication that he had any classified information or that he gave any classified information", AFOSI spokeswoman Linda Card told the Journal.

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