Missing Air Force officer found 35 years later

Ex-Kirtland AFB officer missing since 1983 found

Ex-Kirtland AFB officer missing since 1983 found

But federal authorities were interviewing a man named Barry O'Beirne last Tuesday as part of a passport fraud investigation, and when they challenged him over his identity's inconsistencies, he said he was Hughes and had deserted the Air Force in 1983, the news release said.

Responding to Hughes' claims of deserting the air-force cause he was depressed, AFOSI spokeswoman Linda Card said there were many more questions to be answered as the investigation continues.

Air Force Capt. William Howard Hughes Jr. started at Kirtland in 1981, working on NATO's command, control and communications surveillance systems.

Capt Hughes worked at the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center in Kirtland, New Mexico.

A U.S. Air Force officer with top-secret clearance was reportedly found 35 years after he was declared missing. Hughes created a fake identity and lived under the pseudonym "Barry O'Beirne" for over three decades.

A former Air Force officer, Howard Hughes Jr., was missing for over 35 years.

Finally, they obtained surveillance video that captured him withdrawing more than $28,000 from 19 different banks in the Albuquerque area on July 22.

At the time of his disappearance, the 31-year-old office had top secret security clearance, working on "classified planning and analysis of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation command, control and communications surveillance systems", United States military journal Stars and Stripes reports.

U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations shows William Howard Hughes Jr. Hughes a Kirtland Air Force Base officer with top security clearance who disappeared 35 years ago who has been found in California. The Air

He had just completed a stint in the Netherlands, where he worked with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation officers on the Airborne Warning and Control electronic surveillance aircraft.

He was supposed to be back in Albuquerque by August of that year.

"We do not feel he disappeared voluntarily", his sister, Christine Hughes, said in a 1984 Associated Press article, according to USA Today.

It is unknown whether family had been in contact with Hughes or knew of his whereabouts following his 1983 disappearance. There were even rumors he might have been defected to the Soviet Union.

However, Linda Card, a spokeswoman for the air force office of special investigations, told the Albuquerque Journal that investigators now see "no indication that he had any classified information or that he gave any classified information".

"He is worth his weight in gold to the Russians in terms of future 'Star Wars, ' if we have them", one intelligence officer told the Times.

"They (AFOSI investigators) said at this point there's no indication that he had any classified information or that he gave any classified information..."

Capt Hughes is now being held at Travis Air Force Base in California, a statement from the USAF's office of special investigations said. He could face up to five years of confinement, forfeiture of all pay and dishonorable discharge from the Air Force. "Until we have the whole story, we don't have the story". Hughes also had top security clearance and deserted his post on July 25, 1983.

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