Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

US Air Force Nabs Deserter After 35 Years

US Air Force Nabs Deserter After 35 Years

Instead, investigators said Capt. Hughes went to 19 Albuquerque bank branches and withdrew a total of $28,500 from his account.

Capt Hughes was living under the name Barry O'Beirne, but investigators unravelled his story after spotting inconsistencies and he later admitted his real identity.

Military.com reported the former airman deserting his office and purportedly using the alias, Barry O'Beirne as noted in a fake passport.

He said that he had been depressed about being in the air force, so chose to leave and create a new identity - since then, he has been living in California.

Hughes is at Travis Air Force Base awaiting pre-trial confinement.

USA deserters can face a number of charges once they are found, including prison time, being dishonourably discharged and losing pay. That would be "totally out of character for the Bill we knew", she said.

He was assigned to the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center at Kirtland AFB, in New Meixco where his duties included classified planning and analysis of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation command, control, and communications surveillance systems. He had top secret clearance.

His duties included classified planning and analysis of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation command, control and communications surveillance during the Cold War. "Due to his access to classified information he was declared a fugitive and was on a list of the USAF's seven most wanted individuals", says the BBC.

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
Air Force Officer Wanted For Desertion Found After 35 Years On The Run

Officials do not know whether his family knew his whereabouts beforehand.

An Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) spokeswoman told the Albuquerque Journal that there's no indication Hughes was involved with the Soviet Union or that any classified information was leaked.

"Until we have the whole story, we don't have the story", Card said. Hughes was recently apprehended 35 years after he is alleged to have deserted.

What were some of theories of why he disappeared?

Hughes' sister, Christine Hughes, told the Associated Press in a January 1984 article that the family believed he had been abducted, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

His vehicle was found at the Albuquerque airport and a search of his home in the 1900 block of Chandelle Loop NE revealed notes of planned activities and books to read upon his return, according to reports. Hughes, a Seattle native was arrested without incident on Wednesday.

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. Those officers suggested Hughes may have been linked to possible sabotage of some failed US and French rocket launches.

"He is worth his weight in gold to the Russians in terms of future 'Star Wars, ' if we have them", Szulc quotes an unidentified intelligence officer as telling him.

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