Deserter

Missing Air Force Officer Found in California After 35 Years

A U.S. Air Force officer with top-secret clearance who went missing 35 years ago has been found living under an assumed name in California. Capt. William Howard Hughes Jr. was last seen in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in July 1983 withdrawing $28,500 from his bank account at 19 different branch locations, according to the Air Force. At the time of his disappearance, Hughes had top-secret clearance with access to U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization secret information. “During a passport-fraud investigation, the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service interviewed an individual claiming to be Barry O’Beirne,” the Air Force said in a statement. “After being confronted with inconsistencies about his identity, the individual admitted his true name was William Howard Hughes Jr., and that he deserted from the U.S. Air Force in 1983.”