US Air Force deserter found after 35 years

12 June, 2018, 00:57 | Author: Carlos George
  • U.S. Air Force who was formally declared a deserter on Dec. 9 1983. He was apprehended

A U.S. Air Force officer who went missing in 1983 was found last week, living in California.

The missing airman's arrest follows Hughes having been involved in classified planning and analysis of NATO's control, command and communications surveillance systems during the Cold War. He was last seen in New Mexico withdrawing $28,500 from his bank account at 19 different branch locations, the Air Force said in a statement.

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

William Howard Hughes Jr., who disappeared in 1983 and was living under an assumed name in California, was discovered this month after a passport fraud investigation found inconsistencies with his identity, according to CNN.

Special agents from Travis Air Force Base took Hughes into custody at his California home Wednesday and he is being held at the base, the Air Force said.

Pictured, William Howard Hughes Jr.in 1983.William Howard Hughes Jr. why did he disappear and where did he go? If convicted, he might face maximum penalties of dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and confinement of five years.

He had been sent to the Netherlands July 18, 1983, to work with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation officers and was due back in Albuquerque on August 1, the Air Force said.

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TaskandPurpose reported Hughes' vehicle being 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.

Capt Hughes worked at the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center in Kirtland, New Mexico. That would be "totally out of character for the Bill we knew", she said.

There was even speculation that Hughes may have been abducted by or defected to the Soviets.

Hughes, a captain at Kirtland Air Force Base, was 33 and single when he vanished, according to news reports from the time of his disappearance. 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.

His family did not appear to know about his disappearance with the Albuquerque Journal reporting that his sisters said at the time that they thought he might have been abducted. Those officers suggested Hughes may have been linked to possible sabotage of some failed US and French rocket launches.

Linda Card, spokeswoman for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, told the Albuquerque Journal that at this stage, investigators have had "no indication that he had any classified information or that he gave any classified information".

"Until we have the whole story, we don't have the story", she told the newspaper.

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