Air Force Officer Missing For 35 Years Found Living In California

Air Force Capt. William Howard Hughes Jr. shown in a decades-old official Air Force

US Air Force deserter found after 35 years

The Air Force Office of Special Investigations has said that a fugitive captain has been apprehended in California after being declared a deserter nearly 35 years ago.

"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 US Air Force in 1983". In July 1983, Hughes had been assigned to temporary duty in the Netherlands to work with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation officers "on the operations of Airborne Warning and Control electronic surveillance aircraft" but never resurfaced after leaving for Europe.

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. He allegedly told investigators that he became depressed while serving in the Air Force so he left and created a new identity for himself. The Air Force didn't say where in California Hughes had lived under the O'Bierne name, or what charges he faces.

Following his arrest, Hughes was charged with desertion and is being held at Travis Air Force Base in California.

Pictured, William Howard Hughes Jr.in 1983.William Howard Hughes Jr. why did he disappear and where did he go?

What do we know about Capt Hughes?

He was last sent overseas, to the Netherlands, on July 18, 1983, to work with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) officers.

Democrats, McCain criticize Trump for G7 comments
Trump said the final outcome would lead either to a better agreement on NAFTA or separate trade deals with both Canada and Mexico. U.S. stock indexes initially dipped on Friday, partly due to investor nervousness over the G7 summit, but later turned positive.

But Card said no classified information leaks are suspected, nor is there an indication that Hughes was involved with the Soviet Union, but the investigation is ongoing.

The veteran specialized in radar surveillance.

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.

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.

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.

In the years after Hughes went missing, a slew of NASA catastrophes, such as the space shuttle Challenger disaster of 1986, as well as the explosion of the Ariane rocket in French Guinea, caused national security commentators to speculate whether the disasters were related and possibly the result of Soviet sabotage. Those officers suggested Hughes may have been linked to possible sabotage of some failed US and French rocket launches.

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

Latest News