General Discussion -  KAFB officer, missing since 1983, found (152 views) Notify me whenever anyone posts in this discussion.Subscribe
From: Marci (marcinmin) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by hostJun-10 11:37 AM 
To: All  (1 of 5) 

Albq Journal: On Jan. 17, 1984, a front-page Albuquerque Journal headline announced “Kirtland Launches Search for Officer Missing 5 Months.”

That officer, Capt. William Howard Hughes Jr., was apprehended in California on Wednesday, more than 30 years after his mysterious disappearance.

According to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI), the State Department was recently investigating a man claiming to be “Barry O’Beirne” during a passport fraud inquiry.

“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,” an AFOSI news release reads.

Hughes, now 66, told investigators that he was “depressed” about his Air Force career, so he assumed the fictitious identity of O’Beirne and had been living in California ever since.

<snip>At the time of his disappearance in 1983, Hughes, then 31, was assigned to the Kirtland-based Air Force Operation Test and Evaluation Center. He had been at Kirtland since 1981, working on highly classified operations involving NATO’s command, control and communications surveillance systems, according to the news release.

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From: FlasherMakJun-13 9:12 AM 
To: Marci (marcinmin) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (2 of 5) 
 2174.2 in reply to 2174.1 

He never thought of resigning his commission. That would be to sensible. Instead, he deserted. Even his family didn't know what happened to him.


From: Marci (marcinmin) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by hostJun-13 10:00 AM 
To: FlasherMak  (3 of 5) 
 2174.3 in reply to 2174.2 

he literally wanted to get away from it all

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From: Bike (URALTOURIST1) DelphiPlus Member IconJun-13 11:43 AM 
To: FlasherMak  (4 of 5) 
 2174.4 in reply to 2174.2 



USCG Engineer 1961-1982

From: Bike (URALTOURIST1) DelphiPlus Member IconJun-15 11:17 AM 
To: Marci (marcinmin) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (5 of 5) 
 2174.5 in reply to 2174.1 

Used to be not all that long ago that the military simply ignored those that bailed after 90 days or so unless there was a special interest.  They left the name in the "wanted" file but expended no effort to try to find or recover them.

Back in the day when junior officers got stuck with being Court Officers, I wound up with a Special Court Martial assignment running the Defense of a guy that simply stopped coming to work in Alameda, CA; he did not run away or go far nor did he even change his name or anything dramatic, the military simply ignored him after a period of time.  He was turned in by the Texas Department of Highway Safety (Highway Patrol) when he was stopped for a minor traffic case and his name popped up on the "wanted" list, he was returned and prosecuted.  If he had kept his nose clean and not interacted with government, no telling how long he would have remained out there.


USCG Engineer 1961-1982

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