Air Force Officer Missing For 35 Years Found Living In California

Ex-Kirtland AFB officer missing since 1983 found

Ex-Kirtland AFB officer missing since 1983 found

Mystery has surrounded the discovery of a high ranking Air Force Officer with top secret clearance who went missing more than 35 years ago only to 'apparently' re-surface in California.

Before leaving New Mexico, Hughes withdrew $28,500 from his bank account, making smaller withdrawals by visiting 19 different branches, the Air Force said.

"Capt. Hughes claimed that in 1983 he was depressed about being in the Air Force so he left, created the fictitious identity of O'Beirne and has been living in California ever since", the Air Force writes.

Hughes apparently lived in California under the assumed identity of Barry O'Beirne.

Hughes is charged with desertion and awaiting pretrial confinement at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, Calif.

"On June 5, during a passport fraud investigation, the US Department of State's Diplomatic Security Service interviewed an individual claiming to be Barry O'Beirne", the Air Force said in a statement.

OSI agents assigned to Travis AFB in northern California went to his home and arrested the fugitive captain without incident. CNN reports that it remains unclear what charges he will face.

His orders included working with other North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) officers on the operation of Airborne Warning and Control (AWACS) electronic surveillance aircraft, officials stated. Also, a raid of his home in 1900 block of Chandelle Loop in Albuquerque revealed to-do lists and books he planned to read upon his return.

It is unknown whether family had been in contact with Hughes or knew of his whereabouts following his 1983 disappearance.

Hughes "was the "lead analyst" of the Command Control and Communication Surveillance Systems at the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, N.M., which tests new space-related weapons systems", the Times said.

Capt. Huges had a Top Secret/Single Scope Background Investigation clearance at the time giving him access to US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation secret information. "They (AFOSI investigators) said at this point there's no indication that he had any classified information or that he gave any classified information", Card said.

"We do not feel he disappeared voluntarily", his sister, Christine Hughes, had said, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

"(Intelligence officers) see a clear link between Hughes and possible sabotage of the American and French launches", the newspaper reported then.

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

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