Disappeared and Reappeared: US Air Force Captain William Hughes

Captain William Hughes, US Air Force

Listing another longest disappearances in history, Captain William Howard Hughes Jnr has been missing for three decades. The federal authorities for this long have been troubled with what happened to Hughes. Captain Howard, an air force officer with high top-secret approval went missing in 1983. According to the Guardian, he has been circumventing detection for more than three decades. However, the undetected days of Capt. Hughes ware terminated after apprehension by the US Air Force office of the special investigation last week. He is reported to have been residing in California since his disappearance.

Capt. Hughes was recruited into the US Air Force in 1973. Later, after working in Alabama, he pursued a master’s degree in Ohio’s Air Force Institute of Technology. In 1981, Howard was consigned in Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Hughes’ obligations encompassed confidential planning and scrutiny of NATO command, control and communications surveillance arrangements. In the summer of 1983 on his trepidation, he expressed his depression in the US Air Force. Shortly after finalizing an operation in the Netherlands testing radar surveillance aircraft, he disappeared.

Howard never showed up in Kirtland as was arranged. According to military protocol, he was confirmed missing ten days later and a run-away in December. Upon investigations, Howard’s specifics were shared with police divisions across Europe and the US. Within no time, his name and face had disappeared from the media. In a statement given by the US Air Force, interviews on those close to Hughes whereabouts were fruitless.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, Hughes was single during his disappearance with just three sisters. Hughes had been traced withdrawing $28,500 from 19 branches of his bank in Albuquerque then disappeared until last week. His fate was exposed after the occurrence of a passport scam. Hughes had been running under the name Barry O’Beirne until the law caught up with him.

In an article by the Associated Press in 1984, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) reported no sign of spying upon Howard’s disappearance. Capt. Carol Northrup also confirmed the negative possibility of possession of classified information by Hughes when he vanished. Linda Card, a spokesperson for the office of special investigations, confirmed no leaks were alleged and that Hughes never associated with the Soviet Union. The family has been notified of Hughes arrest so far. Hughes has been detained at the Travis Air Force base in California. In case he is found guilty of abandonment it attracts a supreme penalty of a dishonorable discharge and five-year imprisonment.

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