California is known for its majestic, sun-drenched beaches. It’s the land of glamour for all of the USA. It’s admired for bringing to the great American dream- a verve of flair, a dash of style. Big cars, stashed at expensive prices catering to premium segments throng the streets of LA, San Diego, Anaheim with beautiful women adorning expensive costumes confusing onlookers: who’s a model and who isn’t you just don’t know.
Then, there’s the Universal Studios that attract visitors from all over the world. But apart from that, California- the state of golden poppies- has something else in it too that’s making news these days. Apparently, a U.S. Air Officer by the name of William Howard Hughes Jr., that had gone missing since the year 1983 has been found here in California.
From an everyday perspective, when a family loses out on a member, who goes ‘missing’, it puts forth a sea of sadness. Tears are shed, hearts are broken and there ensues a permanent sense of disconsolation. This, however, was an important member of the US Air Force, a serving US Air Force officer until 1983, when he suddenly disappeared into thin air.
One of the most revered media organizations, CNN, recently published a report of William Howard Hughes’ sudden appearance in California, where he was believed to have been living. Here’s what exactly transpired. In the key information shared with CNN by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, it had been found that William Howard Hughes had actually been living under a ‘guise’; an ‘assumed identity’ in California, after reports of him going missing appeared in July 1983.
He’s been described as a deserter. And it’s been confirmed that upon returning from serving duty in Europe, William Howard Hughes, who was then a part of the US Air Force, withdrew a huge sum of approximately $28,500 from New Mexico and then suddenly went untraceable. Interestingly, he had withdrawn this huge sum from different locations. What he did with that money- regardless of 1983, a huge amount nonetheless- is what no one knows.
On December 9, 1983- half a year since his disappearance, the US authorities officially named him a ‘deserter’, after failing to trace his whereabouts despite several attempts made from his relatives, friends and others who had known him. In this case, even the law enforcement agencies had failed to locate the whereabouts of the Air Force deserter.
Here’s the rather surprising bit of news that’s been shared in the public domain regarding the missing US Air Force Officer. “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.” Isn’t this weird?
He was recently taken into custody by Special Agents from the Travis Air Force Base, who arrested him from his California home, where he’d been living with a woman who was believed to be his ‘wife.’ And here’s how he was actually caught.
Earlier in the same month (June), during a passport fraud investigation, US’ Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service got to interview an individual who was claiming to be one Barry O’Beirne. But there were several inconsistencies about his identity, upon which later it was confirmed that the person was none other than the missing US Air officer, who admitted to being a ‘deserter’. While he’s been arrested and kept at the Travis air base, the neighbours and others who’d known him in the Californian neighbourhood maintain that he was a simple, normal person who loved the San Francisco Giants and was known to be a friendly person.
And there seems to be no dearth in the stories that have now begun appearing in regards to Howard Hughes’ arrest. Having gone missing during the time of the Cold War- at a juncture in history where present-day Russia was still USSR- it’s believed that officers like Howard Hughes Jr. were worth some gold for the Soviets.
He’d disappeared during the peak time tensions between the USSR and the USA and it’s said that he may have been used by the KGB then to either defect to USSR first and then spy on against the United States. In fact, his sister, back in 1984 submitted to a newspaper that there may have been chances that he would have been abducted. Was he really helping the Soviets? What’s the real reason for his disappearance? One’s yet to know, in fact.