ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A high-ranking Kirtland Air Force Base officer with top security clearance who disappeared 35 years ago has been found in California.

The Air Force Office of Special Investigations said in a news release this week that it had captured William Howard Hughes Jr., at his home after a fraud investigation involving a fake identity he had been using.

Hughes was involved in classified planning and analysis of NATO’s control, command and communications surveillance systems during the Cold War.

He was last seen withdrawing over $28,000 in Albuquerque in the summer of 1983 after returning from a stint in the Netherlands.

Hughes told authorities he was depressed about being in the Air Force and decided to leave. He created a fake identity and lived that way in California ever since. Hughes was charged with desertion.

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