Hughes was assigned to temporary duty in the Netherlands, working with NATO to test its new Airborne Warning and Control System, designed to be used for surveillance, command and control, battle space management and communications. He was expected to return to duty at Kirtland on Aug. 1, 1983.
He never showed up.
His car was found at the Albuquerque airport and a search of his home in the 1900 block of Chandelle Loop NE revealed notes of planned activities and books to read upon his return, according to reports.
Hughes was seen in the Albuquerque area withdrawing more than $28,000 from bank accounts, according to the AFOSI news release.
After the Air Force formally declared Hughes a deserter in December 1983, his family said in an Associated Press article printed in the Journal on Jan. 20, 1984, they believed he had been abducted.
Monday, June 11, 2018
An Air Force officer who deserted in 1983 and was just rediscovered in California. Strange. Was at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, and is now imprisoned not far away, at Travis AFB in Fairfield. Still, I sometimes wonder what it would be like to have an alternate identity. A chance to start over: