Quantcast

Air Force officer who vanished worked for university system - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Air Force officer who vanished worked for university system

(U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations via AP, File). FILE - This combination of photos provided by the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations shows William Howard Hughes Jr., after being captured in June 2018, at left, and an image ... (U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations via AP, File). FILE - This combination of photos provided by the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations shows William Howard Hughes Jr., after being captured in June 2018, at left, and an image ...

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - An Air Force officer with top security clearance who vanished 35 years ago and was arrested in California last week worked for years as a consultant for the University of California system, former colleagues said.

University system colleagues knew William Howard Hughes Jr. as a personable, brainy number cruncher for the system's vast health benefits program, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Wednesday.

The Air Force Office of Special Investigations said Hughes was charged with desertion and is being held at Travis Air Force Base in California. They said he was living under the name Barry O'Beirne.

Official records show that O'Beirne used Timothy as a middle name.

"This just floors me," Judy Boyette said, a San Francisco attorney who signed O'Beirne's consulting contracts when she ran human resources and benefits at UC more than a decade ago. Looking at a photo of her former colleague in custody, Boyette was stunned. "My gosh, that's Tim! Oh, my word. That is unbelievable. But that's him! Wow."

Boyette and other University of California system colleagues said they knew him as a cheerful health benefits actuary and consultant for Deloitte in San Francisco who was contracted to work in the office of the system's president during the mid-2000s.

They described him as smart, articulate, kind and very likable.

"The thing I loved about him was that he could relate to everybody. Just a very nice personality," Boyette said.

Stephanie Rosh, a retired insurance manager at UC, worked with O'Beirne for years. She called him a leader and considered him a friend.

"He is very smart," she said. "Always had a wry sense of humor. Always joking." And when the staff was tired, "he might take the whole team out after work. A team player."

Neighbors in Daly City, California, also knew him as "Tim" and described him as a quiet man who kept to himself but was always pleasant and never left the house without wearing his San Francisco Giants cap.

Hughes was apprehended after a passport fraud investigation, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations said.

He told authorities after his capture that he was depressed about being in the Air Force and decided to leave, saying he created a fake identity and lived in California since he vanished in 1983, according to the statement.

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

A captain at Kirtland Air Force Base, Hughes was 33 and single when he vanished, according to news reports from the time of his disappearance.

It's unclear if he had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • NationalMore>>

  • Immigration courts packed with cases of kids crossing border

    Immigration courts packed with cases of kids crossing border

    Wednesday, June 20 2018 2:43 PM EDT2018-06-20 18:43:16 GMT
    Saturday, June 23 2018 12:05 AM EDT2018-06-23 04:05:57 GMT
    (AP Photo/Amy Taxin). In this Tuesday, June 19, 2018 photo, immigrants awaiting deportation hearings, line up outside the building that houses the immigration courts in Los Angeles. Inside the courtroom, immigrant children who arrived on the U.S. borde...(AP Photo/Amy Taxin). In this Tuesday, June 19, 2018 photo, immigrants awaiting deportation hearings, line up outside the building that houses the immigration courts in Los Angeles. Inside the courtroom, immigrant children who arrived on the U.S. borde...

    Children arriving at the border await their fate in the nation's complex, backlogged immigration courts.

    More >>

    Children arriving at the border await their fate in the nation's complex, backlogged immigration courts.

    More >>
  • Trump's immigration order sparks confusion, deep concern

    Trump's immigration order sparks confusion, deep concern

    Thursday, June 21 2018 3:42 AM EDT2018-06-21 07:42:36 GMT
    Saturday, June 23 2018 12:05 AM EDT2018-06-23 04:05:20 GMT
    (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais). President Donald Trump, center, listens to Vice President Mike Pence, right, address members of the media before signing an executive order to end family separations at the border, during an event in the Oval Office...(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais). President Donald Trump, center, listens to Vice President Mike Pence, right, address members of the media before signing an executive order to end family separations at the border, during an event in the Oval Office...
    President Trump's executive order aimed at halting the breakup of immigrant families sparked widespread confusion Wednesday about how the reversal will play out and concern that children will still be in detention,...More >>
    President Trump's executive order aimed at halting the breakup of immigrant families sparked widespread confusion Wednesday about how the reversal will play out and concern that children will still be in detention, even if they remain with their families.More >>
  • OPEC enters meeting that could set direction of oil prices

    OPEC enters meeting that could set direction of oil prices

    Thursday, June 21 2018 12:02 PM EDT2018-06-21 16:02:01 GMT
    Saturday, June 23 2018 12:04 AM EDT2018-06-23 04:04:55 GMT
    (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File). FILE - In this April 6, 2018 file photo, a former farmer works at a primitive refinery as he makes crude oil into diesel and other products, in Rmeilan, Hassakeh province, Syria. Ministers from the Organization of the Pe...(AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File). FILE - In this April 6, 2018 file photo, a former farmer works at a primitive refinery as he makes crude oil into diesel and other products, in Rmeilan, Hassakeh province, Syria. Ministers from the Organization of the Pe...
    OPEC and Russia are expected to approve raising oil production, but just how much is up in the air.More >>
    OPEC and Russia are expected to approve raising oil production, but just how much is up in the air.More >>
Powered by Frankly