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back to article Steve Fossett may be alive, investigator claims

Adventurer Steve Fossett, who has not been seen since last September after flying off into the skies above Nevada, may have faked his own death, investigators have claimed. Despite a massive search for Fossett and his Bellanca Citabria Super Decathalon, no trace of either has ever been found. Lieutenant Colonel Cynthia Ryan of …

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Silver badge

Very confusing...

"...We found six other planes while we were looking for him. We're pretty good at what we do."

They accidentally found six other planes which they could not find when they were searching for them on purpose. Is that a definition of being good at what they do???

So, perhaps they should look for someone else in order to find Fosset's plane?

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Alien

We will soon learn the truth.

Steve Fossett is BigFoot!

...mine is the furry one covered in leaves....

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Silver badge

No evidence, so accident more likely

If I was a zillionaire and wanted to fake my death, I wouldn't be worried about the value of one crummy little plane. I'd make sure the wreckage was found (added points for a body burnt beyond recognition/DNA matching). However, with the amount of money he had, I seriously doubt that even the best auditor could spot a few mil. missing from anywhere in the estate - especially if SF had time to prepare things.

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Does his widow

Rent bedsits in the house next door?

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Dead Vulture

"We're pretty good at what we do"

We found six other planes while we were looking for him.

Can't be that fucking good then eh? Otherwise you'd have found the others when they went missing.

So it's more like "We're pretty good at what we do when it's someone famous we're looking for, otherwise we generally don't give a shit."

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Anonymous Coward

Ah yes!

mmmm could be right,

I have been asking for ages why he was looking for new land speed records sites, what's wrong with the existing ones. It just seems to be a pretty lame excuse to head off into the wilderness on your lonesome.

Hope they find him alive and well.... then nail him to the mast for fraud.

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Alien

Well this is

Much less ridiculous than conspiracies suggesting he was shot down over Nellis AFB!

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Black Helicopters

Easy come easy go.

How come they only managed to find the other planes after mounting a fearsome effort on the part of moneybags?

They couldn't have been that well hidden could they? Or did those crooks also do a pretty good job of hiding their trails even though they were not so rich?

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Paris Hilton

I haven't seen him...

... and he sure as hell isn't up there!

Paris because she appears to be sad about it.

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Funds

It would seem to me to make more sense to check whether funds had disappeared before he vanished, than afterwards. Going back several years, if necessary.

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Bronze badge

now if he disappeared while canoeing...

...we'd be keeping a beady eye on the widow and a JPG-watch on photos on the web for photos involving real estate promotions.

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Joke

At least he isnt french

So when he turns up in Hartlepool they wont hang him.

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Canoe with wings

"We found six other planes while we were looking for him. We're pretty good at what we do."

As I'm sure people said a few months ago - clearly they're not, if they initially missed those other 6.

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Boffin

I've lost all hope in the CSI series. :'(

I would have thought that Grissom and his team of super experts would have found something by now.

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Mac
Black Helicopters

No cash trail because

"None of Steve's wealth was transferred out or withdrawn in any manner that would suggest a planned disappearance. Steve has not accessed any of his assets since his disappearance."

Perhaps because he's living in a bedsit next door to his missus accessed by a secret door which he bolts through when ever the rozzers come to the door!

Nah, too ridulcuous to be true ;)

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Something is not right

'It's not like we didn't have our eyes open. We found six other planes while we were looking for him. We're pretty good at what we do'

That would be it then, a sentence that does not add up.

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Paris Hilton

found six other planes?

Nobody was looking for them before now because they weren't being flown by Fossett.

Their owners' estates should be fined for "flying while not a millionaire." (Not unlike Driving While Black.")

Hackneyed cliché: Paris, because she would never fly while not a millionaire.

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Anonymous Coward

"six other planes"

"We found six other planes while we were looking for him"

Surely the fact that those six planes had never been found before suggests there's a chance they may have missed Fossett's aircraft too.

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Happy

Howz about..

Seaton Carew or Panama. I'd search them first.

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Joke

Surely not!

Someone faking their own death for an insurance payout? I don't believe it! That would be like someone paddling off in a canoe and not coming back... Completely unlikely.... No chance....

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Paris Hilton

We're pretty good at what we do

So why didn't they find those 6 planes when they searched for whoever was lost flying them? Kind of blows her argument out of the water. Maybe they'll just find Fossett's when they go looking for someone else.

Happens all the times when I've lost my keys - find something else I thought I'd lost...

Paris - cos I wish she was faking her own death...

M

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Coat

Have investigators tried

Searching Panamanian websites for him yet?

I'll get my canoe.

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Anonymous Coward

Quite right.

He's living on the moon with Elvis.

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Anonymous Coward

I'll take "Losers" for ten please, Bob.

IF John Darwin = "Canoe" AND Steve Fossett = "Light Aircraft" THEN Gordon Brown = "British Economy".

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awesome

having just had canoe man sentenced to prison in the uk this guy keeps the conspiracy of death faking alive.

"Steve has not accessed any of his assets since his disappearance"

So he wasn't a dumbass and probably had 2 accounts then eh? not unusual.... I do like the investigator though:

"I don't really care if he is alive or dead, it make no difference to me"

That's what I like to see, someone who has no affiliation, who focuses on the facts. I'd mention Grissom but I know half of you will cringe and flame me with FAKE, but you get my drift. Will keep on eye on this one for curiosity sake

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Was Clive Cussler right?

Is there a secret group of American millionaires living in a snug little moonbase, just waiting for Dirk Gently^H^H^H Pitt to find them?

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Paris Hilton

Faked or not faked

I am talking completely not out of my head, but I do agree, it is suspicious. When you know someone left with a plane, and neither ever shows again, and you have combed the area 10m times, and found a lot of condoms, even 6 other light planes, one can guess he never started. That pilot at Barron Hilton's Flying M Ranch is the first suspect, especially after that miserable first-time flight preparation story.

Ask my old friend Columbo to have an interview with him.

Paris, because maybe Fossett decided to fly there

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hmmm

"We found six other planes while we were looking for him. We're pretty good at what we do."

in other words we are sooooo good we didnt find SIX PLANES the last time we looked...

i wonder how hard they would look if i went missing rather than a multi-millionnaire!

the 'i cant see it so its not there' argument is always flawed when using UK and US intelligence!

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Airplanes

The wreckage of general aviation airplanes found while searching for Fossett had disappeared many years before and did not contain high profile occupants (less likely to have extraordinary search efforts).

The tandem-seat American-Champion/Decathlon that Fossett was reportedly flying is a 'rag & tube' aircraft, sturdy, and built for aerobatics. However, if you drive one into the ground it will become a very small ball of chrome-moly tubes & poly-fabric.

On the other hand, it is odd that I've not found reference to if/why such a pilot would be without the latest personal GPS enabled ELT. The aircraft should also have had an ELT, as is mandated for certified aircraft. Aircraft ELT's are designed to activate on impact in a crash.

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Alien

Publicity Stunt

I see in September, he turns back up having been resuced by "little gray aliens" ho give him the technology to make Virgin Galactic work...

ok, call me a cynic

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Stop

Give the search and rescue guys a break

The comment about finding 6 other planes while searching for him, probably meant that they were involved in 5 other successful searches during the period they were still looking for him... not that they happened to stumble over 6 wrecks by chance!

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Silver badge

Re: Hmmm

>the 'i cant see it so its not there' argument is always flawed when using UK and US intelligence!

No, that argument is, "I can't see it so it is there".

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Pirate

Re the six other planes

As I recall one was from the '50s and others had not been reported missing. Nevada is a big empty desert and one is not actually required to file a flight plan. So, unless one of the planes that they found had been searched for previously, it is really not indicative of incompetence.

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Pirate

Fosset's Wife states that...

.... "Steve has not accessed any of his assets since his disappearance.", but then, I'm guessing that she HAS, so that proves little to me. You only have to study [the] Darwin's theory of re-evolution, maybe Fosset is also up a creek without a paddle ;-D

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Anonymous Coward

The six other planes

Given that many of you failed to spot six identical comments, it's perhaps harder than you might think...

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Alien

little grey Aliens.....

Oh you mean those slitty-eyed pale looking Aliens that keep being chucked out of the USA for spying and nicking industrial secrets.

Sounds like they made him an offer he had no way of refusing.

No doubt the chinese will unveil some super high tech fancy aircraft and space-craft in due course(which wil be years ahead of US current designs).

大您好,以史蒂夫

希望你们都清楚

我们怀念你

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Paris Hilton

Amelia Earhart redux!!

Only this time, without the Japanese. To be continued...

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IT Angle

If he had really wanted ...

... to convince everyone he had crashed, he would have used one of Kent Ertugrul's dodgy MIG's

IT? : Because now Kent does dodgy IT, obviously, but could probably find SF if he is still alive.

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Coat

Just give it time

If he's alive, he'll eventually show up in a shot on Google Street View.

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one big mother of a desert

I was driving with friends in the Mohave Desert (Joshua Tree Nat Park) the day Steve went missing and just amaized at the sheer space and emptyness of the place. The weather that day was +42C in the shade.

The deserts in Califonia / Nevada / Arizona / Colarado is absolutely massive so loosing your self is not that hard, the Mohave is about half the size of England, so looking for one light aircraft that would have left an impact crater a few meters accross is a hard job at best.

If there had been a fire then it might have been more obvious scorch marks for searchers, so my theory is Steve ran into engine problems because of a lack of fuel, the lack of a mayday (because of a loss of power) and locatable fire. If Steve did run out, he must have tried to land so my bet is that he took a chance at any reasonably flat strip of a few hundred yards long within gliding distance.

I'd love to think that he made it but whats smooth desert terain at 1000ft pretty soon becomes a bolder field at 50, by which time with no power there is no chance to 'go around' so the landing was bound to be rough at best, I think your survival chances out in the desert (in full fitness on that day) are limited at best and if he sustained any kind of injury he would have succomed pretty quickly.

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Bronze badge
Flame

Errr... just a thought...

To all of the "Well they didn't find those other planes before" posters:

Did you consider the possibility that, in the months after Fossett disappeared, OTHER small private planes might have crashed and that the CAP just *MIGHT* have had *CONCURRENT* searches going on?

Excerpted from Bloomberg:

"Private, or general aviation, flights are 82 times riskier than commercial airline trips and represent the overwhelming majority of aviation crashes and casualties in the United States. (...)

“In an examination of the crash risk of private flights, researchers found that general aviation flights averaged 1,685 crashes and 583 deaths each year from 2002 to 2005,"

I'm trying to be generous and assume that most of the posters taking potshots at the CAP were being "clever" (i.e. - kneejerk cynical), rather than genuinely obtuse.

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Thumb Down

Six other planes?

"We found six other planes while we were looking for him. We're pretty good at what we do."

So that would be six other planes they...didn't...find...before?

Ooo-kay.

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@mike

Some of the planes discovered were from 50's and 70's crashes that went unsolved.

Still, as others have pointed out the area he went down in is massive enough to cause 40 to 50 years delay between crash and discovery..

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Anonymous Coward

@Adam Williamson

That's a good point, no-one seems to have noticed that yet.

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The bleedin obvious is out there

Oh dear. As ever, lots of presumed guilt flying around here. I'm suprised no-one has yet stuck up a PShop'd image of the missing person yet in a Panama apartment.

Maybe someone will wonder why this is being aired now the insurance companies, after gleefully raking in his premiums, are now going to have to stick to their part of the bargain. Or is the idea that isruance companies don't play fair a bit too much of a conspiracy thory for you all?

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Coat

"We found six other planes"`

So? According to http://aviationarchaeology.com/fossett.htm, there are many many more missing small planes.

Mine's the one with Area 51 on the back.

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@JonB

lol x 2

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Bronze badge

anything...

Insurance companies will do ANYTHING to avoid having to pay out on insurance policies. Even trumping up fake evidence that someone faked their death.

That's what they get paid to do. Make unfounded accusations of fraud in order to delay as long as possible having to pay anything out on insurance polices that people purchased in good faith.

Insurance companies are scum.

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"Baffling"?

Since everybody else is sticking it to CAP I'm going to go after the investigator instead. What the hell is so baffling about using a Super Decathlon? It's a marvellous aircraft for tooling around in, with docile handling and fantastic visibility, and it's designed and built with aerobatic training and competition in mind. It's a bloody strong plane. Even "easy to dismantle" is just a bit much - I'd want more than a multi-tool to take one apart and it would be a whole lot easier to just hide it in a hangar or shed somewhere.

For a "man who deals in facts" he's coming up a little bit short here.

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Alert

Here's something that DOES add up

Article:

"the only witness to his departure was a pilot at Barron Hilton's Flying M Ranch, southeast of Reno, who "claims Fossett asked him to prepare the plane for take off, even though he had never allowed anyone else to do this before"."

Wait a sec: if you were carefully planning to fake your own disappearance, surely the LAST thing you'd do is depart from your normal routine. In fact, you'd *either* go out of your way to establish a routine and then follow it so people would say "he did nothing unusual"... or you'd carefully avoid establishing a routine that people could compare to.

So really this so-called anomaly actually makes it LESS likely he's faking. Unless it's an elaborate double-bluff...

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