back to article Crashed aircraft is Fossett's, authorities confirm

Authorities have confirmed that the crashed Bellanca Super Decathalon in the mountains of eastern California is that of Steve Fossett, although the wreckage contains no body. A hiker on Monday found Fosset's ID documents, including his pilot and glider licences and his membership card for the National Aeronautic Association. The …

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Silver badge

Just Adds to the Mystery

Doesn't sound probable to me. Unless he was flying around with $1005 and all his ID cards laying in the passenger seat of his plane. I think he's still out there...Having gotten tired of all the crap going on he went into the wilderness and is now running around naked and screaming strange things at the few people he sees.

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Black Helicopters

El Reg - Behind The Times (NPI) as always.

Searchers think they've now found the crashed plane too... check Google news for the latest updates...

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Black Helicopters

Sounds dodgy to me

Seriously, who would pick up $1005 thinking it was trash? Furthermore, who would take trash home and not just put it straight in the bin? Who would decide it was a good idea to go through someone elses trash?

I reckon he found a lot more cash than that and a nice digital camera or similar and wanted to make sure he'd got all the good stuff before reporting it! obviously he couldn't say that he didn't find any money, but I reckon he found enough that $1005 didn't matter too much!

Of course the important question is: did he find the tinfoil hat?

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Alien

do i need to suggest it?

<----- icon says it all

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and a note that read: gone canoeing...

...see you in 5 years."

it all does seem a bit odd.

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But the tomb was empty...

Until his remains are found, this will remain a rich source of speculation. Unfortunately, the buzzards and coyotes will have made off with anything edible by now.

It's possible things like ID cards and cash could be blown away from the crash site, but it's also odd they ended up in the same place. Maybe they were in the pocket of the Nautica fleece found in nearby.

The BBC reports a new aerial search has spotted some more plane wreckage, and a ground team will be dispatched to the area.

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$1000=trash

Something doesn't add up here.

First they find ten $100 bills and think it's trash.

Second, they discover the significance of their find but rather than call the authorities, they go back out themselves first. Glory hunters?

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Gold badge

Devaluation.

It says a lot about the value of the dollar these days when you can find a load of stuff including 10 x 100 dollar bills and regard the whole lot as "trash".

Also, I don't see the alleged mystery here. When I get into my car, the first thing I do is put my jacket (including wallet, cards n' stuff) in the back. If Fossett did something similar on getting into his 'plane, that would account for the apparent anomaly quite nicely.

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Coat

Rather dodgy

This whole thing is rather dodgy. Never mind why the shirt and $1005 were found together, why wasn't it found *right* next to the wreckage? And who goes around with that much cash anyway, unless it's for questionable goods. At least the membership cards and stuff I can see, since I carry similar stuff in my wallet (minus 10 $100 bills).

And since no one else has done it, mine's the Nautica fleece with $1005 in the pockets.

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RW
Boffin

Metacomment: Anybody ever heard of "honesty"?

This may come as news to the hardened, cynical readership of El Reg, but some people, when they find money, turn it in to the police.

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DECATHLON!

It'd be one thing if you hadn't spelled it wrong four or five times and then spelled it right. Seriously, can the Reg not afford spell check? D-E-C-A-T-H-L-O-N. How bloody difficult is that?

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IT Angle

Oh dear...

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 the US Civil Air Patrol, who was involved in the operation from the start, said: "I've been doing this search and rescue for 14 years. Fossett should have been found. 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."

Oops.

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@Rather dodgy

<<And who goes around with that much cash anyway, unless it's for questionable goods>>

Possibly a bloke who might need to drop down and refuel? That aint questionable. Anyway, a report (BBC, Sky?) mentioned he was known for carrying a wodge of bills.

Small change to a billionaire, don'tcha think?

Tinfoil Hat icon, Silver Plate!

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@Gianni Straniero (But the tomb was empty... )

Those buzzards and coyotes must have been other-worldly hungry to have licked every last blood cell from the plane's cockpit and potential evacuation route, or capable of dragging a dead body in one piece without leaving a trace. The site is reported to be surrounded with wet areas, so perhaps foot or paw prints can be identified.

If there are no forensically-identifiable traces, what are the chances that Fossett deployed a parachute (no need to "walk away" from a crash) and was not in the aircraft at impact?

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Silver badge

I'm not an expert but.....

.....if you crash your plane into the side of a mountain, doesn't that leave at least traces of blood on the instrument panel etc? Also, if the local wildlife does try to eat any remains, surely they don't crunch the bones up and eat them too?

This does have all the hallmarks of a mystery.

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Silver badge

Crashing Planes, Immortality and Gary

OK, so I just read a story from USA Today (http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-10-02-fossett_N.htm)

The NTSB says that Mr. Fossetts' plane crashed head on into a mountain - which doesn't sound very much like the actions of a world famous pilot: and it certainly doesn't fit with the consolidated location of the "found items" (ID, cash, clothes). Sounds even more fishy than before. (plus I like adding to the making of the fucker immortal)

@Gary: I carry that much cash all the time. Plastic money is super gay and only for high-value purchases (and silly French types). I convert all my money into doubloons and bury them in the back yard to keep them safe from shady Banker Types.

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Attn all you blood spatter experts

Don't forget that the wreckage has been there for a year. It would have seen a number of good mountain storms and likely have been under many feet of snow all last winter ;-)

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Happy

re: Andus McCoatover

Possibly a bloke who might need to drop down and refuel? That aint questionable. Anyway, a report (BBC, Sky?) mentioned he was known for carrying a wodge of wonga.

there, much more colourful :)

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Black Helicopters

Not much of a mystery

The Sierras are very picturesque but also potentially dangerous to fly around because of unpredictable winds and visibility. You're also quite high up, borderline for needing oxygen. Fosset's accident wasn't unique. A glider was lost in roughly similar circumstances about a month prior to this accident -- five gliders took off for a fun flight and only four returned. The fifth slammed into a mountain at high speed despite having a very experienced pilot at the controls. The only difference between the two accidents is that Fosset was south of where everyone expected him to be (and was looking for him) so its taken a year to find him instead of just two or three days.

Its normal for hikers to pack out any trash they find, especially if they live in the area. I can understand it taking a day to figure out that there was a wallet -- after a year exposed to the elements this stuff would be degraded, manky and its really just luck that the wallet didn't just end up in a trash bin and the mystery deeper than ever.

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Silver badge

@Dick

Blood is pretty persistent stuff.

In 1985 got some blood on lanyard attached to a pocket knife that I was using to gut a pig. I washed the knife + lanyard with water a few hours later but the blood had soaked into the fibres and resisted some hard scrubbing. The blood is still there.

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Paris Hilton

I'm glad they finally found something

Some mysteries are nicely left mysteries; but disappearing famous / popular folks makes people WANT to search for them (Amelia Earhart, anyone?). what was the name of that ship that was supposed to meet her...i always forget the name...

Oh well, Paris, 'cuz i'm always searching my bedroom for her but not finding her.

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It's all over now

Human remains have now been found.

@Charles Manning - yuk!

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Coat

Fossett's Fossils?

Sorry...

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Stop

Remains

BBC website is now saying that they've found some human remains:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7649799.stm

All black helicopters, return to base please ...

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@Solomon Grundy

"The NTSB says that Mr. Fossetts' plane crashed head on into a mountain - which doesn't sound very much like the actions of a world famous pilot"

But if that mountain and Steve's plane were shrouded in cloud, even the best pilot cannot see through the clouds with the naked eye. And before you respond saying that he should have seen the clouds coming... any mountaineer or any pilot who's flown in mountainous regions (such as myself) can tell you that mountain weather changes VERY quickly. The conditions for "sudden" cloud cover exist daily, even in good weather conditions. Steve could have been forced down below the clouds to try to find a safe passage...

And at the end of the day, even the best pilots make mistakes

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Unhappy

R.I.P(s)

There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots. E. Hamilton Lee, 1949

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