Joshua Tree National Monument Theory
I live 20 miles from the Mojave Desert here in San Bernardino County, California, USA. Steve Fossett was at least 300- 400 miles north of here, and there are no dry lake beds for perusal in search of land-speed records amidst the Joshua Trees. Of course, we have the Rogers Dry Lake Bed, where I've seen the Space Shuttle land. But, those dry lake beds are a dime a dozen, and well-used already for land speed records. Joshua trees don't like to be crowded - there is at least 20 feet between each tree (required for survival in a parched land). Therefore, you could spot a 3" x 3" "Post It Note" on the ground from 500-1,000 feet. Fossett is not amidst the Joshua trees.
I say grill the so-called "witnesses" to a greater degree. And Cynthia Ryan of the Civil Air Patrol, with her candor and recent elevation in rank, has been the only true, honest, forthcoming voice in this entire saga. She shoots from the hip. She even went so far as to accept the "something smells wrong" theory.