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Test Confirms Bones Found In California Are Fossett's

November 4, 2008 at 7:48 AM | by | ()

The human remains found last week by Madera County sheriff's deputies were indeed Steve Fossett's, a DNA test confirms. With the conclusive results, the mystery of what happened to the adventurer is finally coming to a close, after more than a year of searching, speculation and crowd-sourced satellite photo analysis.

Fossett's widow, Peggy, released a statement after the announcement was made:

I am hopeful that the DNA identification puts a definitive end to all of the speculation surrounding Steve's death. This has been an incredibly difficult time for me, and I am thankful to everyone who helped bring closure to this tragedy.

While there's still no official report on why Fossett's plane crashed, some news accounts say unpredictable winds in the mountains caused the Bellanca Citabria Super Decathlon to slam into a granite wall. The NTSB will release its findings in the case next year.

Related Stories:
· DNA Links Bones to Fossett [AP, via Google]
· Bone Fragments Confirmed as Fossett's [IHT]
· California Sheriff Declares Search For Fossett Over [Jaunted]
· NTSB Investigating Newly Discovered Plane Wreckage [Jaunted]

[Photo of the crash site: Madera County Sheriff's Office]

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California Sheriff Declares Search For Fossett Over

October 31, 2008 at 7:50 AM | by | ()

A search team led by Madera County sheriff's deputies has found Steve Fossett's Illinois driver's license, a pair of tennis shoes, a $100 bill, credit cards and some skeletal remains about a quarter-mile from the traces of the adventurer found earlier this fall. While his office is still waiting for the results of a DNA test on the bones, Sheriff John Anderson says the search for Fossett is over:

Our coroner's investigation is over and the Fossett family will finally have closure.

We talked to the family and advised them that we possibly, most likely, found the remains of J. Stephen Fossett.

There's still no verdict on why exactly the Bellanca Citabria Super Decathlon crashed, though the NTSB continues to investigate.

Related Stories:
· Experts Sure They Have Steve Fossett's Remains [SF Chronicle]
· Bones, ID Found Near Fossett Crash Site [CNN]
· NTSB Investigating Newly Discovered Wreckage [Jaunted]

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The Search for Fossett: NTSB Investigating Newly Discovered Plane Wreckage

October 2, 2008 at 10:23 AM | by | ()

Here's a larger version of this map

Wednesday we learned that possible traces of Steve Fossett were recovered in the California wilderness. Today, the National Transportation Safety Board announced that it has:

Dispatched investigators to California to investigate the crash of a small plane that was found yesterday that appears to be the aircraft piloted by adventurer Steve Fossett. The Bellanca 8KCAB (N240R) has been missing since September 3, 2007.

The wreckage is sitting at about 10,000 feet in the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Mammoth Lakes, California.

Meanwhile, it seems even more likely that the IDs that were found earlier this week belonged to Fossett: The name, address, date of birth and certificate number on them match FAA records, the agency says.

Update: Officials now say that the wreckage is in fact Fossett's plane.

Related Stories:
· NTSB Investigating Crash in California [Official Site]
· Possible Traces of Steve Fossett Recovered in California [Jaunted]
· Steve Fossett coverage [Jaunted]

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Possible Traces of Steve Fossett Recovered in California

October 1, 2008 at 3:52 PM | by | ()

A hiker in a remote area near Mammoth Lakes, California found two "well-weathered" IDs, about $1,000 in cash and a size XL black Nautica pullover fleece that may have belonged to Steve Fossett. The items were found not far from where backcountry superstar Simon Donato was searching for Fossett this summer.

Because the IDs don't have pictures, it's hard to say with absolute certainty that the pilot ID and separate FAA ID are Fossett's, and no plane wreckage has yet been found in the area. Still, it's the first lead on the missing adventurer in months, despite numerous efforts to track down any trace of the world record holder.

Fossett, you'll remember, was declared dead by a judge in February after he disappeared after what was to be an easy afternoon flight from Barron Hilton's ranch in September 2007.

Related Stories:
· Apparent Steve Fossett Belongings Found [CNN]
· "Steve Fossett Items" Found [AFP, via Google]
· Possible Fossett ID, Items Found [AP, via Google]
· Steve Fossett coverage [Jaunted]

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Where Is Simon Donato Searching for Steve Fossett?

July 14, 2008 at 5:04 PM | by | ()

A court may have declared Steve Fossett legally dead back in February, but a group of backcountry experts and wilderness athletes is setting out to search for any sign of the super-adventurer. The 10-person squad has set up a base camp between the Bodie Hills and the Sweetwater Mountains, about a 110-mile drive south of Reno, Nevada.

Geologist and "adventure racer" Simon Donato is leading the ground search team, and his group will cover 15 to 20 miles of territory a day, focusing on wooded areas that could obscure aerial views of the wreckage of Fossett's plane.

Another similar but separate team will try its luck with an independent ground search later this year. Fossett's widow, Peggy, isn't involved with either effort.

Related Stories:
· Search for Adventurer Resumes [AP, via Google]
· Elite Team Renews Fossett Search [BBC]
· New Leads in Fossett Search [Jaunted]
· Steve Fossett Search Map [Jaunted]
· Google Maps/Where Is... coverage [Jaunted]

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NV Governor Asks Fossett Widow to Pay the Bills

May 2, 2008 at 1:30 PM | by | ()

After a lengthy and ultimately unsuccessful hunt for adventurer Steve Fossett last year, Nevada was left holding a search-and-rescue bill for $687,000. Now the governor wants his family to chip in for some of those costs. Barron Hilton, whose Flying M Ranch was the setting-off point for Fossett's fateful flight, has already sent the state a check for $200,000.

The Governor Jim Gibbons' press secretary says any contribution would be voluntary, but added:

We are going to request that they help offset some of these expenses, considering the scope of the search, the overall cost as well as our ongoing budget difficulties.

The search for Fossett was indeed a massive one, involving multiple agencies and covering 20,000 square miles. Ultimately, though, rescuers found no trace of the world record holder, and he was declared legally dead on February 15, 2008.

Related Stories:
· Nevada Governor to Ask Fossett Widow to Help Pay [AP, via Google]
· Steve Fossett Search Map [Jaunted]
· Search for Steve Fossett Scaled Back [Jaunted]

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So Long Steve Fossett

February 18, 2008 at 2:11 PM | by | ()

Super-adventurer Steve Fossett was declared dead by a Chicago judge on Friday, more than five months after he vanished into the Nevada wilderness on a daytime flight in a light aircraft.

His widow, Peggy, took the stand during the court proceedings, testifying to Fossett's legendary survival skills:

Everybody thought he'd come walking down the road one day and have another story to tell.

Sadly, that never happened, and there's been no sign of him--or even his plane--despite a massive search operation that went on for weeks. A search-and-rescue expert at the trial testified that Fossett could've crashed in a crevice near Mt. Grant in Nevada. It's also possible, he said, that pine trees were obscuring the wreckage of his plane.

This ruling not withstanding, we're betting people will be pondering the mystery of Fossett's disappearance for decades to come.

Related Stories:
· Steve Fossett Declared Legally Dead [Chicago Tribune]
· RIP Steve Fossett [WorldHum]
· Steve Fossett Search Map [Jaunted]
· Steve Fossett coverage [Jaunted]

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New Leads in Fossett Search

September 26, 2007 at 9:35 AM | by | ()

US Air Force imaging experts have a new lead in the search for adventurer Steve Fossett. After scanning radar and satellite images, an official working on the search says his people have picked up new clues to Fossett's location. Ground crews as well as search aircraft will be checking an area stretching 100 miles southeast of the Flying M Ranch.

Very close to the ranch is Walker Lake and the adjacent Hawthore Army Depot. Also to the southeast of the Flying M Ranch--at about the far end of this 100 mile tract--is the Nevada Test and Training Range, home to Area 51 and other military installations.

Meanwhile, hopes for finding Fossett hang on some new technology. The Civil Air Patrol--which now only has two planes involved in the search--is using a special cameras called ARCHER and FLIR that can detect subtleties the human eye can't. But no signal has come from Fossett's on-board safeguards, a emergency locator transponders on his plane and in the Breitling watch he's probably wearing.

Related Stories:
· New Leads in Search for Fossett [AP]
· Technology May Have Abandoned Fossett [Union-Tribune]
· Search for Steve Fossett coverage [Jaunted]

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Search for Steve Fossett Scaled Back

September 18, 2007 at 10:15 AM | by | ()

The Super Decathalon Fossett was piloting

The Civil Air Patrol searching the Nevada desert for Steve Fossett has called off its search. After setting out on Labor Day in a light airplane, Fossett disappeared, and despite a massive search has yet to be found.

Local authorities have been looking for the lost adventurer for weeks, in an area double the size of New Jersey. A police spokesman told the AFP news service:

The Civil Air Patrol feel that they have completed their search of 98% of the ground that needed to be covered.

The CAP will keep two aircraft on stand-by in case any new leads surface, and the National Guard will continue to fly search missions, as will private aircraft operating out of Barron Hilton's Flying M Ranch. Amazon and Google are still working together to provide satellite images to people who want to help with the search.

Go straight to the Flying M Ranch Map.

Related Stories:
· Search for Fossett Is Downgraded [BBC]
· Steve Fossett Search Map [Jaunted]

[Photo: Steve Fossett Challenges]

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Steve Fossett Search Map

September 11, 2007 at 9:26 AM | by | ()

As the search for millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett enters week two out in Nevada it looks like you (a.k.a TIME's person of the year, a.k.a generator of content) are being asked to help -- from your computer that is. Google Earth released new, up-to-date images of Nevada maps, enabling users to search from their homes and notify rescuers in Nevada of any potential leads. Google says the plane Mr Fossett was flying would appear as an object about "21 pixels long and 30 pixels in wingspan".

Thus we have embedded a new map above, with the projected Fossett search area for you to zoom in, zoom out and zoom around on. At least six old crash sites have been discovered since Fossett went missing on September 3. He set off in a two-seat Bellanca Citabria Super Decathlon from the Flying M Ranch for what was to be a three-hour trip.

Flying M Ranch Map

Related Stories:
· Google Earth allows computer users to join hunt [Guardian]
· Adventure Travel [Jaunted]

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Adventures of Link: Searching For Fossett

September 6, 2007 at 4:50 PM | by | ()

A Super Decathlon like the one Fossett helmed

It's now been four days since record-breaking adventure traveler Steve Fossett set off from the Flying M Ranch, and there's still no sign of him. He was expected back at Flying M the same day he took off, reportedly to scout locations for a land speed record try.

The search has been going on almost around the clock, except when weather keeps search and rescue craft grounded. Teams are covering a vast amount of territory looking for Fossett, and despite finding nothing yet, his friends, including Richard Branson, are still optimistic that'll he be found.

The latest on the search:
· Search Area Expands to 10,000 Square Miles... [ABC]
· That's "A Lot of Terrain" to Cover [CNN]
· The Search Could Go On For Two Weeks [Reuters, via NYT]
· Branson Wants Google Maps Info for the Search [Reuters]
· Experts Stunned by Fossett's Disappearance [Wired]

[Photo: VGPhoto]

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Millionaire Adventurer Steve Fossett Goes Missing In Nevada Desert

September 5, 2007 at 10:25 AM | by | ()

American adventurer Steve Fossett was reported missing on Monday after failing to return to the airstrip he took off from at a southern Nevada ranch while piloting a Bellanca Citabria Super Decathalon light aircraft. He was flying solo. Teams are searching the areas of his likely course as we type, though a flight plan was not submitted prior to take off.

Steve took off from Barron Hilton's Flying M Ranch, roughly 70 miles southeast of Reno, and the missing millionaire was scheduled to scout possible locations for a planned attempt on the world land-speed record later this month.

Fosset's adventure travel escapades include the world's longest uninterrupted flight, 26,389.3 miles aboard the Virgin GlobalFlyer back in 2006, and the first solo round-the-world in a balloon flight in 2002. He also set a world glider altitude record of 50,671 feet over the Andes in 2006.

Flying M Ranch Map

Related Stories:
· Steve Fossett [Official Site]
· Adventure Travel [Jaunted]

[Photo: ameliareid]