View Full Version : Steve Fossett Dead or Alive?

10-02-2008, 11:50 AM
Sheriff: Wrecked Plane Found in California Mountains Is Steve Fossett's
Thursday, October 02, 2008




Oct. 1: Hiker Preston Morrow found a pilot's license and other items that appear to belong to Steve Fossett in eastern Calif.
The crash wreckage discovered in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains is in fact that of lost adventurer Steve Fossett's plane, though no human remains have been found, authorities said Thursday.

Madera County Sheriff John Anderson told reporters that searchers "found enough wreckage to determine that it was in fact the aircraft" Fossett was flying solo when he disappeared last September.

Anderson said that it appears that Fossett plowed head-on into a mountainside.

"The crash looked to be so severe that I doubt if someone would have walked away from it," said the sheriff during a Thursday news conference. The engine was lying about 300 feet from the wings and the fuselage, which disintegrated on impact.

Click here for photos.

Click here for video.

"It was a hard-impact crash, and he would've died instantly," said Jeff Page, emergency management coordinator for Lyon County, Nev., who assisted the search.

Crews confirmed about 11 p.m. Wednesday that the tail number matched the one on Fossett's single-engine Bellanca, according to Anderson.

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Steve Fossett The news came after federal transportation officials from the NTSB headed to California Thursday morning to retrieve the plane debris found in a mountainous, wooded area and join the investigation.

The discovery of the decimated fixed-wing plane came days after a local hiker stumbled upon some of Fossett's personal effects — including his pilot's license and FAA cards.

Anderson said the plane was found about a quarter-mile from where the items turned up, and authorities had not yet determined whether the sweatshirt that was with the documents belonged to 63-year-old Fossett.

In total, about 50 searches were planned in the coming days, according to the sheriff.

"We're certainly going to do an extensive search for remains," he said.

The National Transportation Safety Board went to analyze the remnants of the small plane and determine the cause of the crash after the overnight discovery of the debris by searchers not far from where hiker and local ski shop owner Preston Morrow came across Fossett's belongings.

The wreckage was located at about an elevation of 10,000 feet in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the Mammoth Lakes, Calif., area, the NTSB said.

Fossett — who made international headlines with a daring round-the-world balloon trek — was flying alone when he vanished Sept. 3, 2007.

The initial aerial sighting was called in around sunset, according to Erica Stuart, spokeswoman for the Madera County Sheriff's Office.

Searchers had been combing a 10-mile radius around the spot where a hiker had found what appeared to be a pilot's license and other items belonging to Fossett in a thicket of woods not far from the Nevada state line.

Morrow told FOX News he was hiking alone with his dog near his home in Mammoth Lakes Monday afternoon when he came across what appeared to be three identification cards bearing Fossett's name and issued by the Federal Aviation Administration in Illinois.

Morrow, 43, also found $1,005 in cash. Anderson, the sheriff, said Thursday police assumed the money was Fossett's.

On Tuesday, Morrow returned to the site to get a GPS reading when he spotted a sweatshirt on top of a ridge.

Morrow then brought the items back home to his wife, a local fire captain, Mammoth Lakes Police Chief Randy Schienle told FOX News.

He then turned the items over to local police Wednesday after unsuccessful attempts to contact Fossett's family.

Click here for an On the Scene blog by FOX News' Adam Housley.

Officers believe the cards are authentic, sources said.

The bills were tattered and crumpled on the ground; the weather-worn sweatshirt was nearby, Morrow told FOX. Both human and animal hair were found on the clothing.

Morrow said he didn't see any signs of Fossett's plane.

But his discovery prompted authorities to assemble a new search team to comb the area, Schienle said.

Fossett was the first person to ride the jet stream around the world in a balloon. He climbed some of the world's tallest and toughest mountains, sailed and set a number of world records.

On his last flight, he took off from a private airstrip on the Nevada ranch owned by hotel magnate Barron Hilton.

The thrill-seeker never returned, and until now, searchers had found no trace of the plane — though authorities had believed it went down in a rugged region.

Fossett was declared legally dead in February.

Fossett, who lived with his wife part-time in Beaver Creek, Colo., made a fortune trading futures and options on Chicago markets.

In August, an attorney for Fossett's widow pleaded for an end to speculation circulating on the Internet that the millionaire balloonist and pilot may have faked his own death, possibly because he was heavily in debt.

FOX News' Catherine Donaldson-Evans, Allison McGevna, Adam Housley, Harris Faulkner and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

10-02-2008, 12:32 PM
When flying an acrobatic airplane like the Bellanca, it is normal to wear an emergency parachute. Or his body could have been moved and consumed by a mountain lion.....
I'm sure there will be more info. after they have done a forensic investigation at the crash site.

10-02-2008, 12:33 PM
hes hanging out with elvis and cobain in area 51

10-02-2008, 12:38 PM
The fact that his wallet,money etc was found 1/4 mile away would mean that:

A)A mountain Lion/Bear ate him after dragging his body arround

b)He parachuted and he left it there

10-02-2008, 12:51 PM
There are some pictures of his plane wreckage here. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,431605,00.html


10-02-2008, 12:56 PM
The fact that his wallet,money etc was found 1/4 mile away would mean that:

A)A mountain Lion/Bear ate him after dragging his body arround

b)He parachuted and he left it there

or the crash threw his body/items that far

10-02-2008, 01:19 PM
Since ive been reading this story, something strikes me as odd.....
I seriously think he wanted to disappear.

10-02-2008, 01:31 PM
The fact that his wallet,money etc was found 1/4 mile away would mean that:

A)A mountain Lion/Bear ate him after dragging his body arround

b)He parachuted and he left it there

Something to keep in mind: That area sees a lot of snow every year and he disappeared over a year ago. They could find stuff scattered over a pretty wide area.

10-02-2008, 01:32 PM
Something to keep in mind: That area sees a lot of snow every year and he disappeared over a year ago. They could find stuff scattered over a pretty wide area.

and he hit the side of a mountain at high speed. They found the engine over 300 feet away

10-02-2008, 09:33 PM
probably dead:


AZCA Jeeper
10-02-2008, 09:58 PM
probably dead:


The wife knows something.http://media.myspacepimper.com/content/smile/emotion/emotion_83.gif

10-02-2008, 10:27 PM
The news and the Sheriff stated they found "some" human remains in the wreckage...

10-02-2008, 10:40 PM
I say dead! If he's not dead he's going to show up when he spends his $$$$$$$$$

Unless he had money in an offshore account. He'll never spend anything left in his name! :pinch:

If he had no money, what good is dying!!

10-02-2008, 11:03 PM
I am sure the remains are his, if they are not then we have some more room to speculate....


10-02-2008, 11:09 PM
1/4 mile is only 400-ish yards.

The ultimate question of whether he is live or dead ? How were his finances ? :) Follow the money.