Possible Fossett Wreckage Spotted by Search Teams

October 2, 2008 12:39:41 AM PDT
Search and rescue teams have been sent to investigate whether what the flight crew spotted was in fact wreckage from a plane. We won't know until Thursday morning if their find has been confirmed. But four small search teams are camping out in the mountains after a difficult day, and they're waiting for reinforcements to arrive from around the state.The latest search to solve the mystery surrounding Steve Fossett's disappearance began after a hiker spotted something unusual in the Mammoth Lakes area on Monday.

Preston Morrow said, "I came across the ID card and the other cards and the 100 dollar bills in the dirt and pine needles and stuff. And I went wow."

What Preston Morrow found was about $1000 dollars in damaged cash, a weathered pilot's license, and two other aviation id's that were each marked with Steve Fossett's name. The adventurer went missing on September 3rd, 2007 after taking off from a Nevada ranch in a single engine plane. He was supposed to be heading toward Bishop, California, about 40 miles from Mammoth Lakes.

Morrow said, "We put it all together ... it's that Fossett guy so I went oh my gosh, I really have something here!"

Morrow turned the items over to authorities Wednesday morning.

Sheriff John Anderson said, "These have been confirmed that they are documents that belong to Steven Fossett."

Search crews are now looking for more evidence in the Mammoth Mountains. This action news video from back in 1995 shows the rugged terrain teams are dealing with on the ground. And dense trees have also made the search difficult from the sky.

Jeff Page of Lang Co. Office of Emergency Services said, "The way I liken it is if you take a soda can that's the same color as the airplane, squash it, put it in a shredder stand on an 8 foot ladder and take a picture of it, that's what you're looking at from the sky, so basically it's a needle in a haystack and you have to find the haystack first."

But again, one flight crew believes it may have spotted the wreckage of a plane during its search.

The Madera County Sheriff's Department is holding a news conference here at the Mammoth Yosemite Airport Thursday morning at 7:00 to discuss what has been found and whether it has been linked to Steve Fossett.

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