Strongest Clues Yet Found in Fossett Disappearance

The most tangible evidence yet in the disappearance of aviation adventurer Steve Fossett was found by a hiker near Mammoth Lakes, CA, on Monday. The items include Fossett’s pilots license, cash and what on TV appears to be Fossett’s membership card in the Soaring Society of America (SSA). (The TV reports were calling it his glider license, but being a member of the SSA myself, it looks just like the SSA membership card in my wallet.) Fossett disappeared in September 2007 when he left a private airfield in western Nevada for a local flight in a Decathlon light aircraft. No trace of him or his plane were ever found even after extensive ground and air searches. Though most of the recent search efforts centered on the rugged Nevada landscape near the airfield where he departed, Mammoth Lakes in California’s eastern Sierra is certainly within flying range of the Decathlon. As I speculated in a previous blog entry on Fossett’s disappearance, if the initial exhaustive search didn’t find him, it would probably take a hiker or hunter to stumble upon the wreckage. What does surprise me somewhat is that if he did go down in the vicinity of Mammoth Lakes, the wreckage wasn’t found earlier.  I’ve skied and hiked in that area, and though it is very rugged terrain, it is still a popular resort area with many visitors year-round. It could be that since he disappeared in September, and if the wreckage wasn’t found immediately, then the heavy snowfall in that part of the Sierras could have buried it until well into the next summer. If this evidence is legitimate, and I have no reason to doubt it’s authenticity, it looks like we may finally be close to solving the mystery behind the sad ending to Steve Fossett’s adventurous life.