Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/09/10/fossett_google_earth/

Google Earth mobilised in search for Fossett

Amazon's Mechanical Turk scours latest sat images

By Lester Haines

Posted in Science, 10th September 2007 16:20 GMT

Amazon and Google are colloborating to try and locate adventurer Steve Fossett, missing since last Monday somewhere in Nevada.

Amazon has mobilised its Mechanical Turk using the "latest" images of Nevada and parts of California just deployed on Google Earth, and is asking people to scour snippets of imagery for Fossett's Bellanca Citabria Super Decathalon - described as "30 pixel wingspan by 21 pixels by length".

Possible spots can then be flagged on Google Earth and passed onto the search team for further investigation. Nevada Civil Air Patrol Major Cynthia Ryan welcomed the initiative, but added it was "unlikely that Google Earth would have picked up anything that military satellites would not spot", the BBC notes.

On Sunday, Lyon County Undersheriff Joe Sanford, part of the search team, told AP there was "a possibility - that he [Fosset] may never be found" - despite the efforts of 45 aircraft which had by then covered 10,000 square miles hunting down Fossett.

As added spice to the tale, the admission by Ryan that military sats had already been deployed to cast an eye over Nevada will add fuel to the conspiracy theory that the Fossett search is actually a cover story, and the authorities are rather urgently looking for a 150 kiloton nuclear weapon which inconveniently detatched itself during the recent unscheduled TransAmerican B-52 nuke jaunt.

Any reader participating in the Mechanical Turk Fossett hunt and who spots a swarm of black helicopters over Nevada should contact us immediately, and in the strictest confidence. ®