California Hiker Finds Steve Fossett ID

By: CBS News
By: CBS News

MAMMOTH LAKES, CAL. - A hiker in rugged eastern California found an ID and other items possibly belonging to Steve Fossett, the adventurer missing more than a year since going on a pleasure flight in a borrowed plane, authorities said Wednesday.

The items were found in the area of the town of Mammoth Lakes, Inyo National Forest spokeswoman Nancy Upham said.

"We have some ID that has the name Steve Fossett," Mammoth Lakes police Investigator Crystal Schafer said. "They were turned in to us and are in our possession." A hiker who found the ID and some cash came to the police department office Tuesday, Police Chief Randy Schienle told CNN.

"The ID is well weathered," Schienle said. "We have heavy winters up here."

A sweatshirt was also found in the area, but no wreckage was located, he said. Fossett disappeared Sept. 3, 2007, after taking off in a single-engine plane borrowed from a Nevada ranch owned by hotel magnate Barron Hilton. He was also a fan favorite in Kansas, after he began and ended a round the world flight at Salina's airport. A judge declared Fossett legally dead in February, five months after his doomed Nevada flight.

This year's biggest search for Fossett focused on Nevada's Wassuk Range, more than 50 miles north of Mammoth Lakes. That search ended last month. Mammoth Lakes is a community at an elevation of more than 7,800 feet on the eastern flank of the Sierra Nevada, where peaks top 13,000 feet.

Fossett made a fortune trading futures and options on Chicago markets. He gained worldwide fame for more than 100 attempts and successes in setting records in high-tech balloons, gliders, jets and boats. In 2002, he became the first person to circle the world solo in a balloon. He was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in July 2007.


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