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Steve Fossett Declared Dead 221

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the rest-in-peace dept.
Parallax Blue writes "Millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett, who risked his life seeking to set records in high-tech balloons, gliders and jets, was declared dead Friday, 5 months after he vanished while flying in an ordinary small plane. The self-made business tycoon, who in 2002 became the first person to circle the world solo in a balloon, was last seen Sept. 3 after taking off in a single-engine plane from an airstrip near Yerington, Nev., heading toward Bishop, Calif. He was 63."
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Steve Fossett Declared Dead

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  • by KingArthur10 (679328) <arthur.bogard@gm ... com minus author> on Saturday February 16, 2008 @12:38PM (#22446268)
    From the sounds of it, Steve's wife wanted his last will and testament read and put into effect, and that's what prompted the ruling in the first place. CNN [cnn.com] reported that "Judge Jeffrey Malak made the ruling after an emotional presentation from Fossett's wife of 38 years, Peggy, who also asked that her husband's will be entered into probate."
    • by saibot834 (1061528) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @12:47PM (#22446330) Homepage
      Steve Fossett has been missing for 5 months and his chances of survival are very close to zero. It must be a huge psychological stress waiting for your probable-dead husband, so I really can understand that his wife wanted to put a stop to this uncertainty. Sure, it's just something bureaucratic, but now everyone can say that Steve Fossett is dead, instead of just thinking it.
    • by denzacar (181829) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @12:56PM (#22446400) Journal
      When he returns from China seven years later, after his ninja training, so he could fight crime in the streets as a billionaire super-hero.
    • Jim Gray (Score:2, Interesting)

      by reporter (666905)
      Jim Gray [openphi.net], the leading authority on databases and fault tolerance, disappeared long before Steve Fossett disappeared. Yet, Gray's wife is not in a rush to declare that her husband is dead although he probably is dead.

      Why is Fossett's wife in a rush to declare that her husband is dead?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by blair1q (305137)
        Did Fosset have more money than Gray? Does Gray's wife have full control of Gray's assets if he's not dead? Fosset had a complicated set of assets, and probably didn't have all the backups in place for managing them. Fosset's wife was evidently not able to take control of certain things until Fosset was declared dead. No need to look for ulterior motives here. It's as simple as not wanting those things to decay to nothing due to neglect while you watch, helpless.
      • by Vellmont (569020) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @03:06PM (#22447296) Homepage

        Why is Fossett's wife in a rush to declare that her husband is dead?

        Because it's probably pretty hard to run an estate of a billionaire without the guy being dead. Even billionaires have bills to pay.
      • Re:Jim Gray (Score:5, Insightful)

        by magarity (164372) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @03:10PM (#22447330)
        Why is Fossett's wife in a rush to declare that her husband is dead?
         
        5 months is hardly 'in a rush' - remember with Fosset there are billions on the line and political and legal positioning to grab a slice of it will just pile up more and more the longer she waits. She's doing what needs to be done to protect the estate, as callous as that sounds but it needs to be done. One assumes someone who lives dangerously and has so much money like Fosset has left a will but greedy relatives and business partners can chew it all up in legal bills rather than whatever it was Fosset wanted done with his assets after he was gone.
      • by Zerbey (15536) *
        There was significant effort put into locating Fossett to no avail. Bear in mind also he was a survival expert. Unless you want to start conspiracy theories, the chances of him being found alive now are next to zero. I think his family just wants closure and the chance to get all of his affairs in order.

  • Faked death (Score:2, Interesting)

    by 4D6963 (933028)

    If he was a gangster rapper you'd see people coming up with faked death theories with weird patterns in numbers related to his disappearance to give us all hope...

    Unfortunately he was no gangster rapper, only a simple average white billionaire..

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      What is to benefit from faking a death when one already has money? I think other reasons perhaps.

      • Re:Faked death (Score:5, Interesting)

        by gobbo (567674) <[wrewrite] [at] [gmail.com]> on Saturday February 16, 2008 @02:01PM (#22446838) Journal

        What is to benefit from faking a death when one already has money? I think other reasons perhaps.

        We had a good friend of the family go missing and presumed dead when he was in his late 50's. He was wealthy (not stinking rich, but had owned a car dealership and good investments for 30 years). The circumstances caused our family to think that he had staged things, including insider info (such as a rented car... unusual... and certain affairs nicely wrapped up, including insurance).

        Why, one wonders, would he do such a thing when he was at the top of his career and independently wealthy? Easy.

        • kids grown and doing OK, if clingy -- obligations resolved
        • overbearing wife, lovely and charming but man did he have patience
        • business now ran itself
        • a long-running nostalgia for his home city, Genoa
        • well-behaved and upstanding for too long
        • a semi-public figure
        • success is boring and easy when it's assured
        • no doubt, a secret life on the side
        • lots and lots of lead time to stash some cash
    • by aplusjimages (939458) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @02:05PM (#22446864) Journal
      This is all part of the plan to have Steve show up on ABC's LOST as one of the survivors in the background.

      too soon, too soon
  • by benzapp (464105) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @12:50PM (#22446346)
    This is no tragedy; we should be celebrating this man's life. We should all be as lucky to live such a full life, and die as old men under such circumstances. When most reach old age, they give up on life entirely. When your body begins to fail, it takes real courage to tempt fate on a regular basis.

         
    • by Timesprout (579035) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @12:54PM (#22446380)
      I like to post dangerously on Slashdot to keep the blood flowing.
    • by Nick Driver (238034) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @01:12PM (#22446490)
      ...people say "he died doing what he loved". No pilot loves crashing a plane. Whatever had gone terribly wrong at the end of Steve's last flight, I can guarantee you he was not loving it. I'd bet that the first emotion that he felt was anger at whatever caused the initial deviation from normal flight, followed by shock and apprehension in the final seconds once he realized he was in serious trouble.

      Fortunately I have never been in such a dire predicament while behind the controls of a plane, the worst that's happened to me was a partial loss of power after takeoff during climbout in a C172, but I had plenty of altitude and an airport right behind me in easy gliding distance in case the engine quit completely, but I landed normally without incident. I can tell you I was certainly NOT loving it, and the emotion going thru my head was that I was pissed off at the airplane.

      Two pilot friends of mine have died in small plane crashes, both due to making really stupid errors in judgement. As they drilled their respective planes into the dirt, they were not doing what they loved either. Both of them took friends and family members to their deaths with them too.
      • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Saturday February 16, 2008 @01:39PM (#22446660) Homepage Journal

        people say "he died doing what he loved". No pilot loves crashing a plane.

        You're being overly literal. That's a generally accepted shorthand for "at least he was engaged in an activity he enjoyed, not rotting away in an Alzheimers ward or in the agonizing throes of cancer". Steve was definitely doing something he loved, save but for the last few minutes.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Vellmont (569020)

          That's a generally accepted shorthand for "at least he was engaged in an activity he enjoyed, not rotting away in an Alzheimers ward or in the agonizing throes of cancer".

          Why is that any better? He's still dead. If you were to die from cancer, or some other long term disease, at least you die with the people around you. He died alone, in some unknown place. That's supposed to be "better"?

          • by karnal (22275)
            We all die alone. Whether he was enjoying the last moments of life or not, he was at least enjoying life up to that point. That's the point the previous poster was trying to make.

            We all go through the death process by ourselves; no one else in this world can help us on that journey.
            • by Vellmont (569020)

              Whether he was enjoying the last moments of life or not, he was at least enjoying life up to that point.

              Followed by many moments of intense panic, worry, etc. What is it with this strange fantasy people concoct about death? I just don't buy the whole story about how great it is to die while "doing something you love". It's just a fairy tale people tell themselves to make them feel a bit better about death.
          • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Saturday February 16, 2008 @02:50PM (#22447142) Homepage Journal

            He died alone, in some unknown place. That's supposed to be "better"?

            My dad died alone in his front yard of a sudden, massive heart attack. We didn't get to gather around him, tell stories, and say goodbye as he faded. One day I got a call from my screaming mom, and that was it - he was dead.

            Know what? That was better. We were together while he was still alive and healthy, and his family's last memories of him are as we always knew him: strong and happy and himself. I wouldn't change that for the world, and I know inside that he wouldn't either.

            So, yeah. Steve Fossett died well.

            • by Vellmont (569020)

              Know what? That was better.

              For who? You? I thought we were talking about Steve Fossett, not his family.

              Sorry about your dad, we'll all likely face that day sometime. But I just don't understand why one way of dying is better than some other way of dying. I'm sure we can all agree that being tortured to death would be pretty horrible.. but I just don't understand this weird story people have come up with, where Steve Fosset is grinning, flying into the sunset, and then the movie ends with a "Steve Fosse
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by moosesocks (264553)
              It certainly adds to the mystique for such an absolute legend of a man to disappear into the wilderness to never be seen or heard from again, leaving absolutely no trace behind.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by aztektum (170569)
            Depends on the person. From his exploits, Steve Fossett didn't seem like the type of person that, if you asked, would be too keen on slipping away while probably in pain the entire time.
          • Why is that any better? He's still dead. If you were to die from cancer, or some other long term disease, at least you die with the people around you. He died alone, in some unknown place. That's supposed to be "better"?
            Either you don't get it or you don't agree. Either way is fine, you don't have to. But many other agree with the sentiments expressed by the saying.
             
            • by Vellmont (569020)

              But many other agree with the sentiments expressed by the saying.

              And many people disagree with the sentiments being expressed. What's your point?
              • And many people disagree with the sentiments being expressed. What's your point?
                My point is this: let's just agree to disagree.
                 
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by JamesP (688957)
        I can guarantee you he was not loving it. I'd bet that the first emotion that he felt was anger at whatever caused the initial deviation from normal flight,

        BUT, if he managed to escape it, he surely would think it was 'unfskingomgbelievably AWESOME!!!111'

        It may be pretty cool... if you don't get hurt.

      • by fireboy1919 (257783) <rustyp.freeshell@org> on Saturday February 16, 2008 @02:36PM (#22447050) Homepage Journal
        I can guarantee you he was not loving it. I'd bet that the first emotion that he felt was anger at whatever caused the initial deviation from normal flight, followed by shock and apprehension in the final seconds once he realized he was in serious trouble.

        You may be wrong about "what he loved" is referring to.

        I personally, would be quite happy to die in a fiery explosion that produced a crater big enough to be visible from the moon. That'd be sweet (as long as no one else got hurt)! In that case, crashing wouldn't be what I loved, but making a crater would be.

        "Doing what he loved" in some cases might also refer to some recreational pharmaceuticals and individuals of negotiable affection (though probably not in this case). I mean, with those involved, you might not actually notice you crashed until the ground rises up and smites you.
      • by SendBot (29932)

        No pilot loves crashing a plane. Whatever had gone terribly wrong at the end of Steve's last flight, I can guarantee you he was not loving it. I'd bet that the first emotion that he felt was anger at whatever caused the initial deviation from normal flight, followed by shock and apprehension in the final seconds once he realized he was in serious trouble.

        That all sounds very absolutist and projected. How can you speculate on a person's last moments without being a close personal friend?

        From what I've read o

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Vellmont (569020)

      This is no tragedy; we should be celebrating this man's life.

      A billionaire who spent his billions on hot air balloon rides, and trying to fly around the world?

      Sorry, I just don't see much worth celebrating. I'm sure he loved it, and great for him and all. But I don't find what he did or accomplished terribly noteworthy or important.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by markov_chain (202465)
        I disagree, I think he was an awesome guy who did a lot of good things for the people around him!

        Joe
        HotBalloonSupplies.com
    • by drsquare (530038)

      The man died with open eyes doing what he loved
      Sitting in a plane wreckage eating rats?
    • by wikinerd (809585)

      doing what he loved

      I am not sure a sane mind can love crashing a plane and dying. Only some insane islamofascist terrorists enjoy doing that. If a sane person wants to commit suicide for whatever reason, there are surely better and less messy solutions. If someone wants to get rid of their plane, they could give it to charity or sell it. If someone wants a thrill, they can try some extreme sports which are dangerous but not lethal. Crashing a plane can only be the result of psychopathy or technical or human error.

      That

  • by Desert Tripper (1166529) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @01:04PM (#22446450)
    It amazes me, especially living in the area of endless urbania that is the Greater L.A. area, that there are still uninhabited areas so vast that a plane could crash and not be found after exhaustive searching with high-tech equipment.

    Then again, there is an almost-intact crashed plane near the western (Highway 190) entrance to Death Valley, near Towne Pass, that's in plain view of the highway yet almost impossible to see unless you know what you are looking for. It crashed in the 50s; it was part of a CIA mission and lost power over the Amargosa Valley. The crew bailed out near Furnace Creek, if my memory serves me correctly, then the plane crashed in the Panamint Range to the west.

    Some pics from someone who hiked to the site: http://rides.webshots.com/album/292358776FDMVRo [webshots.com]

    After seeing that on one of my outings, Fossett's plight isn't so incredible to me. Sucks to be him, but he certainly didn't live a hard knocks life prior to his demise.
    • by imsabbel (611519)
      I was driving around there last fall.
      Its not a nice terrain to spot things.

      If the plane went down and burned out, you wouldnt see the remains from 100 meters away.

      Trying to spot it from a plane is just grasping for straws.

      The worst theory i heard about this accident was that its not too unlikely he crashed his plance to either freeze or die of thirst down in the desert.
      • What about satellites?

        When I look at the resolution of google earth (easy to make out cars or even humans)
        I imagine it must be trivial to locate a crashed plane in a known area, at least
        with military satellites. Maybe time intensive (I have no idea about their state
        of image processing) but isn't human life worth the effort?

        So why aren't these used for search & rescue?
        How many airplane crashes are there, all over the world, every day?

        Would it be too much asked to provide satellite aid in cases such
        as thi
        • This is a small plane of mixed construction, metal tube, wood, aluminum, and fabric.
          If it crashed hard or burned you are looking for a bunch of strew/burned trash that will not look like a plane or anything for that matter.
  • OK That's it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bperkins (12056) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @01:10PM (#22446480) Homepage Journal
    How do we shut off tags?

    Right under this story I see a tag of "whogivesafuck."

    That's just not acceptable.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by PommeFritz (70221)
      I second that. Made me sick in my stomach
    • Re:OK That's it (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 16, 2008 @01:22PM (#22446546)
      Why not? Honestly, who does give a fuck? Presumably Fossett's family and friends, but Slashdot readers are presumably generally neither. He was a businessman, and not one who changed our culture (either as techies or as people in general). My condolences to his family and friends, but as far as the general Slashdot readership is concerned, his death simply does not matter.
      • by lymond01 (314120)
        He was a businessman, and not one who changed our culture (either as techies or as people in general).

        As an adventurer, a go-getter, a risk-taker, he inspires us to live. He's worth mentioning.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Vellmont (569020)

          As an adventurer, a go-getter, a risk-taker, he inspires us to live.

          Ballooning and flying long distances in a plane inspires you to live? I find that kind of sad. I don't need inspiration to live, do you?

          The only people that really inspire me are anyone that's tried to change the world for the better. Hell, even Bill Gates is using his billions to do that. This guy has used to his billions for his own pleasure. There's nothing wrong with that, I guess. But I just don't understand why it's so inspiring
    • Re:OK That's it (Score:5, Informative)

      by tuffy (10202) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @01:24PM (#22446558) Homepage Journal
      "Help & Preferences" -> "Index" -> "General", then uncheck "Show Tags".

      I turned them off a long time ago since they provide no value.
      • by mapkinase (958129)
        They do not serve as tags now (mostly), but they do give impressions of a slashdot audience. In that sense it is valuable.
    • Re:OK That's it (Score:5, Insightful)

      by thewils (463314) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @01:26PM (#22446572) Journal
      No man is an island, entire of itself
      every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main
      if a clod be washed away by the sea,
      Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were,
      as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were
      any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind
      and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls
      it tolls for thee.

      -- John Donne
    • by sir_montag (937262)
      Sure it's acceptable. People die. I can only know so many people personally, and the ones that I don't know personally don't matter terribly much to me. That's human nature - you can't empathize with 200 million people that you don't know, and when some of them die, why should you feel anything in particular? I suppose intellectually I have some regret that the world lost a good adventurer perhaps, but that's about it.
    • by tgd (2822)
      It makes me wonder what actually causes tags to show up there.

      I mean did a moderator choose to put it there? Did enough people enter that exact phrase to roll it to the top of some list?

      I have to be honest -- I have no idea how the tagging works.
    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by mapkinase (958129)
      I agree, it was not acceptable. So, what is your position on the Danish cartoons?
      • by bperkins (12056)
        Danish cartoons should be discussed in comments.

        Phrases that are snarky commentary should not be tags.

    • by Jugalator (259273)

      Right under this story I see a tag of "whogivesafuck."

      That's just not acceptable.
      Why not? I don't give a fuck. I gave the topic a "slownewsday" tag too.

      His family probably gives a fuck though, but I didn't even know who he was, and after reading the news title, I still don't understand how he matters more to my life than a random citizen that dies as I'm typing this. YOU don't give a fuck about that person either, whoever it is.
    • Re:OK That's it (Score:4, Insightful)

      by drew30319 (828970) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @06:23PM (#22448668) Homepage Journal
      Yesterday was the two-year anniversary of my only child's murder.

      Within days of my daughter's murder somebody posted a message to me on a public forum stating "that bitch got popped."

      Do I think that this person literally thought of my daughter as a "bitch?" No, but I do think that the opportunity to feel empowered by pissing me off was hard for them to resist. Unfortunately a lot of people are pricks and if there's the chance that they can appear to be some cool badass by showing how much of a prick they are then they'll jump at it.

      Do I truly care about Steve Fossett's death? No, I didn't know him and frankly have far more to worry about. But do I have a sense of decorum when it comes to appreciating the pain that his friends and family are going through? Absolutely - and this wasn't a revelation I arrived at while I grieve but rather my basic human ability to empathize for others.

      But then again I have many ways to feel personally empowered without needing to resort to "whogivesafuck" tagging.

      And - I'm not a prick.

      Drew Crecente
      Director, Jennifer Ann's Group
      http://www.jenniferann.org/ [jenniferann.org]

      Fight Teen Dating Violence!

  • by nebaz (453974) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @01:11PM (#22446486)
    Whoever tagged this article "whogivesafuck" should turn in their human card at the door. Sure, you may not have known this guy personally, but that tag is in really poor taste. How would you like it if after someone you knew died, someone came up to you and said "he's dead. so what?".
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Unfortunately there's a sizable group of 15 year olds on slashdot, and modern media has taught these kids that being apathetic is "cool".

      It's very sad, but you can always hope that maybe they will grow up a bit in time.
      • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @01:26PM (#22446570)
        No, they've been taught that being obnoxious is cool, because there are no consequences to bad behavior in a forum such as this. Now, if each of us could click a "jackass" button, and when a certain number of them get pressed the individual responsible receives a brief 30 kV electric shock ... now that might do it.

        And I'm not so sure that they're as young as you think: I'm pretty certain that some of them have had plenty of time to grow up but didn't.
        • by Vellmont (569020)

          Now, if each of us could click a "jackass" button, and when a certain number of them get pressed the individual responsible receives a brief 30 kV electric shock ... now that might do it.

          Get over it already. If you're really that ticked off by some random tag on slashdot, I suggest barricading yourself in a room and never coming out again.

          I'm offended at least once a week by stories I read in the mainstream media. The AP carried a story yesterday about the IL shooter guy, expressing amazement how he didn'
          • by tomhudson (43916)

            Now, if each of us could click a "jackass" button, and when a certain number of them get pressed the individual responsible receives a brief 30 kV electric shock ... now that might do it.

            Get over it already. If you're really that ticked off by some random tag on slashdot, I suggest barricading yourself in a room and never coming out again.

            Since they're so easily offended by the "real world", where do you think they've been living for the last decade? Their skin is probably so pasty white from living

    • by Anoraknid the Sartor (9334) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @01:29PM (#22446590) Homepage
      Was Fosset known to you personally? If so - what on earth are you doing demanding sympathy on slashdot?

      I have no particular emotional involvement in the man's life or death - and nor do many others. That isn't to say I would have wished him ill - I just don't see why I should care. He seemed to have enjoyed life - good for him. This is just the judicial declaration of something that most people assumed long ago.

      And if the death of someone I loved was reported on Slashdot, "who gives a fuck" would be an entirely appropriate tag.

      More than that - it would be rather creepy if you DID give a fuck. Displays of public grief for people we do not know, but with whom we pretend an intimacy to which we are not really entitled are distasteful and should always be challenged.

      I did not tag the article. That said, without wishing Fosset either well, or ill, but just on general principals that this is someone who I did not know, reports of the judicial declaration of death of whom are cluttering up Slashdot, I echo the tag: "Whogivesafuck?"
      • He's a human being, and one of the most accomplished ones of our generation at that.

        Therefore, yes. I certainly do give a fuck.

        I'll agree that it might be a bit odd to be overwhelmingly emotional about a total stranger, but at the same time, you'd practically have to be a robot [xkcd.com] not to empathize with his family.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      While I don't agree with the tag on this story, and while I don't think that there's a need to voice your opinion with a tag like that if you truly don't care, I can't say I can't understand why people might not care. About 100000 people die each day - more than one per second, as a very rough estimate. Does anyone on Slashdot - you, me, Taco, whoever - care about them? No, of course not. It's just life. And for someone who doesn't care about Fossett, his death is just life, too - another blimp on the death
      • by nebaz (453974) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @02:07PM (#22446880)
        It's not the opinion that bothers me, it is the obnoxiousness. Clearly the person who wrote "whogivesafuck" cares enough to go tag the article. If they clearly didn't care, they wouldn't bother tagging the article in the first place. The opinion is not obnoxious, people die all the time, and for people you don't know, it is not surprising that you truly don't care, but tagging the article this way in a public forum is somewhat tantamount to yelling in an open forum "See me, I don't give a shit about this guy at all". Why bother? It just makes you look like a jerk.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          It could be that he feels this is not the proper forum to offer condolences to some famous guy who many people on this forum didn't care about when he was alive. If Slashdot didn't care when he was alive, why should they when he died (although his death was a little unusual). Considering that I'd say that most people on Slashdot really don't care for Slashdot to report this and this guy feels particularly strongly. That could be why he tagged it. Its another way of saying "Why is Slashdot posting this?"
        • by Jugalator (259273)

          If they clearly didn't care, they wouldn't bother tagging the article in the first place.

          You obviously don't get it.

          The person who tagged the article DID care.

          He/she obviously doesn't want news stories of people's death unless they perhaps have had a major impact in society.

          That's the part of where he cares.

          This story was tagged as such for the same reason other stories are tagged "slownewsday". It's not that they care about the content, but about the contents on Slashdot.

          I hope you get it now.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Scrameustache (459504)

      Whoever tagged this article "whogivesafuck" should turn in their human card at the door. Sure, you may not have known this guy personally, but that tag is in really poor taste. How would you like it if after someone you knew died, someone came up to you and said "he's dead. so what?".

      It mean [yimg.com], but thousands of people die everyday, I don't know how many go missing. This guy was rich and famous, and that's why we're hearing about him, and not about all the others.

      I don't really care about him more than about anyone of the countless anonymous deaths. I didn't know him, I lost nothing when he disappeared. And I don't feel bad about it. In fact, I'm annoyed that people care more about a dead rich guy than about a hundred poor ones.

    • Whoever tagged this article "whogivesafuck" should turn in their human card at the door.
      Get over yourself already. Tags are for personal use. Slashdot happens to randomly show some of the tags people have used. Who are you to question the tags they have chosen to apply to this article?
    • by SETIGuy (33768)

      Whoever tagged this article "whogivesafuck" should turn in their human card at the door.

      Even though I wouldn't have said it, it's an appropriate sentiment. Fossett was a rich guy who got his kicks doing potentially dangerous stunts with little or no practical value. He died doing the setup work for his next stunt. C'est la vie.

      His effect on my life was somewhere between "nothing at all" and "Steve who?" The same day he went missing, about 100 people in the U.S. died in car accidents. About the same number died of complications due to influenza. Do all of them deserve a slashdot story?

    • by Jugalator (259273)

      How would you like it if after someone you knew died, someone came up to you and said "he's dead. so what?".
      This is different, because we aren't talking to his family on Slashdot. We're commenting news stories. Obviously I wouldn't say this to his family, I have better tact than that. But that's a social aspect. You should turn in your analogy card.
  • Welcome to a new low (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Maavin (598439) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @01:23PM (#22446552)
    This tag marks a new low on slashdot.

    Maybe the tagger is just jealous, because this man did the right thing with all his money. Instead of attending stupid show-off parties, he used his money to make his dreams become reality.
  • by EridanMan (929065) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @01:30PM (#22446596)
    The other day I was reading about the littany of Mr. Fossett's achievements. In an age where records are set and fall with each of our ephemeral 15 minutes of fame, Mr. Fossett managed to do something truly extraordinary: become a legend. The moment Fossett vanished, I was in the air in my Cherokee not 100nm from his departure field. It was a mundane day of flying, if any day spent rattling around two miles in the air in an over-sized beer-can pulled by a 1920's tractor motor over the least hospitable terrain in the lower-48 can be called 'mundane'. The Nevada desert has an amazing way of making a man seem both profoundly alone and free, regardless of the technology within he wraps himself. That day of flying will forever be seared into my mind. In a world of mundane, Steve Fossett successfully made the transition from mere mortal to legend. His records and legacy stand so tall that the stories of his achievements will inspire my children's children alongside the stories Earhart and Lindberg. And yes, while a mourn the loss of the man (and I do keep a guilty hope that he's just chilling down in the Bahama's somewhere, enjoying his retirement), It was the legendary ending to the story of legendary achievement: something to celebrate and honor, not mourn and regret. Thank you Steve Fossett. Rest In Peace, you've earned it.
  • Strange occurances (Score:3, Interesting)

    by webrunner (108849) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @02:46PM (#22447116) Homepage Journal
    It seems a lot of people who are known for risking their lives are dying doing pretty normal things... a man who rides high-tech experimental aircraft to world records died crashing a normal single-engine plane. An adventurer who spent his time mostly around horribly dangerous animals was killed by what was supposed to be a completely harmless stingray. There was another recent example I remember but I don't remember the specifics. It's kind of wierd, although I know there's no connections or anything
  • by Fractal Dice (696349) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @06:00PM (#22448506) Journal
    It's a bit humbling to think that even in this day and age, it's still possible for a plane to disappear in the middle of one of the most advanced countries on the planet and the combined resources of governments and enthusiastic hobbiests cannot find any trace of it.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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