Scott Speicher’s family is thankful for the return of the missing pilot's remains, but isn't buying the military's conclusion that he died in a plane crash in Iraq on the opening night of the Gulf War, the Florida Times-Union reports. “We’re discrediting the rumor that he died in the crash,” the family’s lawyer said. “That’s just not accurate.” Speicher was initially declared dead; that was later changed to missing.
The family says the Pentagon theory doesn’t jibe with information they’ve collected in the 18 years since the crash, which variously indicates Speicher ejected successfully, was in an Iraqi prison, killed by Saddam Hussein, or an amnesiac wandering the desert. “The family’s been on such a roller coaster,” says one Desert Storm pilot. “No one would think it would turn into an 18-year ordeal.”