Surfers Scour Google Earth for Signs of Aviator

Internet volunteer army pores over photos in Fossett search
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2007 3:20 AM CDT
A signpost stands along a dirt road in Smith Valley, Nev., Thursday, Sept. 6, 2007. Despite a massive search effort, the other-worldly terrain of northwest Nevada has bedeviled the crews that have been...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – An army of web surfers—even the guy in the next cubicle—has joined the search for missing aviator Steve Fossett. Google Earth has released fresh images of the Nevada desert, and surfers can scour chunks of wilderness for aircraft wreckage. One problem: "We're finding them left and right—Nevada is a graveyard" for downed planes, said a state spokesman.

There are 129 crash sites on record in Nevada, but officials estimate some 300 small planes have disappeared there over the last 50 years. Eight old wrecks have been turned up in the week since Fossett disappeared. Google Earth teamed up with's Mechanical Turk application to help orchestrate the online search.