1. Discussion about Scotty\'s disappearance and search.
2. As of Wednesday evening we have over $19,000 in contributions and pledges in the Find Scotty Marion Fund. Big thanks to all who have contributed!
News from Otto Voigt, one of the searchers (8/20/2003)
I think where is a big need of information about the search of Scotty and I try to give a overview. Please use it for Internet an other infos, but please correct the spelling of my not very good English.
When we start the search 6 days were over by unlucky circumstances. We had to receive as many information as we can. The main reason of the delay was that Scotty didn\'t organise a backcall after the Friday long distance flight he had been seen last time. So nobody was really missing him and realizing the need of a urgent situation.
What could be happened to him. Of all the possible scenarios from making a good time on a mountain farmers site up to suicide, the most possible is a crash with his paraglider. Perhaps heavy injured and not able to move and without water resource the chance to survive more then 5 days is very small. So the official rescue of SAR chances into recover somebody by clear hints from public. So helicopters flew 3 days by hints like \"I saw a paraglider desapearing behind a moutain on a unusual place.\" But these hints didn\'t bring any success.
An air accident with a paraglider is in contrast to an airplane often a low energy impact and the chance to be less injured is much bigger. Also paraglider pilots are well dressed and will not cool out as quick in the night. Often pilots come down on the security parachute, but inpact in unfriendly places like a rocky wall. So the possibility to pack in the wing and try to reach the valley or a possible take off place is big, above all when you realize nobody is missing you and you get weaker every day and night. The danger of falling with our parachute on the back by climbing in the rocks is very big, when you are not an experienced climber. The bad thing in this case is not to see any parachute on the ground for the searchers in the flights.
So we organized private search as quick as possible. Because the Scotty tried to make 200km flight and the weather was good with dry thermals over 3500m we had to calculate with this range, what means a priority area of 10,000 km2 in the direction south/west in this wind situation. See the attached map. Overflying the most inclouded mountain ridges in 200-300 m distance and watching out for a white/yellow patch on the ground is realistic and has a good chance to find him, because there is very little snow in the mountains because the hot summer. To send dozens of planes with none qualified pilots and watchers is not only low quality search and difficult to coordinate, with the thunderstorm season we will miss perhaps at the end some more people in the Alps. Therefore we send only two, maximum 3 airplanes with upper wings for good vertical visibility and qualified mountain experienced pilots to search in well coordinated areas. See the attached map.
Search with helicopters is useful to find a missing person. He has to fly close, slow and systematic levels in a certain mountain and will need hours for just one of it. Helicopter with enough power and qualified professional pilots cost ten time more for one hour and the search to find Scotty in this big area would reach an astronomic time and money dimension. Even to this day hundred of people and probably ten complete airplanes are never found in Swiss Alps. When Scotty was injured in climbing and falling into trees or rough ground we will not have a realistic chance to find him.
I can hear many ideas like looking in the night with infrared cameras. But on the Alps are hundred thousands of cows siting around. Watching with satellite means anyway to have a look at every white thing or people looking like by yourself, and there are too many of them on every mountain.
I heard about, saw and helped in searching people, but the area dimension to find Scotty is bigger then everything I ever heard. I sit in this airplane and more then 10 days are over. My eyes are hurting in analyzing all the white patches, disappointed to realize the snow or stone, which was glittering in the sun. In the evening I feel empty and sad. I dream in the night to sit beside him to give him some water and to bring him back to his friends. In the morning I find new idea where to search and the hope is back, perhaps always a little weaker.
Thanks to all they help to search with money or with her time we give. Many of us live with the same passion as Scotty does and when his part should reach one day also one of us we will remember. Perhaps I will buy for myself an ELT (Emergency Location Transmitter) to help you to find me quick one day.
Sales & Logistics
XIX GmbH Paragliders
21 August 2003, Elisabeth Rauchenberger
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