Have AVweb Readers Spotted Fossett's Plane?
Sure, it's a long shot, but AVweb readers taking part in the Mechanical Turk effort to locate Steve Fossett through Google Earth imagery has found something that doesn't look like it belongs on a mountainside. Have a close look at the accompanying image. It looks to us like it could be the fuselage and wings of a small plane. We'll likely know soon enough if this is Fossett's Super Decathlon (or a combination of rock and shadow that looks like it) but in the meantime, the important thing is to keep looking. The Mechanical Turk is an Amazon.com service that harnesses the power of satellite imagery from Google Earth with the discriminating eyes of humans with access to the Internet, which means just about anyone with a few minutes to spare can help find Fossett.
Humans are still much better at picking objects out of photos that don't appear to belong there than computers are.The Mechanical Turk is making available satellite imagery covering the search area for Fossett. Initial images are in black and white but color images may be available later. Those logging on are asked to have a detailed look at each image they receive. If they spot something that could be Fossett's plane, they are asked to mark that image with a click on the appropriate selection. That will put the image into a higher level of rotation and if others also mark it, it will result in a team of search specialists viewing the image and possibly alerting rescue officials.