123. Adventurer Disappears

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Steve Magellan, world-famous adventurer, has been missing for two days. The man who soared around the world by himself in a balloon took off in a single-engine airplane from a private airport in Nevada. He left at noon for a three-hour flight. The weather was perfect. There were no storms in the area. He took no emergency provisions. Presumably, he considered his flight to be little different from a trip to the market for a quart of milk.

He didn't file a flight plan, so exactly where he went is unknown. Searchers are combing a 200 by 200 mile area by air. The terrain is high desert, with lots of ravines. "It would be very easy for a small plane like that to remain undetected for months," said an officer from the Civil Air Patrol. The plane, like most small planes, did not have a "black box," which sends out radio signals in event of a crash. A friend of Magellan's said that he usually wears a watch that can send radio signals. But no signals were coming from that watch, if he was in fact wearing it.

Magellan had a knack for walking away uninjured from accidents, so friends and relatives did not seem to be overly alarmed. His younger sister said that it wouldn't surprise her if he came strolling out of the desert in a day or two. Magellan made his fortune in real estate when he was young, and has devoted the rest of his life to pursuing world records in ballooning, piloting airplanes, and driving fast cars. The purpose of his afternoon flight was to find a suitable area to try to set a new land speed record for automobiles.


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