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Is there a coordinated effort to assist this search? I worked closely with a few oil and gas exploration folks that have air photos and satellite imagery for most of this area.
If funds were available, IKONOS, Quickbird, or SPOT satellites could be tasked to image this area. Sometimes you get lucky and the imagery was taken near the time forensic data is required. The trucks and trails can be easily determined from this data and the positional accuracy is similar to GPS in this area, about 4-5m spatial resolution.
[This message has been edited by 3ID (edited 12 April 2003).]
As whoever is carrying out the abductions seems to target virtually everyone passing through, why could they not set up some sort of "sting", with Special Forces or similar equipped with tracking beacons posing as hapless european tourists? Or would this be considered too dangerous for anyone to undertake? I would have thought the abductors are leaving themselves extremely vulnerable to being rumbled, just beacuse they keep repeating their actions.
ÊActually Roman, dont want to be pedandic but I think interface have done their sums wrong.
"Fifteen Germans, four Swiss, a Dutchman and a Swede, have also disappeared deep in the Algerian Sahara this year. Ê
ÊTwo Austrian climbers were reported missing on Friday, bringing the total number of missing Austrians to 10 and foreigners to 33"
Adds up to 31 - 8 Austrians + 2 new. I think they may have counted the L300 guys twice - they were the climbers (see poster)
And there is still this talk of 'emir' Moktar Belmoktar and the SP...whatever he has joined - but was he not killed in a raid last year east of Timimoun? I'm sure I reported it on Sahara news.
An Ian, I believe the abductions happened in a short space of time - around 3 weeks late Feb to mid-March - it s just that people who have been out of touch for weeks - as one can be out there (like these climbers) - are not turning up for their Tunis ferries and so the alarm is raised - possibly weeks after they disappeared.
I dont think any new abductions have taken place for nearly a month.as they would be well aware the heat was on.
[This message has been edited by Chris Scott (edited 13 April 2003).]
Does anyone have any further news (as opposed to speculation). What is the number of vehicles / bikes now reported missing. What are the number of persons reported missing? Are any non Europeans reported missing in the area? Are these reported missings localised to the Eastern routes of Algeria. Are the routes through Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad & Sudan still trouble free?
Did the overlanders carry EPIRB or Sat Phone?
If a Sat phone, GPS is still on, in a passive mode, do they not emmit a signal even though not being actively used?
Regards and thoughts to all families and friends of those currently missing.
You're expecting too much - it's all hazy, speculative and obscure - particularly when political interest and careers are involved. Read this and ponder:
<<Tourism Minister Rhissa Ag Boula said Monday that none of the missing had crossed the border.
"You know, the Algerian Sahara is huge. On our side (of the border), there are no missing tourists. If there were any, it's impossible that I wouldn't know about it," Ag Boula said. >>
I simply cannot believe "the desert is like a sea, follow its rules, otherwise it will swallow you up". These expedtions appear to be are a mix of seasoned and well prepared groups of "several" individuals. Even assuming the leader of a group makes a wrong decision of their GPS reading and bearing, there should be at leat 2 others in the group cross checking.
The myth that a desert can "swallow" a group of individuals is simply ludicrous in today's world of GPS, cartography and excellent authors of vast experience. Particularly when you consider that if they were lossed, one or other would surely have some contact to the outside world, through Sat phone or EPIRB.
My concern here is the proximity which the groups all went to the Libyian border. With the hightened tensions in the Western & Islamic world over the recent Iraq conflict, one can only assume the horrfic thought that they are at the hand of a "religoulsy motivated" group.
I know these individuals are not British, but where is our national reporting and intervention by our goverment. 33 persons is more then the British have lossed in the name of "freeing a poplution" from a dictator. Why is it that persons who seek the liberty and realisation of what life has to offer in terms of travelling the world are simply, in western terms, "swallowed up by insignificance".
The reason I am so passionate is that myself, my wife and another overland Landy were due to be in this area at this time. Thankfully for us our expeditions were delayed. But I shiver at the thought that had we been there, so little action would have been taken.
Surely, there is something we can do to get more action and searches underway. Is there not an organisation that can be employed to undertake independent, impartial searches?
Whatever the cost, are there not enough of us here on-line to contribute to such a cause with the hope that we can at least offer a hope to these 31 or 33 "people" be they lossed, kinapped or immobilised?
It is simply terrible to sit here and feel so useless. I for one would willing give something to help, even be it be for a selfish reason that I hope others would do the same should the same fate befall us on our expedition. I fear that if we do not this epsisode shall tarnish others that which other shall dream of seeking in years to come. We cannot stop the world of politics and religion, but surely we can help to safeguard our fellow travllers in their hour of need?
Thanks for your update. I ran my piece before fully reading yours. Sorry. Can you provide me the details of where and how we can contibute something toward the search activities. I will endeavour to spread the word an tray an gain some momentum, but I fear, alas many will simply not understand. Anyhow, whatever we can do we shall endavour to contribute. This is simply to large to ignore.
the kidnapping is "de facto" officially confirmed now. So I expect the
diplomatic sources to give just as much info to the public to calm down the
population and not to interfere with their measures taken or planned.
I just learned of Marc Hediger's disappearance. I met Marc in Taipei years ago and we visited in Los Aneles when I worked there with Northwest Airlines. I'd like to make contact with Marc's family...Gabriela and Luc...
Is there a site for donations in USD to the search effort?
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