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Hiker finds Steve Fossett ID

Officials confirm that documents found near Mammoth Lakes belonged to the billionaire flier.

October 02, 2008|Steve Chawkins and Jia-Rui Chong | Times Staff Writers

"We had been researching Steve Fossett's disappearance since he was declared dead," said producer Eric Schotz of Encino-based LMNO Productions, which provides shows for the Discovery Channel, among others. His crew's presence and the discovery of the apparent Fossett items was coincidental, he said: "It's one weird, ironic trip."

Schotz, who was on hand for the strenuous hike Tuesday, said his group did not plan to pay Morrow for his participation.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday, October 03, 2008 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 2 inches; 81 words Type of Material: Correction
Steve Fossett: A photograph on Thursday's front page showing $100 bills and a pilot's license that apparently belonged to billionaire Steve Fossett was credited to Rob Meyers, Discovery Channel. It should have been credited to Michael Slee, Discovery Channel / LMNO Productions. In addition, Thursday's article about the found items said that video executive Eric Schotz had visited the site near Mammoth Lakes where the find was made. Schotz's video crew from LMNO Productions was at the site, but not Schotz.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday, October 04, 2008 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 52 words Type of Material: Correction
Steve Fossett: An article in Thursday's Section A about missing aviator Steve Fossett said that Mammoth Lakes attorney David Baumwohl accompanied a hiker to the location where he had found documents belonging to Fossett. Baumwohl is an advisor to the hiker, Preston Morrow, but he did not accompany him to the site.

However, Baumwohl held open the possibility that Morrow might receive compensation for a production "that goes a little bit beyond regular news."

Whether reward money is available for information leading to Fossett's discovery was unclear Wednesday.

On the return visit, the group found a faded, extra-large, Nautica fleece pullover and left it at the scene, anchored by a rock.

That detail puzzled Sanford, the Nevada undersheriff.

"To my knowledge, Fossett left in sweat pants, a T-shirt, and tennis shoes," he said. "We're unaware of any other clothing."

Authorities from many agencies are participating in the search. A command post was set up Wednesday at the Mammoth Lakes airport.

British billionaire-adventurer Richard Branson once described Fossett as "a sort of half-android, half-Forrest Gump."

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steve.chawkins@latimes.com

jia-rui.chong@latimes.com

Times staff writers Amanda Covarrubias and Dennis McClellan contributed to this report.

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