Volunteers collaboratively analyzing aerial and satellite imagery to assist in search and rescue efforts.

Volunteers collaboratively analyzing aerial and satellite imagery to assist in search and rescue efforts.

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Status Update - March 28, 2008

Ron Boychuk Search

We have completed three passes of the available imagery for the Ron Boychuk search effort and are placing this search in review mode to give evaluators time to complete their reviews of existing reports. Once their reviews have been completed we will suspend the search for Ron Boychuk until we have acquired new imagery. Our plan is to acquire new imagery at the end of April or beginning of May once we know all of the snow has melted from the areas of interest. There is still a great deal of snow on the ground in the areas of interest, which would impede the evaluation of imagery.

We are working to finalize the next target areas for imagery acquisition and to prioritize the order in which new imagery will be evaluated. Randy Austin, who is our Imagery Acquisition and Processing Specialist, is coordinating with an aerial imagery firm who has volunteered their services to the Ron Boychuk search effort.

Back at the beginning of February one of our participants who goes by the screen name Teekay reported an object sighting that seemed very promising to everyone who reviewed it including our entire senior staff. This report was passed on to the Boychuk family and the RCMP who were also very interested in the report and felt it held great promise. Unfortunately, due to very deep snow cover in the sighting location, searchers were not able to investigate the report until very recently.

A helicopter flew out the sighting location and did an extended hover over the area of interest just above the tree tops. To everyone's disappointment, nothing of interest was found at the sighting location. While we are very certain the reported object is not an aircraft, it could not be determined what the object was. Searches have expressed interest in revisiting this location later this year to see if it can be determined what the object spotted in the satellite imagery was.

We would like to thank everyone who was part of the evaluation process for this object for not letting word of it leak out, which helped ensure we maintained the integrity of the sighting location until it could be physically investigated and preventing a media frenzy. For now we still do not plan to release any more information about the location of this report. Searchers do want to revisit the location and we want to ensure the integrity of the area for them. Once we know that the area is no longer of any interest to searchers we will release the satellite imagery of the object and any ground photos if available.

Steve Fossett Search

Shortly we will be uploading more of the Sanborn 2 imagery that is part of the 300 image sets we have from last fall. We will continue to work through this imagery until Steve Fossett has been located, we run out of imagery, or someone provides us with new imagery from what is determined to be a more promising location. Thus far, no reported object from the Steve Fossett search imagery we have been working with has been deemed to be of enough interest to warrant passing on to search authorities.

1,800 Participants - We Couldn't Have Done This Without You

A very big thank you goes to the 1,800 participants who have helped scour 17,000 imagery assignments so far for the searches for Ron Boychuk and Steve Fossett. We know how tedious it can be scanning countless images looking for something that just doesn't look right. We want everyone to know that all of the hard work has been greatly appreciated and Ron Boychuk's family is very grateful for the phenomenal outpouring of help.