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Steve Fossett Declared Dead

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the rest-in-peace dept.

News 221

Parallax Blue writes "Millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett, who risked his life seeking to set records in high-tech balloons, gliders and jets, was declared dead Friday, 5 months after he vanished while flying in an ordinary small plane. The self-made business tycoon, who in 2002 became the first person to circle the world solo in a balloon, was last seen Sept. 3 after taking off in a single-engine plane from an airstrip near Yerington, Nev., heading toward Bishop, Calif. He was 63."

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Wife wanted his will put into effect? (5, Interesting)

KingArthur10 (679328) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446268)

From the sounds of it, Steve's wife wanted his last will and testament read and put into effect, and that's what prompted the ruling in the first place. CNN [cnn.com] reported that "Judge Jeffrey Malak made the ruling after an emotional presentation from Fossett's wife of 38 years, Peggy, who also asked that her husband's will be entered into probate."

Re:Wife wanted his will put into effect? (5, Insightful)

saibot834 (1061528) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446330)

Steve Fossett has been missing for 5 months and his chances of survival are very close to zero. It must be a huge psychological stress waiting for your probable-dead husband, so I really can understand that his wife wanted to put a stop to this uncertainty. Sure, it's just something bureaucratic, but now everyone can say that Steve Fossett is dead, instead of just thinking it.

no shit sherlock (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22446362)

So, my guess is that since his wife wanted something to happen, something then happened...at least that's what it sounds like.

Brilliant deduction...now go find the crash site.

Boy, will she have some explaining to do... (5, Funny)

denzacar (181829) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446400)

When he returns from China seven years later, after his ninja training, so he could fight crime in the streets as a billionaire super-hero.

seen after take off? (1)

shareme (897587) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446760)

Story must be wrong..seen after takeoff? Should it not be seen just before takeoff? its about like stating that we just saw Bill gates kiss Linus..

Re:seen after take off? (2, Informative)

whoda (569082) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446978)

No, he was seen flying by a person who works at the ranch. That's where they got their 'best guess' as to the direction he was flying in.

Jim Gray (1, Interesting)

reporter (666905) | more than 6 years ago | (#22447072)

Jim Gray [openphi.net] , the leading authority on databases and fault tolerance, disappeared long before Steve Fossett disappeared. Yet, Gray's wife is not in a rush to declare that her husband is dead although he probably is dead.

Why is Fossett's wife in a rush to declare that her husband is dead?

Faked death (1, Interesting)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446322)

If he was a gangster rapper you'd see people coming up with faked death theories with weird patterns in numbers related to his disappearance to give us all hope...

Unfortunately he was no gangster rapper, only a simple average white billionaire..

Re:Faked death (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22446334)

What is to benefit from faking a death when one already has money? I think other reasons perhaps.

Re:Faked death (1)

mikemsd (225775) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446494)

Great tax break?

Re:Faked death (2, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446656)

You mean like Hotblack from Disaster Area?

Re:Faked death (4, Interesting)

gobbo (567674) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446838)

What is to benefit from faking a death when one already has money? I think other reasons perhaps.

We had a good friend of the family go missing and presumed dead when he was in his late 50's. He was wealthy (not stinking rich, but had owned a car dealership and good investments for 30 years). The circumstances caused our family to think that he had staged things, including insider info (such as a rented car... unusual... and certain affairs nicely wrapped up, including insurance).

Why, one wonders, would he do such a thing when he was at the top of his career and independently wealthy? Easy.

  • kids grown and doing OK, if clingy -- obligations resolved
  • overbearing wife, lovely and charming but man did he have patience
  • business now ran itself
  • a long-running nostalgia for his home city, Genoa
  • well-behaved and upstanding for too long
  • a semi-public figure
  • success is boring and easy when it's assured
  • no doubt, a secret life on the side
  • lots and lots of lead time to stash some cash

Guest Appearnce (4, Funny)

aplusjimages (939458) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446864)

This is all part of the plan to have Steve show up on ABC's LOST as one of the survivors in the background.

too soon, too soon

Is it just possible ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22446324)

He broke Mach 50 and turned into a neutrino?

...while flying in an ordinary small plane. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22446336)

As opposed to what? An extraordinary small plane? A fantastic small plane? A sub-par small plane?

Adjectives: You don't always need them.

Re:...while flying in an ordinary small plane. (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446360)

A sub-par small plane?

Well, I'd say there's a pretty good chance it was a sub-par model, all things considered.

Re:...while flying in an ordinary small plane. (2, Informative)

djupedal (584558) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446440)

ordinary small plane.

Hardly - the plane he was using was an aerobatic Bellanca-built Super Decathlon Citabria, [wikipedia.org] capable of inverted flight and frequently used for aerobatic training.

No kidding, here's the lineage... (2, Informative)

Nick Driver (238034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446744)

From low-end to top of the line in this model series: [wikipedia.org]

(1) Champ
(2) Citabria (various versions)
    -----> (2.5) Scout line derived from Citabria airframe to become bush-plane line.
(3) Decathlon
(4) Super Decathlon

Steve was flying the top of the line model, though the Scout probably would've been a better choice of a plane for the particular mission Steve was flying, if he would have had one available.

Re:...while flying in an ordinary small plane. (1)

Trespass (225077) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446390)

As opposed to a kit plane or an ultralight.

The man died with open eyes doing what he loved (5, Interesting)

benzapp (464105) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446346)

This is no tragedy; we should be celebrating this man's life. We should all be as lucky to live such a full life, and die as old men under such circumstances. When most reach old age, they give up on life entirely. When your body begins to fail, it takes real courage to tempt fate on a regular basis.

     

Re:The man died with open eyes doing what he loved (5, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446380)

I like to post dangerously on Slashdot to keep the blood flowing.

Re:The man died with open eyes doing what he loved (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446752)

Yea, you never know what sort of freaks will reply.

Re:The man died with open eyes doing what he loved (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22446402)

Well, the odd thing is how he died doing something relatively mundane (flying a plane as personal transport) as opposed to breaking another world record.

Re:The man died with open eyes doing what he loved (1)

everett (154868) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446648)

I imagine this is because one takes greater precautions when taking extreme risks than when doing something mundane and routine that you've done lots of times before.

Re:The man died with open eyes doing what he loved (-1, Troll)

Seumas (6865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446462)

The guy was a rich douche playing with his toys, which wound up costing a lot of people a lot of time and money and concern. Well, except for the cable news outlets. If he had been young, pretty, blond and female, he'd be the subject of hourly updates and investigations on cable news for the next four years.

Good for him, doing stuff he wanted to do, but he wasn't Louis Pascal or anything and I'm not going to have any particular sympathy for the guy.

Re:The man died with open eyes doing what he loved (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22446466)

This is no tragedy; we should be celebrating this man's life.


What? Why should we be celebrating this man's life? What makes him special as opposed to one of the 13 million people who have died since this guy disappeared? How about glamorizing some psuedo-celeb you develop some real humanity. And while 63 may seem ancient to you, why don't you go out and meet some sixty year olds and develop a relationship with them and then consider the probability that they gave up on life. Very few people "give up on life", they just realize that, at 80, their bodies just aren't robust as they were twenty years ago.

Re:The man died with open eyes doing what he loved (2, Insightful)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 6 years ago | (#22447002)

I think he should be celebrated because he is a model of rugged individualism.
There aren't many people like him left. One less now that he's gone.

As a pilot, I hate it when... (5, Informative)

Nick Driver (238034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446490)

...people say "he died doing what he loved". No pilot loves crashing a plane. Whatever had gone terribly wrong at the end of Steve's last flight, I can guarantee you he was not loving it. I'd bet that the first emotion that he felt was anger at whatever caused the initial deviation from normal flight, followed by shock and apprehension in the final seconds once he realized he was in serious trouble.

Fortunately I have never been in such a dire predicament while behind the controls of a plane, the worst that's happened to me was a partial loss of power after takeoff during climbout in a C172, but I had plenty of altitude and an airport right behind me in easy gliding distance in case the engine quit completely, but I landed normally without incident. I can tell you I was certainly NOT loving it, and the emotion going thru my head was that I was pissed off at the airplane.

Two pilot friends of mine have died in small plane crashes, both due to making really stupid errors in judgement. As they drilled their respective planes into the dirt, they were not doing what they loved either. Both of them took friends and family members to their deaths with them too.

Re:As a pilot, I hate it when... (5, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446660)

people say "he died doing what he loved". No pilot loves crashing a plane.

You're being overly literal. That's a generally accepted shorthand for "at least he was engaged in an activity he enjoyed, not rotting away in an Alzheimers ward or in the agonizing throes of cancer". Steve was definitely doing something he loved, save but for the last few minutes.

Re:As a pilot, I hate it when... (2, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 6 years ago | (#22447094)


That's a generally accepted shorthand for "at least he was engaged in an activity he enjoyed, not rotting away in an Alzheimers ward or in the agonizing throes of cancer".

Why is that any better? He's still dead. If you were to die from cancer, or some other long term disease, at least you die with the people around you. He died alone, in some unknown place. That's supposed to be "better"?

Re:As a pilot, I hate it when... (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 6 years ago | (#22447134)

We all die alone. Whether he was enjoying the last moments of life or not, he was at least enjoying life up to that point. That's the point the previous poster was trying to make.

We all go through the death process by ourselves; no one else in this world can help us on that journey.

Re:As a pilot, I hate it when... (3, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#22447142)

He died alone, in some unknown place. That's supposed to be "better"?

My dad died alone in his front yard of a sudden, massive heart attack. We didn't get to gather around him, tell stories, and say goodbye as he faded. One day I got a call from my screaming mom, and that was it - he was dead.

Know what? That was better. We were together while he was still alive and healthy, and his family's last memories of him are as we always knew him: strong and happy and himself. I wouldn't change that for the world, and I know inside that he wouldn't either.

So, yeah. Steve Fossett died well.

Re:As a pilot, I hate it when... (2, Insightful)

JamesP (688957) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446938)

I can guarantee you he was not loving it. I'd bet that the first emotion that he felt was anger at whatever caused the initial deviation from normal flight,

BUT, if he managed to escape it, he surely would think it was 'unfskingomgbelievably AWESOME!!!111'

It may be pretty cool... if you don't get hurt.

Re:As a pilot, I hate it when... (4, Funny)

fireboy1919 (257783) | more than 6 years ago | (#22447050)

I can guarantee you he was not loving it. I'd bet that the first emotion that he felt was anger at whatever caused the initial deviation from normal flight, followed by shock and apprehension in the final seconds once he realized he was in serious trouble.

You may be wrong about "what he loved" is referring to.

I personally, would be quite happy to die in a fiery explosion that produced a crater big enough to be visible from the moon. That'd be sweet (as long as no one else got hurt)! In that case, crashing wouldn't be what I loved, but making a crater would be.

"Doing what he loved" in some cases might also refer to some recreational pharmaceuticals and individuals of negotiable affection (though probably not in this case). I mean, with those involved, you might not actually notice you crashed until the ground rises up and smites you.

Re:The man died with open eyes doing what he loved (1, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446506)


This is no tragedy; we should be celebrating this man's life.

A billionaire who spent his billions on hot air balloon rides, and trying to fly around the world?

Sorry, I just don't see much worth celebrating. I'm sure he loved it, and great for him and all. But I don't find what he did or accomplished terribly noteworthy or important.

Re:The man died with open eyes doing what he loved (2, Funny)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446942)

I disagree, I think he was an awesome guy who did a lot of good things for the people around him!

Joe
HotBalloonSupplies.com

Re:The man died with open eyes doing what he loved (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22446530)

How does something like this get moddded "Interesting"?

63 is not "old age". It's not even typical retirement age (at least in the US).

Someone of his means could have easily lived past 100.

But then I guess most ./s are stupid kids.

Re:The man died with open eyes doing what he loved (0, Flamebait)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446534)

It doesn't take courage to tempt fate for fame. It doesn't take courage to pursue one adrenaline rush after another, or another moment in front of the cameras. It takes willful blindness and a profound disrespect for the value of a human life.

You know what your "this is no tragedy" reminds me of? That seven year old girl who died taking off into a thunderstorm with her father and flight instructor, trying to become the youngest cross-continental pilot in America. That's exactly what her mother said on camera as grief fought with the realization that her family's thrillseeking had cost her a daughter and a husband.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jessica_Dubroff [wikipedia.org]

Re:The man died with open eyes doing what he loved (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 6 years ago | (#22447172)

I agree. Unfortunately for you, there's too many people that don't like the grim reality that "thrillseeking" is just about an ego or adrenaline rush, and not something to be really be proud of, so they mod you down.

Re:The man died with open eyes doing what he loved (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446716)

The man died with open eyes doing what he loved
Sitting in a plane wreckage eating rats?

He slipped the surly bonds of earth ... (1)

GCH (20184) | more than 6 years ago | (#22447096)

Yes, he did die doing what he loved. And, in memory, a pilot's poem he would no doubt have known well.

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee
No 412 squadron, RCAF
Killed 11 December 1941

He's sharing a cabin... (0)

rueger (210566) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446384)

... with DB Cooper! [wikipedia.org]

Re:He's sharing a cabin... (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446424)

no he took his plane over area 51 and he is being held in a under ground base.

Re:He's sharing a cabin... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22446504)

with Jacob but he might have to move to the Barracks with Locke and his followers!

He's not dead (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22446392)

He landed at sea next to Jim Gray's boat, and they're having a beer together.

Stand By Me (0, Flamebait)

necro81 (917438) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446416)

from Stand By Me [imdb.com] :

Vince Desjardins: I'll tell you how they're gonna find him. Ten years from now, some hunter's gonna go in the woods to take a leak, wind up pissing on his bones.
Charlie Hogan: I bet you a thousand bucks, they'll find him before then.
Eyeball: Bet you two thousands dollars, they don't.
Charlie Hogan: Well, asshole...
Billy Tessio: Hey, what's the big deal? Who cares?
Ace: Will you two just shut the fuck up? If either of you assholes had two-thousand dollars, I'd kill you both.

Sad... (1)

DarrenBaker (322210) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446436)

It makes you realise just how utterly huge this place is, if someone and their entire light aircraft can just disappear in a matter of minutes. Reminds me a lot of this case:

http://iroc305.tripod.com/id53.htm [tripod.com]

It's spooky, really, but I have to think that there'll be a Slashdot story in a few years about how his bones and his plane were found using new Google Maps Streetview - Desert Edition.

Big wilderness out there (5, Interesting)

Desert Tripper (1166529) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446450)

It amazes me, especially living in the area of endless urbania that is the Greater L.A. area, that there are still uninhabited areas so vast that a plane could crash and not be found after exhaustive searching with high-tech equipment.

Then again, there is an almost-intact crashed plane near the western (Highway 190) entrance to Death Valley, near Towne Pass, that's in plain view of the highway yet almost impossible to see unless you know what you are looking for. It crashed in the 50s; it was part of a CIA mission and lost power over the Amargosa Valley. The crew bailed out near Furnace Creek, if my memory serves me correctly, then the plane crashed in the Panamint Range to the west.

Some pics from someone who hiked to the site: http://rides.webshots.com/album/292358776FDMVRo [webshots.com]

After seeing that on one of my outings, Fossett's plight isn't so incredible to me. Sucks to be him, but he certainly didn't live a hard knocks life prior to his demise.

Re:Big wilderness out there (1)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446762)

I was driving around there last fall.
Its not a nice terrain to spot things.

If the plane went down and burned out, you wouldnt see the remains from 100 meters away.

Trying to spot it from a plane is just grasping for straws.

The worst theory i heard about this accident was that its not too unlikely he crashed his plance to either freeze or die of thirst down in the desert.

Bjarne (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22446458)

I am with Bjarne on this one.
Bjarne Stroustrup, creator of the C++ programming language, claims that C++ is experiencing a revival and
that there is a backlash against newer programming languages such as Java and C#. "C++ is bigger than ever.
There are more than three million C++ programmers. Everywhere I look there has been an uprising
- more and more projects are using C++. A lot of teaching was going to Java, but more are teaching C++ again.
There has been a backlash.", said Stroustrup.

OK That's it (5, Insightful)

bperkins (12056) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446480)

How do we shut off tags?

Right under this story I see a tag of "whogivesafuck."

That's just not acceptable.

Re:OK That's it (2, Insightful)

PommeFritz (70221) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446502)

I second that. Made me sick in my stomach

Re:OK That's it (0, Redundant)

bvimo (780026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446550)

It reminded me that some people have different opinions.

Re:OK That's it (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22446546)

Why not? Honestly, who does give a fuck? Presumably Fossett's family and friends, but Slashdot readers are presumably generally neither. He was a businessman, and not one who changed our culture (either as techies or as people in general). My condolences to his family and friends, but as far as the general Slashdot readership is concerned, his death simply does not matter.

Re:OK That's it (4, Informative)

tuffy (10202) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446558)

"Help & Preferences" -> "Index" -> "General", then uncheck "Show Tags".

I turned them off a long time ago since they provide no value.

Re:OK That's it (0, Offtopic)

bperkins (12056) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446574)

Thanks!

Re:OK That's it (1)

bvimo (780026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446576)

Then I'll miss out on the "oh no it's Roland" tag.

Re:OK That's it (5, Insightful)

thewils (463314) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446572)

No man is an island, entire of itself
every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main
if a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were,
as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were
any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind
and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls
it tolls for thee.

-- John Donne

Re:OK That's it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22447130)

And who gives a fuck about John Donne except freshman English majors?

Sure it's acceptable (2, Insightful)

sir_montag (937262) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446618)

Sure it's acceptable. People die. I can only know so many people personally, and the ones that I don't know personally don't matter terribly much to me. That's human nature - you can't empathize with 200 million people that you don't know, and when some of them die, why should you feel anything in particular? I suppose intellectually I have some regret that the world lost a good adventurer perhaps, but that's about it.

Penn and Teller put it best (as always). (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22446786)

You have no right to not be offended [youtube.com] but you do have the right to avoid, dismiss, or speak-out against things that offend you. That being said, the tags should not be censored because they bother you. Someone out there obviously does not give a fuck about this event and they have every right to express that opinion. Deal with it. If someone is really so emotionally immature or weak that they find this terribly upsetting, they have other problems that society cannot and should not try to accommodate.

Re:Penn and Teller put it best (as always). (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22447088)

Get off your high-horse, the first part of his comment was "How do we shut off the tags," which fits your avoidance suggestion.

Re:OK That's it (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446812)

It makes me wonder what actually causes tags to show up there.

I mean did a moderator choose to put it there? Did enough people enter that exact phrase to roll it to the top of some list?

I have to be honest -- I have no idea how the tagging works.

Re:OK That's it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22446996)

A few days ago, the article on China espionage was tagged nukechina. It scared me a lot.

I didn't see a (Score 5: Insightful) post protesting suggesting killing millions of people then.

Re:OK That's it (1, Offtopic)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446998)

I agree, it was not acceptable. So, what is your position on the Danish cartoons?

Inappropriate tagging" (5, Interesting)

nebaz (453974) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446486)

Whoever tagged this article "whogivesafuck" should turn in their human card at the door. Sure, you may not have known this guy personally, but that tag is in really poor taste. How would you like it if after someone you knew died, someone came up to you and said "he's dead. so what?".

Re:Inappropriate tagging" (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22446524)

Unfortunately there's a sizable group of 15 year olds on slashdot, and modern media has taught these kids that being apathetic is "cool".

It's very sad, but you can always hope that maybe they will grow up a bit in time.

Re:Inappropriate tagging" (4, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446570)

No, they've been taught that being obnoxious is cool, because there are no consequences to bad behavior in a forum such as this. Now, if each of us could click a "jackass" button, and when a certain number of them get pressed the individual responsible receives a brief 30 kV electric shock ... now that might do it.

And I'm not so sure that they're as young as you think: I'm pretty certain that some of them have had plenty of time to grow up but didn't.

Re:Inappropriate tagging" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22446690)

I think such a feature would end up like the family counseling scene on the Simpsons, where everyone got a button to shock the others.

Re:Inappropriate tagging" (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446746)

Yeah ... but it would be cool!

Re:Inappropriate tagging" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22446580)

I genuinely don't give a shit.

And I'm far from being 15. A rich guy dies - so fucking what?

I'm not going to be crying over the corpses of orphans in Africa or countless other people dying daily either.

People die, that's life. Deal or join 'em, there are your options.

Re:Inappropriate tagging" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22446598)

who gives a fuck.

Re:Inappropriate tagging" (4, Insightful)

Anoraknid the Sartor (9334) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446590)

Was Fosset known to you personally? If so - what on earth are you doing demanding sympathy on slashdot?

I have no particular emotional involvement in the man's life or death - and nor do many others. That isn't to say I would have wished him ill - I just don't see why I should care. He seemed to have enjoyed life - good for him. This is just the judicial declaration of something that most people assumed long ago.

And if the death of someone I loved was reported on Slashdot, "who gives a fuck" would be an entirely appropriate tag.

More than that - it would be rather creepy if you DID give a fuck. Displays of public grief for people we do not know, but with whom we pretend an intimacy to which we are not really entitled are distasteful and should always be challenged.

I did not tag the article. That said, without wishing Fosset either well, or ill, but just on general principals that this is someone who I did not know, reports of the judicial declaration of death of whom are cluttering up Slashdot, I echo the tag: "Whogivesafuck?"

Re:Inappropriate tagging" (1)

sir_montag (937262) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446652)

You said it better than I did. Pretending to be emotionally involved with the death of someone you've never known personally is slightly disturbing.

Re:Inappropriate tagging" (1)

ilikepi314 (1217898) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446710)

Sure I didn't know the guy, but what about the family? That's who *I* am sad for. My family has lost family members before and it doesn't matter how rich or poor, it's going to be painful for a while, and money won't cure that. Especially the will!! You're grieving and then have to jump through hoops to get the final arrangements taken care of. It's really not a fun time.

However, knowing others (even complete strangers!) sympathize and wish you the best *does* help a lot.

We need to support each other when times are tough. This doesn't mean you need to show up to the funeral and give a eulogy about him being awesome despite not knowing him, because that probably would be a bit creepy. But that doesn't mean you have the right to pretend like its not a big deal for some group of people out there. Show some respect.

Re:Inappropriate tagging" (1)

Anoraknid the Sartor (9334) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446798)

I too have lost family members, and the very last thing I would have wanted was complete strangers, who did not know them, conveying their sympathies. It would have been deeply impertinent. People not in a position of intimacy should keep their "respect" to themselves - and certainly not go around demanding that others show it.

Re:Inappropriate tagging" (1)

anethema (99553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22447032)

Tool said it best:

Ignorant fibbers in the congregation
Gather around spewing sympathy, spare me
None of them could even hold a candle up to you
Blinded by choices hypocrites won't seek
But enough about the collective Judas

Repect? Why? (1)

sir_montag (937262) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446828)

"However, knowing others (even complete strangers!) sympathize and wish you the best *does* help a lot."

No, not really. If a complete stranger or someone I barely knew pretended (or even genuinely offered) sympathy at the death of my grandmother, I'd tell them to fuck off. They didn't know the person in question and anything beyond a 'oh, sorry to hear' is offensive display of empathy for someone they didn't know.

Respect and empathy for the dead are two different things. While going to a funeral and laughing or spitting on the headstone are clearly offensive behaviors, the honest opinions of slashdot readers reflected in the tags are not.

Re:Inappropriate tagging" (1)

bvimo (780026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446604)

What if the deceased had been Darl McBride?

Re:Inappropriate tagging" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22446670)

Then it would have at least been relevant.

And there would have been a "goodriddance" tag, and that would have been in poor taste.

Re:Inappropriate tagging" (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22446638)

While I don't agree with the tag on this story, and while I don't think that there's a need to voice your opinion with a tag like that if you truly don't care, I can't say I can't understand why people might not care. About 100000 people die each day - more than one per second, as a very rough estimate. Does anyone on Slashdot - you, me, Taco, whoever - care about them? No, of course not. It's just life. And for someone who doesn't care about Fossett, his death is just life, too - another blimp on the death radar. Another statistic.

It's still tactless to tag the story as "whogivesafuck", but the opinion as such is understandable.

Re:Inappropriate tagging" (5, Insightful)

nebaz (453974) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446880)

It's not the opinion that bothers me, it is the obnoxiousness. Clearly the person who wrote "whogivesafuck" cares enough to go tag the article. If they clearly didn't care, they wouldn't bother tagging the article in the first place. The opinion is not obnoxious, people die all the time, and for people you don't know, it is not surprising that you truly don't care, but tagging the article this way in a public forum is somewhat tantamount to yelling in an open forum "See me, I don't give a shit about this guy at all". Why bother? It just makes you look like a jerk.

Re:Inappropriate tagging" (2, Insightful)

bertramwooster (763417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22447158)

It could be that he feels this is not the proper forum to offer condolences to some famous guy who many people on this forum didn't care about when he was alive. If Slashdot didn't care when he was alive, why should they when he died (although his death was a little unusual). Considering that I'd say that most people on Slashdot really don't care for Slashdot to report this and this guy feels particularly strongly. That could be why he tagged it. Its another way of saying "Why is Slashdot posting this?"

Re:Inappropriate tagging" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22447162)

Why bother? It just makes you look like a jerk.

I guess I'd have to assume these people care about the quality of articles on /. and simply want to keep the noise ratio down. If people want to read obituaries, perhaps there is a better place for it. I'm sure none of the taggers actually wished ill will on this person, it's more a of a "get off my lawn" sentiment. Which may be callous or however some choose interpret it, but I didn't bother you when my loved ones died. Please take your grief/sadness where is it appropriate.... /. is not a group hug circle, nor to the best of my understand has the deceased done anything to warrant this type of attention regardless of if this is an appropriate forum or not.

Dr. Jun-ichiro Hagino didn't receive this much attention, and that's someone who is much more relevant to /. culture.

Re:Inappropriate tagging" (1)

nebaz (453974) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446892)

Also, the "you" in the previous post does not refer to the parent, just the general "you".

Re:Inappropriate tagging" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22446726)

tens of thousands of people die every day
its hard to 'give a flying fuck about them all'

and fuck me if the 'confirm i am not a script comes up with 'exhume'
i shit you not

Re:Inappropriate tagging" (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22446732)

Sure, you may not have known this guy personally, but that tag is in really poor taste.

Oh boo hoo. Some guy who used to do dangerous things because he was bored with his life had a date with Darwin. Cry me a river in people magazine, not here.

In other news, some other rich guy who only dates supermodels probably got dumped by a supermodel last week. Let's all mourn for his loss.

How would you like it if after someone you knew died, someone came up to you and said "he's dead. so what?".

If I were wanking on about it in a place where it had no business, I'd realize that the person was right.

Re:Inappropriate tagging" (1, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446846)

Whoever tagged this article "whogivesafuck" should turn in their human card at the door. Sure, you may not have known this guy personally, but that tag is in really poor taste. How would you like it if after someone you knew died, someone came up to you and said "he's dead. so what?".
It mean [yimg.com] , but thousands of people die everyday, I don't know how many go missing. This guy was rich and famous, and that's why we're hearing about him, and not about all the others.

I don't really care about him more than about anyone of the countless anonymous deaths. I didn't know him, I lost nothing when he disappeared. And I don't feel bad about it. In fact, I'm annoyed that people care more about a dead rich guy than about a hundred poor ones.

Re:Inappropriate tagging" (1)

ardin,mcallister (924615) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446910)

I would like to point out that after my mother died (when I was ten), I had someone say something along the lines of "who gives a fuck" to me... I did take offense to it. After growing up a bit, and learning a bit about the first amendment, I've come to realize that it's their right to say that. HOWEVER, it is also my right to bitch about the fact that they say it. So, Good for you for exercizing your rights! And good for whoever tagged this story "whogivesafuck", for exercizing your rights as well. If we all exercized our rights a little bit more, maybe people in the US wouldn't be offended so easily.

Learn to Deal with Reality (1)

Layth (1090489) | more than 6 years ago | (#22447090)

Acceptance of the things we cannot change is the key to true maturity and enlightenment. If you have a problem with that, then grow up. In our lifetime people will never care about the death of somebody they've never heard of.

Welcome to a new low (3, Interesting)

Maavin (598439) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446552)

This tag marks a new low on slashdot.

Maybe the tagger is just jealous, because this man did the right thing with all his money. Instead of attending stupid show-off parties, he used his money to make his dreams become reality.

Re:Welcome to a new low (4, Funny)

Fear the Clam (230933) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446818)

Instead of attending stupid show-off parties, he used his money to make his dreams become reality.

Two chicks at the same time?

Am I the only one who likes to dream that... (5, Insightful)

EridanMan (929065) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446596)

The other day I was reading about the littany of Mr. Fossett's achievements. In an age where records are set and fall with each of our ephemeral 15 minutes of fame, Mr. Fossett managed to do something truly extraordinary: become a legend. The moment Fossett vanished, I was in the air in my Cherokee not 100nm from his departure field. It was a mundane day of flying, if any day spent rattling around two miles in the air in an over-sized beer-can pulled by a 1920's tractor motor over the least hospitable terrain in the lower-48 can be called 'mundane'. The Nevada desert has an amazing way of making a man seem both profoundly alone and free, regardless of the technology within he wraps himself. That day of flying will forever be seared into my mind. In a world of mundane, Steve Fossett successfully made the transition from mere mortal to legend. His records and legacy stand so tall that the stories of his achievements will inspire my children's children alongside the stories Earhart and Lindberg. And yes, while a mourn the loss of the man (and I do keep a guilty hope that he's just chilling down in the Bahama's somewhere, enjoying his retirement), It was the legendary ending to the story of legendary achievement: something to celebrate and honor, not mourn and regret. Thank you Steve Fossett. Rest In Peace, you've earned it.

Re:Am I the only one who likes to dream that... (2, Funny)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446796)

Legend? I'd never heard of the guy until he crashed, and from the looks of it all he did was spend loads of money on having fun. Nothing wrong with that, but he aint exactly mother theresa either.

Re:Am I the only one who likes to dream that... (3, Funny)

exploder (196936) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446976)

TThe moment Fossett vanished, I was in the air in my Cherokee not 100nm from his departure field.
100 nanometers? That's no ordinary small plane!

Steve Fossett is alive (0, Troll)

asCii88 (1017788) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446742)

He's with Elvis and Punk

ELT ? (1)

not_listening (1232444) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446912)

I am surprised that no one mentioned ELTs (emergency locator transmitter). Having an installed and functional ELT is a requirement for cross country travel. One commenter said the plane was a Bellanca. I wonder if an aerobatic pilot would turn off his ELT to avoid nuisance trips when doing aerobatics and forget to turn it back on. Most ELTs are getting kind of old. Like 20 to 30 years installed in the plane. What kind of reliability can you expect from a radio that old after a hard crash ?

What?!? (0, Offtopic)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 6 years ago | (#22446950)

You mean Ed Dames hasn't found him yet?

Of course, Ed would have trouble finding his tv remote. But he's made a lot of money fooling people!

And in his honor... (1)

xbytor (215790) | more than 6 years ago | (#22447100)

I will offer a toast to night to all of the man's achievements, as I have done for the individual ones.

I had hoped for the longest time to hear on the news that he'd finally dragged himself out of the wilderness with yet another epic tale to tell.

Strange occurances (2, Interesting)

webrunner (108849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22447116)

It seems a lot of people who are known for risking their lives are dying doing pretty normal things... a man who rides high-tech experimental aircraft to world records died crashing a normal single-engine plane. An adventurer who spent his time mostly around horribly dangerous animals was killed by what was supposed to be a completely harmless stingray. There was another recent example I remember but I don't remember the specifics. It's kind of wierd, although I know there's no connections or anything
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