Norton Search Plans

As we work on our next trip to Venezuela to continue the search effort, I want to let everyone know what we are planning and working on. The search effort has reached a very tedious and technical phase. I know that many wonder how long this will take and when will we stop searching. The answer is simple. We will continue to search until we find them or until there is nothing left to try. I have been asked many times if I think that some sort of foul play happened, like kidnapping or hijacking. There is that possibility, but I believe it is very slim. There are many things that can happen when flying over the jungle that even the best pilot can not overcome, and Bob was the “BEST.” I believe that most likely, Bob had trouble with the airplane and had to make an emergency landing in the jungle.

The problem is the incredible vastness of the jungle and the relatively small size of the Cessna that Bob was flying. The major effort of the search teams focused initially around the mountains where Bob was flying with the assumption that he was headed to Betel to the north of the mountains. Very little has been searched in the Infierno area where we are focusing our efforts now. We think there is a strong possibility, taking all the intel from the past year and a half, and the fact that Bob needed to get help for a very sick girl, that he headed home.

We are processing all the data that would support the scenario that Bob decided to return home to Maurak with the sick child. The four simulations that are being run will provide four independent search zones that I anticipate will overlap considerably. We will overlay the four areas to determine our new search zone. We are also combining this information with satellite images of the area to look for possible best spots to try to make an emergency landing with a small airplane. We were planning on going back to Venezuela in December, however, Celso is not available then. Going any sooner does not make sense because it is rainy season. So we are thinking it will be January or February before we will be able to return.

We are working on getting additional sponsors and assistance to move this search effort forward. When we return, we are planning a two week stay to focus on the Infierno jungle area. We will need to acquire gear to help us negotiate the difficult terrain of this search zone. Everyone from the U.S. team continues to volunteer their time and so we keep our expenses to a minimum, however, it does take a certain amount of expense money for gear and travel. We will need rescue survival gear, ropes, harnesses, helmets and lights, two handheld GPS devices, water purification equipment and freeze dried food for the trip. We sleep in hammocks with mosquito nets and travel very light. We are putting together a information packet to send to potential sponsors. We have already had gear and supplies provided from ENO Hammocks, CLIFF Bars and MOUNTAIN HOUSE freeze dried foods for my last trip down. If anyone knows of a company or organization or person that might be interested in helping, please send me the information about them and I will forward them a sponsorship packet. Tax deductible donations can be made through OCI ( mark donations for “Norton Search Effort”). Any sponsors are welcome to review our financial report by contacting me at the email address listed below. We post information of a Facebook discussion board called “Finding Bob Norton.” We will be setting up a webpage shortly. I will forward the link when it is available.

Active U.S. Search Team members:

Bob Edwards - U.S. Search Team Leader

JD Brown - Lead Analyst

Bryan Page - Technical Support

Alex Page - Technical Support

Rick Slatten - Search Effort Advisor

Shannon Fore - Equipment / Training Specialist

Tim de la Torre - Documentary

Jenni Veal - Sponsorship Specialist

Jackie Morales - Interpreter

Bertha Kerby - Accounting

Ed Patterson - Internet Support

Flight simulations flown by:

JD Brown

Tim Garrard

Gary Lewis

Edgar Rotundo

Active Venezuelan Search Team members:

Dr. Garcia

Andrehina Diaz

Cesar del Castillo

Celso Benavides

Marion Sifontes

Dr. Pedro

I, once again, thank everyone who has helped make this search effort possible. I also thank my wife and kids for being supportive of the time and effort that I continue to dedicate to the search effort.

We will continue to press forward so that we may hopefully know what happened to Bob and Neiba Norton (Pilot and his wife), Gladis Zerpa (Teacher), Flora Marquez de Mujica (Indian mom), Yuli Palcios (Indian teenage girl), Paulina Neri (Indian mom) and Eddi Neri (Small Indian boy). All of them, precious souls, with families and friends who need to know.

As always,

Bob Edwards

Norton - U.S. Search Team Leader

Cell 423.280.8217

theadventureteam {at} yahoo(.)com