Posted by: OCI | May 29, 2009

Latest on the Search for Bob Norton

On Sunday, May 24, a group met in northern Georgia to discuss the search for Bob Norton and make plans for how they will proceed. Bob’s sister reported on the meeting:

The group listens intently to JD Brown as he explains how they determined the zones picked for imaging to search.

The group listens intently to JD Brown as he explains how they determined the zones picked for imaging to search.

Team leader Bob Edwards organized and arranged this meeting for the purpose of determining the primary and secondary search zones. Rick and Debbie Slatten drove down from Minnesota bringing a tremendous set of skills to the search effort. They are with M.A.S.T. and specialize in finding missing aircraft. Rick lead the team in analyzing the information presented to decide which area is the most probable place the airplane went down.  Two persons involved with the search came up from Venezuela and brought to the discussion table the facts, both from the search and information gleaned from questioning those who supposedly heard or saw the airplane as well as the last people who spoke with Bob—Celso and the nurse at Karum.

Their report contained the following facts. February 16 the government organization for search and rescue received the report that this Cessna 182 tail #YV2480 flown by Capitan Roberto Norton with 6 other passengers was missing. That very day they begin gathering information but could not fly to the area due to low hanging clouds and restricted visibility. However, the following day they began searching by air and also by ground between Karum and Betel according to the report given them by Celso concerning Bob’s planned flight. The government law stipulates that they look for 8 days, but in the case where there is the possibility people are alive this can be extended, so for 16 days they flew using 4 helicopters and 4 other aircraft. 142 people were searching, 113 by land and 29 by air during those first 2 weeks. Based in Paragua, 65 miles north of Karum, the government search covered 8357 square nautical miles and they flew a total of 195:42 hours.

The jungle where Bob's plane may have gone down is thick, making it very difficult for searchers.

The jungle where Bob's plane may have gone down is thick, making it very difficult for searchers.

Everywhere there were a couple huts a helicopter would land to inquire and let the Indigenous villagers know of the search. Any “story” was followed up. The helpful information turned out to be that a group of fishermen on an island had heard the airplane passing by that Monday morning and people in a mining camp also heard the plane at the time of day Bob Norton was flying. On the 19th or 20th a pilot of one of their large helicopters picked up a 6 second transmission in English on the emergency frequency. The transmission was not recorded but the helicopter did have a Directional Finder that locked on a heading of 270 degrees (+/- 3 degree accuracy.) Thus the search narrowed to the south of Mount Waikinima and on the western side rather than closer to Betel. Except along the river there are huge jungle areas where no one lives. As to date no one they have questioned has seen anyone or anything of plane or people, which leads all concerned to the assumption that they went down in an unpopulated area.

In trying to figure out which route Norton flew the last radio transmission between pilot and Celso was considered and discussed. All that was understood was AMA a (to) AMA followed by rapid talking. Celso asked Bob to repeat, and again he could not understand the message. None of the villages had their radios on that early in the morning, and no one else was flying in the area to pick up a transmission. In the meeting the radio expert from Venezuela explained where it was possible for Bob to be in order for Celso to pick up his signal on the radio, and where he would not have been heard at all.

The concern that the plane was hijacked or the people kidnapped were discussed by the team. Several facts show that this is highly unlikely. Everyone on the airplane was accounted for. All the small strips in the vicinity where Bob might have landed in an emergency have been searched. Everyone the government search people talked to in the entire area have high regards for Capitan Norton and his medical emergency work, including the military people. Further, something would have leaked out and the Indian grape vine out in the jungle would have had the news spread far and wide weeks ago. There is no basis for assuming this might have happened.

This case is open and the Civil Protection organization can continue the search if they have new information. Those at the meeting analyzed the data, facts, probabilities, and prayed for wisdom concerning which area is most likely that the airplane went down. In this zone, but not limited too, the search will continue.

There are specific concerns we as a “family” need to pray about at this time, knowing God cares and will guide and help. For several weeks now the satellite image pictures have not been obtained due to cloudy conditions. Pray that there will be a clearing in the clouds the next time the satellite goes over that jungle area (God knows when and where). It has been helpful to those in Venezuela to have the Points of Interest, and by sending these down the CP can go out looking. The men in the jungle with Celso are having health problems due to mosquitoes and thus malaria. The plan is to get them medicine. Pray for their safety and health, because when they are sick they can’t search. Pray that a helicopter will be available in a couple weeks to go fly over the zone determined by the team to be the most probable location. Pray for wisdom as plans are made for the search in this area. However God leads you to fast and pray in the next couple weeks please link with others who are doing the same. We are children of a Mighty God whose arm is not shortened that it can not save. I still believe that all things are possible, and the hunt for the “needle in a haystack” can come to an end in finding the lost.

As I associated with those who joined together from Washington to Tennessee, from Venezuela to Maine, on Lookout Mountain last Sunday I felt a spirit of unity as all were of one mind and purpose. I felt friendship. I sensed love and caring. I was blessed to listen and learn. Thank you each one who came. To all of my fellow travelers on the roadway of life, don’t give up. Not in this, not in other areas of your life where Satan may be seeking to discourage you. It is darkest just before dawn. If God be for us, who can be against us?



  1. si siempre he tenido la fe y la esperanza por ellos que estén con vida y que él señor los va ah devolver sanos y salvos van a parecer de esos estemos seguros donde estén están protegidos por sus santos ángeles alimentados por DIOS para él señor no hay imposibles todo es posible para mi señor y nuestros amados hermanos ellos pronto estarán devuelta con nosotros ayudando a nuestros queridos hermanos indígenas yo se que están vivos lo siento en mi corazón que así es el señor no desampara a sus hijos y menos a robert un gran misionero un hermano abnegado en la gran obra de DIOS satanás no se saldrá con la suya pronto veremos manifestarse el poder de cristo en su obra santa la victoria es del señor amen tengamos esa fe viva el justo por su fe vivirá no tengamos miedo cuando todo se vea perdido porque DIOS esta en timón el es nuestro capitán y no es un DIOS de fracaso el no conoce eso la derrota hay fe hay esperanza de volverlos ah ver con todo mi alma lo se que así es DIOS BENDIGA SU OBRA SANTA Y CONTINUÉ PROTEGIENDO A NUESTROS HERMANOS CONTINUEMOS ORANDO POR ELLOS AMEN

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