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Mon, Jan 24, 2005

Search For Jack Nolen Continues

CAP Pilot: "It's Eating Our Hearts Out"

There's still no sign of retired Muskogee, OK, physician Jack Nolen -- nor of his two-place Kitfox Lite2 -- both missing since January 14th. As ANN reported on Friday, the Oklahoma Wing of the Civil Air Patrol has scoured hundreds of square miles between Paris, TX, where the aircraft was last seen, and Shawnee, OK, hoping to find some sign of the 72-year old physician.

After only a week, the dedication of the CAP personnel involved in the search was all too apparent. On the ground and in the air, the CAP had spent collectively 3,000 man hours trying to find Nolen.

"We have pulled out everything we can think of but we haven't gotten anywhere," Capt. Don Foster, Civil Air Patrol pilot and public affairs officer, said Saturday, in an interview with the Muskogee Phoenix. "It's eating our hearts out. It's like searching for a needle in a haystack. Every lead and procedure has been utilized, but nobody has come up with anything yet."

Across Oklahoma, those involved in the search have come up with nothing at all. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol and local sheriff's departments have found nothing. "Normally we find them," Foster said. "It's almost as if he has vanished."

Foster told the Phoenix that the weather was fine when Nolen left Paris. The weather, in fact, was just fine in Shawnee. But in between, Foster said, "There was a low cloud ceiling and mist, and he wasn't familiar with the plane. It had to be a scary flight."

On top of that, one airport official in Paris said Nolen was having trouble with his GPS shortly before he was seen last.

And so, Foster and other CAP pilots continue to fly up to eight hours a day looking for Nolen, while CAP cadets scour the ground.

"We will search until they tell us to stop," said cadet Lt. Xan Bryant. "Where is he?"

FMI: www.okwg.cap.gov

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