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The Almighty Buck Idle Technology

Treasure Hunter Wants To Find Bin Laden's Body With ROV 257

Kittenman writes "Slate is carrying some details of how eccentric treasure hunter Bill Warren is proposing looking for the body of Osama Bin Laden in the Arabian sea. He plans on using sonar, and a remotely operated submersible. If he finds the remains, he'll photograph them to confirm Bin Laden's death to the world. Warren says, 'There is still a $25 million reward that no one has collected, and the reward says dead or alive, well, if -- in fact -- he is dead, then I could collect the $25 million reward. Why not?'"


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Treasure Hunter Wants To Find Bin Laden's Body With ROV

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  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Thursday June 16, 2011 @09:36AM (#36462754)

    Good luck finding a target slightly smaller, that the fish have been chewing on.

    • by Obyron ( 615547 )
      Fish can't get to the body. It'd be in a regulation US Navy body bag specifically made for burials at sea, and loaded down with lead weights. It'd definitely be hard to find though.
      • Assuming that he's successful in locating the body and is successful in verifying that it's the right body and manages to get the US government to pay up anyways, the likelihood is that this would still be a losing venture as he could very easily blow through $25m searching. Ships for that sort of operation are not cheap, and neither are the rest of the resources needed. And if the body isn't located quickly, chances are that it will just blend in to the bottom as flora start to grow over it.

        At this point,

    • by dunezone ( 899268 ) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @10:33AM (#36463634) Journal

      Well, it only took them 75 years to find the Titanic.

      No, the majority of the time was waiting for the technology to catch up so they could verify where it sank. They always knew the general location of where it was from the last coordinates sent from the Titanic as well as the rescue ships documenting where they picked up the passengers. The 75 year wait was waiting for correct technology to be developed so they could send something down 2 miles to say, "yep there it is".

      • Alright - what technology is needed to find a decomposing body in water? Note, that burials at sea do NOT involve sealed caskets. Normal clothing, or a uniform if appropriate. A shroud - basically a sheet sewed up into a sleeping bag. Some rocks in the bottom of the shroud, at the feet of the corpse. Dump overboard, and the body is water soaked immediately. In THEORY, the shrouded body goes directly to the bottom. Whether it does or not, a sheet won't last very long in salt water, with various animal

    • Good luck finding a target slightly smaller, that the fish have been chewing on.

      HA! The fish can't get to him on land. A recent taxi driver I talked with assures me that he is still alive and well and playing CoD to keep his skilz up-to-date. He just wasn't sure where.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 16, 2011 @09:37AM (#36462778)

    Recover that body! Think about it... Weekend at Osama's!

  • 'There is still a $25 million reward that no one has collected, and the reward says dead or alive, well, if -- in fact -- he is dead, then I could collect the $25 million reward. Why not?'

    He's got a point there. But the sea is pretty big. Finding a single body there is much like catching one very specific fish. Not to mention that I'm sure there are lots of critters down there that love to eat dead bodies.

    • Sure, if you ignore the fact that the reward is no loger on offer.

      • by uncanny ( 954868 )
        i bet that if he manages to get pictures of BinLaden i'm sure he'll make quite a bit of money from the tabloids alone anyways.
    • I'm pretty sure the offer was so that the US could capture or kill Bin Laden. Since they already killed him, the US no longer needs to offer a bounty.
  • by nedlohs ( 1335013 ) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @09:40AM (#36462826)

    And you thought someone keeping $500,000 in bitcoins on their windows machine was an idiot...

    • This guy isn't an idiot. He is someone with an expensive hobby who has found a way to get someone else to pay for it. Regardless what you think of the project, that's pretty shrewd.

  • IIRC, don't bodies buried at sea decay very quickly? At this point he may be able to find the shroud and weights, but the body itself must be past the point of recognizability by now, if there's anything left of it at all.

    • Air France flight (Score:4, Informative)

      by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @10:07AM (#36463254)
      They were able to find, recover and identify roughly 70 bodies 2 years after the plane went down. So, it would be possible if he found it fairly quickly. However, I think this guy is an idiot and nothing more than a publicity seeker. Of course the $25million reward no longer stands. The government found him and killed him. And they know where the body was dumped as well. Those coordinates are just highly classified. You can't find what isn't lost or missing.
      • Yes, they found 70 bodies, but they first found the plane, then noticed that there were still bodies in it. On top of that, we don't know that bin Laden's body is as deep in the ocean as that plane was, and at any rate locating the bag is going to be nigh impossible.

        • The northern Arabian Sea, where the US Navy said it dumped bin Laden, can be up to 3,300 meters deep

      • Did they really identify the bodies, or did 70 Thai corpses with fake ids get loaded into a second hand plane?
      • They recovered the bodies, identification will be a slow process. Even the bodies found at the time of the disaster took two months to identify.

        And identification won't be done by lifting the sheet and having a grieving relative say "yes that is him" unless the french police is very nasty indeed.

        It will be done through DNA and records of things like healed bone fractures, dental work, surgery after effects etc.

    • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *
      Not if they are deep enough. The water is pretty cold down there. Look up the state of the bodies for Air France 447 after 2 years in the water...
      • by rednip ( 186217 )
        It took them two years of active well funded searching to find the big aluminum container which marked the location of those bodies. Perhaps Bin Laden is too deep to be crab food (as I kinda like to think that he is), but I really doubt if they'll find him by himself on the seabed.
        • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *
          Oh I doubt it too - I was merely addressing the decomposition aspect of the argument. But I guess technology marches on, and like another poster said, I'm sure some sort of weights were attached to his body (apart from the lead/brass it already contained) to prevent him washing up on a beach somewhere.
          • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *
            Actually considering what I just wrote, his washing up on a beach would be his last act of terrorism, no? :)
  • Why not? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by b0bby ( 201198 ) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @09:42AM (#36462852)

    'There is still a $25 million reward that no one has collected, and the reward says dead or alive, well, if -- in fact -- he is dead, then I could collect the $25 million reward. Why not?'

    "Why not?" is that the reward is given at the discretion of the US government, and they're not going to give it to you.

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      If you offered a reward for someone to find your wallet. And then you found your wallet. Would you pay the reward to someone who later picked it out of your trash?

  • If this guy does find a body at the bottom of the Indian Ocean, maybe he can find Jimmy Hoffa's remains too.
  • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @09:51AM (#36462990)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bo_Gritz [wikipedia.org] Back in the 80s, US special forces were going to rescue POWs that were still being held in Vietnam. They tried twice, and both times as soon as they were getting close to launching the raids, Bo Gritz popped up, did a little boasting and ego stroking, and got the missions cancelled. This guy is directly responsible for the deaths of those prisoners. Anyway, whenever I see Slate stroking his own ego, I can't help but think of Gritz. At least Slate isn't getting anyone killed though.
    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )
      And sorry, when I say Slate, I of course mean Warren. Fail on my part
    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      There where no POW in Vietnam in the 80s, and the "inside delta force" book is full of shit.

      Both Gritz and Haney are opportunists.

      • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

        There where no POW in Vietnam in the 80s,

        Technically, you are right. They were being held in Laos.

  • If ever in my life I rooted for the Somali Pirates to take a ship, it'd be this guy's. I'm not saying that stupidity should be a capital offense, but if it becomes one via external influences, I'll LMAO.

  • People are speculating at the body being eaten by creatures of the sea, but I don't recall hearing if he was buried at sea in a coffin or not. That would change the search parameters fairly significantly.
    • by waddgodd ( 34934 )

      For military burials at sea, there is never a coffin

    • From what I heard, he was wrapped in a shroud tied to weights (to keep the body from floating). Given currents and organisms determined to get a meal from a sinking corpse, I doubt that shroud protected the body for long. As someone else said, you might be able to find the shroud and weights but the body'll be beyond recognizable by now.

      Of course, even if we somehow assume that every creature found Bin Laden's corpse so detestable that they left it alone, you're talking about a sea with a surface area of

  • by bmo ( 77928 )

    We've had the birthers.

    And now we have the deathers.

    I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist, but there has to be a pathology in the DSM IV for this.


    • I think it's called "the government lies to us all the time, so now we don't know what's true and what's not". I'll call up the APA and see if we can get it into the next revision.
      • That's exactly right. How many people still believe there were WMD in Iraq? Anyone? Anyone?

        So why were people so quick to make fun of those who didn't believe the government's claim that Osama was killed? The claim may or may not have been correct, but with the track record the USG has with the truth, there's no way to know. You can't believe anything they say without overwhelming evidence.

      • I think it's called "the government lies to us all the time, so now we don't know what's true and what's not". I'll call up the APA and see if we can get it into the next revision.

        In the DSM-5 (the new one), the closest I get is Unspecified Psychotic Disorder [dsm5.org] (B18). The criteria are open, which means no one has a clue how to define it. Send in your ideas today!

  • Or, wow, how about the US military takes his photos next to something that could only be recent, to prove that he was dead and when he died *before* dumping him in the ocean. DUH.

    • by dave420 ( 699308 )
      How on earth do photos prove anything shown in them?
    • Or, wow, how about the US military takes his photos next to something that could only be recent, to prove that he was dead and when he died *before* dumping him in the ocean. DUH.

      Short answer: those photos would simply be claimed to be Photoshopped.

      Longer answer:
      The problem is there is no such thing as sufficient proof for someone who refuses to accept any evidence that contradicts their belief. No matter what the government does, it will be accused by a small number of people of lying and fabricating evidence.

      Within the US government and the military specifically you don't need to satisfy the impossible demand for proof that characterizes conspiracy theorists. If a team of highly

      • First and foremost: I don't believe there's any conspiracy here. I believe OBL is dead at the bottom of the ocean.

        That said, your point about highly decorated SEALs only stands up if no superior tells them to lie. Veteran fighters I know would have no problem lying about an event because a superior told them it was the right thing to do.

        Unfortunately, that leaves the "you can't ever prove it" issue for conspiracy nuts, I know, but I'm not gullible enough to believe every good soldier is also morally respo

        • You're certainly correct in that they're capable. 'No, I don't know where we slid the bastard off the deck' is a core value they are trained to uphold. But that value conflicts with 'no, I haven't participated in a government conspiracy in which we pretended to kill a terrorist so the president could net a few points in the polls'.

          There's a world of difference between the two and in the balance lies a smart soldier's morale.

      • So do you still believe Saddam had WMD? After all, a bunch of CIA agents who devoted their lives to serving the nation say it's true.

  • I am willing to bet that Osama Bin Laden is fish food by now. This treasure hunter is either supid or crazy, perhaps maybe both. With the amount of sea life the ocean sustains, bits of Osama Bin Laden have nourished many species of fish and perhaps some bottom dwellers.
  • I wouldn't have expected Clear Channel [rovrocks.com] to go along with it.

  • ...for scanning human life signs.

    Well, that is, if you have 24th century technology :-).

    • Somehow I doubt that corpses have much in the way of life signs.

    • Um... A corpse wouldn't be "emitting" life signs.
      • Of course, neither you nor c6gunner seem to have any problem with the '24th Century technology' part.
        • Of course, neither you nor c6gunner seem to have any problem with the '24th Century technology' part.

          You're right. Long range sensors would be absolutely silly. You'd be using short range sensors. Long range sensors are for detecting planets around neighbouring stars, spacecraft that are too far away to get a phaser lock; that sort of thing.

  • by Cobalt Jacket ( 611660 ) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @10:15AM (#36463372)
    Here is an interview with Bill Warren on The Roe & Roeper radio show on Chicago's WLS-AM station. http://www.wlsam.com/article.asp?id=2213142&spid=37724 [wlsam.com] If you want to skip past the B.S., just listen to to the last four minutes where a professional salvage operator completely shows him up.
  • by geekoid ( 135745 )

    You won't get the money. The reward is for turning him in, and that was already done, this is just the disposal.

    You can't go to some graveyard, dig up a guy who was wanted dead or alive and collect the reward if he had already been turned in once.

    This will be a huge mess. Quite frankly, I understand why they killed him and buried him as sea. I don't know if I agree with it.

    BUT, finding him will turn into a nightmare. Al quida will want to use the image as a martyr, People will wan to bury him else where and

  • Ain't no body to find, the whole thing in a charade to make Obama look good, just go through the whole thing, logically, scientifically!

    And I imagine the reason GWB didn't show up for the little by-by Bin Ladin show at ground 0 was that he was pissed at Obama for taking credit for somthing that happened on his watch.

    • Re:Sorry Charly! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jjohnson ( 62583 ) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @11:29AM (#36464432) Homepage

      Logic tells us that there's no way that the U.S. government would announce bin Laden's death without being 100% sure that he was dead, because it would be too easy for bin Laden to release a video reading the headlines from today's newspaper.

      Maybe they know he died a year ago from kidney failure and the U.S. government wants to take credit, but you can bet that bin Laden is dead right now.

    • by u38cg ( 607297 )
      I don't have a lot of time for Dubya, but you can't deny that he's shown pretty good grace by keeping the hell out of the limelight since stepping down. He knows perfectly well what kind of attention he attracts, and he's sensible enough not to want to draw that on such an occasion.
  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @10:56AM (#36463976) Homepage

    Should be given as college scholarships for the kids of Seal Team 6 as well as a nice cunk of tax free cash to each of the members. IT's the right thing to do.

  • All he'll find is shark poop.

  • The combination of playing a real-life Rambo and $25M reward tempted others like this Colorado man. [foxnews.com] The State Department rescued him after he was arrested.
  • ...elves, the loch ness monster, the holy grail too, Zeus, the starship "Enterprise" and my youthful enthusiasm too.

  • The shroud will be filled with the body of...ELVIS!

  • "The $25 million, it's mine, there he is!" It is regrettable that SEAL Team 6 were frightened by the female crazed shoppers and the SEAL's had to defend themselves. What wasn't written the SIT-REP about the mission is that the women in the compound had jumped into one of the Helo's and were heading to the local Norstrom's. It's chilling to think of being in front of a running shopper with that much money to spend.
  • by jandrese ( 485 ) <kensama@vt.edu> on Thursday June 16, 2011 @01:31PM (#36466308) Homepage Journal
    For me, the fact that Bin Laden hasn't released any new videos or other media since the raid is proof enough that he's dead for me.

"Being against torture ought to be sort of a multipartisan thing." -- Karl Lehenbauer, as amended by Jeff Daiell, a Libertarian