While search-and-rescue operations have now been underway in the Caribbean Ocean for two weeks following the disappearance of the small plane carrying Vittorio Missoni and three companions off the coast of Venezuela, the Missoni family is still holding on to hope that the passengers may have been kidnapped. Thus far, the strongest piece of evidence to support this theory has been a single mysterious text message, sent from the phone of passenger Guido Foresti more than 72 hours later after the plane dropped off the radar. Today, however, further suspicious cell phone anomalies are now being reported.
The text message, which read, in Italian “Call now, we are reachable” was received by Foresti’s son on January 6, but when attempts were made to call the number, it had been switched off, along with that of Foresti’s wife, who was also on the plane. The next day, however, according to the Daily Beast, calls made to Foresti’s wife rang 10 times, indicating that her phone was on or back in the range of the cell phone tower.
Additionally, several Italian newspapers report that Venezuelan phone carriers registered a series of calls from both Foresti phones hours at noon on January 4, which the Daily Beast calls “hours after the plane disappeared,” although all previous reports indicate that the plane went off the radar shortly after the pilot checked in with the flight tower at 11:30AM.
Information about the pilot’s license and airline’s certification has also been in question this week. It was previously reported that the pilot, 72-year-old German Marchan, was operating the plane with an expired license, however new information out of Italy says that his license was valid until May 2013. The company that owned and operated the plane, however, confirmed to the Associated Press in Caracas that although the plane met all of the safety requirements, they are indeed still waiting on the long, bureaucratic process for certification.