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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Quest To Find Osama Bin Laden's Body begins

Fallbrook resident Bill Warren says he is preparing to set sail to search for Osama bin Laden's body in the North Arabian Sea, a venture that has gained him sudden worldwide attention.
"It's just the weirdest, most bizarre sea search I've ever been involved in," said Warren, who recently self-published the book "Shipwrecks and Discoveries" about his three decades of treasure-hunting in oceans around the world.

Warren said he has financial backing from three men from Chicago who have pledged $400,000 for the venture, which includes using sonar to find bin Laden's body and a remote-controlled submarine to recover it.
Bin Laden is the al-Qaida leader who masterminded the 9/11 terrorist attacks."I've got some tips and an appropriate depth of water where the aircraft carrier was sitting" when bin Laden was buried at sea after being shot by a Navy SEAL team in Pakistan, Warren said.

The host of two cable television shows in the 1980s, Warren has a knack for media attention. He has been featured on local television news for past shipwreck hunts, was in the North County Times and other publications last year after discovering what might have been a rare Tasmanian tiger pelt, and last month was a guest on the "Dr. Phil Show" to discuss his online hunt for a Russian bride.

Coverage of his latest hunt has eclipsed all of Warren's past exploits.Within the past few days, Warren has been mentioned by TMZ, the New York Daily News, the New York Post, the Village Voice, the LA Weekly, the U.K. Daily Mail, CBS News, a news radio station in Los Angeles and the Huffington Post.
Early Monday evening, he was preparing for an interview with what he said was the largest radio station in Australia.
Warren, 67, said he sent a news release about the venture to selected media outlets about 10 days ago and didn't hear anything until about two days ago.
Most of the coverage has looked at his venture with some skepticism.
"It's hard to tell if you're taking this seriously or if this is just a joke," said ABC News reporter Abbie Boudreau, who interviewed Warren at Oceanside Harbor for a story that aired Monday on "Good Morning America.''

Adding to that uncertainty, Warren did not appear to have thought out all the details of his venture. After Warren said he might be able to collect the government's $25 million reward for bin Laden, Boudreau told him the reward had been revoked.Warren also told Boudreau he was not sure how he could positively identify a body if recovered, but he might ask the bin Laden family for a DNA sample.

Warren said he does not doubt that Navy SEALs killed bin Laden, but said he would like to prove it to the rest of the world, including some of his Russian girlfriends who have their doubts.
Cost of the expedition would include $10,000 a day to rent a ship in the Indian Ocean and $1,000 a day to rent a remote-controlled submarine in the North Arabian Sea, he said. Warren said he plans to meet with the financial backers locally in about a week, and expects to be at sea in four to six weeks.

While the $25 million bounty has been withdrawn, Warren said the bin Laden family might want to pay to have the body returned so they can give him a proper burial."I expect resistance from this government of mine," he said. "They probably won't want me out there."Warren said he plans to film the venture for a two-hour documentary he and his backers will produce, and he also plans a book about the project.

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