Frozen WW2 airman IDed this week. Why so hush-hush in the news?

You probably recall that last fall the frozen body of a WW2-era airman was found in some California mountain range by hikers. Well, apparently they (finally!) I.D. the guy this past week. He was a 22 y.o. Minnesota service man.

Is it just me, or did this news just slip by virtually unnoticed? The only TV news report I saw about it was barely a minute long, I’d estimate. I tried to find it a mention of it in the NY Times archive, and I came up empty – apparently they never even bothered to print the news! A Yahoo! search of news sites turned up a lot of small, unremarkable articles, probalbly just reprints of wire stories.

The discovery was big news when it was made. Is there a reason why its resolution is being downplayed so much? Or is it me? Was I napping when the big news broke?

The people in the news business obviously have a different idea of what news will sell than you do. I think it is moderately cool but the discovery of a body is always way more popular than the details that later follow. I doubt there were many communities frantic to find out if he was one of their finest. They probably had a really good idea of who it was a while ago and that makes an official announcement rather anti-climactic.

Well, it’s not as interesting as finding the guy in the first place. We knew it was somebody, but we didn’t know he was on the mountain in the first place. Well, I didn’t anyway.

Yeah, ICEMAN! is news. Some ancient farm wife getting teary over faded snapshots of her big brother is a broadcast closer puff piece – and that’s if there’s a relative still alive. Otherwise, it’s pfft.

CNN played the story a lot.

Here is an article from a Minnesota TV station’s site. There are also links to earlier stories about the airman, who has been identified as Leo Mustonen, the son of Finnish immigrants.

It got a headline lead followed by an 8 minute human interest fluffy story on one Cleveland TV station–it may have gotten more, but I rarely watch local news–even though there does not appear to have been a “Cleveland” connection (the typical hook to justify such stories).

It was front-page news in our major paper here.

Then again, we’re relatively close to where they found Airman Mustonen.

A Finn from Minnesota, hmm? Those people positively thrive on cold…I’m surprised he didn’t sit up and ask for a cup of coffee after they thawed him out.

Well it made the front page here, but that was mostly because a local woman was hoping it was her brother. He was on the same flight and is still missing. She was disappointed, but happy for the family in Minnesota, and hopes they will be able to find the rest of the crew.