So, you've stumbled upon Steve Fossett's wallet while sneaking a pee behind a rock

There are credit cards, an FAA license, and about $1000 in rolled up cash.

We’ve done the “you found someone’s wallet on the train” and the “cashier gave you too much change” threads. Maybe this one too, who knows?

But this isn’t “some guy’s” wallet. You know it belongs to a millionaire. A dead one. Well, assumed dead until they find a carrion picked pile of bones.

You look around no obvious wreckage, no lean-to built with a lot of Fed-Ex boxes nearby, oops, wrong scenario.

Anyway, it’s desolate. You pick up everything you can find, toss it into your North Face bag, and scuttle away to The Authorities.

And you hand them over everything.

Does everything include the cash, that let’s face it - probably belongs to a dead millionaire, but might not?

I think I would turn it in. No, really, I do.

“$1000 in rolled up cash” in a wallet?

Rolled up? In a wallet?

I’d keep it. Whoever lost it was clearly insane or on drugs or both.

Meh - rolled, folded…

No, I’d turn it in. Taking stuff from a dead guy would spook me.

Actually, I wouldn’t touch anything; in fact, I think it’s illegal to mess with a crash site. I think that might have come about after Knute Rockne’s plane crash, IIRC, because people came around and took a lot of stuff, including ::shudder:: body parts.

Ooh, I have to admit, in this case, I’d probably steal it. Chances are good the guy is dead, so he won’t miss it, or he’s alive, in which case he’s a millionaire, and chances are he won’t miss it.

Honestly, the only thing that has me hesitating is the idea that maybe my finding his wallet will help find him alive somewhere, and he’d be so astoundingly grateful and impressed by my honesty at giving him back the money *and *the wallet that he’d reward me with $5000. Conundrum.

I’d feel bad, but yeah, I think my cherished ethics would fail me in this case. :frowning:

Oops; I seem to have glossed over the “no wreckage” bit.

So, if I didn’t know the guy was dead and looked around to make sure no one was watching, I might purloin the cash. Maybe.

I don’t think I’d compromise my morals for $1,000 in cash. I’d return the whole thing to the authorities. Then the question is, what if it was $10,000? At that point, we’re talking serious ‘yoga master’ flexibility in my morals, EXCEPT with money amounts that big, I’d start to wonder if drugs/ransoms were involved and if the money was somehow marked.

$1k, $10k, $100k, $1mm – it doesn’t make a difference. 'Tain’t my money and so it’s mitts off. The fact that he’s dead is irrelevant. His beneficiaries aren’t.

That being said, if it were any amount of cash simply blowing in the wind, with its source unknown, then it’s mine.

True update: They found pieces of “human remains” in the plane.

Which, even if I knew, I’m not taking the cash.

I’d take the cash with no hesitation.

I’d turn over everything, including the cash. Just the way I am.

From a purely pragmatic point of view, the gendarmes are going to be all over the scene anyway, and they can get really unpleasant if they think you’re “withholding evidence”. You’re gonna leave tracks to and from the scene. Probably won’t be any other tracks there. A millionaire prolly ain’t gonna tote around an empty wallet. Trying to keep anything would be risky, in addition to being dishonest.

As I have some mutual acquaintances/friends of Steve Fossett’s, and it was well known he carried lots of cash (by most people’s standards) I’d feel obligated to bundle everything up including the money and return it to either the family or the authorities. No, he won’t miss the money, but his widow might ask questions. As may many of those mutual acquaintances/friends, one of whom is my current employer and landlord.

I will also say that if I found a wallet with identifying information in it I would make an effort to return all contents including any and all money to the rightful owner, regardless of who that person may be.

Truly random money I find wandering around the landscape I will pocket. In this case, however, the likelihood of an owner of this money being identified is so high I really would turn it in.

I would most definitely turn the $10 in…


All turned in. No thinking to be done about it. I’d turn in sizable loose cash, too, with my address and phone number. Usually for blowing cash, the police hold it and no one claims it. Then it’s yours.

Yeah, right, like the police would say no one claimed it! They’d say it was claimed and head straight to the donut shop… :stuck_out_tongue:

Ha Ha…
I was thinking about it on my pre-coffee drive to work this morning after hearing a story on the radio about the crashsite find. I admit to wondering about thinking about considering what possible kind of sweet wristwatch one might find at such a site.

Does that make me a terrible person?

What are the potential benefits here? $1,000 and a banged up wrist-watch.

And what are we weighing that against?

The opportunity for Mr. Fossett’s family to have closure on his death (assuming you don’t bother to report the crash site to the sheriff) or items which might carry enormous poignancy for his family?

I mean, I knew that people could be bought. Perhaps I hadn’t realized the price could be so cheap.

If you want to be really tacky, you could probably nicely request that Mr. Fossett’s estate make a substantial donation in your name somewhere, or heck even just outright give you $1,000, and they would probably do it. And you’d still be less scummy than someone that just outright stole from the crash site.

To turn this around, if you had a relative die on a trip abroad in a much less wealthy nation, would not you like all of their personal affects back? Or does whoever stumbles upon your relatives remains first get to decide the disposition of all that stuff?

I’d take the money, wipe my prints off the wallet, and toss it in a mailbox.

It’s cash. It’s not exactly a cherished family keepsake.

One time my dad’s wallet slipped out of his shirt pocket on the first drop of a roller coaster that sits on a lake. A maintenance worker found it on one of the wooden beams that holds the coaster up and gave it back, minus the cash. Dad was ecstatic. I probably would have been, too.

Did any pee get on the money?

Seriously, I would turn it in. In fact, a few years ago I DID turn in a diamond ring that I found half-covered by sand on a public beach on the Big Island.

I would know whose it was, thus it’d be stealing thus- no.