All Systems Go

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The shuttle (search) launch is Tuesday — or at least we hope and that is the current NASA (search) plan as I write this blog. I drafted my colleague Thom Bird who is at the launch to send me an e-mail. He wrote it on Monday and I am posting it today before the launch.

E-mail No. 1 — From Thom Bird, executive producer, FOX News specials and events:

We're back. The FOX News Shuttle team is back in place at Kennedy Space Center and looking forward to the launch of Discovery (search)... we hope. Ignition is scheduled for 10:39 a.m ET, Tuesday morning with four working low-fuel sensors or not. We all find that NASA's position to launch with some faulty parts has opened them to criticism, especially after the Columbia tragedy and the extensive review which followed.

We arrived on-scene this morning... back to the heat and the humidity and the haze. Our set is back in place with the huge yellow air conditioning ducts pumping cold air to the top of out three-story structure. Unlike last time, we actually can feel a slight breeze coming off the swamp. Looks like we lost a neighbor: MSNBC abandoned their set, which was built next to our trailers. Maybe the heat was too much for them? I hear they moved into the NBC building, one of a few permanent structures built here at KSC by the networks. CBS has one, ABC lost theirs in a storm... they're in trailers too. We're curious how our missing neighbors could move in with their mother ship network folks... seems like it might be a bit too cramped... unless, of course, the mother ship bailed.

It also seems there are other members of the media missing this go round. The place is not abuzz like it was 12 days ago. Maybe the interest is gone. Even the NASA astronauts, who were here in bunches, are missing. We've had to share our NASA-assigned astronaut, Cady Coleman, because the pickings are slim. Cady is great and our competitors know it. She was very good with Shepard Smith for the first attempt.

Shepard is not with us this time, he's manning the anchor desk back home. Jon Scott is here with us this time, fresh from a hot vacation in the Midwest. He spent some time on a houseboat with his family in record heat. So, he's fully prepared to sweat with us here in Florida.
Thom Bird

On Wednesday, I am hoping to post a short video — about 2 to 3 minutes — which shows you what our guests see when they come to FOX. It takes you from outside the building, through the lobby, up several floors to the bureau entrance, the waiting area, newsroom and even my office. It does not get more "behind the scenes" than this.

The e-mails continue to pour in about Natalee Holloway (search). After Monday night's show I am growing a bit optimistic that we will get some answers in the near future as to what happened to her. I am a bit perplexed why this new witness is just appearing now and hope that he is not a crackpot. It seems to me that a responsible person would have stepped forward earlier.

More of your e-mails:

E-mail No. 2 — This viewer did not want to sign his/her name:

I just want to express my disgust of FOX News and your coverage of the Natalee Holloway, you single handedly want to convict the young man, Joran, and the brothers. Your bias coverage of this case is so disgusting it's pitiful. Why don't you investigate the Twitty family and find out who is bank rolling there expenses in Aruba? I bet if it was a black or Hispanic girl you wouldn't give it a thought to cover the story, but since its it blonde white American girl from Alabama, it's headline news every night. The girl is probably in Venezuela starting a new life away from her parents. I don't watch FOX News Channel anymore.

E-mail No. 3

When will you reveal how much FOX is paying the Twitty family to be exclusive to FOX?
Noel Courtis
Brisbane, Australia

ANSWER: I am delighted to read your e-mail, Noel. It is plain to me that you only watch FOX — which delights me. If you watched other networks you would know your facts to be wrong (in fact, Monday night, right before our show, Beth Holloway Twitty and Jug Twitty were on with my former colleague Larry King.) So, keep these e-mails coming and just keep watching FOX. Thanks

E-mail No. 4

Why haven't higher authorities stepped into this Aruban 58-day-old crisis? The president was willing to intervene in the Terri Schiavo case. Why can't he put pressure on Holland? Why can't "someone" direct the State Department to suspend all visas and visits until further notice? I will bet that will get their attention. The FBI should be permitted to take over the case. Are we witnessing a national cover-up? Is the Aruban government covering up the evidence?

E-mail No. 5

Dear Greta,
Thank you so much for your coverage on Natalee Holloway. I just want to say how impressed I am with her mother and the way she is handling things during interviews. Please do not drop this story the way that other news agencies have. This is such an important story and the family must find out the truth!
Do you have a theory as to what happened to the teenager?
Sydney Hall

E-mail No. 6

I will put up $100,000 to anyone who can lead authorities to the body of Ms. Holloway. Of course, I hope she is found alive, but it looks grim, so I am happy to inspire someone to come forward with information that leads to the recovery of her body.
I am a faithful watcher of your show.
Best regards,
Henry Soric

E-mail No. 7

I am glad to see at least some dogs have been at work and feel you are doing a wonderful job. A quick point about search dogs that you may not realize — after watching you and the aunt on the evening of the 25th I will make you aware of this. A cadaver dog only does good after the body has begun to decompose and that scent becomes airborne or to the surface. Examples: If a body has been drowned depending on the temperature of the water may take several days. Of course in Aruba that could take place within a couple of days. The same holds true in the sand, in the ground and in a well or a cave. If cadaver dogs were used within the first 24 hours or even 48 hours the dogs unless cross-trained which very few are until recent times the dogs never had a chance to find anything.

E-mail No. 8

Have the investigators checked to see if any new construction at the racquet club was due to have the foundation poured about the time Natalee disappeared or shortly after the disappearance? Natalee's body may have been buried in a foundation that was about to be poured and the three suspects may have been returning to the area to see if their secret burial spot was covered with cement. Is the construction in the area off grade or monolithic slabs? I doubt a cadaver dog would pick up a scent from a body buried in the middle of a foundation unless they walked on the foundation and can smell through the cement. However, cement has lime added to it and lime covers the cadaver scent.
Wayne Davis
Milton, FL

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