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Pentagon wizardry can't trace lost jet

Washington - For all the reconnaissance wizardry at its disposal, the Pentagon as of midday yesterday had still failed to resolve the week- old mystery of what precisely happened to a vanished US Air Force jet, last seen on 2 April heading towards the central Colorado Rockies west of Denver, writes Rupert Cornwell.

Despite using satellites and U-2 spy planes, not to mention more conventional search methods closer to the surface, no trace has been found of the A- 10 "Warthog" ground support aircraft which was taking part in training exercises in Arizona.

The jet, piloted by Capt Craig Button, 33, disappeared from a three- plane formation about noon last Wednesday. Its radio signal had been turned off to prevent radar interference among close flying aircraft, while the automatic signal that would have been activated had the pilot ejected had not been picked up - suggesting the A-10 either crashed, or landed somewhere unharmed.