Missing Hiker Found Alive In Rocky Mountain National Park
Hillel Ben-Avi Spotted By Search Helicopter
7:46 AM, Aug 31, 2005
A Texas man who had been missing at Rocky Mountain National Park since Sunday was found alive Wednesday afternoon.Hillel Ben-Avi, 45, was spotted by a helicopter that was conducting an aerial search in the Hague Creek area of the Mummy Range.The thought of Be-Avi going into another potentially cold evening caused real concern that the search might not end well, but now everybody is all smiles."I'm doing fabulously well. This is the happiest day of my life. I owe it all to search and rescue people," said Doron Ben-Avi, Hillel's brother. "Honest to God, I thought he was dead, or worse. I know it was cold it has been at night here and I'm just flabbergasted that when I saw him after they brought him down from the helicopter, he was standing up. They had an IV in his arm but he was gesturing and had normal posture. He was clearly dehydrated. My brother is one tough cookie but I say, they saved his life."Hillel Ben-Avi was flown to the park's helibase at Upper Beaver Meadows where he received medical care, park officials said. Rescuers said he appears tired and hungry but is otherwise in good condition.Ben-Avi was last seen near the summit of Fairchild Mountain Sunday afternoon when he was hiking with his brother. They became separated and on Sunday afternoon, Ben-Avi used his cell phone to call park dispatchers for help but then in the middle of the conversation, the cell phone battery died.Dozens of searchers and a couple of search dogs spent all day Monday and Tuesday looking for Ben-Avi.Apparently, he came across a fishing pole during his trek and he tied a white shirt to the pole and waved it around. It was that shirt that searchers spotted in the air Wednesday afternoon.Ben-Avi is a radiologist from Austin, Texas.