Rotten Discovery in Missing Fish Case

Angler suspects foul play, while investigation continues

Field & Stream Online Editors

Last week, the source of a putrid smell inside Anchorage International Airport may have closed the book on an unusual halibut heist that took place nearly two weeks earlier.

Brenee Davis, a general manager for Continental Airlines in Anchoarge, told the Associated Press that baggage handlers recently found a pile of rotting fish underneath a conveyor belt. Although Davis said there is no way to be certain, she suspects the fish to be the spoiled remains of Ray Bolanos' halibut that was reported missing earlier this month after he departed from Anchorage with 40 one-pound packages of fish he'd caught on vacation. Davis said it's possible that the fish fell out of Bolanos' cooler because it wasn't secured properly.

Despite the discovery of the halibut, which practically eliminates Bolanos' theory that the fish was stolen, Bolanos remains certain that he fastened the lid of the cooler securely and still believes that foul play may have taken place. "[BRACKET "A Continental official"] was trying to say that maybe the new conveyor chewed off my rope," he told the AP. "It's not something that was chewed off. It was clear cut." Bolanos has sent the rope he used to fasten the cooler to Continental so they can investigate the matter further.

In the meantime, however, what sounds fishy to Bolanos, still smells fishy to Davis, who says airline employees continue to find scraps of the fish in the airport. "We've gone through a few cans of Lysol," she told the AP.