By Brendan Riley THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MINDEN, Nev. – High above a landscape of canyons and shadows, veteran pilot Jim Herd sees a tiny flash on a mountainside. A mirror? A piece of wreckage? A closer look reveals a prospector’s small mine, the reflection most likely coming from metal fencing or some broken glass. Despite the absence of clues, searchers remain hopeful, knowing that Fossett has a Houdini-like history of escaping from seemingly impossible jams. He has held 116 speed or distance records, including being the first to circle the globe alone in a balloon. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! It was just another false alarm during a week of mysteries and dashed hopes in the search for millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett. The other-worldly terrain of northwestern Nevada has bedeviled the many search crews who have been hunting around the clock since the 63-year-old aviator disappeared on Monday after setting out in a single-engine plane. “When you stare down at the desert long enough, you’ll know it when you see something that doesn’t look normal,” said Herd, guiding his Beechcraft Bonanza toward a barren ridge, its gentle folds looking like a rumpled blanket from 2,000 feet overhead. The skies over the search area – more than 10,000 square miles, or an expanse the size of Massachusetts – have swarmed with aircraft since Fossett was reported missing on a flight to scout out desert locations for his latest adventure, an attempt to set a land-speed record in a jet-propelled car. On Friday, 26 planes and helicopters took off from the search headquarters at the Minden airport.