bearerís past still rankles
Express Staff Writer
Sun Valley resident, who created a stir six years ago when he faked a
disappearance and caused an expensive, week-long search, has been chosen
to carry the Olympic torch in the relay through Twin Falls on Jan. 26.
62, was born in Idaho and was a member of the first U.S. Olympic luge team
in 1964 in Innsbruck, Austria.
is known locally for other reasons.
a company called Sports Vision of Sun Valley, which went bankrupt soon
after his staged disappearance on July 11, 1995. According to John
Wallace, an investor in the company, Feltman was scheduled to meet with
him and other investors the day of his disappearance to explain what had
happened to their money.
did go to the meeting and we were informed by his attorney that he had
disappeared," Wallace said.
day, the Blaine County Sheriffís Office was informed by Feltmanís
wife, Judy Feltman, that her husband was overdue from a fishing trip. Bud
Feltmanís Chevrolet Suburban was found along the Big Wood River just
below Magic Reservoir. A search, which eventually involved 265 people, was
begun to find him or his body.
located a week later in Lake Charles, La.
to Blaine County Sheriff Walt Femling, Feltman repaid the county $14,000
for the cost of the search. However, the effort and danger required to
search the river at high water rankled many involved.
were a lot of people who gave of themselves when he wasnít lost,"
said Ketchum Police Lt. Mike McNeil, who participated in the search.
Feltman was found in Louisiana, he was driving another Suburban he had
reported stolen in Twin Falls in March. In the meantime, he had received
$24,244 from Farmers Insurance Group for the car, and $4,764 for personal
items allegedly lost with the car. After it became clear the car hadnít
been stolen, a friend of Feltmanís bought it back from Farmers.
existence of a three-inch thick file on Feltman compiled by the Ketchum
Police Department, he was never charged with insurance fraud.
in Sports Vision of Sun Valley did not fare as well financially as did
wish I knew what happened to my investment," said Ketchum resident
Alan Pesky. "I think it went to places it wasnít supposed to
In a letter
to Pesky dated April 17, 1995, Feltman stated, "That so many things
could happen which would so dramatically reverse our momentum continues to
be a great disappointment to all of us. But to suggest that you were
intentionally misled is entirely unfounded."
Department of Finance investigated the company, but took no action as a
however, called Feltmanís selection as a torch bearer "a
have looked upon carrying the Olympic torch as an honor," he said.
"To select Bud Feltman as a model for other people is, I think,
to a spokesperson for the Olympic Torch Relay Committee, Feltman was
chosen as a former Olympian, in a pool separate from that of nominees from
the general public.
lives in Park City, Utah. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, he works for
Marriott selling time-shared condominiums. He did not return a phone call
Tuesday from the Mountain Express.