CORVALLIS, Ore.—Chris van Rossman's flat-screen Toshiba TV came with a built-in VCR, DVD and CD player.
Still, the 20-inch color TV aspired to higher things.
On the night of Oct. 2, it began emitting the international distress signal.
The 121.5 MHz frequency signal was picked up by an orbiting search-and-rescue satellite, which informed the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.
Before long, van Rossman heard a knock at his door.
Outside were men in Air Force uniforms, a Corvallis police officer and a Benton County Search and Rescue deputy.
"Who is it?"