Lost in Creaton: '˜Rescue mission' planned for missing astronaut Action Man in Northamptonshire
Despite wanted posters, the efforts of a Neighbourhood Watch and a Twitter campaign - an Action Man doll that crash landed in Northamptonshire after flying to the edge of space looks to be lost.
The 1966-made Major Tom was sent to the stratosphere attached to a weather balloon last Sunday as part of a crowdfunded event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the iconic Hasbro toy.
After launching the mission in Coalville, organisers tracked the craft to its landing spot in a field in Creaton.
But when they went to the scene Major Tom, his specially made capsule, Go Pro cameras and his parachute were all missing, believed stolen.
This week villagers have been joining in the hunt for the missing Action Man. A wanted poster sits outside the village Post office, the Neighbourhood Watch scheme have been conducting enquiries and local schools are remaining vigilant.
But sadly the vintage doll, dressed in a specially designed space suit, has not been found.
Extreme photographer Chris Hillcox, who launched the mission with toy fanatic Rob Wisdom, said hope is waning in the search effort.
He said: “The people in Creaton have been really good about it.
“The Neighbourhood Watch have got involved and the parish council has put posters and flyers around the village.
“Everyone is well aware about Major Tom - we think if someone has got him they would have found out we were looking for him by now.”
Sadly it means the photographs of the Action Man’s flight may not be recovered.
But all hope is not lost.
Mr Hillcox and Mr Wisdom are now planning a second flight - in which they intend to send up “Major Tim” to “find” his colleague.
He said: “We’ll never call off the search for Major Tom, we’ll keep the hashtag (#findmajortom) going then if people do have information we’ll act on it.
“Our main focus now is on Major Tim which we hope will be a lot more successful. We can’t lose two vintage Action Men.”
The team plan to launch Major Tim from the same location in Coalville in mid-July.
They managed to raise £3,000 in crowdfunding for the mission. Luckily, Mr Hillcox said, the team had a spare capsule.