Sorry, Edgar, for the delay in responding. Personally, I doubt any Hearst conspiracy in Bierce's disappearance. Hearst was preoccupied with his fantasy of being elected president and Bierce was a mere annoying fly buzzing at the window. A National Geographic expedition to find Bierce's remains somewhere in arid Mexico? Would be pure folly -- and more expensive than sending a landing party to Mars. I like your idea, however. Might be a great short story for the Ambrose Bierce Site -- which you are designated to write!
I also apologize for the annoying and intrusive ads on this message board. It's the price for a free board.
Mr Bierce's disappearance is as you know one of our national mysteries. I was thinking of something a little less grandiose than the traditional projects that NatGeo funds. Their backing would be for cache purposes only. The lower the profile at this time the better regarding affairs down there. Anyway, as you observed and I'm sure Mr Bierce would agree my idea isn't lacking for imagination.
If I thought I'd make a wart on a storyteller's backside I'd be glad to try to put a hypothetical account together with that concept in mind a la Indiana Jones if you'll forgive me the comparison.
Thank you for responding.