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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Three-Block War; Over 6,000 Still Unaccounted for in Wake of Katrina; Katrina Fraud; Search for Donor Dads; Author Questions Validity of Self-Help Industry; The Ongoing Investigation of Frozen Airman Offers Closure To All Four Possible Families As They Await DNA Testing; Sam, The Ugliest Dog in The World, Dead at 14.

Aired November 22, 2005 - 23:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. Searching for the enemy in Iraq and the missing in New Orleans, 360 starts now.
How is this possible? Over 6,000 people still unaccounted for in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Tonight, a special report on those missing from the storm.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People were coming home and discovering casualties. In some cases they were family members.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Why did the federal government call off searches for bodies earlier this month?

And, taking a good long look in the mirror. Is the $10 billion a year self-help industry actually making people help less?

This is Anderson Cooper 360 In the West. Live from Los Angeles, here's Anderson Cooper.

COOPER: And good evening. Thanks for joining us from Los Angeles tonight. House to house fighting in Iraq. We'll take you inside the battle, but first a look at the headlines at this moment.

Today a U.S. citizen was found guilty of joining al Qaeda and conspiring assassinate President Bush. Ahmed Abu Ali faces 20 years to life in prison. He admitted to the crime shortly after his arrest in Saudi Arabia two years ago. Later, he said Saudi authorities had tortured him into making a false confession.

The White House is dismissing claims that President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair once discussed bombing the headquarters for the Arabic Language Network Al-Jazeera. The claims appeared in a London tabloid report, which allegedly cites a top secret memo from Blair's office. The White House calls the report outlandish.

And what's that above Mount St. Helens? A large gray cloud of dust had a lot of onlookers concerned that the dormant volcano is once again ready to blow its top. The U.S. geological survey, however, says the cloud was caused by falling rocks. There's no sign of increased seismic activity.

Democrats and Republicans may be fighting over Iraq, but we shouldn't forget that the real fighting isn't happening in Washington. It's happening a very long way from Capitol Hill. On little mud- colored patches of territory, street corner to a series of alleyways, a couple of streets. Tonight, we give you a sharp picture of life of a GI at war. CNN's Arwa Damon reports from the front lines of Operation Steel Curtain near the Syrian border.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right to the left of the two long ones! Reloading! Reloading!

ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Gunny Jeff Cullen and his platoon in the thick of battle. With a front line that is never really clear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clear! Come here! Cover your heads!

DAMON: From combat to confronting civilians.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One with child, another with kids, hands up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hands up!

DAMON: It's the reality of war in Iraq. And of this particular mission: To clear Juseva (ph) of insurgents who operate among the civilians who had no way to flee the fighting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cover your ears. It's going to be a little loud. Eyes up! Eyes up!

JEFF CULLEN, GUNNY, MARINES: It's kind of difficult. You shoot a rocket at one building because you have an insurgent inside and then you go to the next block up and you've got a family with six kids running around.

DAMON: The Marines call this A 3-Block War.

CULLEN: 3-Block War is the building for that young corporal to go from, from block 3 back to block 1 in a very short time.

DAMON: Block 3, full urban combat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the corner, right there underneath of you.

DAMON: Block 2, exposed and searching for bombs. Block 1, facing off innocence.

CULLEN: You go back and forth between those blocks. It takes a unique mindset and we train to that -- the Marine Corps specialists.

DAMON (on camera): Cullen and his men now moving toward their target house. The target building is right behind this pile of rubble. U.S. Marines have spotted an individual carrying an AK-47, running around the bottom floor of the building and the windows are sandbagged.

(Voice-over): But they really have no idea what's inside these buildings. There could be insurgents. There could be IEDs or there could be a family who couldn't escape the fighting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rod, tell them to come out to the grass.

DAMON: The training is vital. The difference between life and death. For Cullen and his men and for the civilians.

CULLEN: It gets kind of nerve racking, but you just -- you got to deal with it and move on.

DAMON: There is little time to contemplate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right there. Hold the wall! Right there! Go!

DAMON: When fighting a 3-Block war. Arwa Damon, CNN, Juseva, Iraq.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, as you've just seen, Iraq's the place where the innocent and the guilty rub shoulders all day long, and little steps forward alternate with large steps back. It happened again today. The good news was that U.S. forces handed over another forward operating base, the 29th one, to Iraqi officials.

This was in Tikrit, but as you see, the bad news is a mortar exploded right in the middle of the ceremony, with officials on hand from both sides, including the American ambassador and General George Casey, commander of the multi-national forces in Iraq. No one, however, was injured in the blast.

Moving on now to New Orleans. And the first of two "Keeping them Honest" installments tonight. For the first few weeks after the unthinkable happened in that city, the place -- let us remember -- very nearly disappeared. The two crucial categories were, well dead and alive. There were the survivors and then there were those who had not survived. It's taken a while to realize the importance and the size of another category of citizens in New Orleans -- the missing. And there are thousands of them. CNN's Ed Lavandera reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's slow and tedious work. A New Orleans fire department search and rescue team hunts for a missing person, possibly still left behind in this home. The dogs pick up on a scent, but it's not clear what might be under the rubble.

STEVE GLYNN, NEW ORLEANS FIRE DEPARTMENT: There is just so much here, that the dogs tend to get a little confused sometimes.

LAVANDERA: The rescue teams will return and continue their search, removing the debris one piece at a time. This is what it takes t find the missing in Katrina's wake, searching one street, one house, one room at a time.

GLYNN: We're going to try to account for every person that we have listed as missing. And we'll do whatever we can. We're going to clear every one of those houses, if that's what it takes.

LAVANDERA (on camera): The number of people still missing is staggering. Just look at the Web sites for the National Centers for Missing Adults and Missing Children. These groups report that there are 6,627 people still unaccounted for in the New Orleans and Gulf Coast region; 1,400 of these cases are considered high risk.

(voice-over): Those kinds of numbers are exactly why St. Bernard Parish Sheriff Jack Stephens and other officials were angered when the federal government called off active searches for bodies earlier this month. Teams are now back on the streets looking for victims, but not before many people returned home to make gruesome discoveries.

JACK STEPHENS, SHERIFF, St. Bernard Parish: Unfortunately, my worst fears were proven true, in that people were coming home and discovering casualties. In some cases they were family members. In some cases, where people they didn't even know that just sought refuge in a house.

LAVANDERA: The hope is the vast majority of people on the missing persons list are alive and well, just scattered around the country.

KYM PASQUALINI, NATIONAL CENTER FOR MISSING ADULTS: If they made a report and they have since located their loved ones, if they could just give us a call back and let us know that their loved one has been located, I am certain that we would close out many of these cases.

LAVANDERA: There is reason to be hopeful, as Mary Margaret Mouledous just discovered. For the last three months she's been looking for her friend, Janet Drewery (ph). She just found out she evacuated to Texas.

MARY MARGARET MOULEDOUS, NEW ORLEANS RESIDENT: When she left, she didn't think to even bring her phonebook with her, with all the phone numbers and everything on it. And she said, but I've been thinking about you ever since it happened.

LAVANDERA: A phone call to her friend,

MOULEDOUS: Hello, this is Margaret.

LAVANDERA: And with that discovery, one more missing person is crossed off the list. But there are still 6,626 other names to go.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LAVANDERA: And I was struck today by what the sheriff at St. Bernard neighboring here in the New Orleans area said today that when I asked him why these searches were called off, the sheriff of that parish says he still hasn't been able to figure out in almost a month exactly whey these searches were called off. But it is a tedious process. The firefighters we spent part of the day with today say that, for example in that opening scene that you saw in this piece, where the dogs were going through the house, they hit on a scent, they have to go back there tomorrow and it will take them at least half a day to painstakingly remove each piece of debris at a time, just in case there might be someone in there -- Anderson.

COOPER: Well, Ed, I'll tell you something even scarier. I asked the governor of the state of the Louisiana last week or two weeks ago why those searches were called off on October 3. She said she had no idea who made that decision or why it was made. She simply did not know. So that's pretty alarming, that doesn't seem like anyone kind of knows who made the call or why. But you hear this number 6,000 -- let's just be clear. Some of those -- or clearly, many of them, probably -- are just cases of people who have lost touch with a loved one, who may be somewhere else and just hasn't thought to call them, correct?

LAVANDERA: Yes, absolutely. And that is the hope that for some reason, like we saw there at the end of the piece, a woman who admits the friend hadn't been in touch with her. All of those people are on a list, but because they're on the list, they feel they have to go one by one and cross them all off. So the vast majority, they hope, will end in good news. But as we mentioned as well, you know, the National Center for Missing Adults says that 1,400 of those cases are highly critical cases and everyone that we spoke with here today assumes and presumes that the death toll will continue to rise. The question is, by how much?

COOPER: Yes, no doubt about it. You've got all these families returning home to find their loved ones still in their home because the searches were called off and people were never found. It's just shocking. Ed Lavandera, thanks.

As we say, lives are made to be accounted for in the wake of the calamity that followed Katrina -- not just lives, there are questions increasingly about the vast amount of aid that was raised to help the countless people that needed help. Much of it went where it was supposed to go -- the vast majority of it. But just -- certainly, some of it didn't. In some places, what came to town was not relief. What came to town was a gravy train. With more of "Keeping them Honest," now CNN's Joe Johns, standing by live in Washington to tell us about the situation in Jackson, Mississippi -- Joe.

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, well the announcement came today from federal law enforcement officials who are sifting through more than 1,000 reports, allegations of fraud out of Jackson, Mississippi and the surrounding area today.

A grand jury returned six indictments, but officials predict there will be many more people charged in the coming months. Four of the six defendants charged come from the Jackson, Mississippi area, which has recently gotten a lot of attention because of the unexpectedly high number of claims filed from a place where there was less damage. The investigations were prompted by reports that some people allegedly filed bogus claims for FEMA relief money that was intended for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

A law enforcement official told CNN today that each of the defendants is charged with submitting false claims for disaster relief in excess of $2,000. The official declined to discuss the specific facts of the individual cases until after the arraignments.

Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi yesterday promised to be tough on fraud.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. HALEY BARBOUR (R), MISSISSIPPI: Because the taxpayers who are being very generous, they -- we owe it to them to be sure that anybody that gets federal assistance deserves it and that nobody is out defrauding the taxpayers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNS: The U.S. attorney created a task force after Katrina. The penalty for fraudulent relief claims is up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The investigations will probably go on for years. One investigator I spoke with today said this job will be a marathon, not a sprint -- Anderson.

COOPER: Certainly. And our coverage will be as well. Thanks very much, Joe.

360 next. Over the hill and through the woods, but how long is it going to take to get to Grandma's house for Thanksgiving? Will it rain and maybe snow along the way? The questions we have, all for Meteorologist Rob Marciano. He'll join us live in a moment.

Plus this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I'm not looking for a relationship or money or anything that, you know, a lot of people assume that donor kids want to know about them. Really, it's just a curiosity about who he is and, you know, where I came from.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: The children of sperm donors, trying to track down their dads when the only thing they have to go by is a code. We go on a difficult journey with one man.

And are all those self-help books actually hurting us? We'll talk to Mark Hansen, co-founder of "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Welcome back. We are live in Los Angeles. Didn't know this? I didn't know this -- maybe you did. Tomorrow is National Cashew Day. Of course, most of us are going to be too busy packing, rushing to notice. This, after all, is the busiest travel week of the year, where the food of choice isn't cashews, it's turkey and stuffing -- lots and lots of stuffing.

But getting from where you are to where you have to may involve some pretty nasty weather tomorrow. CNN Meteorologist Rob Marciano joins us from Atlanta with an update -- Rob.

ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Hi Anderson. Out west it should be pretty nice, even all the way up to the Pacific northwest where it typically would rain this time of year. They look pretty rain-free. So that means the eastern seaboard's going to have to deal with some of the nasty weather. Cold winds tonight. These are the wind chills across the northeast. Boston is still blowing at over 30 miles an hour, still blowing over 30 miles an hour in New York, making it feel like 27. And it feels like 12 degrees right now in Detroit. And with those cold winds coming over those warm great lakes, boy we've got some lake-effect snows going tonight and it's going to continue for the next several days. The snows are going to pile up. Not so much in the major areas -- up the I-95 quarry, you should be OK. Although Thanksgiving day will likely be a mess in the way of a cold rain for you folks. But I-90, near the -- basically anyone who lives or is traveling east of the great lakes, close enough to see lake-effect snows, you're going to see some whiteout conditions at times. Syracuse, down I-90, Rochester to Buffalo could see the snow pile up in a hurry in spots. That would include Cleveland -- even some snows being reported earlier tonight in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

So, here's your forecast weather map. Pretty much west of the Rockies, west of the Mississippi we're looking good. Just a little bit of fog across the Seattle. East of the Mississippi is where this mess is tomorrow. Chicago, cold rain mixed with snow. If you're traveling from Chicago, say to Grand Rapids, that's going to be pretty much a disaster. And some snow's expected in these areas.

As far as Thanksgiving is concerned, this storm moves to the east, Anderson, and we'll look at a cold rain up and down the I-95 corridor, but -- where you are right now. It's a great day to be eating cashews and some easy living tomorrow. So enjoy that.

COOPER: All right. Thanks very much, Rob.

Sophia Choi from "Headline News" joins us with some of the other stories we're following right now. Hi Sophia.

SOPHIA CHOI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Anderson. I love cashews, by the way. All right, well we start with U.S. troops in Iraq. The issue that has Democrats and Republicans at each other's throats. In an interview with CNN's John King, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that American troop levels are clearly going to come down because Iraqi forces are becoming more capable of handling security on their own. She stopped short, however, of saying exactly how many troops might leave or when they might come home.

The German parliament today elected Angela Merkel Chancellor. She is the first woman and the first former east German to lead her country with a right left coalition. The 51-year old conservative succeeds outgoing leftist Gerhard Schroeder.

A Florida teacher today pleaded guilty to having sex with a 14- year old student, a deal that allows her to avoid prison. 25-year old Debra LaFave will serve three years of house arrest and seven years probation. And during the hearing, the former reading teacher apologized, saying she accepts full responsibility for her actions.

And finally, the Cold War between Oprah Winfrey and David Letterman apparently has thawed. Winfrey has accepted Letterman's invitation to appear on the "Late Show" on December 1. It'll be her first visit to "Late Show," although she was twice Letterman's guest on his NBC show before he moved to CBS, back in '93. The origin of their feud was murky, although Letterman has frequently joked about her through the years. And I believe, Anderson, she said she felt uncomfortable being interviewed by him.

COOPER: I can see that. Sophia Choi, thanks very much.

Coming up next on 360, take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In my brow or teeth or my nose, or certain things just, you know, clearly don't come from my mother. And to see those in somebody else will just answer a world of questions for me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Children of donor sperm, finding siblings, but left searching for their fathers.

And who's helping whom? Self-help gurus getting rich, some say, off a nation that craves self-help books. Does it really work? We're going to talk to Mark Hansen, co-founder of the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books.

And we're also paying homage and saying thanks to America's ugliest dog.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Well, imagine if you knew your father only by his code, not by his name. Incredibly, that's a fact of life for countless young Americans. They're the children of sperm donors. And as their population increases, more of them are trying to track down their anonymous dads. It is not an easy journey. CNN's Deborah Feyerick reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They laugh and joke, as if they've known each other forever. Five brothers and sisters, half-siblings, who share a father they have never met. In fact, they only met within the last year.

(on camera): You guys are really the first generation on some levels to be searching for one another. Why?

RYAN KRAMER, DONOR CHILD: It's like finding the long lost siblings you never had. I mean, how many chances is -- what are the odds that that's going to happen?

FEYERICK (voice-over): More surprising for 15-year old Justin, an only child. Unlike the others here, he only found out this summer he was conceived using donor sperm. Immediately curious, he went online. And that's where he found twins Erin (ph) and Rebecca and siblings Tyler (ph) and McKenzie (ph) -- all from the same donor -- donor 66. All live in the Denver area, within an hour's drive from each other.

ERIN BALDWIN, DONOR CHILD: It's always that connection, that you feel like you've gone way back, but you really haven't. You just met.

FEYERICK: The one they haven't met is their genetic father. But from his written profile, which most potential mothers get, they know donor 66 was a surgical assistant. His sperm went to three mothers treated by the same doctor in the Denver area.

Wendy Kramer brought the teens together through her Web site, donorsiblingregistry.com. She created it with her son, Ryan, to help him find his own donor dad. So far the site has made 1,000 matches between donor siblings or between donors and their children.

WENDY KRAMER, FOUNDER DONOR SIBLING REGISTRY: So there's one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11 families with 15 children all born from the same donor.

FEYERICK (on camera): And you think that this almost an underreporting of the number, that there may be twice or three times as many.

W. KRAMER: Oh absolutely. Absolutely -- 40 percent of women report their live births, you know. So this we're seeing a fraction here.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Sperm banks are not required to track the number of children born from any one donor. There may be two or 200, since the donor may donate multiple times. There's just no way to know for sure.

(on camera): How many half brothers and sisters do you think you have out there?

R. KRAMER: I would say probably between 15 and 20 or so.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Wendy's son, Ryan, has never met any of them. He's 15 and by all accounts, a genius. We met him at the University of Colorado, where he will soon be a sophomore majoring in aerospace engineering. He easily answers calculus and physics questions. But questions about his own biological dad are much, much tougher.

R. KRAMER: Parts about my face, you know, there my brow or teeth or my nose, or just certain things just, you know, clearly don't come from my mother and to see those in somebody else would just answer a world of questions for me.

FEYERICK: Ryan's donor dad, likely wasn't much older than Ryan is now. In fact, the majority of donors accepted by sperm banks are college students. They must be handsome, smart, outgoing. The kind of guy a girl would like to date. It's no coincidence many sperm banks and clinics within walking distance of major campuses. The work is easy, the pay is good.

DR. CAPPY ROTHMAN, CALIFORNIA CRYOBANK: I'd say you could make between $600 and $900 a month just coming to visit us a couple of times.

FEYERICK: Dr. Cappy Rothman is a pioneer in the field of donor sperm.

(on camera): What are we looking at here?

ROTHMAN: The next generation.

FEYERICK (voice-over): He founded California Cryobank in the mid-1970s and estimates as many as three-quarters of a million babies have been born from his sperm bank alone. A daunting number, considering there are now 150 sperm banks across the country.

When Rothman began, the controversy was using a stranger's sperm to have a baby. The controversy now, Rothman says, children trying to track down their genetic donors -- men who never intended to be found.

FEYERICK: Do you guarantee the anonymity of the donors?

ROTHMAN: We try to. We thought we did. We hope we could. But after what's been taking place with the misuse of some of the technology out there, I don't think we can absolutely guarantee.

FEYERICK: Most potential mothers signed contracts, agreeing to respect a donor's privacy. Wendy said she never did.

It may not matter. Testing DNA is as easy as swabbing your cheek. And the growth of genetic databases could make it all but impossible for donors to remain anonymous.

One teenager recently used a saliva sample, had his DNA analyzed and found his genetic father through a DNA database.

W. KRAMER: I see them all on my Web site. And over the next 10 years, this wave of kids is about to hit this sperm bank industry and want answers to their questions.

FEYERICK: Donor dads have absolutely no legal or financial responsibility to their genetic offsprings. So then what is it children like Ryan really want?

R. KRAMER: Really, all I'm looking for from the donor is just to answer a few a of those questions I have. You know, I'm not looking for a relationship or money or anything that, you know, a lot of people assume that donor kids want to know about them. Really, it's just a curiosity about who he is and you know, where I came from.

FEYERICK: The five Denver-born kids from donor 66 are now debating how far they want to go to find their genetic dad.

(on camera): So show of hands, who wants to find the donor?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, that would be cool.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would love to, but like --

FEYERICK: You're not so sure. Why not?

ERIN BALDWIN, DONOR CHILD: I'm satisfied beyond belief. I have two -- two brothers, two sisters.

FEYERICK: Sisters and brothers. Once strangers, now family.

JUSTIN SENK, DONOR CHILD: You know, your friends, you may never see them again after college or after high school, but I'm going to know all of them for the rest of my life.

FEYERICK: And who's to say how many more children from donor 66 they will meet down the road?

Debra Feyerick, CNN, Boulder, Colorado.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: How amazing would it be to suddenly discover you have all these brothers and sisters out there?

Coming up next on 360. Is "The Purpose-Driven Life" really "Chicken Soup for Your Soul?" Or is it no soup for you? The debate on the business of self-help. We'll talk to Mark Hansen, co-founder of "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books.

Also, the frozen airman. Who is he? Scientists think they are closer to finding out.

From L.A., you're watching 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: If you take a look at "The New York Times" bestseller list for non-fiction, you'll find history, biography, economics, freakanomics, but no self-help books. Not because self-help books don't sell, just the opposite, they sell so well they have their own separate list. In print, on the air, on the job, we've become a self- help nation. It's a $10-billion industry. There are books and seminars and gurus, and critics as well.

In a moment one critic takes on a guru, you might say, first CNN's Adaora Udoji sets the stage.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm Doctor Laura Schlesinger. Got problems in your life? Let's talk about it.

ADAORA UDOJI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Americans like a fix. Want to live better? There's Steve Covey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To live, to love, to learn, to leave a legacy, represents the essence of it.

UDOJI: Or to love better, cue John Gray.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a whole gold mine of love that you can create in your relationship.

UDOJI: Just want to be a little more interesting? Tune in to Doctor Phil.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have a theory. I really do have a theory. I think that bored people are boring.

UDOJI: Self-help celebrities, motivational speakers, web site, books and tapes and books on tape are all selling us promises we can be richer, thinner, better investors, have better sex -- and oh, yes, find God. And we're buying it.

JOHN LAROSA, MARKETDATA ENTERPRISES: Fifty dollars for, you know, buying some self-improvement books ranging all the way up to $10,000 or more for personal sessions with one of the big celebrities.

UDOJI: But who is buying this stuff? John Larosa says that half of all Americans have bought a self-help book like "Chicken Soup for the Soul", one of the fastest movers in the genre. And women, mostly; female consumers buy 70 percent of the material. The self-help IT girl tends to be 40-something, earning more than $50,000 a year.

LAROSA: Willing to try new things and experiment with things. You have to remember that the self-improvement industry is really an experience industry.

UDOJI: And marketers say the sexes like to experience different things. Men gravitate toward money making and improving memory. Women like spirituality and relationships. But does all this self- help, help?

Oprah is just one self-help celeb who has built a billion-dollar business around the assumption it does.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's one thread running through each show we do. It is the message that you -- you are not alone.

UDOJI: Nor is Oprah in the enormous multi-media self-help market. But be careful. Any one can dish out self help advice. There's no license required and that has some critics calling it a sham. STEVE SALERNO, AUTHOR, "SHAM": Anybody can get in. There is not basis in any kind of testing for any of these regimens that they preach. The people that they're preaching to may or may not have the problems that they supposedly go to the gurus for. And it causes all sorts of collateral damage along the way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I got a new attitude. Yes!

UDOJI: Adaora Udoji, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, joining us now from Philadelphia, Steve Salerno, critic -- you saw in the piece -- of the self-help industry. And the author of "Sham: How the self-help movement made America helpless." And with me here in Los Angeles, Mark Hansen, co-author of the best- selling series, "Chicken Soup", the whole series, "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books.

Welcome to both of you. Thanks for being with us.

MARK HANSEN, CO-FOUNDER, "CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL" BOOKS: I'm honored to be here.

SALERNO: Thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: Steve, let me start off with you. You say that self- help industry can actually hurt people. But, Americans can't get enough of "Chicken Soup for the Soul" or Doctor Phil. Where's the harm?

SALERNO: Well, I think the harm is first of all, you know, making people feel better about a problem is not the same as fixing the problem. And I think that actually you can do damage by giving people the coping skills that keep them in a situation that actually needs to be addressed in some sort of a professional way.

The "Chicken Soup" books, you know, you hate to pile on there, because that is one of the more benign manifestations. But that is symbolic of this effort to keep people locked into self-help as an addiction in its own right, because what happens is, since you're not fixing the problem, they have to come back to you again, six months, 12 months later.

And in fact, demographic studies show that the same people are buying the same books on the same topics at 12 to 18 month intervals. So whatever it was that brought them to that didn't get fixed.

COOPER: Well, Mark Hansen, I mean, Steve is basically saying that because people keep coming back to them that is a sign that they're kind of hooked on them and it's not really helping them.

HANSEN: Well, you know, I've never met Steve, but it seems to me that I need a shower every day and I'm just betting because you look pretty clean that you take one everyday. And it gets rid of that residual smell. Well, that's what self-help does. It cleans up the interior and you know, inside out, as a human being, spiritually, mentally, physically and financially.

And it seems to me he is trying to make money in my industry. It seems that way. I mean he's got a book that he's -- I'd bet he'd like to be number one.

COOPER: Well, Steve what about that?

(CROSS TALK)

SALERNO: That'll never happen, because I'm too realistic.

(LAUGHTER)

HANSEN: Try incompetent.

COOPER: Steve, some of the criticisms that you're making of the industry could basically kind of be said to yourself. I mean, you've kind of come up with this over arching theory. And you're kind of -- you know, trying to prove a point of it in your book. Isn't that the same thing that some of these self-help books do?

SALERNO: No, because I'm not proposing -- I'm not giving people advice. I'm simply saying -- I went into this book with a very simple premise. Can these people prove that this stuff works? When you're talking about -- it's interesting, when I did the book it was an $8.6- billion industry. Now we're up to $10 billion. In a few years, if the projections hold true, will be a $12-billion. It keeps growing and growing and people keep coming back. I do not --

COOPER: Well, Mark, can you prove that it works?

HANSEN: I've also written wealth books, as you know, "One-Minute Millionaire" and "Cracking the Millionaire Code". We have a web site you can go to, and I'll bet he hasn't been to it. Based on reading his book he hadn't been to it, but "Millionaire Hall of Fame", our students this year are up $835 million, gave away 59,000 hours of community service and $28 million to charity.

COOPER: You do see some of these things, late night, on TV, where, you know, it's kind of, "all you need to do is buy my tape and all your answers". And you kind of wonder, well, what's on the tape, because if all the answers are on this tape it must be really easy. But if it was that easy, everyone would be a multi-millionaire.

SALERNO: Look, there is no credentialing for this stuff. Anybody can get in. You have some body, you use Doctor Laura in your promo piece. Now here is a woman, she rose to prominence on a platform of family values. This is a woman who didn't even know her own mother had died till two months later. I would think that the first family value, or at least the second, is knowing your mom is dead.

HANSEN: I just talked to her and by the way, she says that you're not -- you're giving her a bad rap and she did know that. And she's been educated. She has a Ph.D. that legitimate. She's a marriage and family counselor. She's been on 25 years. She daily has people that she is legitimately helping.

COOPER: Why is it that people come to you? What is that they are really looking for? And why do they keep coming back to you?

HANSEN: Well, at the "Chicken Soup" level, what we do is we change the world one story at a time. And what happens is we cause instantaneous behavioral change. We had a prisoner who just wrote us, Dear Mark and Jack, I've been in the slammer five years. Contemplating the ideal crime, killing the guy who put me here. My sister sent me your book. We've read it. He's read it multiple times, so I agree with Steve, because space repetition is necessary. That's why you go to school and I believe in life-long learning, which he obviously doesn't based on his book.

SALERNO: But that's --

HANSEN: But wait, Steve. Hold on I'm not done.

And this guy says when I get out of here I no longer want to kill the guy that put me here.

COOPER: Well, Steve, what's wrong with that?

SALERNO: Well, that's fine. That's one guy though, that's anecdotal evidence. I mean for every -- you know, let me tell you something. I am in a "Chicken Soup" book. And after my piece ran in "Chicken Soup" I had people who tracked me down through my web site, asking me for further advice. I have no credentials to give that advice. They found something in the book that made me an instant guru, in their eyes, which is the cult of celebrity we have. Just because you're a celebrity doesn't mean you know what you're talking about.

COOPER: But, Steve, don't people go back to the Bible, you know, routinely. By your argument isn't -- aren't you really saying, well, the Bible is not really helping because it just kind of -- it's not solving people's problems it is just kind of getting them through the day. But isn't that an OK thing?

SALERNO: That's not the nature of the bargain. This is a business. The Bible relates to religion. I've had this question asked to me. You know, faith is one thing. If I want to say I think that the Easter Bunny is going to cure my problems and I believe in that as a private thing that's one thing. But these people are extracting money, to the tune of millions of dollars -- billions of dollars annually.

COOPER: I want to give Mark (INAUDIBLE)

HANSEN: Let me answer that please, Steve.

SALERNO: Sure.

HANSEN: America is great for two reasons, as far as I'm concerned, Anderson. Number one, we're the givingest, individually and collectively. Number two, we're the only nation that has self- help books. They don't exist in 199 other countries. The first guy who ever did it is the guy who started the library system in America, Andrew Carnegie.

Today, by today's standards, he's a Bill Gates. And he said, look, I've got a third grade education. People lent me books and there is no such thing as a library, so I want to give a hand up not a hand out. And our industry is giving more people a hand up. I mean, it's not anecdotal. The fact of the matter is that I have over quarter of a million people live in front of me. I've sold over 110 million books. My books are --

COOPER: 110 million, that's incredible?

HANSEN: 110 million. I am, according to Guinness book of records, along with Doctor Canfield, the world's best-selling author -- non-fiction, sir.

COOPER: I got to -- we've got to leave it here. Mark Hansen, Steve Salerno, appreciate you joining us.

HANSEN: Thank you. Thank you, Steve. Thanks to all of you.

COOPER: Our readers can read all of your books and form their opinions, thanks very much.

Coming up next on 360, new developments on a mystery we've been following. Remains buried in the Sierra Nevada Mountains since FDR was president. Who was this man? And are his loved ones still alive.

Plus, a tribute to America's ugliest dog. You got to love this dog. And sadly he has passed. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: We hope you are as intrigued as we are by a story that we've been following, an unfolding mystery. A frozen airman whose body was recently discovered in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains. His remains were buried in the snow for 63 years. Question is, who is he and can he be traced to family members who lived a lifetime without him. CNN's Thelma Gutierrez reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It the ultimate cold case dating back to World War II. Forensic detectives are turning to the most advanced scientific methods to solve it.

This mystery began just last month. The body of a young airman is discovered by climbers at the base of a glacier, 13,000 feet high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. His uniform and unopened parachute, reveal he's been dead for more than a half century. How did he get here? And who is this mystery man who died at the prime of his life?

After weeks of studying his remains military scientists have narrowed down the possibilities. Out of more than two dozen training flights that crashed in the Sierra during World War II, scientists say this airman his one of four men who died there.

On November 18, 1942, three young cadets and their lieutenant, all in their 20s, were on a navigational training flight with their plane disappeared in the Sierra Nevadas. On board, Glen Munn, Melvin Mortenson, Leo Mustonen and Lieutenant Bill Gamber. Five years after the crash in 1947, hikers found some plane wreckage but not the bodies.

Then last month, 63 years later, climbers discovered this airman frozen in ice. But who was this airman? Scientists found some clues. He carried 51 cents in his pocket, a plastic hair comb and three leather-bound address books. Forensic evidence also suggests he had straight teeth with a small gap and was between 5 foot, 9 and 6 foot, one inches tall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is backing, so that was attached to the collar.

GUTIERREZ: The airman wore no dog tags, a corroded name plate revealed a few letters. But even if scientists had found a name they still could not make a positive identification because that evidence is merely circumstantial.

At JPAC, the Joint Prisoner Of War/Missing in Action Accounting Command, in Hawaii, experts have not choice but to turn to the hard science of DNA.

DR. ROBERT MANN, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: We would go out and seek to find some of their maternal -- their relatives, so we could get a DNA sample.

GUTIERREZ: The DNA of a maternal relative, because it is the easiest to match. So scientists send a piece of the airman's leg bone to another military lab for DNA testing. And they begin searching for a living relative of the four men.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now, I'm going to be drawing two tubes of blood.

GUTIERREZ: We followed the scientists trail from the Sierra Nevadas in California, where the airman was found, to Pleasant Grove, Ohio, and Fayette, Ohio; from Jacksonville, Florida, to Seattle, Washington. And all the way to Ogden, Utah, to meet the families.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You remember having a brother missing in action and we're doing a DNA testing.

GUTIERREZ: In Pleasant Grove, Ohio, Sarah Zaire and Jean Pyle have their blood drawn. They are the sisters of 22-year-old cadet Glenn Munn. While Munn was blond and had straight teeth, he was also 6 foot, 4. Maybe too tall to match the airman's height. Even so, the sisters are tested to make sure.

In Fayette, Ohio, the nieces of Lieutenant Bill Gamber are also tested for DNA. BILL RALSTON, GEMBER'S NEPHEW: I think its exciting. Just to know that something that happened so long ago, is just coming to the forefront now. It's terrific.

GUTIERREZ: Like the airman, Gamber was in his early 20s when he died and had extensive dental work. But Gamber also had very dark hair, perhaps too dark to match our airman.

RUTH MORTENSON, SISTER OF MISSING AIRMAN: My brother --

GUTIERREZ: In Seattle, 95-year-old Ruth Mortenson also had her blood drawn. The years have clouded her memory, but she still remembers her baby brother, Cadet Melvin Mortenson.

MORTENSON: I know he went to the university. He finished.

GUTIERREZ: Another possible problem here, scientists say the airman was in his early 20s when he died. Melvin Mortenson was 25.

On to Florida, to the only known family of 23-year-old Leo Mustonen. Louella Mustonen and her two daughters, Leane and Onalee.

LUELLA MUSTONEN, SISTER OF MISSING AIRMAN: He had a little gap between his front teeth.

GUTIERREZ: Like the frozen airman Mustonen also had a gap in his front teeth. He was blond and at 5 foot, 9 he falls within the height range of the airman. But again, this is only circumstantial evidence, scientists need more. But with the Mustonens they hit a DNA dead end.

MUSTONEN: None of us ever knew what happened actually.

GUTIERREZ: Louella Mustonen is Leo's sister in law, so neither she, nor her daughters meet the criteria for a DNA comparison. So the only hope for identifying the airman as Leo Mustonen is if DNA tests eliminate the other three families.

CAROL BENSON, RELATIVE OF MISSING AIRMAN: I was too young to really know him, it's brought a closeness to him.

GUTIERREZ: Carol Benson of Ogden, Utah, told me the discovery of the airman has lead to a discovery of her own.

BENSON: Dear Anna, You're last letter reached me at Santa Ana.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The barracks are all long, the quarters are also air conditioned. All in all, it resembles more a summer resort than an Army camp.

GUTIERREZ: In an old box, Carol found this letter, written by her uncle Melvin Mortensen, before he died.

Carol and the others told us the letters and photographs of the young crewmen sat in boxes untouched for decades. Each of the families say that in learning about the frozen airman, they've learned about their own lost airman and a little about themselves. And they say that even if DNA proves the frozen airman is not their relative, it is OK. Because all the families will have found closure after so very long.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: It's fascinating how so many of the immediate relatives have died off and yet these families are so deeply involved in this search.

GUTIERREZ: Well, you know, that was the thing that really struck me. Is that you sit down, you talk with these people. They have not heard of that relative for 63 years. The parents have died off and in many cases the siblings have died off, and yet you sit and you talk to them, and they well up with emotion because they've been carrying around that question for so very long. And I think that's the thing that really struck me the most.

They have probably another month to wait. By the condrial (ph) DNA tests still in the works right now. And we think we may have word sometime in January.

COOPER: Let's hope. Thelma Gutierrez, thanks very much.

Coming up on 360, hairless and fearless, remembering Sam, who for a time ruled the world as the ugliest dog on the planet.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Tonight we remember a dog with a heart of gold and a face -- well, not so much. He died today. CNN's Jeanne Moos has a look back at Sam.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Good doggie. Good an ugly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No! Ahhhh!

MOOS (on camera): Is it the ugliest dog you've ever seen?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By far

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ugh! Disgusting. Ugh, looks like they dug him up.

MOOS (voice over): He is the three-time undefeated winner of the Worlds Ugliest Dog contest at the Sonoma Marin Fair in California.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah? Oh yeah, see? That's the hand that feeds you

(SAM BITES, GROWLS)

MOOS: The hand that feeds him belongs to Susie Lockheed, who is used to rude questions. SUSIE LOCKHEED, SAM'S OWNER: They often ask me if he's a burn victim.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, what happened?

MOOS: Sam is just an accident of breeding, a Chinese Crested- hairless, here's what a normal one looks like, gone astray.

LOCKHEED: I think one of Sam's most attractive features is his hernia lump on his rump. Dangling flesh like a turkey gullet.

MOOS: With this neck it's no stretch to conjure up ET.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, ET's cuter.

MOOS: Susie calls his choppers Austin Powers teeth. The few hairs Sam has can be rustled by his own breath.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Probably the most demon looking dog I've ever seen and he's beautiful in every way.

MOOS: Well, no wonder he likes Sam, they share a patch of hair.

(on camera): Would you pet this dog?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. And I wouldn't let him share my apartment for the world.

MOOS (voice over): Susie took Sam in five years ago when he was considered un-adoptable. He's now 14 years old.

(SAM GROWLING)

LOCKHEED: Yeah, he has quite a personality. He can get a little cranky.

MOOS: Sam won the Ugliest Dog Contest back in June. But he became a star with "The Los Angeles Times" published his mug. Now he's got several web sites. He's inspired other contests to find even uglier dogs. But even a six-legged pooch can't compete with Sam.

At Susie's web site, SamUgliestDog.com, you can buy T-shirts and refrigerator magnets. "It may keep you from eating."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would pet him. I would hold him. I would feed him. I would breed him.

MOOS (on camera): Breed him?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. Why not?

MOOS: That's going too far.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somebody has got to want an ugly dog.

MOOS (voice over): Alas, Sam is neutered. As one cyber wit put it, we do not want another Son of Sam.

LOCKHEED: Sometimes dog seem to not quite know if he's canine or not. I mean they have to have a good sniff and even then they're a little bit afraid of Sam. Be very afraid.

MOOS: Did we mention Sam is blind. This woman was ready to take him home.

(Voice over): With his skin like this?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, why not?

MOOS: And these little bumps on it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's like half the people in New York, before they have surgery.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a frightening little creature. Look at its skin. I mean, is this really a dog?

MOOS (on camera): Yeah!

(Voice over): No wonder Sam is on the Internet myth debunking site, Snopes. Status, true. The show, "The Insider" gave Sam a makeover.

(BEGIN TV SHOW CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A moisturizing bath. And of course, a bow. So did it work? Check out the before and after.

(END TV SHOW CLIP)

MOOS: Before or after, Sam is enough to make a kid turn tail and run.

(on camera): You ought to hear the noise he makes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, he's no Billie Holiday?

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Ah, I thought Sam was kind of cute. We'll miss you. Thanks very much. More on 360 in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: That's it from LA. Larry King is next.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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