Originally Posted by The Original Bamfer
Exactly my theory
Their fans stand together
And that makes sense, as to why it may be difficult for them to track Cyclops. But if Jean is so powerful, which she is, how could she not psychically tell if Scott was alive? Her or Xavier? I guess Cerebro wasn't used, and could be explained as it was still being fixed or something. But, what we are thinking definitely works.
Cerebro was most likely out of commission. Otherwise it WOULD have been used in some form or another in X3. Xavier is powerful, but he's not good at tracking mutants over long distances. He was able to sense something at Alkali Lake (along with every other telepath in the world, duh), but he admits as much that outside of the mansion grounds, he needs to use Cerebro. As for why Jean didn't try locating him? Well for one thing, she wasn't running on all cylinders or thinking straight. In addition, it's one thing to have super powers, but it's another thing to know how to use them or wield them. She demonstrated that with Scott's optic beams. She had the power to hold them back, but not the skill or finesse to do it safely. Same deal with tracking Scott. It didn't occur to her that she COULD do it, nor was she in the right frame of mind to do it either, since she let herself be convinced that she had killed him.
Let's look at that scene again in the infirmary, it went something like this:
Logan: "I need you to tell me what happened to Scott"
Jean: [flashbacks of her with Scott, image ends abruptly in a flash]... Oh God... kill me before I kill someone else...
Obviously she wasn't in the right state of mind to think or recall things clearly, and quickly gave into her hysteria.
There is another way this whole mess could have been salvaged: their mental link. That special psychic bond that Jean and Scott had. Let's rewind a little to when Xavier is first examining Jean. If X3 acknowledged their mental link and actually wanted to give Scott a chance, the scene could have played out like this:
Logan: "Did this Phoenix-thing that's taken over, kill Scott?"
Xavier: "I thought so too, except... [concentrates]... So you know, Jean and Scott's relationship created an extraordinairy psychic bond between their minds, unheard of between a telepath and non-telepath. They described it as a cross between an intercom and holding hands, letting them feel each other's presence no matter how far apart.
Logan: "Cute. But what does this have to do with anything?"
Xavier: "for the past 8 months, Scott mentioned having intense visions of Jean calling out to him. We thought he was either dreaming or hallucinating. But now I think otherwise."
Logan: "She was calling out to him? So Scooter didn't just run off on blind faith!"
Xavier: "Hardly. And there's... there's something else. I sense Jean's mind constantly calling out to Scott. And for a brief instant, it almost felt like he replied." [looks up at Logan]
Now that I think would have made X3 more interesting...