Closure: Steve Fossett's Final Flight

In the mass-media age, news stories captivate us, then vanish. We revisit those stories to bring you the next chapter.

ON Sept. 3, 2007, record-setting adventurer Steve Fossett, 63, takes off from a Nevada ranch for a short pleasure trip in a single-engine plane and never returns. A frantic search for wreckage begins.

FOSSETT is declared legally dead in February 2008 after the search, covering 20,000 miles and costing $1.6 million, turns up nothing. The absence of evidence prompts conspiracy theories that the millionaire faked his own death.

ON Sept. 29, a hiker stumbles across some of Fossett's belongings in a steep section of the Sierra Nevadas. Searchers find plane fragments and possible human remains strewn across a field of debris. "It's a tragic ending," Paul Ciolino, a private investigator involved in the case, told NEWSWEEK. "But he went out doing something he loved. How many people can say that?"