Searchers have found the wreckage of missing adventurer Steve Fossett's aircraft, high in a remote part of California's Sierra Nevada mountains.
So far they haven't located his remains.
On September 3, 2007 Fossett took off from an airstrip in Nevada and disappeared into history - I thought that was somehow a fitting end.
On February 15 of this year, he was declared legally dead after one of the largest and longest search efforts in history. The search resumed Wednesday last, after a hiker found Fossett's pilot license and other identification while hiking far off the beaten path in the area around Yosemite National Park
I'm of two minds about this.
I very much admired Steve Fossett. Mild mannered and a genuinely nice guy, in our modern age, he was an anachronism, an adventurer and explorer on par with the great names of history, James Cook, Roald Amundsen, Richard Byrd, Robert Peary, Sir Henry Stanely, Ernest Shackleton, and all those others who set out into the unknown and for far horizons - many never to be seen again. Fossett set many records in the air and on the earth, but he discovered no new lands and journeyed to no new worlds, and in that way he was more like Robin Lee Graham who set out as a teenager to sail around the world in a tiny sloop called Dove, or perhaps the person he most resembles is Amelia Earhart, who also disappeared on a flight over unknown territory.
In recent years, the horizons of our universe have become close and small, there are few places on our tiny world that you can go and not find prior evidence of man. There are very few places on the Earth that we have not been to or looked into with our instruments or explored in detail. We've long since passed the great ages of exploration, and we've long given up grand adventure on strange and distant shores. Oh, there are still frontiers, vast and unknown, out there beyond Earth's puny gravity well, just out of our reach. And we've send robots to see what's out there, mechanical unthinking proxies who dare nothing and feel no wonder or awe and do little to stir the soul. But as a people, we've long given up the thought of exploration and daring and great dreams, and limited ourselves to near Earth orbit.
There are still dreamers though, and men who dare to do more than just dream, and Steve Fossett was one of them.
As I mentioned, I thought it fitting that he should simply vanish into the trackless wilderness, rather than die old and ignobly abed. The word needs legend and mystery, those are the very things that drive us and inspire us to push the boundaries of our world. Fossett spent his entire life inspiring others to seek beyond their self-imposed limits, and I thought it fitting that his death should do the same.
But Steve Fossett left behind many who loved and admired him, and for them today's discovery of his plane's wreckage may bring them solace and closure. His remains have not yet been located, but it is highly unlikely that he survived the crash and it won't be long before his body is found and returned home.
For the rest of us, we are left with one less mystery in the world, one less dreamer, one less adventurer who dared to do things others cannot or will not - and horizons that are just a little smaller and closer.
Voyage well, Steve, wherever you are.