A financier and his wife build a mansion in the jungles of Costa Rica, set up a wildlife preserve, and appear to slowly, steadily lose their minds. A spiral of handguns, angry locals, armed guards, uncut diamonds, abduction plots, and a bedroom blazing with 550 Tiffany lamps ends with a body and a mystery: Did John Felix Bender die by his own hand? Or did Ann Bender kill him to escape their crumbling dream?
Before he died, Sun Myung Moon, cult father to massive Unification Church (known better as the Moonies), sent 14 Japanese “national messiahs” deep into the Paraguayan jungle to build an utopian “ideal city.” Thirteen years later, the author catches a trading boat down river in search of their hidden town.
How the Bounty, a busted-up replica built in 1960 for the film Mutiny on the Bounty, ended up 100 miles out to sea during the height of Hurricane Sandy.
The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker was extinct. Then it wasn’t. The story of an uncertain resurrection.
“From all appearances, this place is still an earthly paradise. There is just one problem, though you could stare at this palm grove for a lifetime and never see it. The soil under our feet, whitish gray in color with flecks of coral, contains a radioactive isotope called cesium 137.”
In Argentina, where the fútbol underworld controls everything from t-shirt vending to murder, and “rowdy gangs” have turned the stadium into a battleground.
It started as a bluebird New Year’s Day in Mount Rainier National Park. But when a gunman murdered a ranger and then fled back into the park’s frozen backcountry, every climber, skier, and camper became a suspect—and a potential victim.
A profile of the cyclist by his former mechanic and assistant.
The rise and fall of an antiquities collector turned grave robber.
In the remote wilderness along northern British Columbia’s Highway 16, at least 18 women have gone missing over the past four decades. Is it the work of a serial killer or multiple offenders?
How did the most wanted man in America, the serial bomber behind the Atlanta Olympics explosion, survive for five years in the North Carolina woods? And was he helped?
The breathable outerwear industry is at war with Bob Gore—the inventor of Gore-Tex.
On stolen bicycles, “a solvent in America’s underground economy, a currency in the world of drug addicts and petty thieves.”
On the recovery of snowboarder Kevin Pearce, who suffered a massive brain injury five days before the 2010 Olympics.
You know this one: German guy heads into tribal jungle deep upriver, sends the company crazy reports full of radical ideas—and then goes totally rogue. Only this time it's not ivory he's after. It's a secret lost for centuries: the finest cacao on earth.
Tourism in Burma? A journey through Asia’s most anesthetized state.
Skyrocketing prices for yarchagumba, a rare fungus prized as an aphrodisiac, has led to Nepali villagers to turf wars—and possibly murder.
The writer travels with his father to Iceland and Greenland:
It usually takes a week of traveling with Ed Tower before I’m seized by the tantrum-pitching impulse and can barely resist the urge to punch myself again and again in the face.
During the Great Floods of 2011, the Mississippi unleashed deadly currents and a flow rate that could fill the Superdome in less than a minute. Defying government orders, the author and two friends canoed 300 miles from Memphis to Vicksburg. This is their story.
A profile of a 25-year-old Spanish sensation.
Twenty-five years later, inside the Exclusion Zone.
A profile of the late Jack LaLanne, “the greatest gym teacher of all time,” who was as responsible as anyone for America’s fitness craze in the latter half of the 20th century.
On the psychology of a rescue worker after years of responding to disaster.
Anatomy of an international incident; how three idealistic young American hikers wandered across the Kurdistan-Iran border and ended up in Iranian prison charged with spying.
At tourism’s wildest frontier; guided tours of Afghanistan.
Nobody knows the full story of why legendary surfer Andy Irons died in a Dallas hotel room earlier this month. But some who knew him have come forward to discuss the demons he’d battled for years.
When a boulder shifts and pins his hand, a climber on a solo trip is forced to do the unthinkable: amputate his own arm. A first-person account of the six-day ordeal, excerpted from Ralston’s Between a Rock and a Hard Place.
A writer starts a vacation in San Juan del Sur, a seaside village of 20,000 in Nicaragua, just in time to see an expat charged with the murder of a local.
The author investigates the massive wildlife die-off in the Salton Sea by rafting from its tributaries in Mexico.
Fifty-four days after his group’s Everest climb turned tragic, Krakauer first told the story of what had gone wrong.
The original story of Christopher McCandless’ fateful trip into the Alaskan wilderness.
In the British sport of “ferret legging,” underwear-less competitors tie their trousers at the ankles, stuff a pair of the carnivores down there, and hold on for as long as possible. Reg Mellor is the world’s best.
The 19-year-old “Barefoot Bandit”—on the run since 2008 and famous for stealing Cessnas without flying lessons, among other feats—was captured this week in the Bahamas. Here, the view of Colt from his hometown.
In February, a killer whale named Tilikum dragged his SeaWorld trainer into the pool and drowned her. It was the third time the orca had been involved in a death during his 27 years in captivity. This is his story.
Before embarking on dangerous rock climbs, Matt Samet would use whiskey to wash down powerful prescription tranquilizers. A first-person account of extreme addiction.