A millionaire disappearing from his own airplane mid-flight sounds like the beginning of an old detective novel, and while the idea seems outlandish, just such an event did occur on a summer evening in 1928. The vanishing man was Captain Alfred Loewenstein, one of the richest people in the world at the time and someone who embodied the Gilded Age lifestyle. The media even nicknamed him "The Belgian Croesus" as a nod to his immense wealth. His story took a tragic turn, however, when it was reported that Loewenstein had somehow fallen from his private plane mid-flight during a routine trip.
Alfred Loewenstein's death has been researched and debated for over 90 years but still remains unsolved, and many important questions remain unanswered: Why did authorities walk away from the case so quickly? Why did Loewenstein's wife move on from his death with little mourning? Why don't more people today know who Alfred Loewenstein was, even though his disappearance rocked the world? Below we lay out a timeline of the events leading up to, and following, Loewenstein's fall from the sky and explore the conflicting theories surrounding his death.