Backpacking Light Magazine editor, Ken Knight, who was missing for eight days, has now been located in good condition in Amherst County, Virginia, following an extensive search. The mission involved more than 100 search and rescue workers, including dog teams, mounted units and the Civil Air Patrol.
From what I've read on several backpacking forums, he missed the Appalachian Trail turn to John's Hollow and instead followed Little Rocky Row, then got lost from there.
At some point, Mr. Knight started a small signal fire which turned into a two-acre brush fire up on a ridge, which definitely caught people's attention. When firefighters were dispatched to put it out, they found the subject, who was then hiked--"walking and talking"--to safety.
Relief! A happy ending.
And here's an article and photo from The News & Advance out of Lynchburg, Virginia: Missing A.T. Hiker Found