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February 13 , 2008

Phase Three Alert


March 1943, at the height of World War II, a newly commissioned B-17 bomber is nearing the west coast of Greenland.Flown by a carefully picked crew, it is carrying a piece of vital secret cargo that under no circumstances can be allowed to fall into the hands of the enemy.Caught by an unexpected and fearfully violent Arctic storm, the pilot is forced to crash-land on the vast, awesome Greenland Ice Cap. The crew is saved, but the plane itself and the ultrasensitive cargo it is carrying are swallowed by another great storm and disappear.Three decades later Lieutenant Scott Ferguson, the pilot of a ski-equipped Air Force C-130, discovers an unknown B-17 rigidly frozen on an all-but-unexplored section of the ice cap. Ferguson is bound for Thule Air Base, named for Ultima Thule—the end of the earth. Only 960 miles from the North Pole, in the extreme Arctic, Thule is one of the most exotic places on earth—and one of the most remote. It sits squarely on the bomber and missile route from the Soviet Union to the United States and Canada.When he reports his find, Ferguson receives sudden orders from the Pentagon: go back to the frozen bomber, get inside, and recover, if possible, a certain piece of cargo.This, the first book about Thule and the people who are stationed there, is filled with the vastness, the danger, and the fascination of the very high Arctic. And, from the first page to the last, it is a story about aircraft and the men who fly them. When Lieutenant Ferguson and his crew set about to recover the yellow color-coded crate from the wreck of the B-17, they open the door to more adventure and extraordinary flying than even Ferguson's lively imagination can conceive. For that was not an ordinary B-17…About the AuthorJohn Ball, who tells this remarkable story, has had long years of aviation experience: military, airline, and civilian. He is widely known for his fascinating books about flying, including Rescue Mission and Last Plane Out, as well as for his prize-winning mystery In the Heat of the Night, which brought him multiple international honors.
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