a blog by Peter Stekel

FINAL FLIGHT is the story of four aviators lost in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks on November 18, 1942

Read more about FINAL FLIGHT here.


June, 2010

On June 2nd I was at Third Place Books in Seattle to visit to and listen to Jon Turk and hear about to his presentation of his latest book, The Raven's Gift.

In two words... HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!! [no extra credit for the !!!].

Jon has written some amazing [!!!] books about adventuring in some of the coldest and most remote places in the world. Cold Oceans is a great place to begin. Then move on to Wake of the Jomon. If you haven't thought about it, now is the time! Jon's work is truly amazing.

When composing Final Flight I referred to Cold Oceans and Wake of the Jomon many times to figure out what  author's "voice" I should use.

You would think "cold" and "remote" meant places where mountains poke the sky. Not true.

Jon's books have to do with sea kayaking in places like the Northwest Passage or following Magellan's route connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Or verifying where Kennewick Man came from... I won't tell you what Jon has to say about the mystery. Read Wake of the Jomon.

And, if the name, "Magellan," doesn't mean anything to you, then Google it.

Be forewarned, Magellan has to do with the naming of the north and south continents of America. Nothing about GPS and that sort of thing.

Also, new this month is advance praise for Final Flight. I am excited by the praise of writers and experts in the fields of natural history and aviation who have found Final Flight worthy of their attention.

Amongst the the many words of praise are the following:
"Stekel has breathed warm life into these long lost World War II airmen who disappeared while on a training mission in 1942. Entombed in High Sierra glacial ice for more than sixty years before being discovered by climbers and the author himself, Stekel skillfully weaves the crew's fate in these rugged mountains with his own quest to unravel the mystery." —Eric Blehm, bestselling author of The Last Season and The Only Thing Worth Dying For.

"Because truth really does trump fiction for drama, Final Flight reads like a good novel and sticks with you like a particularly affecting play. Superbly researched, compellingly written, and lovingly relived, this gripping tale both solves an old mystery and serves as a moving tribute to all fallen fliers. By actually trekking to the remote site of the crash and making a stunning discovery there, Stekel rescues a sad story from dead-end status and turns it into a living memorial." —Robert Michael Pyle, author of Chasing Monarchs and Sky Time in Gray's River

"... [An] invigorated appreciation of the dedication of the men and women of the Greatest Generation?"  Michael Sledge, author of Soldier Dead: How We Recover, Identify, Bury, and Honor Our Military Fallen

"Capture[s] the history, geography, and the mystery surrounding this inspiring tale of the High Sierra." —Pat Macha, author of Aircraft Wrecks in the Mountains and Deserts of California

"Those who love the high country will find this a fascinating read." —William Tweed, Co-author of Challenge of the Big Trees: A Resource History of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

"If you love our parks, and if you love a good mystery, you need Final Flight; it will be a read you can not put down. Stekel does a masterful job of painstakingly putting this seven-decade old "jigsaw puzzle" together touchingly for you: frozen airman by frozen airman." —Charles R. "Butch" Farabee, Jr., author of Death, Daring, & Disaster - Search and Rescue in the National Parks

"A thoroughly enjoyable...detective story" —Douglas H. Clark, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Geology Department, Western Washington University


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