Author: Stephen Coonts
Publish Date: 2002
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Science Fiction
Sub-Genre: Space Travel, UFO’s, Kidnapping, Romance, Advanced Technology, Anti-Gravity, Computers, Holography
In the Sahara, near the Chad, Libya, and Sudan borders, Rip Cantrell saw a light reflecting from a sandstone cliff wall. He and the seismic survey team he is with investigate and find metal buried in the sandstone, dating 140,000 years old! After excavating the metal, they find it was the outer edge of a flying saucer, long since abandoned by its creators.
While thinking of how it will help all mankind, the military forces from the USA and Libya arrive as well as a private paramilitary force from Australia to steal the spaceship. Rip decides to take the ship and enlists the help of a U.S. test pilot to fly it away from the would-be thieves.
Now, Rip and Charley move the saucer from place to place in an attempt to keep it out of the hands of the military types. They do the best they can, but it turns out their identities are discovered early on and their pursuers are right on their heels every step of the way… even catching them and threatening their families.
A seismic survey team is taking measurements in the Sahara desert near the borders of three countries when one of the team sees a reflection from an outcropping of rock.
After he saw it, Rip Cantrell investigates and finds it stuck inside rock – which turns out to be over 140,000 years old!
Soon after, word leaked out to a billionaire living in Australia, and keeping tabs on the excavation. A few days later, the piece of metal was excavated out of the rock. It was exciting for Rip and the rest of the survey crew to find that it was actually part of a much larger piece. It was the edge of a saucer!
The billionaire was even more excited. He immediately sent an armed recovery team to capture the saucer for himself. Meanwhile, the USA got a look at it from a satellite and sent a UFO investigation team, and the Libyans also got wind of the discovery. With all three armed teams in the area, Rip sneaks into the saucer to steal it away, and as he does one of the US team manages to get inside with him. Her name is Charley.
Now the duo are pursued by both the US and the Australian governments in an attempt to recover the saucer – the US to mine its new technologies, and the billionaire to sell it to the highest bidder.
Roger Hendrick wants the saucer bad enough to kidnap Charley and force her to fly the saucer to his place in Australia, where he can be protected by the military while he holds the auction.