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Greenland thriller revisits Arctic Cold War
An author who led a scientific expedition to the fjord landscape of East Greenland in 1962 has recreated in a fictional context the tensions that existed at the time between NATO and the Warsaw Pact.
By: Greencroft Books
During eight weeks in the field, in the wilderness of the fjord country, the explorers saw many things which forced them to wonder what else was going on around them, only just out of sight.
East Greenland in 1962 was not very far from the "hot spots" of world politics. Keflavik Air Base in Iceland was fully operational, manned by the United States air force under an agreement with the Icelandic Government. Soviet "sealers" were often reported in the North Atlantic, and it was common knowledge that they had nothing much to do with sealing. There were NATO bases in West Greenland and on the ice sheet.
Brian says: "From my own memories and records I have fashioned a thriller which presents a perfectly feasible sequence of events. In the story, the members of a scientific expedition become the unwitting guinea pigs in a series of grotesque experiments in an arctic wilderness. As the death toll mounts, they uncover a huge conspiracy and realise that an implacable enemy with limitless resources will not allow any of them to survive.
"But this is distinctly spooky. When I was digging around for information which I needed to give the novel authenticity, I suddenly came across a declassified US document called "Technical Report EP-140. Environment of Southeast Greenland" and published originally by the Quartermaster Research and Engineering Center, Environmental Protection Research Division" in October 1961. It had an unclassified Catalog number AD 251 797. It was incredibly detailed. Although many pages were virtually illegible in the digitised version, there was enough detail visible to show that the East Greenland coast, adjacent to Denmark Strait, was being taken very seriously by the US military, and that they wanted to know EVERYTHING about it, including weather and climate, tides, sea ice conditions, landing beaches, anchorages, routes onto the ice sheet, vegetation, and marine life. This was real military planning.......
Every now and then we saw a heard heavy military aircraft high overhead, heading north. And there was a lot of mineral exploration going on too. It was obvious that the Danish Government was working hard to discover what mineral riches there might be around the coasts of Greenland. Systematic geological mapping and prospecting work was going on, involving both government geologists and teams paid for by mining companies. They left traces all over the fjord country -- camp sites, food caches, and huts used by the mineral prospectors and support parties. They even left explosives behind.
All grist to the mill as far as a novelist is concerned. So I had both wonderful personal experiences and rich background material to call on as the story evolved inside my head. Soon readers will have their chance to find out what the title of the book actually means........"
"Acts of God" by Brian John is published by Greencroft Books on 5th November, and on that date it will be available also in an Ebook version via the Amazon web site.
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