The Alaskan Incident
 by Chris Rudge
The plot

At the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a nuclear-armed B-52 bomber goes missing in Alaska while on a routine airborne alert mission. No trace of the aircraft is found and the United States Government chooses to keep the disaster secret to avoid further inflaming domestic and international tension. The disappearance is known as the ‘Alaskan Incident’.

In 2008, a Californian computer programmer, Scott Powell, is developing software that he hopes can be used to locate missing aircraft. When he discovers what appears to be the tail section of a B-52 bomber in a remote part of Alaska, he unknowingly embarks on a course from which there is no turning back. Framed by someone interested in recovering nuclear material for clandestine purposes, Powell is soon being hunted down by the police and the FBI. In a race against time and the need to avoid high-tech mass surveillance, he has to prove his innocence before plutonium found in the wreck can be used in a terrorist attack – or he is killed in the process.

Historical accuracy

In writing The Alaskan Incident, author Chris Rudge explains why historical accuracy was important:

"Having written two non-fiction aviation books, it was important for me to ensure that, in writing a novel, it was believable. In reading a number of best sellers, I was surprised to see authors describing things that aircraft couldn't do - they just hadn't done the necessary research. In writing The Alaskan Incident I did hundreds of hours of research. The descriptions relating to the B-52 come directly from an original 1962 flight manual for a B-52B, C and D USAF series aircraft. All of the radar stations mentioned existed. The Predator UAV attack in Pakistan happened. All locations described in the book are real. All current affairs and news stories mentioned during the narrative were being reported on the days when the story unfolds. Even the weather, sunset times and moon phases are correct for the times and days given. Weaving a plot and story around real events is not easy as the timing has to be realistic. In the case of this novel, I had to work backwards from the book's climax, which was a challenge. Even so, the pieces fitted together and, although the story is a work of fiction, the events depicted are plausible. It could have happened. And perhaps it did . . . "


First published as an ebook in May 2013, The Alaskan Incident is available through Amazon (Kindle), Lulu and iBooks. As with his other books, Chris self-published the novel as it was clear that this would result in greater control and a better return - important given the work required to write it!

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