The Lost Intruder

  From the back cover:

On a windy, Autumn day in 1989, a U.S. Navy A-6 Intruder crashed off the shores of Whidbey Island, Washington. The Navy mounted a comprehensive, four-ship search for the attack jet with advanced sonar systems and remotely operated mini-submarines. They came up empty handed.

Former Navy pilot Peter Hunt knew the lost Intruder well. The jet came from his squadron; he had flown it from the deck of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Ranger. Standing in the squadron ready room, Hunt listened to the radio transmissions as the accident unfolded: the hydraulic malfunction, the aborted mission, the futile attempt to lower the landing gear, and finally the violent ejection into Puget sound. Puzzled by the failed Navy search, Hunt long imagined the thrill of finding the A-6 and accomplishing what the U.S. Navy could not.

But time was running out. At age 43, Hunt was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. After ten years of worsening symptoms, no longer permitted to fly, and barely able to scuba dive, Hunt knew that he was losing the battle. Desperate for a rallying point to prove to himself that life still mattered, Hunt struck out in 2014 to find the missing A-6. Naval Aviation, deep technical wreck diving, high seas exploration, and one man’s optimistic refusal to quit converge in a salute to life’s possibility. The Lost Intruder soars in a triumph of the human spirit—see what it means to be alive.
From the back cover

Praise for The Lost Intruder 

Photo courtesy of David F. Brown.

“The author’s prose is always crystal-clear and sometimes moving, particularly when he discusses the ways in which his quest revitalized his life in the face of physical decline. An inspiriting story related with journalistic rigor and disarming frankness.”
Kirkus Reviews.  Full review

“Peter Hunt has written a touching, well-crafted book that navigates geographical and human landscapes in his quest to find a lost military aircraft underwater while also dealing with the devastating challenges and uncertainties of his battle with Parkinson’s disease.”
– Bernie Chowdhury, Author of The Last Dive

“Candor combines with a dry sense of humor to create a motivational and inspirational message that causes the reader to think about their own commitments to life while looking forward to every page. The Lost Intruder is a lesson for all of us.”
– Ken Waidelich, Editor of The Windscreen, Journal of the Intruder Association

“It is the fascinating ‘story within the story’ that makes this unique tale a must-read and a testament to the capacity of the human spirit. As the pilot of 510 on that fateful day in November 1989, I thought I knew the whole story, but The Lost Intruder brings the account to its true conclusion.”
– Denby Starling, Vice Admiral (USN, retired) and former 510 pilot.

“Ejecting from 510 inspired me to take up scuba diving with the unrequited romantic notion that I might one day stumble across my old jet’s wreckage. Pete Hunt has turned that dream into reality. From studying the Navy’s failed search through the adversity of a debilitating disease, Pete demonstrates that he is a contender in every sense of the word.”
– Chris Eagle, Professor of Computer Science at the Naval Post-Graduate School and former 510 bombardier/navigator.

“The Lost Intruder is excellently written, well structured, and superbly proofed…I found The Lost Intruder a fascinating, exciting, and also very educational read. I couldn’t put the book down.” – C. H. Blickenstorfer, scubadiverinfo.com

Select color photographs of missing Navy A-6 Intruder bureau number 159572 (all photos adapted from Dan Warter’s underwater video, 210 feet deep in an area of extreme current, Rosario Strait, Washington). 

Pratt and Whitney J52 jet engine.
Pratt and Whitney J52 jet engine.
Main landing gear.
Glare shield from cockpit.
Mark 76 practice bomb stuck in the mud.