The Lost Intruder, the Search for a Missing Navy Jet is now available in print format at Amazon.com
Kindle and other electronic formats coming soon!
THE LOST INTRUDER
The Search for a Missing Navy Jet
Peter M. Hunt
CreateSpace (238 pp.)
ISBN: 978-1-5463-3497-2; July 9, 2017
A former U.S. Navy pilot battling Parkinson’s disease attempts to find a lost aircraft in this debut memoir.
In 1989, an A-6 Intruder, a Navy fighter jet, went down off the coast of Whidbey Island, Washington. For a variety of reasons—turbulent weather, rough tidal currents, and limited underwater visibility—the Navy search was unable to recover the $30 million aircraft. Eventually, they simply gave up, deciding that any further attempt would be “futile and cost prohibitive.” At the time that the Intruder went missing, Hunt was in the “ready room,” the Navy squadron’s command center; the aircraft’s disappearance was personal to him, as he’d flown it over 500 times. Over the next quarter-century, he fantasized about tracking down the lost plane on his own and accomplishing what the Navy couldn’t. This dream was unfortunately complicated in 2005 when the author, then a 43-year-old commercial airline pilot, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. As a result, his flying days were over and his diving days were numbered. Still, even when he was scheduled to undergo major brain surgery, Hunt was more inspired than demoralized by his condition, and he committed himself to the thrilling, if improbable task, of finding the Intruder: “My battle with Parkinson’s did more than instill in me a hope of finding the jet,” he writes, “it fostered a profound belief that anything was possible if I honestly gave it my best effort.” The author’s account of his search is as meticulous as the preparations for it, showing how he doggedly pursued clues to the Intruder’s whereabouts like an investigative journalist. He also offers a candid discussion of his deteriorating health condition, his medical treatments, and the torpor that both eventually visited upon him, which made him turn to alcohol. Additionally, Hunt provides a brief history of the Intruder—a key player during the Vietnam War that was retired during Operation Desert Storm. 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.
“The Lost Intruder” will be released on September 15, 2017.
Praise for The Lost Intruder
“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
“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.
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).