In October 2005, two mountaineers climbing above Mendel Glacier in the High Sierra find the mummified remains of a man in a WW II uniform, entombed in the ice. The "Frozen Airman" discovery creates a media storm which draws author Peter Stekel to investigate and stumble upon the case of a navigation training flight crew missing since 1942. Early attempts at recovery are thwarted due to empty graves, botched records, bad weather, bad luck, and bad timing. Then, in 2007, Stekel himself discovers a second body in the glacier.
Through meticulous research, interviews, and his own mountaineering trips to the site, Stekel uncovers the identities of these four young men. Final Flight explores the story of the ill-fated flight and the misinformation surrounding it for over 60 years. The book is a gripping account that's part mystery, part history, and a personal quest to uncover the truth of the events that occurred on November 18, 1942. In the process, Stekel rewrites the young aviators' last days and takes us on their final flight.
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Peter Stekel is an award-winning writer specializing in feature articles and photography of the Sierra Nevada. Stekel grew up in Southern California and has been hiking and backpacking in the Sierra since he was twelve years old.
Peter Stekel's first trip to the Sierra Nevada was at summer camp with his Boy Scout troop, in Sequoia National Park. Under the weight of a heavy backpack and the arduous long distances, Stekel believed he might die actually from exhaustion. Upon reaching their destination--amidst the beauty of an alpine lake, granite cliffs, and wildflower fields--Stekel changed his opinion, and believed he had died--and gone to heaven. Since that time he has hiked all over the Southern Sierra, from the foothills to the High Sierra.
Peter Stekel is also the author of Best Hikes Near Seattle, and the novel The Flower Lover. Stekel has appeared as an authority on the Sierra Nevada in various national and international media outlets including National Geographic, BBC 4, and countless other print, radio, and television media. He holds a B.A. in Botany from the University of California at Davis, and a teaching credential from Humboldt State University. He makes his home in Seattle with his wife, their tropical fish, and a menagerie of stuffed animals.
Peter Stekel is a writer specializing in feature articles and photography of the Sierra Nevada with a focus on Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks. Stekel grew up in Southern California and has hiked and backpacked in the High Sierra since he was twelve years old. He now makes his home in Seattle, WA. --FinalFlightTheBook.com
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