Pinpoint Analysis - Part 10
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
- Pinpoint Analysis - Part 9
Does the US Navy know more than they are telling? Has AUTEC discovered hell? What happens when Les finds out? It's all here - or is it?
Looking Back to Part 9
We last left Les and the secretary at odds with each other Trouble is brewing between the two. Here's where we left off.
"I don't trust you. You don't trust me. I can't work on this project any longer. I'm done."
"I really don't like to be the one to remind you, but you're under government contract with the United States Navy. You just can't walk away."
"Watch me." Les walked over to his desk and opened the top drawer. He took out the contract and placed it in the shredder. In a matter of moments, it was gone.
"Les, it doesn't work that way. We have a signed copy of your contract. You're not released until we release you. As of now, you know too much to be released. We entered into this agreement in good faith, and you're expected to carry it through."
"And what if I don't?"
"I know men of your mentality that have been left to rot in jails for crimes they didn't commit. I've seen your type just disappear from the face of the earth. No explanation. No clues. Just gone. I've also seen men whose families go missing the same way - never to be heard of again."
"You can't threaten me like that."
Adams smirked. "I just did."
"An infuriated Les poked his index finger just inches from Mike's nose. "Understand one thing, Secretary Adams. I"m staying on for one reason and for one reason only. The marine life in these waters is at risk. I'm going to see it through for the sake of a few mollusks but certainly not for you. Are we clear?"
Adams was still smirking. "Oh, yes. We're quite clear. Now, what are you going to do about it?"
"We are going to take the Skyforce 7 up for a look around, and hopefully, we can make contact with your man Cartwright."
A worried look crossed Adams' face. "What do you mean, we?"
"You know very well what I mean. We are going for a trip up and over The Triangle. We are going to fly to the coordinates established by the pilot who flew my daughter to San Juan. We are going to listen and observe all we can."
"Okay. I follow you, but is this all necessary? After all, I hired you to do the work. I expect you to carry through. It's too risky. I'm the Secretary of the Navy."
Les could feel the muscles tightening in his shoulders and neck. "And I'm just a dispensible marine biologist. No big deal if something happens to me, right? Well, let me tell you - no, let me tell both of you," Les glanced at Colbo, "I can't order him to board the chopper. One or both of you are going to have to do it. We do this together. Got it!"
"Adams looked at Colbo. She stared at the floor. "Okay, Doctor Griffin. You win. I'll go up with you, but it will be aboard a Navy jet. We won't be needing your friend. He knows too much already. Besides, I doubt that old chopper would be able to ascend as high as it would need to. I'll make arrangements to get the plane. We go up tomorrow morning at 8:45. Any problem with that?"
"Not at all." Les suddenly realized at least for now he was in charge. He was calling the shots.
The morning arrived, bright and clear. The three boarded the plane and awaited takeoff. Les, dressed in headphones, sat next to the pilot, ready to hear or see anything he could. Adams stood and motioned for Colbo to follow him.
"We need to make a final check of the plane," he said. Both quietly left the plane leaving the pilot and Les as the only ones on board. The plane began to rise higher in altitude before Les realized they were not on the plane. He had been played - again.
Adams' voice broke through the static of the headphones. Les was fuming. "What's going on, Lieutenant? See anything? Hear anything?"
"No everything seems to be fine. The engine's running nice. Pressure's good. Controls and systems all seem perfect. Do you want me to bring her in, Sir?"
"No, stay the course. Finish your run. I'll see you back here shortly."
Adams was convinced nothing out of the ordinary had been noticed. Les was convinced another pilot had no idea what he may be flying into. Should he tell the pilot? Just then a voice could be heard. It was neither Adams nor Colbo. It was the shrieking voice of Lieutenant Cartwright.
The confused pilot looked at Les. "What was that?"
"Oh, that was your missing Lieutenant Cartwright. We're on a mission to bring him back." Les took the time to add, "Didn't you know?"
"You mean - wait! What's that up ahead?"
A panicked Les began to yell, "Turn this plane around! Turn this plane around! It's the fog! Turn this plane around!"
It was too late. Fog enveloped the aircraft. Nothing could be seen. The instrument panel began to flash as the dials spun violently with no control. The plane had been airborne for over a half an hour when the fog hit. Les was taking mental notes although he was struck with fear and panic. If he ever had a chance at this again, he would keep the time element in mind. the plane left the Naval Air Station at Key West at precisely 8:45. It was now 9:21.
Someone was watching over the two. The fog cleared and the plane headed into the clear, blue sky. The runway at NAS Key West was just seconds away. The plane landed safely at 9:24. In the midst of a time warp, the plane made the 32-minute trip back to base in three minutes. Confused and disoriented, the two walked off the plane to safety.
They were taken across the base to a small meeting room. It reminded Les more of a police interrogation room - rather dark. A table and a few chairs. They were left alone for a few minutes while the Secretary and Commander made their way across the base.
An exhausted Lieutenant looked Les in the eyes. He didn't have to ask the question, but he did anyway. "What just happened back there? I've never seen anything like that in all years of flying for the US Navy. Am I sane?"
"Look," Les spoke softly. "I know you don't know what's going on, and I'm not sure I have permission to tell you, but we both could have lost our lives today. That tells me it's a need to know basis for you. It's the Hutchison Effect."
"The Hutchison Effect?"
"The Hutchison Effect. I've been studying it for quite some time. Adams doesn't want to hear about - so I haven't told him. It's one explanation for the disappearances of planes and ships over The Bermuda Triangle. It would seem that in many ways electronic fog forms without cause at no specific time. It just happens, especially during storms.
"These electromagnetic fields just appear, and for lack of a better word, eats planes and ships that it envelops. Space and time break down due to the magnetic fields. That's why our return trip only took three minutes. What I can't figure out is we were heading away from the air base. Somehow the fog must have the ability to redirect. What's even more strange is that most of the time an object is taken by the fog it becomes lost forever. Personally, I believe the planes disintegrate.
"In the case of Lieutenant Cartwright, somehow the plane disappeared, but he was stranded. Technically, he's trapped in that moment of time the plane was lost. If we can bring him back, we may be able to answer a lot of unanswered questions. But you had no idea about this, did you? You could have been killed and not even know why you were sacrificed. That's Adams for you."
"Okay. that will be enough, men." Adams had been listening to the conversation by an opened window. "The Hutchison Effect, eh? You know there has never been any scientific proof to back that theory. And now, you're spreading your silly theories behind my back to my men. This doesn't create a good working relationship, Les."
Colbo gave Les a quick glance. Les understood. "Sir, I'm sorry. I was wrong."
Adams turned to the Lieutenant. 'You may be excused."
I get this whole thing, Les." Adams was apologetic. "But again to protect ourselves and the investigation, this needs to be on a need to know basis."
"Oh, I absolutely get it, Mike. But it could have cost him his life. it could have cost me my life. And where were you? Nowhere near the danger! Don't you think he has a right to know what's going on?"
"No. No, I don't. Now, here's where we are right now. We have planes and a ship missing over The Triangle. We hired you to investigate. We need scientific evidence to explain the disappearances, but we also need to uncover the truth, even if it's not a scientific investigation. We agree that something strange, maybe even paranormal, is taking place, and we're behind you. But it must be kept confidential and it must appear to be scientific. So I ask you again, where do we go from here?"
© 2018 William Kovacic