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Pinpoint Analysis - Part 3


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.


From Part 2

“Les, Susan told me.”

“Told you what?”

“About the Russian sub leaking radiation into the Atlantic.”

“She what!? Wait a minute. First things first. This is a classified operation. I can’t tell you anything about it. Secondly, there are no Russian subs. Who told her that?”

“Oh, she just said she connected the dots.”

There were no two ways about it. Les was about to lose his composure. With a little help from Trista, he calmed down enough to enjoy his meal.

Before leaving, Deb had to know. “Does this put you in danger? I mean, is this something you’re really prepared to do. This is the Navy, Les. This could be World War III.”

“I don’t know how far this will go, but I’m committed to finding out. I’m not planning on dying just yet. But if I do, you’ll be the first to know.”

She punched Les’s shoulder and looked straight into his eyes. “That was sick, Les. See you ten-ish.”

“Honey, one thing. I don’t think I’m in any real danger, but you could be if word gets out about of this. You can’t say a word to anybody about this. I’ll deal with Susan in the morning.”


Les finished up the report for Adams, faxed it to Washington, and headed for home.

Morning arrived with clouds and a light drizzle. On the drive to work, Les used the time of the daily commute to go over his interrogation with Susan.

Susan was already seated at the reception desk when Les hurried through the door.

“Susan! – in my office immediately!” She hurried down the hall, steps behind Les. She knew this would not be good.

“What do you think you’re doing? Where did you come up with this crazy idea about a Russian sub leaking radioactive material into the Atlantic?”

“I was only trying to help, Boss.”

“Trying to help! How was that supposed to help?”

“Your poor wife – she didn’t know anything about it. She shouldn’t be kept in the dark.”

“I’ll decide if my wife needs to be kept in the dark. And there is no Russian sub.”

Susan swallowed hard. “Well, I thought there was.”

“You thought there was? You thought there was?” Les parted his thumb and forefinger about a half-inch and waved it in front of Susan’s face. “I’m about this close to firing you. I may have to anyway if Adams or Colbo get wind of this.

“If you don’t know what you’re talking about, keep your mouth shut. Got it? Now, get back to work. Oh, and I’m not taking calls. I’ll be in the office all day, and I’m not to be disturbed under any circumstances.”

As usual, Susan stomped off leaving Les to do his work. Les’s speech apparently worked. The office was quiet for most of the morning, and he couldn’t really be angry with Susan when she knocked on the door to announce that Secretary Adams and Commander Colbo would be arriving in fifteen minutes.

The office needed some attention. Les quickly put some stray papers in his desk drawer. He’d sort through them later. He dusted off the bookshelves that had been collecting dust for weeks and sat back down trying to relax. He feared he would have to fire Susan sooner than he planned. In the back of Les’s mind, he was trying to think how he could cover for Susan’s blunder. He was sure that was what the meeting was about.

Susan ushered the Secretary and Commander into Les’s office. Fighting the urge to listen through the door, she quietly and quickly walked back to the lab. No stomping this time.

“Good morning, Secretary, Commander. I wasn’t expecting you until next week. I do have some updates to the report I faxed to you, however. Have a seat, please.”

Les handed Adams a thick folder full of research and information. Adams laid it aside.

“Let’s cut to the chase, Doctor. What have you found out about this problem? I don’t have time to go through all this ridiculous paperwork.”

“Sir, it was you who requested the paperwork.”

“It’s a formality. No one reads that junk. Let’s get on with it.”

A week’s worth of Les’s time had been devoured by the reports he prepared. Adams was getting restless. Les didn’t argue. He summed up his week of work for Adams and Colbo.

“Mr. Secretary, there are a few things that might be causing these disturbances in the Atlantic. For one – methane gas.


“The ocean floor in this area is a literal graveyard for ocean creatures. The dead animals release methane as their bodies decompose. It’s possible that if the methane becomes concentrated, it can erupt. Ships would go down immediately without a trace. The methane could possibly affect air travel as well.

“It’s been thought that bad weather may be the culprit. Storms can cause waterspouts to form. Of course, if a ship is at the wrong place at the wrong time, it’s going down.

“Air-bombs can form – vertical winds. Rather than the winds blowing horizontally, at times, they blow up and down during heavy storms. It may be possible for these winds to force airplanes into the waters below. Ships are at an even greater risk.


“There have been reports of electronic fog in this area of the ocean. It is said that grayish clouds of electromagnetic fields develop over the ocean from nowhere and completely engulf a ship or an aircraft passing through it. There is really no explanation for it.

”Along with that, there have been reports of compass variation. Often, rather than pointing magnetic north it seems compass readings favor true north in this area of the ocean, making it easy to lose direction and location.

“Of course, there are always pirates.”

Adams sat scratching his head as he looked over at Commander Colbo. “But you don’t believe any of those theories, do you, Doctor?”

“No, and neither do you. This material is quite easily obtained. You don’t need me to tell you what you’ve already considered. What’s going on, Secretary?”

No answer was forthcoming. Les shifted his gaze to Commander Colbo. “Commander?” Once again he was met with silence.

“Doctor, if you don’t accept any of these possible scenarios, what do you believe is causing this?

Les took a deep breath and momentarily turned his face to the wall. “It’s the same thing you know is causing it. You just won’t say it. It’s the curse of the Devil’s Triangle, Secretary. It’s the curse of the Devil’s Triangle."

It was Adams turn to take a deep breath. “Doctor, we must be scientific about drawing such conclusions. You know the United States Navy does not recognize your conclusion as being realistic.”

Les jumped at the open door Adams gave him. “I know you don’t recognize the Triangle officially, but you do recognize it unofficially. And you know that is the answer. I just have to be the one to voice it since you can’t.”

“I like the methane gas theory better,” Colbo chimed in.

“But you know the methane theory doesn’t make sense. As a matter of fact, none of the other theories make sense. And you both know it. Methane might sink a ship. Air-bombs might sink a ship. Compass confusion might pull down an airplane or two. But they could be retrieved at the bottom of the ocean floor.

“Sir, your sonar equipment, you can spot wrecks with that. So if you want to blame methane, show me the ships and planes that have sunk below the surface. You yourself said, the planes and ship just disappeared from sight. And you know I’m right! You know I’m right!”

The heat began to rise in Les. In frustration, he pounded the table.

Colbo spoke again. “We need solid answers, Doctor. We have faith in you to find them. Maybe this isn’t all scientific, but we trust you to get to the bottom of this.”

Adams added, ‘That’s why we hired you. Keep at it, but keep it as scientific as you can. Send us your next report, and we’ll be back next week.”

  • Pinpoint Analysis - Part 4
    Another lost plane on its way to AUTEC. Two men were aboard, but on the last transmission from the plane, three voices are heard. What's going on?

© 2018 William Kovacic

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