The Royce Mission and 'Fire Eye'
The Royce Mission is a key plot point of my first book ‘Fire Eye’ and deserves a separate article to explain the background. During early 1942 when British, Dutch, Australian and American forces...
As a young man I felt sympathy for the Aboriginal people ofAustralia. My perspective had been framed by an education based around a Eurocentric view of the world. As a result, I saw the Aboriginals as a people trapped by the harsh Australian environment and unable to progress technologically in their development. However, while I value the achievements of Western civilisation, I have since learnt that the Western lens is not the only way to look at the world.
Just before my father Alois left this world, he confided something simple but private to one of his daughters. Her fingers were swift enough to dance across a phone to tape the conversation. It was something one would think should have been well known by our family. It concerned his favourite song, ‘La Paloma’.
Tasmania crouches in the path of the Roaring Forties between the 41st and 43rd degrees of latitude. The waves and wind that lash the west coast travel unhindered by contact with land all the way from Cape Horn. It is one of the most mountainous islands in the world and its varied geography gives rise to a number of regions with unique physical characteristics.
Jed Mitchell believes that every lost aircraft involves human stories that deserve recognition. 'Fire Eye' and 'Web of Crimes' revolve around aircraft that have been lost in history. Those aircraft were carrying people with personal stories of courage, endurance and sometimes survival when swept up in world changing events. Let's have a look at the aircraft involved in the novels involving Jed.
Something stopped me in mid stride. Did a whispering spirit catch my attention or was it just a slow mind processing an image from a few minutes before? Whatever it was, I back tracked and gazed down onto the patch of rich red earth. The arrangement of rocks under the acacia wasn’t natural. It had been placed by the hands of man. By whom and by which people is a mystery.
My introduction to horses involved a steep learning curve. I’ve handled aircraft, race cars and motor bikes well enough to still be around after too many decades to think about. With horses I entered new territory. Aircraft, fast cars, motor bikes and horses all bite when mishandled. Horses are a bit more complicated. Unlike a machine, they are a noble, independent and free thinking animal whose trust must be earned through hard work.
The heat of the afternoon sun blasted the mountainside, reflecting off the exposed rock and bare earth, pounding our bodies with waves of heat. Not even the welcome shade of the trees could slow the rivulets of perspiration running down our bodies. Amongst the screening vegetation the shimmering reflection of our target could just be made out – the wreckage of another aircraft downed during the conflict of World War 2.