Gulfport author fashions fiction from real-life Cold War incident
by Stephen McDill
Published: March 8,2013
Frank Wilem’s latest deep sea techno-thriller “The Pass” is written in a style inspired by his favorite writers Ernest Hemingway, Clive Cussler and Tom Clancy.
“I like to find a real-life event and base my story on it,” the Gulfport fisherman and motivational speaker says.
The story dramatizes one of the Cold War’s most perilous but little known events. After two U.S. military planes collide mid-air in 1958, one of the pilots makes a fateful decision to jettison a live nuclear warhead into the ocean. According to declassified Pentagon files, such a bomb does exist somewhere off the coast of Tybee Island in Georgia — the warhead reportedly rests in shallow water and is covered in sand and silt.
“This was a 7,600-pound atomic bomb and was a hundred times more powerful than the bomb we dropped on Hiroshima,” Wilem said. Experts say it’s safest to leave the bomb wherever it is and to this day no definitive location has been discovered.
In Wilem’s novel however, we find former Navy SEAL turned charter boat captain Quint in a race with terrorists to find the weapon all while a deadly hurricane is bearing down on the location.
From landing 700-pound marlins in the Gulf of Mexico to diving off the California coast to doing oil exploration in the Arctic, Wilem has had his share of adventures. Throughout his years in college and later as an entrepreneur and corporate executive he would fill whole notebooks with dramatic scenes based on these adventures.
Wilem’s debut novel “The Keys” was published in 2010 and won an IPPY award for “Best Original E-Book.” He is currently writing his third novel.
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