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  The Golden Till

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Published by iUniverse, Bloomington, Indiana, 2010

Frontispiece: Lago Mucubaji in the Eastern Mérida Andes is a typical glacial lake impounded by moraines dating from the last glaciation. The main transverse ridge in the middle ground is a recessional moraine deposited by receding ice which moved up-valley and off to the left at the end of the last ice age. The cirque (glacial amphitheater) in the background once housed a small feeder glacier that fed into the main ice stream. The view here is similar in size and scope to lakes and deposits in the Coromoto Valley, the main artery leading to the Humboldt Massif at ~5000 meters elevation. Located about 45-km to the south on the high spine of the Andes, the valley below the Humboldt Glacier is the type locality of fictional gold and platinum placer deposits, which form the center of gravity of this story as it unfolds.

  by Bill Mahaney

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‘In 1939, Europe stands on the brink of war, and Germany is desperate to find new sources of gold and platinum to fuel its war machine. When a cache of iridium, a platinum metal used in the production of the Spitfire fighter plane, is discovered in the Venezuelan Andes, Adolf Hitler personally authorizes a mission, codenamed Aguila Negra, to recover the ore and ship it back to Germany. Carburetors built with the Andean iridium would boost the Messerschmitt's velocity, giving the Germans a decided technological advantage in the battle for air supremacy.

To carry out the top-secret operation, Hitler sends a submarine force along with a small band of elite paratroopers. They successfully extract the precious metal and proceed to make a run for the Caribbean coast. Only Jack Ford, an American archaeologist working for U.S. military intelligence, stands in the way of a Nazi victory. Uncertain who to trust and which way to turn, Jack decides to take the future into his own hands-and with it, perhaps, the future of the entire war.

A sequel to “The Golden Till,” entitled “Operation Black Eagle” is forthcoming by iUnivese , late 2011.

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