Eve’s Swath is a contemporary road adventure story that imagines that UFOs just might be real and that a secret, no-name international effort just might have conspired for decades to hide evidence under layers of debunking, misinformation, spying, theft and murder.
Young Army veteran Eve Mirada wanders unwittingly into this world after inheriting, from her grandfather, a strange swath of foil and the old man’s story, that it was stolen from the debris of the legendary Roswell UFO wreckage. Her effort to learn more about her grandfather’s secret past thrusts her into a reluctant partnership with Max Studebaker, a hyperactive former rock-n-roll star who has become an obsessed and ridiculed UFO hunter. Together they roam the country seeking the truth about the swath and what happened to her grandfather. Along the way they team up with more UFO hunters and encounter and flee dark, mysterious agents seeking to stop them even if it means killing them.
Excerpt, from Chapter 1: Old Joe
Ziv handed Eve the scrapbook open to pages of yellowed newspaper clippings. She flipped through some. Obituaries. A drowning. A car crash. A fire. A natural gas explosion. All dated 1955. She flipped with reverence that surprised her as much as the revelations she was experiencing. After the fire the Dayton paper noted it was the sixth recent death involving an airman at the base. An Air Force spokesman promised an inquiry. But there were no clippings following up. The next page held a photo of eight airmen.
“Joe’s on the left,” Ziv said.
The man was thin. That was the first oddity. He was tall, uniformed, and clean-cut, with a winning smile. It was Joe, as Eve had never imagined. But as she concentrated on it, she was convinced. It was him. Same pentagon-shaped face, coming to a point at the chin. Same big ears. Same well-defined cheekbones. But he was so young. She’d never seen a picture of him as a young man. She never even imagined him as a young man. She’d never cared to.
There was one more old newspaper clipping a page past the picture. It was of the crash that killed Fay and injured Joe.
“These articles only mention seven men,” she said. “There’s eight in the picture.”
“That’s right,” Ziv said.
Her grandfather had written names on the picture but the ink was smeared and faded and the penmanship tough to decipher. She could make out only three or four names for sure: Weitz, Blair, Keller, what looked like Gleibicz.
“Did he say who he thought did it?”
“I don’t think he knew, dear,” Nan said.
Eve shook her head.
“I’m not saying I do or don’t; but why do you believe him?” Eve asked. “It doesn’t sound like the man I knew. No way.”
“For one,” Ziv said, “he kept a souvenir from that little mission.”
She looked up. Ziv took a piece of foil from the box, a thin tissue, shiny grey, lithe, the size of a hankie. She couldn’t tell if it was metal or plastic. It seemed both as she stared at it. He spread it on the coffee table. It went flat, without even the tiniest creases or imperfections. Next, he fished a hunting knife out of a drawer in the coffee table.
“No!” shrieked Nan.
He slammed the knife into the swath, stabbing it an inch deep into the wooden tabletop. The tip must have gone clean through, but there was a drawer underneath.
“Each man snuck some. Joe said there was boxes of it,” Ziv said.
With some effort, Ziv wriggled the knife free. Wriggle. Wriggle. As Ziv’s effort popped the knife loose, the tissue floated up with the blade. Then it settled back to the wood.
The swath had no hole. There was not even an indentation. Eve touched it: slick and unscathed.
“You can’t cut it, tear it or burn it, Eve,” Ziv said. “Whatever it is, this is what got those folks killed.”