BOOK DETAILS

The Vatican Protocol

The Vatican Protocol

by Brian Gallagher

ASIN: B01G0Y8ZFG

Publisher Mirror Publishing

Published in Literature & Fiction/Historical, Science Fiction & Fantasy/Fantasy, Mystery & Thrillers, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction

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Book Description

$4.99

When Sean O'Shea learns of a horrific 1936 UFO crash in Germany's Black Forest, he chases the story to its origin. He discovery insidious Nazi involvement and unearths secret assassinations of previous investigators. As his probe continues, witnesses are murdered and he becomes the target of deadly agents sent by the most powerful man in the Vatican-The Black Pope. When he discovers that UFO's, Nazis, Wewelsburg Castle and the Vatican are connected, he has the killer story he envisioned, though it just may kill him to get it published.

Sample Chapter

Prologue

The Black Forest, near Freiburg Germany, 1936

Gerhard Wagner stepped from his warm living room onto a freezing front porch. He filled his lungs with frosty air and watched as the darkness became white from his exhale. The only intrusion into the night came from three lanterns flickering through two large windows and from an impressive three-quarter moon over the tops of the imposing pines. He lived in the same small log home located deep in the Black Forest for sixty years. His grandfather built it by hand, and Gerhard took ownership when his grandfather passed away. He never married, and his family consisted of three large Bouvier des Flandres.

The weather-beaten porch provided a front row seat to the sparkling diamonds set in the ebony sky and the long dark shadows from the surrounding forest. He took another deep breath and appreciated the sweet scent of pines in the light breeze. He debated how long he’d remain in the brisk air when the dogs became agitated. This was not unusual given the abundance of wildlife found in the woods, and it was typically the scent of wolves that aggravated the dogs. Gerhard watched as their pacing increased.

Glancing skyward, he saw it. Streaking across the sky was a silent fireball. He’d never seen an airplane, and the lack of formal education meant the possibility of a meteor never occurred to him. The flaming object came closer and lost altitude as time stood still. He didn’t move until the object disappeared below the silhouettes of primeval evergreens.

Seconds later there was an explosion, and for a moment daylight replaced the night. Soon a distasteful odor filled the air, a combination of burning rubber and sulfur. It was the same sort of rotten egg smell produced by paper mills, but with a burning scent thrown in for good measure.

He went into his house and slipped into a worn woolen plaid coat, grabbed a leather hat complete with ear-flaps, put a pistol in his belt, and picked up his shotgun along with additional shells.

Gerhard entered the primitive barn, lifted a battered leather saddle, and placed it on the muscular back of the Schwarzalder Kaltblut, better known as the Black Forest Cold Blood. The workhorse breed was Gerhard’s pride and joy, and he rode it everywhere. Its stunning dark chestnut coat was offset by a flaxen mane and tail. Gerhard finished tightening the saddle and mounted his steed.

The combination of a clear night with an assist from the moonlight provided a shimmering semblance of visibility, but he brought along a kerosene lantern for additional light. He guided his mount slowly into the woods with the Bouviers following close. Gerhard knew the forest topography like most people knew the inside of their homes. He could navigate blindfolded through the many game trails and his own pathways sculpted over the last fifty years. He was comfortable in the woods, but his awareness was heightened at night. Having the Bouviers along reduced his anxiety given their famous sense of protection.

Once he entered the forest, its blackness increased, but the lantern provided enough light to maneuver on the path. It took about ten minutes to find his way to the site of the explosion. As he got closer, the odor became stronger, and an eerie glow shown through a myriad of branches and evergreens. The horse slowed to a walk and resisted as he closed in on the clearing and the dogs stopped short and moved abnormally. Gerhard dismounted and tied the reins to a branch so his transportation wouldn’t decide to bolt.

He came to the edge of the impact area and was astonished by its appearance. The thick forest had been flattened to an oval shape, where trees and undergrowth seemed to have vaporized. He gingerly tiptoed into the midst of smoldering fires, carefully avoiding anything burning. The ground was devoid of organic material as something burned in the middle of the newly created clearing. Gerhard, wary with each step, slowly sauntered to the remnants of the craft. It was in the shape of a German Helmet, was silver in color, and even though the fires had been burning for some time, the exterior of the craft looked smooth with none of the soot residue one would expect.

A hatch appeared to be open at the top of the craft, and as Gerhard walked around he was stunned to see three small bodies in shiny metal suits. His heart pounded as he went from spooked to afraid. The size of the bodies were those of small children, but the uneducated man from the Black Forest knew these were not children.

Gerhard was a product of an environment where werewolves and vampires were regarded as real, and stories like Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood were believed throughout these woods. He noticed the metal was thin, and curiosity got the best of him as he removed his glove and picked up a piece of something shiny. It was light weight and cool to the touch, despite its proximity to the fire. He didn’t want to go near the bodies, but he felt somehow compelled to stay.

He dropped the remnant from the craft when he heard voices from the edge of the forest and stepped back toward his tethered horse. Gerhard wasn’t a social character and preferred to see who it was before he made them aware of his presence. The woods parted, and four of his neighbors stepped into the clearing.

“Good evening,” Gerhard said, stepping out from the woods.”

“Herr Wagner, what do you make of this?” the burly neighbor asked.

“I have no idea. All I know is it stinks and my dogs won’t come close. Wait till you see this,” he said pointing to the bodies.

“Oh my, they’re so small,” another neighbor said.

“Yes, but two of them are much larger,” Gerhard said.

“And what happened to the forest. The trees have disappeared,” the neighbor said.

“I know. This place is making me uncomfortable. I came over to check it out, but now I wish I’d stayed home. I don’t want to think about what this could be. I’ve seen enough, I’m leaving,” Gerhard said and stepped into the woods.

When he reached his restrained horse, the hyperactive Bouviers surged to him with unbridled frenzy. Gerhard swung his leg over the saddle and his entourage retraced their earlier steps.

Gerhard crawled into bed that night and was unsuccessful at clearing his mind, with childhood superstitions appearing and reappearing all night long. This rather simple man of the Black Forest couldn’t process what he’d seen.

He awoke before sunrise, and by mid-morning could no longer ignore whatever was grounded ten minutes away. He decided to return to the site and again assembled his weapons and went to the barn.

Moments later he was on his way with the Bouviers once again in tow. Gerhard was curious how the dogs would react to the site in the light of day. This trip was easier, and as they approached the clearing the animal’s behavior once again showed nervousness. As he dismounted he no8 ticed the silence of the previous night was replaced by odd noises coming from the defoliated area. He tied his horse to the same branch as the night before, stepped out of the woods, and couldn’t believe his eyes. The entire oval was roped off and guarded by Heer Troops. There were uniformed men milling everywhere, inspecting the craft and bagging scattered objects.

The inspectors wore either Nazi or SS uniforms while those guarding the perimeter were Heer troops, the regular Germany army.

Gerhard approached the closest soldier, whom he recognized as Hans Fuhrmann, an acquaintance from Freiburg.

“Halt, come no closer,” Fuhrmann said.

“Hans, it’s Gerhard,” he said.

“Gerhard, what are you doing here? It’s not safe to be seen,”

Fuhrmann said, “the Nazis are running the show and they like to make people disappear.”

“What are they doing?” Gerhard asked.

“They’re packing everything and I overheard they’re taking it to Wewelsburg Castle,” he said.

“Who is the big guy in the light blue uniform?” Gerhard asked.

“Have you heard of Hermann Goering? That’s him. The little guy next to him is Heinrich Himmler, he’s the head of the SS. This thing brought Nazis out of the woodwork,” he said.

“I’ve heard of both of them. Who’s the guy in the suit? It looks like he’s the one in charge,” Gerhard asked.

“He’s Wernher von Braun and he is in charge,” Fuhrmann said, “look, you’ve got to get out of here. You don’t want them coming to your front door.”

“I think you’re right. See you,” Gerhard said, and returned to his tethered horse.

He returned to his cabin and felt it best to forget everything he’d seen. He didn’t trust the Nazis and maintained a well-founded fear of who they were.

For two days Gerhard’s anxiety gradually dissipated. As the sun was getting lower in the sky on the third day there was a rap on his front door.

An official looking man in a black SS uniform stood on the porch.

“Good afternoon, Herr Wagner. My name is Captain Diederich and I am here about a crash not far from here. Are you familiar with it?”

Gerhard hesitated. He knew the SS was dangerous and would only say enough to stay out of trouble.

“I saw a flame in the air and heard an explosion the other night. The next morning I went to see what it was and a guard told me to leave and I did,” Wagner said.

“I see. Did you observe anything?”

“I saw people picking up things, and I saw things sitting on the ground, but I left when instructed to do so.”

“Well, Herr Wagner, this event is of the highest secrecy. I need to know anything else you know about this incident. Have you spoken with your neighbors or anyone about it?”

“I didn’t see anything and haven’t had discussion with anyone. As you can see, I keep to myself and prefer living alone with my dogs.”

The SS captain was silent for a moment, which made him even more menacing.

“What was the name of the guard you spoke with?” Diederich asked.

“I don’t know. I never saw him before, and he didn’t give his name.

He sent me away.”

“Very well, Herr Wagner. Please remember this conversation. It is a capital offense, which means, if you ever discuss it, you will be executed.

You do not want the SS coming back to visit you, Herr Wagner.”

“I will never speak of what I saw,” Gerhard said as he relaxed for a moment. That was a mistake.

The SS officer removed his Luger and pointed it at Wagner’s face.

“Goodbye Herr Wagner,” Diederich said as his finger pulled the trigger and sent a bullet propelling through the woodsman’s skull. Gerhard crumbled to the ground without knowing the same fate had already befallen his neighbors.

In 1938 another UFO crashed outside the villages of Czernica and Kopaniec in occupied Poland, and the Nazis handled the craft recovery in much the same fashion as the Freiburg recovery. The same group of military officers and scientists, under von Braun’s direction, removed the craft to Wewelsburg Castle.

Gerard Wagner wouldn’t be the only individual to meet an unfortunate fate for living in the wrong place at the wrong time. The unfortunate inhabitants living near the Polish crash site also met the same end Glancing skyward, he saw it. Streaking across the sky was a silent fireball. He’d never seen an airplane, and the lack of formal education meant the possibility of a meteor never occurred to him. The flaming object came closer and lost altitude as time stood still. He didn’t move until the object disappeared below the silhouettes of primeval evergreens.

Seconds later there was an explosion, and for a moment daylight replaced the night. Soon a distasteful odor filled the air, a combination of burning rubber and sulfur. It was the same sort of rotten egg smell produced by paper mills, but with a burning scent thrown in for good measure.

He went into his house and slipped into a worn woolen plaid coat, grabbed a leather hat complete with ear-flaps, put a pistol in his belt, and picked up his shotgun along with additional shells.

Gerhard entered the primitive barn, lifted a battered leather saddle, and placed it on the muscular back of the Schwarzalder Kaltblut, better known as the Black Forest Cold Blood. The workhorse breed was Gerhard’s pride and joy, and he rode it everywhere. Its stunning dark chestnut coat was offset by a flaxen mane and tail. Gerhard finished tightening the saddle and mounted his steed.

Continues...

Excerpted from "The Vatican Protocol" by Brian Gallagher. Copyright © 2016 by Brian Gallagher. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

Brian Gallagher

Brian Gallagher

Who is Brian Gallagher? I've been trying to figure that out for sixty-five years. I was a quasi-jock who hated high school and loved college. I thought high school was nothing more than a waste of time and once in college I flourished. I was lucky to get into Milton college, play college baseball and college hockey, participate in the student senate during the Viet Nam era, have a radio show and actually graduated in four years.

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