Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Traveling to Mongolia with Bradford G. Wheler's, Mongolia and The Golden Eagle...with special artwork by Jenna Paddey



Jenna Paddey Art

Aspiring illustrator, currently taking commissions. For inquiries, email me at: ofthesedaydream@gmail.com


Something a little different today...When I saw the cover for Brad Wheler's book, and then saw the above beautiful painting on Tumbler, I had to ask to use. The young girl reminded me of a younger version of  the female lead who we first met in Inca's Death Cave (See my review).  Together with the professor...


Now They're Back!

Mongolia and The Golden Eagle:
An Archaeological Mystery Thriller

By Bradford G. Wheler

Did you ever wish that you had a professional reputation that was well known all over the world? Well, our professor, who just received a $10Million Grant to travel to Mongolia is not too sure about that. He's never been there, knows nothing about the country...and, worse, knows nothing about the archaeological history or background! What?!

Mongolian eagle hunter on horseback.
Four horsemen appeared on the ridge above us. Each had a golden eagle perched on his arm. The air was clear and crisp. The horses snorted puffs of steam into the early morning air. The sky seemed very blue.
The lead horseman held up his arm and the eagle stirred. He removed the hood from the eagle's head, whispered something to the bird, and released him. The eagle leaped into the air and spread its eight-foot wings. As it began to circle upward, the other horsemen released their eagles and the wolf hunt began.
I once again wondered how this small nation of herders had built one of the biggest empires known to mankind. It stretched from Korea south to Vietnam, across most of China, northern India, the middle East, into Eastern Europe and much of Russia. It was far larger and longer lasting than the conquests of Alexander the Great or the Romans. Surpassed in area and population by only the British Empire at its peak.
The Mongols developed a road system across the empire, commonly called the Silk Road. Commerce flourished, science, medicine, and the arts advanced, weights and measures were standardized, paper money was introduced, religious freedom and tolerance expanded.
This Great Empire of the  Mongols was weakened by leadership infighting and then destroyed by the Black Death that came out of Asia and traveled over the Silk Road killing over 100 million people.
~~~


The Professor's Dean had been the one to tell him that he would be leaving for Mongolia. And he wasn't pleased about it, mumbling about not even being able to get $50,000 in response to his small request. He explained that the administration had approved his grant, but the professor had not applied for one. 

Of course, the Professor immediately knew that there was only one person who would involve him in a grant worth $10M, especially since he had nothing in his background regarding Mongolia. Walter Falone had funded his trip to Peru. He was founder and CEO of Falone Advanced Technologies and a lover of Archaeology. Surprisingly, however, he learned later that it was actually the Minister of Mongolia that had suggested him, due to his work in Peru. He went looking for Abbey. Abbey had been just 15 when he'd met her, a gifted woman who now had her PhD and was on the faculty. She not only did not know anything about the grant, she also didn't know that she would be going too!

Soon Ned joined them and later the professor learned that most of the team from Peru would be there. Ned, he's the computer and communication genius, but he was mostly excited by the fact that there were two-hump camels to be ridden! Actually, they all would have to learn to ride horses to go where they would be headed! One cute sideline was when a team member arrived on site riding a white camel...Everybody was very excited to see one...she only told a few that the camel's hair got to be white the same way hers had...LOL


After they had the comforts in Peru, what
they would be facing was difficult, and sometimes downright spooky!

The Professor wanted to know more, but nobody was willing to share much of what was going on...What were they getting into?


Traditionally dressed Mongolian
singer playing an igil.
...she pulled out a flyer and handed it to me. I looked at it. "Alash master Tuvan throat singers," they were playing tonight. I looked up at Abbey.She said, "I bought you a ticket...We can learn something about the culture."
I said, "It says Tuvan not Mongolia."
"Technically it is in Russia but it borders Mongolia and historically was part of a larger Mongolia. People tell me they are amazing...
I said I would. Not having any more info on what we were going to be doing in Mongolia we finished our drinks and left.
~~~

Preparation for their work began with meeting relevant people in the United States and getting letters of introduction for those in Mongolia. Much of the work done by Professor Summers' group is done by computer and as many other electronic gadgets that are needed. The work is very hi-tech and even the exploration of potential archaeological sites are done by drones and other mapping systems. It's all quite interesting and anybody who enjoys History and Archaeology will find the novel worth checking out... 

Our grant territory is to focus on the western provinces Bayan-Olgii and Khovd. Most of the people in Bayan-Olgii are Kazakhs not Mongols. In Khovd there are more than 17 nationalities and ethnicities. Each of these groups has its own distinct traditional dwelling and settlement pattern, dress and other cultural distinctions, literary, artistic, and musical traditions. It is important that the central government be seen as directing resources to these areas and being sensitive to their resources to these areas and being sensitive to their cultures and traditions. That is why I suggest our grant focus on this area of the country. The Minister agreed that it was not only worthwhile work but it would be useful politically.
There was more going on than a simple archaeological project. Being in a remote corner of the country was fine by me. Perhaps I could find an obscure archaeological site and spend my time excavating that. At least I know how to run a proper dig site.
~~~

Re-creation of a Mongol warrior on
horseback.
It was interesting that the first expert they talked to, Sir Harry Padsworth suggested that the most famous leader, Genghis Khan, was not a good choice for research since it was selected so often. He noted that their research should be aimed toward bringing the people closer together. The Professor's heart must have jumped since he knew nothing about the people, except what he thus far had read in guidebooks. Once again he was feeling insecure being responsible for this gigantic grant... But at least they were able to get full agreement on a specific area to be further explored... They would concentrate on the western provinces Bayan-Olgii and Khovd. Even though everything was still being kept quite mysterious...

But at least they started sharing when they discovered that spies were watching and following...and...more. And meeting poaches on the way wasn't part of the plan... And one other character I want to introduce you to is Beast who became the Professor's constant companion...and more... I did not, however, enjoy meeting this giant Mongolian death worm...LOL!
There is always lots of details about equipment, guns and other technical gadgets that are used. But you will also learn much about the history and present cultural activities of Mongolia. Because the entire trip was couched in such secrecy, the issue of what is actually going on is quite intriguing... And the ending was quite a surprise for me! Still I enjoyed the actual triumph for the Professor's team and think readers interested in archaeology will too but I must say I preferred the first book of the two... Most pictures were provided by the author and also appear, along with others, in the book. Seeing the beautiful Ibex, a species of wild goats and the Mongolian Bankhar, which is a similar breed to the Tibetan mastiff, led to some of my favorite scenes in the book. Do check this out and have a Great Trip to a very old country!


GABixlerReviews


Bradford G. Wheler author of "MONGOLIA AND THE GOLDEN EAGLE An Archaeological Mystery Thriller" and President of BookCollaborative.com.
BRADFORD G. WHELER is the former CEO, President and Co-owner of Allan Electric Company. He sold Allan Electric to a New York Stock Exchange listed company. After staying on as President during the transition, Brad retired.
Brad's lifelong love of history, art, books, and the inherent humor in man's nature led to the founding of BookCollaborative.com and the publishing of MONGOLIA AND THE GOLDEN EAGLE: An Archaeological Mystery Thriller, as well as INCA'S DEATH CAVE An Archaeological Mystery Thriller, LOVE SAYINGS: wit & wisdom of romance, courtship, & marriage, GOLF SAYINGS: wit & wisdom of a good walk spoiled, "CAT SAYINGS: wit & wisdom from the whiskered ones, HORSE SAYINGS: wit & wisdom straight from the horse's mouth, DOG SAYINGS: wit & wisdom from man's best friend, and SNAPPY SAYINGS: wit & wisdom from the world's greatest minds.
His community involvements include being a Trustee of Community General Hospital in Hamilton, NY, and chairing their Finance Committee. He is the former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Cazenovia College, and former Chairman and member of the Board of Directors and Alumni Association and President of the Sigma Phi Society at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. He is also a former member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Cazenovia Area Chamber of Commerce and several other boards.
Brad played polo on the Cornell University men's polo team for four years and was a member of the Cazenovia Polo Club. In 2012 he was inducted into the Manlius Pebble Hill Athletic Hall of Fame.
He holds a BS and ME in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY as well as an MBA degree from Fordham University in New York, NY. He is a licensed Professional Engineer.
Brad, his wife, Julie, and their golden retriever Finlay live in Cazenovia, NY and Fort Pierce, FL.