So, not too long ago, I did something radical. I spent more than $ .25 on a children’s soft cover.
But what rare volume could have induced me to such extremities? A book that mixed an adventurous story, biographical tidbits about Colonel Jim Irwin, and arguments for the creationist position all in 80 pages.
Colonel Jim Irwin is on an exciting mission – a mission to discover Noah’s Ark among the mountains of Turkey. This isn’t the first adventure he’s been on, either; Colonel Irwin was one of the first men to ever set foot on the moon. He’s a scientist – and a Christian.
When circumstances cause Col. Irwin to separate from his party and return to base camp, he spends his hike marveling at the splendor of Creation and marvelous wonder of God. Suddenly, the mountainside turns treacherous and catapults him down its sides in an avalanche of ice and boulders. Severely wounded and unable to crawl or call for help, Colonel Irwin must remain in the cold and trust that God will deliver Him from death.
Will Colonel Irwin be able to survive until he is found? Will his teammates know where to look for him in the vast mountain range? And will his faith in God remain strong?
Flight of the Falcon was educational as well as interesting because it presented biographical sketches of Colonel Irwin’s life in the form of memory flashbacks. In this way it taught you about the man and his beliefs instead of being merely an adventure story.
Also, Flight of the Falcon presented a very strong creationist message throughout the story. In numerous places, Colonel Irwin stopped to ponder different aspects of God’s creation and thought through why the evolutionary explanation of origins fails to sufficiently account for existence. Here is one of the memories Colonel Irwin has of his childhood.
He thought back to the Bible his mother had given him and her loving words, “Here, Jim, here in Genesis, the first book of the Bible, you will find the truth about where the moon, the earth, and the sun came from.” Reading the Bible, he had discovered how God created all things out of nothing in six days, how God created the earth on the first day, and then, seventy-two hours later on the fourth day made the moon, the sun, and the rest of the universe.
He learned how God had created each thing with age built in; such as, on the third day, He had instantly made fully grown fruit trees with fruit on them and seeds in the fruit. And how on the fourth day, He instantly made light that shone on the earth, having come from stars billions of light-years out in the universe. And on the sixth day, out of nothing He created Adam – a fully grown man. Tracing Adam’s genealogy, he found God had made all these things less than ten thousand years ago, yet He had made each with its own specific appearances of age. [pgs. 72-73]
One of Col. Irwin’s remembrances concerns an accident he sustained during a plane crash. The surgeon had to operate on his leg, and this is the account of that ordeal.
Beginning just beneath the knee, he punctured, then drew the razor-sharp instrument down the shin, cutting a half-inch deep through the drum-tight skin, stopping at the ankle. With the skin parted in a twenty-inch slit, the facia package containing the big upper-side muscles was revealed, looking like a swollen sausage in its casing. Again, he moved the scalpel delicately, cutting open the thin membrane of the facia package from knee to ankle. As he drew the knife down, raw muscle bulged out of the slit like rising bread. [pg. 30]
This passage is extremely squirm-inducing, but it is not gratuitously violent. It is less thrill material and more a medical account of a surgery.
Later on in the story, just before he is rescued, Col. Irwin suffers the attention of several blood-drinking flies. At this point he is so stiff and sore that he is unable to defend himself and brush them away. This passage also made me squirm, and it was more gruesome because it was more bizarre.
The fly’s antennae picked up the fresh scent of rotting blood, sending a shiver of anticipation through the now hungry insect. Instantly, the big fly was airborne, its antennae searching the air for the trail to the fresh carrion….. The big fly landed on the [Col. Irwin’s] blood-caked ear. Moving quickly, it crawled into the dark inner recesses, the hairs on its six legs brushing flesh, sending a maddening sensation deep into the helpless climber’s head. The animal stopped as the ear twitched in uncontrolled spasms. With a blast, it thundered out. The hungry beast circled once, then resettled on the climber’s swollen upper lip, the sticky substance on its feet providing instant traction. The claws on the tip of the fly’s six legs dug in as it crawled up and over the mound of swollen lip to just under the climber’s nose, disappearing from his view. Pain kept him from moving even a finger. Oh, to raise a hand and kill the beast, he thought as his sensitive, swollen nerve ends raced wildly at the fly’s clawing. A rush of air from the right unplugged nasal passage sent the fly bussing, only to circle again and land on the bridge of his gashed nose. The petrified climber stared in horror as the beast, two inches from his eyes, began to feed on his blood.
Attracted by the smell of fresh blood wafting on the air, a second fly landed on the wounded man’s throat, crawled over his Adam’s apple, and began to feed. Suddenly the air was filled with the black beasts. Hundreds of them descended on the climber’s face. Choking as they crawled in his nose, ears, and mouth, he rasped out, “Oh, God, is this the end?” He closed his eyes tight as the black swarm covered his face in a feeding frenzy.
“Jim … Jim! Colonel Irwin-n-n-n-n …” The hail rose, then faded as the rescuer swung in a calling circle, hands cupped to mouth. [pg. 76]
Col. Irwin is immediately rescued, and the flies scared off.
Conclusion. Flight of the Falcon is an excellent tool for teaching your children different creationist tid-bits in the context of an exciting story and I would recommend it for readers who are able to handle the above quoted passages.
Review © 2012 Laura Verret