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“The Devil’s Ray” by Donald E. Keyhoe

Link - Posted by David on November 17, 2023 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story from the pen of Donald E. Keyhoe—his first in the pages of Flying Aces magazine, which ran a story by Keyhoe in most of their issue from January 1930 through September 1942, featuring characters like Richard Knight, Eric Trent or Captain Philip Strange! Before Keyhoe started up the series characters, he wrote other stories of then present day aviation situations—especially situations in the Far East.

Sandwiched inbetween two early Philip Strange adventures was Keyhoe’s “The Devil’s Ray” in the December 1931 Flying Aces. The story acts as the introduction to a new series for a couple of characters—Mike Doyle and Dusty Rhoades—that never came to be. This didn’t stop Keyhoe from throwing all his best stuff into the mix. There’s a presumed dead German scientist, von Kurtz; he’s developed a diabolical radium ray—one second of the ray’s beams is enough to soften the tissues of your brain and start you on the road to madness; it’s set in Macao where anything and everything could and most likely did happen; add in an opium den, hell-bent zombie pilots, and a dwarf for good measure. What you get is pure Keyhoe genius!

“Stop those planes—before it is too late!” gasped the dying man on the deck of that huge plane-carrier. “Tell the captain Hoi Kiang’s—Macao—the dwarf—” Ten feet away a shadowy figure swiftly moved his hand—a shot rang out—and the dying man fell back as a bullet found his heart. And Mike Doyle looked up from the dead man’s side and saw six planes taking off—racing madly to the peril that was yet unknown!

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