After putting in his minimum twenty years for retirement from the military, Dan Crandell returns to his childhood home located in the Texas panhandle. Dan shares his life with his handy man, Cisco and his golden retriever, Nero. He plans to resume the pursuit of his first love, archaeology. As he embarks on his explorations, he uncovers what he believes to be a run-of-the-mill Native American burial site in Palo Duro Canyon. In the middle of his dig, an attractive woman, Beth Hornsby, literally stumbles into his site. She has been told of Dans experience in locating lost artifacts and his extensive knowledge of the area and especially the canyons. She begs him for help in finding out what has happened to her lost father, so she and her family can gain closure. Whether gut instinct or the love and bond of a daughter and father, she refuses to give up hope of finding her father alive, even though he has been missing for ten years. Her only clue lies in his last known destination; Palo Duro Canyon. Crandell agrees to help her and gets caught up in the mysterious disappearance of her scholarly father. The strangely hand-marked maps he locates in her fathers study her mother refused to pack away, leads them to a hidden cave in the depths of the canyon that holds secrets, not only of her fathers disappearance, but of cultures more than twenty-five thousand years old, and half-way across the world. This discovery surrounds them with murder, artifact theft, and ancient flying machines. The Vimanas have been hidden away at remote sites around the world to be carefully used secretly for the progress of man by members of a group called the Protectorate. A friend turns out to be an unlikely villain, and he leads them on a wild, reckless manhunt to the Mexican border, where Crandell locates what he has been searching for.