I read this book in the late 70s.

The book starts with the US undergoing a lot of strife and discontent, government was beleaguered and revolution seemed imminent. Some military and government officials secretly create a plan to thwart this: scientists from many disciplines are moved to a secret location, where they create outer-worldly materials and biological specimens, which will be used to stage an "alien" crash landing.

This crash landing would distract the agitators and revolutionaries, and people would unite to focus on possible alien attack or encounter.

The book was pretty detailed about the technology and the processes, and had a pretty nice ending. I seem to recall the the book had a banner on the cover stating, "Soon to be a major motion picture", although I do not think they ever released a movie based on this book.

Anyone know the title, author, etc.?


1 Answer 1


This is 'Wild Card' by Raymond Hawkey and Roger Bingham 1974

Extract from synopsis on Google Books.. (Quite tricky to find any info on this obscure novel)

The United States is in factional anarchy - a Presidential aid comes up with a plan to unite the country by presenting it with an external threat - a group of super scientists are pulled together to realise the threat - the scientists aren't told the whole of the details - the threat is delivered - the President is a hero and the country pulls together.

The twist lies in a couple of the scientists finding out what they weren't supposed to know, and their attempts to make this knowledge available to the wider world.

  • Thanks! Been trying to figure it out for years. Now to find a copy.
    – mahboudz
    Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 17:52
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    Loved the ending that you hinted at.
    – mahboudz
    Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 17:52
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    Link: sfsite.com/fsf/2006/cur0603.htm
    – mahboudz
    Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 18:36
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    Great finding this, I remembered the name of the book, which I read about 35 years ago. The ending was a cliffhanger but so sneaky I didn't even mind. I was just doing a search before posing a "who wrote ..." question and what do you know it was already here. Thanks, now I can go find it again to re-read.
    – Gwyn
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 15:38

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