Logo, Cap Parlier - Historical Novels

Logo, CAP



                      THIS IS A STORY of courage inspired by the heroic efforts of Soviet helicopter pilots during the Spring of 1986, when the destroyed, burning and exposed reactor of Unit No.4 at Chernobyl, Ukraine, caused so much damage and became the symbol of what can happen. On 26.April.1986, as a result of a chain of events, hydrogen gas and steam exploded from the reactor, opening the radioactive contents to the atmosphere and the unprecedented contamination of a large portion of Northern Europe. With few options, the helicopter pilots were called to duty first to drop sand and boron carbide into the burning reactor to stop the nuclear bonfire, and then to aid in the construction of the sarcophagus that would entomb the destroyed reactor and tons of radioactive material. The heroism of the pilots must rank in the highest levels of aviation history. This book tells their story.            :-(

Copyright © 2000, Cap Parlier. All rights reserved

The Story Behind the Book:
"SACRIFICE" TELLS THE story of Anatoly Grishchenko and Gourgen Karapetyan, and the Soviet Union's struggle with the worst nuclear accident in history.  Limited glimpses are offered of the behind the scenes work in the United States to help Anatoly obtain a bone marrow transplant for aplastic anemia, he likely developed from his flights over Chernobyl Reactor No.4, however they remain largely in the memories of those involved. Perhaps of interest to some may be 
John Pekkanen's lengthy Reader's Digest article:The Man Who Flew Into Hell (May 1991), including several images that bring Anatoly's bone marrow transplant to reality for those not involved.Cap's National Marrow Donor Program history book, The Living Gift of Life; and, the details can found in the proposed outline for the project. The image at the left shows Cap visiting Anatoly in his laminar flow room at the Fred Hutchinson Research Center in Seattle, just after he received his bone marrow transplant.  Cap made numerous trips from Phoenix to Seattle to support Anatoly and 
Galina during the BMT process. The image at the right is the original oil painting given to Cap by the Chernobyl pilots during his visit to their base at Torzhuk. The painting hangs on thewall of Cap's study between the Declaration of Independence and his great-uncle's Marine service certificate and became the basis for the cover art and is referenced in the front matter of the book.


PUBLISHER'S NOTE: The author was a participant in some of the events depicted in this book. For numerous reasons, including the death or infirmity of some participants and the difficulty of obtaining certain records of the Soviet actions in the events depicted, the author and publisher have chosen to fictionalize certain personal events and private conversations that the author was not a party to in an effort to illuminate the story. However, the story, the sacrifices by the heroic people involved, the historical events and all events and conversations in which the author was a party are entirely factual, to the best of the author's ability.


                      SAINT GAUDENS PRESS is an independent, privately owned, small press, publishing both print books and digital books (eBooks).  They produce an expanding booklist that includes literary fiction, non-fiction, science fiction and public interest books, sold in all formats through your local bookstore (on order), Amazon.com, Apple iBooks, BN.com, Sony Ebooks, and many other retailers, as well as through the publisher’s website store.  Saint Gaudens Press has plans for the near future to further expand their booklist to include romance, fantasy and popular market erotic books.  Every person who enjoys a good story and entertaining books should visit the publisher's website by clicking on the publisher's logo.  Look for more good books from Saint Gaudens Press in the future..


A small collection of reviews and feedback Cap has received.

 Mr. Martin Gottlieb:
"The story reads like a Tom Clancy novel, but unfortunately the story is true as well as tragic. You can't help feeling the intensity, courage, joy and sadness of the characters. As a reader you quickly feel part of the story. I hope that Cap Parlier continues to write about subjects that he feels passion for. I have read other books written by the author and must say this is the best."

Mr. John Rust:
"Just finished up a book by another writer bud of mine. "Sacrifice" by Cap Parlier. It deals with two Soviet helicopter pilots, Anatoly Grishchenko & Gourgen Karapetyan, the brave men who used their helicopter to lift a 35-ton metal plate over the hole in Reactor Number 4 at Chernobyl. Unfortunately, the radiation took its toll on Grishchenko. Now Karapetyan, the author and others do what they can to get him a bone marrow transplant, the only thing that can save his life. The surgery is in its infancy at the time and there are still plenty of barriers to overcome, even at the dawn of Glasnost.
"This was one hell of a book! Cap laid it out where by the end you felt you personally knew Anatoly, Gourgen and some of the other pilots. Really showed what kind of incredible men they were . . . and how ordinary they were, too. Dealing with their families, their jobs, life in general, many times in the same way we would. Just goes to show you many times, despite thousands of miles and totally different ideology, were all just human beings.
"The book starts out slow as Cap introduces you to the main people involved. You really start to get into it once the explosion occurs at Chernobyl. The blow by blow description of the disaster was excellent. Amazing how many mistakes set this thing in motion, and how it was compounded by one bad manager who refused to believe the evidence before his eyes. The man literally, LITERALLY, had guys walking up to him who had the worst kind of radiation poisoning you could imagine (after being perfectly healthy minutes before) and the idiot would just dismiss it. Man, but I wanted to reach into the book and knock this guy's teeth right down his throat. But it also details the bravery exhibited by the firemen and other plant workers who tried to contain the fire and examine the damage with little or no protection against massive amounts of radiation. Even the process of getting the metal plate in place was extraordinary, considering no helicopter had ever lifted that much weight and the radioactive fire played havoc with the air . . . not a good thing if you have to make a precission flight in a massive Mil 26 chopper.
"That was just the first half of the book. Next you go through the details how a group of truly awesome people tried to help Grishchenko navigate through bureaocracy, government denile and stubborn pride to get him to the States for the treatment he deserved more than anybody.
"The attitudes of Anatoly, Gourgen and the other pilots (many of whom dumped sand into the burning reactor to contain the fire) amazed me the most. None ever said, "Whoa, hang on, Hoss! You want me to fly over this reactor? No freakin' way!" Though they naturally did not look forward to it, they went out and did it simply because they felt it was their duty. Takes a hell of a person to do something like that. Gourgen's tenacity at trying to help his friend was just damn impressive. He didn't care about government bureaocracy and stuff. His attitude was, "Anatoly needs this bone marrow transplant and I'm going to help him get it come hell or high water." I'll tell you, if I was in a mucho jam, I'd want Gourgen Karapetyan helping me out. They don't give out those Hero of the Soviet Union awards for nothing. And I'll tell you, it's something to read what reverence the Soviet people have for men who get that medal.
"A couple points, though. I would have liked to have seen at least a couple of the pilots who dumped sand into the reactor profiled a bit. Also, more should have been written about the environmental damage caused by the Chernobyl explosion. I'm not sure how much could be done with this, as some of the affects of the disaster may not be known for a while longer. Still, a good book about a group of people whose deeds MUST be remembered. Cap, you can pass this along to those guys, from me to them, DOUBLE THUMBS UP for one hell of a job!"
"P.S. If you buy this book, a portion of all the profits will go to the Grishchenko Fund to help with the treatment of the Chernobyl pilots."

 Ms. Carolyn Grubb:
"Took your book with me to Japan this past week, it was great :> Clay enjoyed it too as well as the boys."

Mr. Tyson Loe:
"I forgot to give you a review on the book. I thought it was great! You covered it thoroughly. You started with the good hard facts of what happened, and then you went to the emotional side with the story of Anatoly. The last third of the book was really well written. Not that the other two thirds weren't, but I was hooked once Anatoly went to Seattle. I really think it just needs to fall into the right hands, and who knows what will happen."

Ms. Lori Harguess:
"My husband made a liar out of me and read your book over the last few days! You said you wanted to know what he thought about it so I am telling you. He really enjoyed the book and said he hoped they would make a movie out of it some day! He feels that people should know what happened over there. He was telling me about it and how you tried to help that pilot who was so sick. I am very sorry to hear that the pilot didn't make it. I understand though that you are still trying to help the other pilots involved. I had no idea that was why you were involved with the bone marrow group. (Isn't it funny how you can work with someone and not really know anything about them.) What a wonderful thing you are doing. We will watch for your new book. I am sure he would like to read it too!"

Mr. Wes Jost:
"Finished reading your book last week and it is a great story of the almost unbelievable courage that military people display when called upon to do their job even knowing that this could cost them their life . I E-Mailed a couple of friends about the book, one of whom is Col. Mike Smith who was when I last saw him commanding officer of the Army helo's at Mercer Field in Trenton NJ. Col. Smith is the brother of Congressman Chris Smith from NJ. Keep up the writing!"

Mr. Bill Reid:
"Both Denise and I read 'Sacrifice' the account of Chernobyl. A fascinating but disturbing story - you are to be congratulated on the depth of the account of what must have been at times a very emotional task. Denise was riveted to the book until finished and we now eagerly await your next book."

Ms. Denise Reid:
"I felt I must send you an Email to tell you what I felt about your book 'Sacrifice.' It was one of the most moving books that I have ever read. I was going to use the word enjoyed, but that wasn't the correct word for such a story. It made my blood boil to read about the callous way the Russian Government treated their own people! What has happened to the rest of the Pilots and the other people who put their lives on the line to deal with the aftermath of the explosion? Perhaps you should write a sequel to the first book about the consequences of such a disaster, then the world would realize just how dangerous Nuclear Power is!"

Mr. Wil Hollowell:
"I thoroughly enjoyed the two books that I have read. The comment I have about Sacrifice is that it seemed strange to read it in 3rd person knowing you were writing about yourself -- I can see why you chose to do it that way -- so you could tell their story objectively (or as objectively as you could). However, from someone who knows you and knows you are writing the story, it seemed funny when you referred to yourself as "Parlier!"



Parlier, Cap. Sacrifice. Ventura, CA: Saint Gaudens Press, 2000.

ISBN:  print: 



eBook: 978-0-943039-13-8
Kindle: 978-0-943039-14-5

Library of Congress Catalog Number: 00-108409



Sacrifice” is available in print and digital forms.  Copies can be ordered from any retailer (brick & mortar, or on-line), using the appropriate ISBN noted above for your desired format.

For your convenience, one or more copies of “Sacrifice” may be ordered from Amazon.com by click the book cover image above or with this link -- HERE.

Sacrifice” may also be ordered directly from the publisher – Saint Gaudens Press – by calling toll free 1-888-281-5170 with a valid credit card number.

If any difficulty is encountered in obtaining a copy of “Sacrifice”, please contact Cap immediately via the Contract form; he will make every effort resolve the problem. 


Cap would pleased and honored to provide any interested reader a personalized autographed copy of


For those who would like an personally inscribed book, contact Cap via the site Contact form for instructions.


This page was last modified: 4.January.2019