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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

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Author, journalist Ed Darack to give book talk about Extortion 17

For those who like great books, military history and conspiracies and writers, author, journalist and photographer Ed Darack will hold a book talk on his recently released book. 

Colorado State University’s Society of Professional Journalists chapter is bringing Darack to talk about his book, “The Final Mission of Extortion 17,” at Colorado State University. 


Darack is scheduled to talk, November 14, in Clark C- 251 at 6 p.m. Darack also is holding a book signing at Old Firehouse Books on Saturday, Nov. 11 at 6 p.m.

Darack is an independent writer and local Fort Collins resident. According to his personal website, Darack’s scope of work encompasses “front-line ground and air combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, aviation and space exploration, the study and beauty of the atmosphere, aesthetics throughout nature.”

Darack’s recent book, “The Final Mission of Extortion 17,” released in September 2017, is about the fateful day, August 6, 2011, when helicopter Extortion 11 went on a mission for special operations troops and was shot down, never to return.

“All 38 onboard perished instantly in the single greatest moment of sacrifice for Americans in the war in Afghanistan,” as stated in the book synopsis. “Those killed were some of the U.S.’s most highly trained and battle-honed commandos, including 15 men from the Gold Squadron of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, known popularly as SEAL Team 6, which had raided a Pakistan compound and killed Osama bin Laden just three months earlier.”

The author was introduced to the story by Darren Freyer, who is from Fort Collins and now works as a pilot at the training base up in Eagle, Colorado where Darack learned much of the story of Extortion 17.

This takedown of Extortion 17 sprung many conspiracies which Darack discusses as well as the “history of the Afghan war to that date, U.S. helicopter use in Afghanistan, and the new and evolving military technologies and tactics being developed to mitigate such tragedies now and in the future.”

The event in Darack’s book is the greatest loss of American lives in the war in Afghanistan, according to Kris Kodrich, SPJ adviser. 

Collegian news reporter Clair Tillotson can be reached at or on Twitter @clairmonet

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