An invitation from Cap Bailey, science teacher at Bayport High, to accompany him out West to Wildcat Swamp on an archaeological expedition triggers off a series of dangerous events for Frank and Joe Hardy. On their way West the boys and Cap have a near-fatal accident in a private plane which has been sabotaged. Though warned to leave the area, Frank, Joe, and Cap doggedly remain until they have caught the cunning ex-convicts they are up against in this swift-paced adventure.
Franklin W. Dixon is a pen name used by a variety of authors writing for the classic series, The Hardy Boys. The first and most well-known "Franklin W. Dixon" was Leslie McFarlane, a Canadian author who contributed 19 of the first 25 books in the series. Other writers who have adopted the pseudonym include Christopher Lampton, John Button, Amy McFarlane, and Harriet Stratemeyer Adams.