About the Author

Mike Borlace, combat pilot and special forces soldier, first achieved military distinction in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) during the nineteen seventies.

Born in Cornwall, England, Mike Borlace was trained by the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, becoming a commando assault helicopter pilot

In 1974 he was recruited into the Rhodesian Air Force.   Of the 1096 days he served in 7 (Helicopter) squadron, 793 days were on combat operations. During this period 327 days were as a gunship pilot and fire force commander, resulting in 149 contacts with the enemy as well as 204 fire force operations that resulted in no contact. In addition to 82 casevacs, many of which were hot extractions under enemy fire, for which he became noted, there were 99 operations with the Rhodesian SAS, the Selous Scouts and Rhodesian Light Infantry Commandos on cross border raids. He was shot down five times and wounded twice. He is one of only five holders of the Silver Cross, the highest gallantry award for members of the Rhodesian Air Force.

Mike’s service record could easily be mistaken for a movie script except real-life is often more extraordinary than the wildest fiction. In 1978, he left the Air Force to join the highly secret Selous Scouts, a special forces unit responsible for 68% of all the kills by the Rhodesian security forces. In the wake of the atrocity of a civilian airliner being shot down and some of the survivors raped and bayoneted to death, he volunteered to operate as an undercover agent in the city of Lusaka, Zambia, gathering information on terrorist installations and defences, and specifically the location of the terrorist leader Joshua Nkomo. A plan was hatched to assassinate Nkomo, however Mike was captured after being betrayed by a traitor in Rhodesian intelligence.

He was interrogated under torture, taken for mock execution three times and kept naked and chained in a six foot by eight foot cage for over six months in solitary confinement. In 1980, the warring factions agreed to a cease-fire agreement but the Zambian authorities reneged on a deal to have a prisoner exchange and instead he was charged on various counts of espionage and put on trial for his life. The High Court of Zambia was horrified at the accounts of torture and released him, only for the government to immediately rearrest him. Weeks later, after much secret brokering, he was quietly spirited out of custody and deported to London.

In 1982, he began a new career as a private military advisor for Western backed allies around the globe including operations in Sri Lanka against the Tamil Tigers and fighting the Revolutionary United Front in Sierra Leone, who were gratuitously maiming children throughout the land by chopping off their arms and eating them. In 1986 he was running a team for the Americans flying into Nicaragua, supplying arms to the anti-Communist Contra organisation. It was a mission controlled by Lieutenant-Colonel Oliver North and one that eventually led to the Irangate scandal.

Other operations have been in Papua New Guinea, Angola, Uganda, South Sudan, and on contract with US agencies in Zaire, Afghanistan and Iraq.    Apart from his battlefield courage he has the ability to assess dangerous situations quickly. That intelligence, together with his bravery, sense of humour and personality come to life in the pages of Spider Zero Seven.

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