Now Available on Amazon Kindle

Flying Into the Sun - The Book

Journey back through the culture of the 1970s in Mexico and the U.S. as a young surfer befriends indigenous Zapotecs, smuggles weed across the Rio Grande, encounters law enforcement on both sides of the border, and learns to fly.

In 1979, a Mexican army truck and a small U.S.-registered airplane race toward each other on a remote airstrip in southern Mexico. Their game of chicken marks the end of a young surfer’s true-life smuggling odyssey involving midnight powwows with indigenous Zapotecs of Oaxaca, paddling kilos of marijuana across the Rio Grande on surfboards, learning to fly, and a stint in the Oaxaca State Penitentiary.  

Narrated by the main character, Flying Into the Sun is not just a true-crime adventure memoir. It is an introspective, coming-of-age tale that weaves through a secret Mexico and chronicles the fast-changing 1970s in the U.S. with its emergent culture of long hair and drugs, rebellious youth versus hostile law enforcement, and the music and pop themes of the times. The author worked his way up through general aviation to become a pilot for American Airlines, where he flew twenty years and retired as captain. Previous literary endeavors include publishing the insubordinate aviation tabloid Houston Air News, as well as writing stories for national and regional publications such as General Aviation News, the Portsmouth Herald and the Texas Flyer.  


"On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair; Warm smell of colitas,  rising up through the air . . . . Oh, the good ol' days of red-haired  Mexican pot in the 70s. Paul Ogier tells an engaging and entertaining  story about his youthful misadventures as a drug runner at a time when  people were discovering the joys of marijuana. Not only is "Flying Into  The sun" well written, but there is a quiet wit about it that had me  laughing out loud at several sections. As a coming of age story, this is  certainly one of the best. It's insightful and has its touching  moments. The ending left me both sad and uplifted that the main  character had finally reached a level of maturity that set him on  another path to his dreams. But the next time I fly, I will be wondering  what youthful indiscretions the captain had committed!"
~Patricia Griffon, Author of "Blind Reason"

"Yup, I love books. And I'm always happy to find out about a  surf/travel book that takes me back to places I've been to, or back to a  time I've missed. Flying into the Sun is a mix of both...a time before  smartphone navigation in rental cars or even planes, and what more a  surfboard can be used for than just riding waves...
Worth a read."

"This is fantastic!! It's going to be BIG! I see a movie!"
~Chris Cantara, pilot & owner of Seaside Aviation, LLC

"I began Flying Into the Sun with my pilot's cap on, expecting a  tale of youthful bounds-pushing and flying anecdotes. Well, by page two I  realized a lot more than bounds-pushing was unfolding, and the flying I  expected was turning into chemically-enhanced and Mexican-grown flying  of the kind best enjoyed by a campfire on a secluded beach. By the  story's halfway point, I was as deep into the marijuana, hash, and coke  world of smugglers and risk-takers as I'd ever been, and loving every  moment of Paul Ogier's narrow escapes. Until escape was no longer an  option. If you are a pilot, you will find yourself back in the cockpit  on your first solo cross know, the one you screwed up but  managed to survive? In Ogier's case, managing to survive airborne and  car-borne cross countries was both physically and financially dicey. The  author's knowledgeable weaving of songs of the 70s (with a backhand to disco) to add color and texture to Flying Into the Sun is simply  brilliant. But this is not a book about flying or music or even youthful  risk-taking and consequences.This is a timeless story of an insatiable  appetite that drives some elements of virtually all societies to create  markets and methods to feed that often-deadly hunger."
~Jim Moore

"If you spent anytime in Mexico in the 60's and 70's you will  appreciate this read as a coming of age story. Mexico was a surfers paradise, the sweet unspoiled Mexican frontier was made for youth and  adventure. Paul does a good job of showing how one matured from a surf  bum to the left seat for a major airline. Understanding where you've been helps know where you want to go...especially if it's a Mexican  prison. Yeah, it's that good."
~Jonathon Blair  



Brett McMillan   Enjoyed reading the book, especially the trips through Mexico. Took a lot of balls, risk to do that back then. Interesting in a historical perspective in that it’s mostly legal now. Glad to see your success later in life as a retired Captain.

Terry Hayes   Truly enjoyed the book, thank you, it was a great read!! We are the same generation and it was definitely a great time with more adventure back then. Loved your descriptions of Houston, have lived in Cypress since 1989. I yearn for the days where you describe flying from West Houston and Weiser and up Barker Cypress....back then it was a two-lane road with prairie on both sides once you got north of 529. Today it's a median divided thoroughfare. Any plans to write another book?

Dwight Rathmell   It's a good read, I have driven through many of the same places in this book in a VW bus.

Andy Keeton   First class read, enjoyed it !!!

Michael Woodrum   Just finished it, as a 68 year older, it took me back to my misbegotten youth!! Those were great days, sure miss those times!! 😎😎

Phillip Young   Great read. From back in the day when you could cruise all over Mexico safely. If you had a VW, you could break down in the middle of nowhere and get parts or help because VWs were everywhere.

Jeffrey Utter   I thoroughly enjoyed the book!

Paul Karinja   Very cool. 

Bill O'Connor   Prob finish tonite! Well done! Reads well!

G Bruce Eskildsen   Such a good book really enjoying it. I was doing a lot of flying in those days crop dusting. Lots of things happening. Country Roads take me back and I would even enjoy more the second time!

Charley McCrone   Read the whole book on the way from Anchorage to Honolulu! We have some things besides music in common. Fascinating story!

Steve Bowman   Reading it now, it's awesome!....

Jeff Anderson   Good book! I remember when the rainbow (well kinda 😁) hit the scene, the price of weed went up, but it was good smoke! Those were the days, road trips to Houston, Port Arthur, Galveston, bring back the mean green!! Miss those days

Glen Lockaby   We call him The Tree Top Flyer…

Crew Chamberlain   About a 1/4 of the way in. Good read.

Steve Wright   Interesting read; I enjoyed it

Devik Wiener   Oh my word! Those beautiful long seeded spicy lime green Oaxacan buds! Those (70’s) WERE the days 

Shane Dudley   Luv it!!!!

Stan Baca   Great read!

Rudy Escamilla   Look forward to reading your book. Grew up in Corpus Christi, Tx and surfed Padre Island in the early 70’s. Great memories of catching waves at St Joe’s (Port Aransas). Thankful to this day that surfing was a big part of my life then. Oh yeah, weed was also plentiful up and down the beach soon after a tropical storm/hurricane had passed through.

Ken Russell   Loved the book!

Rosales Marco   Excelentes fotografías muy bien conservadas. El libro ha de ser interesante su prólogo e introducción te adicta a seguir su lectura.

Duane Schiller   Enjoying it very much. Great read.

Randy Ivie   Just got through reading it. Great book. Once I started it I couldn’t put it down.

Timmy Wright    Couldn't put it down! I believe it was a very accurate account of the adventures and struggles the author and his accomplices went through during this period in his life. Large print, easy bedtime reading without a bunch of big words that no one really uses or understands that most authors throw in today to sound smarter than they really are. I can't wait to pass this on to my surfer buddy that I travel to Mexico with, as it is gonna remind him of some of our South of the Border escapades, minus the drug smuggling. Thanks again for your amazing book.

Kevin Craig   Sounds like a Jimmy Buffett song.

Duane Schiller   Enjoying it very much. Great read

Dwight Rathmell   It's cool story.

Jesse Houle   In Search of Captain Zero on mushrooms ...

Terry Stewart   One of the best books I've read recently.

Kenny Lynch   I have read many books about heroes and crooks, and this is one that when you start you will not want to put it down. A well written book. 

Find out more

The Author

Surfer 1970s smuggles marijuana Mexico, prison stay, learns to fly airplanes, becomes airline pilot

  •  The author worked his way up through general aviation to become a pilot  for American Airlines, where he flew twenty years and retired as  captain. Previous literary endeavors include publishing the  insubordinate aviation tabloid Houston Air News, as well as writing  stories for national and regional publications such as General Aviation  News, the Portsmouth Herald and the Texas Flyer. 

Contact Us

Any Questions about Flying Into the Sun?

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.