In 1939, Captain Daniel McCormick is a brilliant test pilot who contributes largely to the development of bombers like "B25 Mitchell". He shares this passion with the mad love he devotes to his girlfriend, Helen. The day Daniel readies to ask his betrothed to get married, she is victim of a road accident and falls in a deep coma. After six month without evolution of her health, Daniel, aghast and no longer having taste for life accepts to become the guinea-pig of his friend Harry Finley, a scientist who just succeeded a first cryogenic experiment. Daniel, who hopes to be able to find Helen when he'll be back, will be deep-frozened during a year.
1992. In a warehouse of the army being moved, two children, Nat Cooper and his friend, discover Finley's crate. Inadvertently, the children launch the defrosting process and escape when they discover the presence of the pilot. Daniel does not understand immediately what happened but he must quickly render to obviousness. The cryogenic experiment lasted 53 years.
When he tries to explain himself to military authorities, he is taken for a madman. Not knowing where to go, McCormick finds refuge beside Nat thanks to his jacket forgotten in the warehouse. First frightened, the child finally invites him to stay in his hut up of a tree. But when Claire Cooper, Nat's mother, is on the way to be raped by one of her ancient friend, Daniel intervenes. Full of gratitude, she proposes to Daniel to lodge at her home for some days.
With Nat's assistance, he is going to do eveything to find traces of his friend Harry Finley, the only one able to explain him what happened. It is all the more urgent to find him that Daniel is victim of increasingly painful cramps he is the only who could explain it. Taken by convulsion, Daniel is driven to the hospital where it is discovered that his sanguine metabolism is quiet curious.
Daniel is in the process to age very fast. But the FBI is also interested by the man. Nat tells his mother Daniel's story and when she obtains awaited information concerning the address of a so named Harry Finley, she helps the test pilot to escape the hospital. When they arrive at Harry's home, they learn that the scientist died a long time ago...
Spoiler ! the end of the story is revealed below…
It is not Harry but Susan, the scientist's daughter who welcomes them. Aware of this ancient story, she finds in her archives the notes written by her defunct father. The verdict is without call : irreversible aging. But Susan tells her a news that is going to rejoice him. Helen is not dead and still lives in the little house near the lighthouse where they used to go.
Daniel asks Claire to drive him there. But the FBI is chasing them and the only hope for the aging man to reach Helen is to go by plane. She drops him at the airport where an aerial meeting presents wings of legend. Daniel borrows a B25 and flies to the lighthouse cliff to find Helen. Thanks to Nat's assistance who clandestinely climbed on board, he lands despite his increasingly pains and finds back the one he left 53 years ago. Daniel, who now looks like his age, will this time ask her for marriage.