New Book: ‘Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base’

New Book: ‘Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base’

May 18

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Purchase this book on Amazon

About the Book

It is the most famous military installation in the world. And it doesn’t exist. Located a mere seventy-five miles outside of Las Vegas in Nevada’s desert, the base has never been acknowledged by the U.S. government-but Area 51 has captivated imaginations for decades.

Myths and hypotheses about Area 51 have long abounded, thanks to the intense secrecy enveloping it. Some claim it is home to aliens, underground tunnel systems, and nuclear facilities. Others believe that the lunar landing itself was filmed there. The prevalence of these rumors stems from the fact that no credible insider has ever divulged the truth about his time inside the base. Until now.

Annie Jacobsen had exclusive access to nineteen men who served the base proudly and secretly for decades and are now aged 75-92, and unprecedented access to fifty-five additional military and intelligence personnel, scientists, pilots, and engineers linked to the secret base, thirty-two of whom lived and worked there for extended periods. In Area 51, Jacobsen shows us what has really gone on in the Nevada desert, from testing nuclear weapons to building super-secret, supersonic jets to pursuing the War on Terror.

This is the first book based on interviews with eye witnesses to Area 51 history, which makes it the seminal work on the subject. Filled with formerly classified information that has never been accurately decoded for the public, Area 51 weaves the mysterious activities of the top-secret base into a gripping narrative, showing that facts are often more fantastic than fiction, especially when the distinction is almost impossible to make.

About the Author

Annie Jacobsen is a contributing editor at the Los Angeles Times Magazine and an investigative reporter whose work has also appeared in The National Review and The Dallas Morning News. Her two-part series The Road to Area 51 was one of the most read in the Los Angeles Times Magazine. A graduate of Princeton University, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two sons.

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RELATED LINKS:

Photos from book on Huffington Post
Wikipedia on Area 51
Pulse on UFOs and Extraterrestrials

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AREA 51 AS COLD-WAR ESPIONAGE: BELIEVABLE OR CONSPIRACY THEORY?
By Marina Watson Peláez
Time
May 18, 2011

Original Link

Journalist Annie Jacobsen has shocked even the most devoted conspiracy theorists with claims regarding a U.S. military installation in the Nevada desert, known as Area 51. The base, which is 75 miles north of Las Vegas, has been discussed for decades because of the government’s secrecy regarding what exactly goes on there.

What really crashed near Roswell, New Mexico in 1947, was not an alien ship, nor was it a weather balloon as previously speculated by many, according to Jacobsen. In fact, she says, it was a Soviet spy plane. And it was controlled by disfigured adolescents, two of whom survived the crash.

Jacobsen also claims that Area 51 engineers and pilots reverse-engineered Soviet-made MiG fighter planes and developed drones which were then used to bomb Afghanistan and Pakistan. The U-2 spy plane and its successor, the A-12 “Oxcart,” were developed by the Central Intelligence Agency, Lockheed and the U.S. military, she says. Jacobsen also claims that Apollo astronauts practiced moon-walking in the bomb craters of the testing range.

These events are described in her book, Area 51, An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base, and are intertwined with an informative account of Cold War spy planes, weaponry and espionage.

The revelations emerged following a conversation with physicist Edward Lovick during a family dinner in 2007. Lovick is said to have leaned over to her and said, “Have I got a good story for you.” And she was subsequently put in touch with 74 key figures, including scientists, pilots and engineers who had witnessed accounts of Area 51 firsthand, which enabled her to get access to the most obscure documentation.

Her accounts are strong and believable, but many of the documents nonetheless remain classified, meaning that it’s hard to know whether her theory is reliable or just mere speculation.

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AREA 51, REVISITED
By Mark Thompson
Time
May 18, 2011

Original Link

Why does people’s skepticism go out the window when it comes to military matters — especially any that are secret? Granted, the recent dispatch of Osama bin Laden does make the U.S. military look all-but-omnipotent. But it’s important to note that grand success was striking…because it was so rare.

Annie Jacobson’s new book — AREA 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base — is the 398th touching on the Nevada site, according to Amazon’s roster. But some of it needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

She has interviewed 74 pilots and engineers, among others, who used to work there, and uncovered lots of details about their ground-breaking work in developing the U-2 spy plane, the F-117 stealth fighter-bomber and other aviation assets that helped the U.S. win the Cold War. There are amusing tales of trying to turn pigeons and cats into animal-kingdom 007s.

Part of Area 51’s intrigue is that the government still declines to discuss it. That adds to its mystique, because truth…tends to be boring. It’s the same way with the SEALs who offed bin Laden — there is no quicker way to render a hero humdrum than to meet him. (Gosh — he’s so normal!)

Area 51 suffers one flaw. Jacobsen’s tale of the UFO that fell from the sky near Roswell, N.M., in 1947, is just that: a tale. The U.S. government transported the “spacecraft” to Area 51, where it was subject to all kinds of probing. It has generated endless controversy and confusion since then. All government efforts to explain what it was — usually a weather balloon of some kind — have merely thrown gasoline on the conspiracists’ fires.

Jacobson suggests in the book (as well as in recent TV interviews) that the UFO was, in reality, a Nazi-inspired Soviet spy plane manned by midget teen-agers. Josef Stalin purportedly had Josef Mengele provide surgically-tweaked mini-pilots who were supposed to disembark from the aircraft, pretend to be space aliens, and scare Americans to death.

Someone’s DVD player has been stuck on Close Encounters of the Third Kind for too long. When stories like this pop up, I like to impose what I call the “human nature” rule. Why would they have wanted to keep this tale secret, if it had happened this way? More critically, could the U.S. government have kept it a secret? Just because a fair number of Americans become unhinged when discussing UFOs and military matters is no reason for the rest of us to tag along.

“Facts are often more fantastic than fiction,” publisher Little, Brown’s website for the book says, “especially when the distinction is almost impossible to make.” Most of Area 51 is solid and well done, but its dubious claim regarding the Roswell UFO makes one wish all involved had tried a little harder to separate fact from fiction, before printing the later as the former.

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