Area 51 has gained legendary status over the past couple of decades. It’s one of those places that seems to be both real and fantasy-and according to author Annie Jacobsen that’s just the way the CIA, Air Force, Dept of Atomic Energy, and countless other super secret government agencies wants it.
It’s fill with stories from the Cold War, Atomic Weapons, and UFOs. And despite the fact she talks at great lengths about how far the hidden powers will go to keep Area 51’s secrets, she accepts at face value the stories she hears from a number of witnesses who claim to have first hand experience about what has gone on in the Nevada Desert over the past 80 years or so. It’s hard to not to be amazed by the many stories of Nazi Scientists, insane atomic tests, and really cool spy planes. But let’s face, the best story has to do with UFOs.
The grand daddy of UFO stories is now the Roswell Crash of 1947, though it was not always that big a deal. For years it was just one more silly flying saucer story-and that is what the Government wanted everyone to think. Annie Jacobsen mentions Occam’s Razor a number of times, which states that the simplest solution is often the best one. She ridicules conspiracy buffs for their willing to believe all kinds of nonsense. Then she dives off the deep end with her own massive evil government conspiracy theory that would put people who believe the Trilateral Commission is working toward the New World Order.
Ok, the UFO that crashed near Roswell was not from outer space. It was from Russia. It seems that the Nazis had flying saucers in 1945 when the war ended and these ships with anti-gravity drives fell into the hands of the Soviets. Having possibly the greatest invention in human history on their hands, they naturally crash land it in the middle of nowhere to put the fear of aliens into the hearts and minds of poor dumb Americans. There is more to the story of the Roswell Crash, small beings with large heads and eyes, and reverse engineering, but at some point I found myself having a hard time believing most of it.
I liked Area 51. It is damned gripping stuff. The stories of atomic testing and spy planes are well worth reading about, even if the stories about Nazi Flying Saucers make visitors from outer space seem the more plausible solution. There is also a side story about an Atomic Rocket that was going to be used in the late 1950s to send 130 men to Mars and bring them back home in six months.
If even half the stuff she says is true, it’s a miracle than anyone lived through the 1950s. Area 51 is a great read.