Not what I thought it would be???but still surprisingly better!
I had anticipated a book about UFOs and the secret testing and/or cover up of alien beings. Instead this is basically a biography of Area 51 and its environs. Well researched and documented with people who were willing to talk to set the record straight about what happens there. Some of it more mundane and some scary, but all very interesting.
The stories told are compelling and the narration by the author, professional. It made for a highly interesting and entertaining book. An amazing biography that I highly recommend for UFO buffs and those interested in history.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was worried about the quality of the author's narration but was pleasantly surprised.
A better title for this book would be: "Ox Cart Spy Plane Revealed". Contrary to what Jacobsen's book title says, this book in no way unequivocably explains the Roswell Incident or other conspiracy theories surrounding Area 51. She might try at times but, for me, she doesn't come close to changing my mind or beliefs about UFOs or ETs. Having said that, the book was interesting to me and I learned a lot. However, I am not a person who regularly reads about U.S. military or political history. The book is primarily about the covert CIA project of developing a spy plane after WWII through the Vietnam War. Further horrifying facts are revealed about hydrogen, atom and thermonuclear bomb testing by the U.S. military. Her writing style leaves a lot to be desired. At times it feels as though she's writing to an audience in the 8th grade and she sometimes belabors a point to ensure the reader gets it. I was also not impressed with her narration. If you are a U.S. history aficionado or enjoy reading about U.S. military history, I recommend you stay away from this book. You probably are familiar with the facts she discusses here. If you are reading it out of curiosity about the Roswell Incident then stay away because she hardly mentions it and when she does her explanations are insulting even to a non-believer. It is a good book for the unintiated in U.S. military history from the second half of the 20th century. Do not let the sensational title fool you. Even Jacobsen states that there are hundreds of thousands of pages still classified about Area 51.
WARNING: If you are a deeply entrenched Neo-Conservative,you will not like this book. Ms Jacobsen is a liberal academic who does not hide her distain for the Atomic Energy Commission, General Curtis LeMay, or the disinformation spun by the CIA and USAF to hide their "blackest" projects. As a college educated, liberal thinker myself, I found Ms. Jacobsen's passion (both in writing and reading this book) to be delightful! I actually bought the hardcover book because I wanted to see if she verified her information with her sources in footnotes. There are 384 footnotes in the book. I personally only randomly checked out 8 of them, but they were accurate. This book covers many topics from the early Cold War era, some of which are only remotely connected with Area 51.
Her passionate distain for those leaders who mislead and likely endangered many US citizens in the early days of the Cold War comes shining through in her reading. (-:
I thought the theory that she presents on what really happened at Roswell was a bit far-fetched. But she is clear that this is the story of one man who was a source for her. Sometimes you have to be willing to read things like that account and give it some thought. That is the price of having an open mind. Very enjoyable audio book!
Reader And Listener
It's usually s mistke for the author to read their own book, but it works well in this case. WHile she's not a seasoned actress, she dose know how to pronounce the hard words, and her famliiarity with the material comes through. The book is fascinating, very well developed and fills in a lot of blanks in history while reminding the listener there is a lot yet untold.
The most chilling explanation to "Roswell" I have ever heard. What people are prepared to do to each other in order to hold power is horrific. From Nazi medical experiments to Nuclear bombs. Thank-you Annie Jacobsen "We need to Know".
I just finished "Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base" by Annie Jacobson. This book lifts the veil of secrecy that has surrounded the Nevada Testing Facility, aka, Area 51, showing what men, wrapped in the flag and in the name of the common good, are capable of accomplishing when they have total secrecy, unlimited budgets, and greatest scientific minds of the 20th Century. What the conspiracy theorist want you to believe is nothing to what the CIA, the Air Force, the Atomic Energy Commission, and the Dept of Energy have hidden in Area 51 for 60+ years. The tools for the War on Terrorism were developed there - the U2, the Oxcart, the Blackbird, the Predator, etc. The atomic bomb and the nuclear rocket for the trip to Mars were tested there. If you enjoy the fiction of a Tom Clancy novel, you will love the true story of "who done it", when and how they did it, and how it remained a secret for so long.
To be fair, Area 51 is my passion. I heard two minutes of this book and stopped listening because I already know more than she does and it was a waste of a credit. I have read several other articles such as her article on the TSA, etc. where she excels.
When it comes to Area 51 and the whole black ops subject, she should have known early in her research that she does not have the time or contacts necessary to tell this story. If you saw the “National Geo Channel” special on Area 51you don’t have to read or listen to this book because she wonders off into too much world history and gets off focus. And, the “National Geo” special was just a rehash of old stuff with some new pictures and brief glimpses from the newly declassified material which she uses quite a bit in her book.
I give her credit for attacking this subject but I have been reading and listening to interviews of retired and ex-employees from and about Area 51 for 5 years now and the story is a huge, multifaceted, highly classified topic and we will never know even one fifth of the story. One of the clues that you have found a dependable and accurate supplier of information is if he or she uses, knows of or refers to the term “UFO fever” regarding a witness or speaker on the subject. Once someone on the inside gets it you can't trust their answers.
If you are just becoming interested in the subject then use the internet and be very selective who you trust there. I finally have about three people I trust after all these years. If you do not become obsessed about the subject you will never get to the level deep enough to find the beginnings of the truth.
Now I know what really happened in 1947 at Roswell. The story in the book makes much more sense than all the previous ones that I've heard over the past many years.
This book's historical account of Area 51 & it's surrounding properties barely scratches the surface of all the highly classified projects both past & currently being researched within that complex. So many people who were involved have already carried these secrets to their graves.
great history and very well told. Story flows very well and is very entertaining