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Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base | [Annie Jacobsen]

Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base

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 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.
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Publisher's Summary

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 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 20 men who served on the base proudly and secretly for decades and are now aged 75-92; she also had unprecedented access to 55 additional military and intelligence personnel, scientists, pilots, and engineers linked to the secret base, 32 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 supersecret supersonic jets to pursuing the War on Terror. This is the first book based on interviews with eyewitnesses 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 fact is often more fantastic than fiction, especially when the distinction is almost impossible to make.

©2011 Annie Jacobson (P)2011 Hachette

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  •  
    Sharalyn Fairfield, IA, United States 10-24-11
    Sharalyn Fairfield, IA, United States 10-24-11 Member Since 2007

    I have an undergraduate degree in philosophy and a Master's Degree in Professional Writing from Maharishi University of Management, am author of THE RELUCTANT VEGETARIAN COOKBOOK, and am an avid reader/listener.

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    "Difficult book to write"
    Any additional comments?

    Annie quotes Occam's Razor theory--that the right theory must be the simplest one--more than once, and I think it needs to applied to her book in the sense that she answers difficult questions with practical depth and sense. I have read reviews that have criticized her for factual errors, such as the speed of an explosion's wave, etc. However, in a book of this magnitude, I do not find fault with technical errors by a non-scientist because the author would have had to been a profound genius to get all the science details correct.But such criticisms seem trivial compared to the gift of practical knowledge she has given us about this mysterious place and what goes on there. Even if it is only a breadcrumb compared to a table, the story she tells, until the last chapter, is logical and satisfying in the holes that it fills. I am impressed with the depth she was able to write about so many concepts, machines, people, and divergence histories. I feel that she has met the requirements of Occam's Razor and satisfied common sense that, if allowed, can put many (but not all) wild theories to rest. I'd give this book five stars for it's skillful writing and excellent performance, it's logical explanations of certain programs and people, it's overview of people and governmental processes and it's general level of satisfaction to me the reader. I did not give it five stars for story and for overall because I have many reasons to doubt the conclusion regarding the Roswell Incident. I do not for minute doubt that human experimentation has and probably is going on, and for this this readers should be grateful to be informed that black ops are terrifyingly lacking in oversight, but too many of us believe in UFO's to accept that her final chapter answers all those questions.But whether you agree with it it 100 percent or not, it is certainly a worthy listen.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary Elkridge, MD, United States 09-25-11
    Gary Elkridge, MD, United States 09-25-11 Member Since 2010
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    "What insight!!!!"

    I could have used a little more excitement from the narrator's voice.
    I think the history was incredible.
    For those of who dig this - fantastic.
    So I'll put my recommendation strong towards those of us who like this.
    I'm not a conspiracy guy, but do find these overbearing attempts at hiding stuff fascinating.
    The insight is great.
    Strongly recommended.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    knowles MCALESTER, OK, United States 09-15-11
    knowles MCALESTER, OK, United States 09-15-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Is it really true? I hope not!"

    I admire the some of the ingenuity of research, study, and accomplishment at Area 51. I am greatly disturbed about the secrecy implied concerning the Roswell story and even more disturbed and very angry about the lack of morality in the name of science. How could so few make such decisions about human beings and the environment sacrificed. If this is true, I'm ashamed of my country, concerned for this beautiful earth we have been given to protect and appreciate. How can so few make such dastardly and destructive decisions. The book was hard to follow as it bounced back and forth in time and characters. I think perhaps I would be better off not knowing such things about my country, such evil deeds!!! Thanks to Ms Jacobsen for trying to get at the truth.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Heffley Rockville, MD United States 05-26-11
    James Heffley Rockville, MD United States 05-26-11 Member Since 2007
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    "Ms. Jacobson is out of her league here"

    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.

    5 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. L. Turner Provo, Utah, United States 12-05-11
    C. L. Turner Provo, Utah, United States 12-05-11 Member Since 2011

    Tutivillus

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    "This will make you angry."

    My mother has a picture of the moment she "got" cancer. An adolescent, standing on the beach of a Pacific island, she watched a cloud rise on the horizon and the ocean raise one wave before going still...for an hour. It was Bingo...the hydrogen bomb that spit an isotope found in Lymphoma patients exposed to radiation.

    There were points of detail in this book that touched on that. There were moments I was so angry I damn near threw my tablet against the wall.

    To be honest, I could care less about the "UFO" conspiracies. I was fascinated by the early history of Area 51 and the decisions made by so few that altered so many. That part of the story is well supported and well documented, presented and displayed like a tumor in our Nation's history.

    Painful to hear, good to know.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Sharpsville, Pennsylvania, United States 11-26-11
    Eric Sharpsville, Pennsylvania, United States 11-26-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Encountering an interest for the best book ever!"

    Such a fantastic book! Everything is unbelieveable! I just can't stop getting more info about it! I've wanted to know about this very subject even as a kid growing up! If you want to know more about this uncensored history than this is the book for you! Every single detail is spectacular! Awesome!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jerome La Quinta, CA, United States 11-22-11
    Jerome La Quinta, CA, United States 11-22-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Very Interesting"

    This book is very interesting. If you want an idea of how dark our Government can be, then you need to listen to this. It gives a great history of Area 51 and keeps you intrigued with all the information. Definitely a buy.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken Corvallis, OR, United States 11-05-11
    Ken Corvallis, OR, United States 11-05-11 Member Since 2009
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    "5 Stars accross the board!"

    Well written, well read - I highly recomend Area 51 .... -- I learned so much about things I had not idea that took place even though I consider myself well read on such topics. The things I learned made me angry and I would like to shout out - How do we get this secret stuff stopped. I was shocked to learn that even the president is denied information on many secret goings on and this should not be. I think there should be new strong and agressive policies that change the way we do business. Thank you Annie! Well done

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tiffany Austin, TX, United States 05-26-11
    tiffany Austin, TX, United States 05-26-11
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    "Caught up in Media Hype"

    I first heard an interview on NPR and was intrigued. My first comment is on the author's narration of the book. She speaks in a clear voice but I find myself nodding off because her voice is so soothing. I have not completed the book and am not sure that I will. It is not at all what I expected. I am about half-way through and have yet to have one moment that made me sit up in my seat. "Uncensored"? I feel like she give too much background information on some of her sources, it feels like filler.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    petsan 05-26-11
    petsan 05-26-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Story interesting but author/narrator doesn't fit"

    I've listened to about a half hour so far. I have to say that the information provided is compelling. My problem is that I have a hard time focusing on Annie Jacobsen's voice. It seems to go on an on without any kind of emotion, it makes the story sound long-winded and honestly boring. It actually reminds me of Ilyana Kadushin narration (from Twilight series). Snore. I wish i could return the audiobook and get a paper copy.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
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