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
The author weaves an incredible story using interviews, declassified documents and historical narrative to tell the story of Area 51. Her descriptions of the base, and its subsequent evolution throughout the years, took me back to an era that is easy to take for granted these days. This book reads like a Cold War thriller, with Area 51 at the center of the U.S. clandestine quest for military supremacy.
Great book! I enjoyed the author's narration. I was also glad that she wasn't afraid to tackle the topics of UFO's and aliens, which have always given Area 51 its mystic appeal.
Retired RN with 28 years in the operating room. An nurse educator specialized in surgical lasers and high risk equipment. Married for 36 years to my wonderful wife and mother of 3 men. Still waiting on the grand babies! While waiting, love to read & listen to books. I am a HUGE FAN OF AUDIBLE. COM!
Yes, because there is so much information in this book that needs further processing in my mind. The first time I read it, I was shell-shocked and didn't get close to absorbing what needs to be really assimilated.
One of the most memorable moments was when the author mentions that seventy thousand nuclear bombs have been produced by our country alone.
She reads the book with the passion that an author should when they read their own work. It is obvious from the start that this narrator/author really wants to convey her message in a real personal way so that the reader "gets it."
Because of the subject matter, it was amazing that the author was able to inject some humor, here and there. But, for the most part, I would have to honestly say, that the book made me very angry and extremely sad.
People will read this for many different reasons. I believe that it should be read in the interest of national security and to what lengths our government (and others) will go to in the name of secrecy, security, "a need to know" and global superiority. I believe that the author's research must have been exhaustive. To think that the information provided in this book is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, is astounding.
I only listened to the audio.
Oh yea! I thought some of the story was far fetched, but loved hearing about the development of the two bases. Who is the head honcho up there? Who does he answer to?? Now I hear there are terrorists up there. Nazi's!! Bugged eyed kids!! Great stuff.
Everyone has heard of Area 51 but this story takes you on a different journey and not one you would expect. This isn't a book about aliens, it's about the who, what, when, and why Area 51 was developed and the unbelievable things that go on out there.
The book seems to be very well written and documented. I still take it with a grain of salt, however. The narrator/author did a very nice job of narrating, not monotone or boring. I will definitely read again.
This book is compelling and ranks among the top titles I have listened to: and I am, I feel, quite discriminating.
I cannot readily think of another book that has captured my attention in quite the same way: the topic and its coverage are unforgettable.
The author brings an objectivity, persistence, and clarity to one of the most mysterious issues of the past 60 years.
An enigma of military history and governmental intelligence finally elucidated.
If I would recommend one book (and I will) to my friends and colleagues, this is the one.
How the author was able to weave together a story out of the declassified documents and interviews with people who worked on those declassified projects.
The History of the Nuclear Program and the spy planes and how they were tied together with the end of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War.
Clear, precise, not unpleasant
Perhaps at the end when she reveals what she found our government was up to...
Book needed some more editing. She thinks a shotgun is a rifle in a few places.
In one place she says the US Govt. was worried that the North Vietnam army might use Surface to Air Missiles against US ground troops. Bull!. She got something that someone told here very confused. They are SURFACE to AIR missiles. SAMs don't have guidance for being ballistic missiles, and would not be good ones if they did.
The author uses "area 51" as a fulcrum to summarize many of America's clandestine operations during the past 80 years. I take everything like this with a grain of salt--just like I do statements from the U.S. Government about its own "secrets." Nevertheless, this provides thousands of documented "facts" that are woven into known U.S. history in a very intriguing way. This isn't a late-night a.m. radio rant on governments secrets, but a well-researched, well-documented presentation that is probably "on the money" a good deal of the time. But even if there are errors in attributing recently unclassified "secret" documents to exactly where they fit, it is not the author's fault primary, but that of the U.S. Government for keeping vast quantities of documents 'classified.' I considered this well-worth the listen. Regardless of whether you agree with everything, it will contribute to your knowledge base, making you better able to evaluate stories you "hear" about black ops. I give kudos to the author for reading it herself. What little she may lack in comparison to Audible's "best" professional narrators she surely makes up in passion and expert knowledge about the content. I prefer a good reading by an author to an academy award winning reading by an unaffiliated narrator.
I can't tell you, maybe the beginning, middle, or end
your brain will be filled with so much history and factual evidence you will not be able to digest it all. And still, there is so much more than can be known about this area that cannot or will not be revealed to the public. I hope in my lifetime I'm able to hear more about the circumstances around this patch of land and the people that work there and the things they are working on. The author has apparently done a lot of research from people who were there. First hand accounting of events in the past that are mind blowing in many cases. I know of one character in the book that I read later in a NY Times review of the book is of somewhat close relation to the author. He is the one that sent her in the right direction.
I enjoyed this book, it is full of a lot of very interesting information. Reading it while at work I kept finding my self looking up references and doing a little research to get more info on some of the subjects about the military. I was kind of hoping to get more info about aliens, which was a little disappointing, but if you are a military history buff, you will love this book. The last chapter was by far my favorite!!!
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