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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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Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Kathlene 02-03-12
    Kathlene 02-03-12
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    "Cutting Edge Military History"

    This is a fascinating history of our military flight technology. You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to be intrigued with the story of how 'need to know' and 'black ops' came into being.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    12-06-11
    12-06-11 Listener Since 2005
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    "Great read"
    What made the experience of listening to Area 51 the most enjoyable?

    If your fascinated by this subject this is the best book on Area 51. Very well written and read. I have listened to this book 3 times now. I do alot of driving and this book makes the miles go by fast.


    Have you listened to any of Annie Jacobsen???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    NO


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caroline Mesa, AZ, United States 10-26-11
    Caroline Mesa, AZ, United States 10-26-11 Member Since 2011

    sleepymommy08

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    "A great way to learn about some aviation history."

    I enjoyed listening to this book. The author does a great job of narration. I found her voice to be perfect for the story. At times, I found myself getting a little confused since she did jump around in her timeline. Even with this, I came away with a sense of awe in what we have accomplished in the development of our spy planes. I had the chance to live on Kadena Air Force base in the early 80's and found the author's information about what went on there fascinating. The book also gives en explanation of the Roswell incident that I had not heard before. Definitely worth the time it takes to listen to.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharalyn Fairfield, IA, United States 10-24-11
    Sharalyn Fairfield, IA, United States 10-24-11 Member Since 2014

    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 09-25-11
    Gary 09-25-11
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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
  •  
    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.

    2 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. L. Turner 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 Listener 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

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