It is the most famous military installation in the world. And no credible insider has ever divulged the truth about his time inside of it. Until now. This is the first book based on interviews with scientists, pilots, and engineers - 58 in total - who provide an unprecedented look into the mysterious activities of a top-secret base, from the Cold War to today. With a jaw-dropping ending, it proves that facts are often more fantastic than fiction, especially when the distinction is almost impossible to make.
©2011 Annie Jacobsen (P)2011 Orion Publishing Group Limited
One of the top ten books I have listened to in the last two years. well researched, does not sensationalize the facts, well read
cant read when i'm driving!
well worth getting
"fascinating listen - great narration"
Brilliant listen. I couldn't put this down- well my ipod anyway! Interesting and informaive content without all the BS that you often hear about Area 51. The narrating is fantastic - easily listenable for long length of times without your concentration wandering. The' truth' about the Roswell crash is hard to believe but makes sense. But this is only a small part of the book. This really is an insight into the history of Area 51. If you're into conspiracy UFO stories then move on as this will disappoint you- this is about reality!
"Area 51 without the aliens."
Jacobsen's history of Area 51 provides something fresh to the mythology of the most well-known secret site in the world - historical research and testimony. Brushing aside talk of alien spacecraft and the conspiracy theories of adolescent fanboys, the book gives the first published accounts of the rather more mundane history of the founding and early days of Area 51. Jacobsen's sources are the people, almost exclusively men, who lived and worked at the Nevada Weapons Testing location and the base often referred to as the "Skunkworks". These stories are of the creation and testing of spy planes such as the U2 and the A12 (more popularly known by its military version the SR71 Blackbird). The development of these unique aircraft and the men who flew them are the main thrust of this history. There are secrets about nuclear powered spacecraft and fatal accidents, but the darkest secret, never revealed fully, seems far fetched due to its seemingly comical pointlessness. After having come so far at the outset, to have the big reveal be shortened to the interviewees shaking their heads and giving the excuse that it's too terrible to talk about, just leaves the reader feeling like this stuff has been made up. Surely after over 60 years Stalin-era technology can't be so advanced that it has never been revealed - even by later Russian engineers. In the end, Jacobsen's history of Area 51 is a great addition to other military histories but her Roswell seems just as absurd as that of the UFO conspiracists, but less interesting.
"Area 51 debunked?"
Having listened to the audio book (my first by Annie Jacobsen) first felt excited by what the book divulged; however, after a while, somethings began to become "clouded" and facts also stated were not true. I believe that the authors research is probably very extensive, but in order to draw some conclusions, facts are apparently "altered" to fit. The Horten brothers being one of the main issues, along with the "Russian Roswell connection"; available facts simply do not corroborate the assumptions!
In contrast, the book certainly outlines much of the "secret nature" of Area 51, and are correctly portrayed within the book, that make it a genuine and really admirable listen; and debunk some of the mysteries surrounding one f the most TOP SECRET MILTARY BASES in US; however, the errors put question marks over the books status.
The narration by Annie was not compelling, but understandable; and some of the pronunciations of personal names were difficult to ignore (something I found also evident in the next Annie Jacobsen book I listened to - Operation Paperclip).
Great writer nonetheless.
incredible book not sure who I fear the most now Russia or the USA how little joe public knows about politics and espionage
"Part interesting, part nonsense!"
The interesting parts covered the development of the A12 aka SR71 and nuclear weapons and associated projects. The nonsense is at the end and links the Nazis, Stalin, Roswell, not-aliens and flying saucers.
Leaving the nonsense bit aside, the factual parts, whilst interesting are riddled with errors, i wouldn't claim to be an expert on the subject matter but I know a fair amount about nuclear weapons and spotted errors almost every few minutes and that rather took the shine off the rest of the book.
many a hour has gone by listening to this well investigated book a credit to the author and read by her as well thank-you I loved it
I really enjoyed this book, i have always been interested in Area 51 and the aircraft tested there in the 60's and 70's. the book is well narrated by the author and manages to engage the listener for long periods of time. this is probably the most complete history of the base i have ever read. it contains everything from its conception to the U2 program, Oxcart (SR-71) and bob lazar. also discusses the roswell crash up to current events. best use of a credit so far. if you have any interest in the base or CIA, cold war etc then you should enjoy this.
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