There's been a surge of publicity for a new book about Area 51.
The book is “Area 51 – An Uncensored History” by Annie Jacobsen, and it was put together to accompany a National Geographic documentary
about the secure flight test facility at Groom Lake in Nevada. Most of the book is based on interviews with long-retired engineers and test pilots.
But it’s a tagged-on conclusion that it making headlines: the suggestion that the Roswell incident of 1947, the starting point for most of the world’s UFO and alien-visitation theories, was a Soviet hoax.
Jacobsen cites a source who claims that – on Stalin’s orders, inspired by Orson Welles’ 1938 news-style broadcast of The War of the Worlds – Russian engineers built a vehicle based on the Horten brothers’ flying-wing designs, loaded it with the bodies of children that Nazi doctor Josef Mengele had surgically changed into monsters, and crashed it into New Mexico with the goal of creating a panic.
In a book from a major New York publisher.
That the New York Times calls "level-headed".
I have not had time to read the book yet, but Dwayne Day - a dedicated researcher into real secret stuff - has done so, and reports here
Among other things, Day discloses (I suspect via a tip from the Secret Projects forum
, the online Mos Eisley Cantina of the aerospace geeks) that the story has been told before - a Soviet aircraft piloted by a child, crashing in the US and mistaken for a spaceship. It's a 1956 story by James Blish, "Tomb Tapper".
God preserve me, I have read the Blish story. I had totally forgotten about it until reading Day's piece.
I know exactly why this happened, from personal experience. A couple of times I have taken Area 51 ideas to agents and had the same response: You need something that will make headlines.
I know a little of the background to the National Geographic project to which this is linked. The foundation has been interested in this idea for some time. Mike Jorgensen (who did Battle of the X-Planes and the Horten flying wing project) was looking at the idea at one point, but it did not take off.
The producers selected for the project (Pangloss Films, US-based but using a British team) called me late last year talking about an on-camera interview, and we had a date set in DC in February - which they cancelled a few days ahead of time, announcing that "they were taking a different tack." Were they ever.
Now, was a person to be conspiratorially minded, one might observe that the Ares 51=Little Green Men (or small gray men) theory was first spun up to protect a major new program, the U-2, via the CIA and USAF collaboration on Project Blue Book; that it got its second outing (also through Blue Book) for the A-12; and was revived by the MJ-12 papers (I believe that the preponderance of the evidence points to a professional hoax) for the Reagan-Weinberger black-world build-up.
Here we go again...