In early May I was contacted by a publisher’s agent to ask if I would review Annie Jacobsen’s new book, AREA 51-An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base by Annie Jacobsen published by Little, Brown and Company New York, New York May 2011. Soon I received a high quality hardcover edition.
The book, AREA 51 is a very well organized and detailed history of the notorious above top secret test facility in the remote deserts of Nevada, the development of nuclear weapons capability in the United States after World War II, and the engineering of spy planes and stealth technology. What captivates the reader is the idea of finally learning anything definite about the location whose existence has been denied by government officials who must realize how silly they appear when the public commonly equates the phrase “Area 51” with extreme secrecy about advanced and possibly extraterrestrial aviation technology.
It comprises 390 pages for the main text, with 384 notes, 46 primary interview sources identified with appropriate credentials and affiliations, also numerous secondary interviews, and an acknowledgement of numerous interviews with current employees of various federal agencies and defense contractors obtained under a promise of anonymity.
Most of this work is devoted to describing how this mysterious classified facility in Nevada was critically important to our national defense because it was the center for the development and deployment of high tech spy planes. The story of Area 51 is right at the heart of the history of the US and the Soviets playing nuclear brinkmanship with ever more powerful and dirtier nukes. Our nukes were tested in the areas adjacent to Area 51 to the point that parts of the facility are contaminated.
However, the book also includes what Annie Jacobsen claims is the real explanation for the Roswell Event of 1947. Just to recap for those who have not been keeping score, these are the so-called official explanations for the Roswell, New Mexico Crash Retrieval Event of the 1947 July 4th weekend: an Army Air Corps press release that they had a “recovered flying disc” and shortly afterwards a deflated weather balloon, a classified project involving multiple balloons with some electronics attached called Project Mogul, the same story with the addition of dropped dummies being mistaken for extraterrestrials in response to the 1997 50th anniversary celebration in Roswell, a rocket gone astray with burned up chimpanzees inside, a Japanese attempt to scare Americans with the bodies of POWS inside, and now this new “explanation” as disclosed in AREA 51.
The interviews with former Area 51 personnel make this book fascinating. But we do not know how Annie Jacobsen “found” these witnesses. Granted she is an experienced investigative journalist. But the political history of UFO research contains other examples of how the media is used, wittingly and unwittingly, to thwart and deflect the search for the truth. More importantly, the public has to be kept in the dark. My reaction to Jacobsen’s Roswell revelation is based upon my sense that when she was “given” this supposed true explanation for Roswell, she became part of the problem, and not the solution as I will demonstrate. (See The Missing Times by Terry Hansen on how the Media and the publishing industry have become little more than CIA servants when it comes to any story related to UFOs.)
According to Ms. Jacobsen’s informant, the Roswell UFO Crash Event should be called “Stalin’s Black Propaganda Hoax.” A large, unidentified Soviet aircraft entered the USA via Alaska and launched a remote-controlled saucer-like advanced aircraft that crashed outside of Roswell, NM. The crashed vehicle was occupied by children who had been subjected to horrific surgery by Josef Mengele, the butcher of Auschwitz, who worked for Stalin after the end of WWII even though he died years later in South America. There is apparently no disagreement about the accepted sequence of events surrounding the Roswell Crash related to the discovery of the wreckage, the press releases, the cover-up, and the intimidation of witnesses as these events have been described by UFO researchers.
The entire theory rests upon the testimony of an anonymous informant. He disclosed to Annie Jacobsen that the retro-engineering of Roswell wreckage was assigned to 5 specially selected engineers from a major defense contractor, the EG&G Company. The project was hidden with the highest possible security classification inside the Atomic Energy Commission. The work was done in an even more remote location in Area 51 called S-4.
The informant claimed that the vehicle that crashed at Roswell was actually a fake Martian saucer created by Nazi scientists captured by the Soviets at the end of WWII. Stalin’s goal was to create a national panic in the USA and to intimidate the US military with his vastly superior aircraft technology. The inspiration for this idea was the broadcast of Orson Welles in 1938, when his dramatic radio recreation of a Martian invasion created unanticipated panic. Supposedly, what really panicked our military was the discovery that the writing on pieces of the wreckage of Stalin’s was Cyrillic.
The need for an immediate cover-up and extreme secrecy was based upon “fears that the Russians had hover and fly technology, that there flying craft could outfox US radar and that it could deliver to America a devastating blow.” (Page 37, AREA 51) The informant confessed to Jacobsen that the ongoing policy of absolute secrecy was also necessitated by the acts of this band of EG&G engineers – supposedly because “People were killed” in the USA as part of their experiments until the 1980s. No explanation was offered as to how or why a small group of aviation engineers would be charged with conducting medical experiments.
The author claims that the writing discovered on the debris from the Roswell craft was in fact block letters from the Cyrillic alphabet. This is apparently an indirect reference to the recollections of Jesse Marcel Senior and Jesse Marcel Junior who both described extremely light I-beam like material with strange lettering on it. No explanation is given as to why Jesse Marcel Junior, an emergency room surgeon and Iraq war veteran has still never seen enough Cyrillic writing in his lifetime to make the connection with his childhood recollection of the mysterious debris brought home by his father in 1947.
The radical “hover and fly” technology was attributed to two brothers, Walter and Reimar Horten. Supposedly these two brothers had created a new flying technology based upon a power source that was so unique, that the Project Paperclip scientists to include Dr. Werner von Braun were unable to identify the type of engineering used to propel the craft. Yet when describing the Horten’s prototype aircraft with its unusual crescent shape, the comment is made that these craft could fly higher and faster up to 1200 mph because they were propelled by rockets rather than jet engines. These statements seem contradictory and there is little doubt that Dr. von Braun and many of the other Project Paperclip scientists were imaginative designers. (Page 41, AREA 51)
In the photo section of the book there is a pictured diagram of a Horten Brothers’ design that shows a model diagram with rockets plainly labeled. There is also a definite statement about what didn’t happen afterwards in the Soviet Union: “The Soviets couldn’t advance their aerial reconnaissance program because so much of their efforts went into advancing surface to air missile technology.” (Page 138, AREA 51)
If advanced hover and fly technology truly was possessed by the Soviets, why was it never used against the United States with the exception of sending a fake Martian ship to Roswell? Why wasn’t this technology used for surveillance of the United States in the same way that we sent the U2 spy planes over Russia? Why wasn’t it used offensively against the US or against the Afghans in the same way we brought out the highly classified Stealth bombers in the first Gulf War? Where was the Stalin Saucer launched from? Where did the remote control technology go? Where did the advanced hover and fly technology go? No explanations are given.
The cleverness of AREA 51 resides in how the reader is set up to accept the Stalin Saucer theory. Here is a prime example of how the background is painted with broad brush strokes so no one will recall the key aspects of the Roswell story. On Page 17: “The local coroner received a mysterious call requesting several child sized coffins that could be hermetically sealed.” This statement appears to refer to one of the primary Roswell witnesses, Glenn Dennis, who as a young man worked at the Ballard funeral home in Roswell New Mexico. He was a mortician, not the coroner, an elected county official.
Perhaps the story of the mortician Glenn Dennis was kept very brief so that it would seem to support the Stalin Saucer theory. Glenn Dennis was not named because even a cursory search into his story summons the story of his friend, the mysterious Nurse. The nurse was on duty at Walker Army Air Field right after the bodies were recovered outside Roswell. She was called into a room to take notes during an examination of the bodies from the crash site. This raises a major question: Why couldn’t military doctors tell that the bodies recovered in the Roswell Crash were those of surgically-altered children as opposed to extraterrestrial humanoids?
This selection from Glenn Dennis’ 1991 affidavit relates the description the Nurse gave to Dennis:
(11) She said she had gone to get supplies in a room where two doctors were performing a preliminary autopsy. The doctors said they needed her to take notes during the procedure. She said she had never smelled anything so horrible in her life, and the sight was the most gruesome she had ever seen. She said, “This was something no one has ever seen.” As she spoke, I was concerned that she might go into shock.
(12) She drew me a diagram of the bodies, including an arm with a hand that had only four fingers; the doctors noted that on the end of the fingers were little pads resembling suction cups. She said the head was disproportionately large for the body; the eyes were deeply set; the skulls were flexible; the nose was concave with only two orifices; the mouth was a fine slit, and the doctors said there was heavy cartilage instead of teeth. The ears were only small orifices with flaps. They had no hair, and the skin was black–perhaps due to exposure in the sun. She gave me the drawings.
In 2000 I delivered the transcript of the key interview of my friend June Crain to Glenn Dennis in person at the UFO Museum in Roswell. June Crain worked at Wright-Patterson AFB from 1942-1952 and I believe that her testimony plus the results of my investigation into her background and statements, establishes her as a key corroborating witness to a cover-up of at least three UFO Crash Retrieval Events involving Non-Humans, not Russians.
Glenn Dennis and I talked in private. When I left our meeting, whatever doubts I had about the nature of the Roswell event in 1947 were ended. He remains an honest man and a solid witness. His belief is that the being described by his friend, the Nurse, was not of this earth. What she saw that day so terrified her she resigned her commission and became a nun. He has protected her identity from everyone including frustrated UFO researchers.
The Stalin Saucer theory will be readily accepted by skeptics and those who have not studied the Roswell Event. It will gain traction for the very same reasons that I take issue with Annie Jacobsen’s argument that Ockham’s razor applies to make the Stalin Saucer explanation the most likely explanation. The argument is only valid if a priori, you accept that the crash of an ET spacecraft is not a possible explanation for what triggered the extreme cover-up and secrecy surrounding Roswell. Meteorites cannot exist because there are no rocks in the sky.
According to Jacobsen, the Stalin Saucer Crash was kept secret because the military was afraid of how it would be perceived by the public. What about the rise of fervent anti-Communism in post World War II politics? If Stalin really tried to create a panic in the USA with a fake Martian saucer, why not expose his ploy and aid the effort to whip up anti-Soviet fervor, McCarthyism, and Le May’s longing to go to war?
If the goal was to promote the war on Communism, why not use the opportunity of exposing the Stalin Saucer with its helpless mutilated child passengers as an example of godless Communism at its worst? Even if the cabal of engineers from EG&G was busy in deep secrecy at S-4 trying to outdo Josef Mengele, what difference would it make? Everything done by these engineers was kept under very high security, so why would their conduct matter if the public would never know anyway?
Who really benefits from disclosing this “new and improved” Roswell explanation? Perhaps the inclusion of the new explanation for the Roswell events was the price that Annie Jacobsen paid for getting access to the testimonies of Area 51 retirees. Such testimony would have been impossible to obtain previously because of security oaths.
We know nothing about the loyalties or motivations of the sole surviving informant who supposedly disclosed the truth about Roswell. We also do not know how their meeting was orchestrated or by whom. She relates that she interviewed the informant for 18 months in preparation for the disclosure of the Stalin Saucer explanation.
If you are an experienced interviewer, you have to consider the possibility that particular information is being given to you for a reason, especially if it seems significant and startling. In other words, just because you think you are the interviewer and therefore in control, you can’t rule out that you are being played. The detached totally objective observer doesn’t exist in physics, and it’s a fallacy in the world of informants.
We have all had interviews with UFO witnesses who allude to secrets so extraordinary and so scary in their implications that they cannot be divulged. This is a technique used by interviewees to add to the credibility capital of their disclosures. This is what I call Disclosure Mystique. There are several possible motives for pretending to possess more information than what is surrendered to the interviewer. The motive may be to increase their importance as a source, or it may be to tantalize to the point that the interviewer is focusing more on the potential value of the information than upon the credibility of the source. This is when the interviewer may bite the hook along with the bait.
After finishing AREA 51, I wondered how it is classified in book stores. I went to the local outlet of a major bookstore chain and I asked for a copy. I was told AREA 51 was placed under the heading of “Military History.” Given that this book reveals yet another Roswell explanation with no documentation and no source identification, why isn’t AREA 51 placed in the “UFOs/Metaphysical” category like all the other marginalized but well researched UFO books?
Roswell is actually an ongoing investigation that comprises over 30 plus years of dedicated work by researchers such as Stanton Friedman beginning in 1978, Kevin Randle, too many others to name, and most recently covered in depth in Witness to Roswell- Unmasking the 60-Year Cover-Up by Thomas J. Carey and Donald R. Schmitt (2009 edition) or Roswell Legacy by Jesse Marcel, Jr. The real Roswell investigation includes the testimony of some 600 witnesses.
Many of these identified witnesses have chosen to disclose their knowledge in violation of their security oaths. Many times these decisions arose from a sense of mortality because of advanced age or terminal illness. I would ask any skeptic: Why would anyone risk their reputation or pension to expose their knowledge of the reality of Contact with Non-Human Intelligence? These witnesses are not making money from their disclosures and they are opening themselves or their families to ridicule at the very least.
AREA 51 contains a reference to a still classified CIA file about the management of the UFO problem. There is a lengthy description of how the CIA indirectly manages the news media to influence public opinion about UFOs. This fact also plays into the ultimate question that is raised by the existence of this particular book with its unprecedented disclosures about Roswell. (AREA 51, pages 64-68)
There is a further reference to the CIA’s psychological strategy Board urging the National Security Council to “monitor private UFO groups” may be viewed as part of an ongoing strategy. There is no statement in the book to indicate that these policies have ever been terminated. In this sense, perhaps Annie Jacobsen may have been given a Trojan horse by the Secret-Keepers.
If you take the classic Crashed ET-UFO explanation for Roswell and compare it to the Stalin Saucer explanation from Annie Jacobsen’s book, we should be warned by what factors they have in common: Both explanations involve a massive initial and ongoing cover-up of the Roswell Event, to include disinformation (lying), threats and intimidation (assault and extortion), and even assassination (murder), felony conspiracy to commit these acts, and innumerable violations of the Bill of Rights.
If these illegal acts are described in a UFO/Metaphysical book, they are dismissed as conspiracy theory. When the same extreme official misconduct is included in a Military History book like AREA 51, this is just history with no relevancy to our times. Once you establish that a suspect or a black budget agency has committed, or may still be committing, terrible acts, how can you trust anything they tell you?
In conclusion, I am encouraged by AREA 51 as it represents another albeit indirect official disinformation about Roswell. I suggest that the appropriate thank you gift to the key informant of the Stalin Saucer explanation would be five pounds of Miracle-Gro. If all of us conspiracy theorists and UFO buffs are so totally out of touch with reality, why even bother to keep trying to bury Roswell?
I am glad the Disinformation folks still care enough to lie to us. Perhaps we are closer to the disclosure of the truth than we have ever been. Our opponents may be on the ropes and the cover-up is threadbare and rotting. That’s why the alternative explanations become more and more absurd.
To this attempt to dismiss the Roswell Event with the Stalin Saucer, I can only quote a favorite line from the X-Files- “There are no answers for you here, Mr. Mulder.”
James Clarkson is author of TELL MY STORY – June Crain, the Air Force & UFOs. He has lectured extensively on UFOs. He is a retired police sergeant with over 30 years experience as a professional investigator. He is the Washington State Director of EPIC (Extraordinary Phenomena Research Council) www.epicvoyagers.com.
If you would like more information or to purchase this book simply click on its title: Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base