I was at a bookstore the other day and happened to pass by the rack of new releases. I often take the time to check for anything new that might catch my interest. One book caught my attention but I was also weary. Entitled Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base by Annie Jacobson, I was torn between picking it up for would could be an intriguing look into US military history or running off in the opposite direction before the crazy inside the book could infect me.
In the end my fascination with military research and development lost to my wariness. I later found out that this it was right to follow my instincts on this. By chance I came across an article reviewing the very book that piqued my intrigue. Written in Bloomberg by Andrew Dun, the author more than confirmed my greatest fears about this book and left me laughing at the insanity.
The book starts out as a legitimate history of a military installation founded on the heels of the Manhattan Project. And while it stays within the bounds of historical accuracy for most of the book, one section takes a screeching left out of accurate territory into the twisted streets of crazyville.
Annie Jacobson cites a single unnamed former engineer for the US government who tells of an even more secret history involving what really happened all those years ago at a little placed called Roswell. Now for those who are up on their history, they know that the claimed alien crash was actually an accident involving project Mogul, which used high altitude microphones mounted on weather balloons to eavesdrop on any potential Soviet nuclear tests.
But instead of explaining this already interesting story Jacobson claims her source informed her that this was just a cover up for what really happened, and it wasn’t actually aliens either. Instead, what crashed in 1947 was a Soviet experimental aircraft. This craft was built after blueprints stolen from a Nazi facility during the invasion of Germany at the tail end of World War II. The ‘alien symbols was actually Cyrillic writing, which apparently, no one at the US government facility had ever seen despite having access to some of the greatest engineering minds of the day. The craft was built specifically so that it would crash at the military base to sow confusion amongst US forces. It was claimed that the hopes of the Soviets were that US researchers would spend so much time trying to reverse engineer the ‘alien’ craft and keep the event secret that it would slow actual development of US military technology.
To make things more interesting, the Soviets captured Josef Mengele who was forced to provide surgically altered “grotesque child-sized aviators” who were to somehow survive the crash and then climb out of the wreckage in hopes of being mistaken for alien visitors. The idea was to invoke the kind of hysteria caused by the 1938 radio broadcast of Orson Well’s “War of the Worlds”.
For those of you think this is all some big joke, Annie Jacobson closes this section of her book by stating that this revelation will gratify those of her readers who already suspected all much. Quite obviously she does not think much of the intellectual faculties of her readers. Who would honestly see this story as the most likely scenario behind the events of that night? More importantly, why have these people stopped taking their medication.