Area 51

  • by Annie Jacobsen
  • Narrated by Annie Jacobsen
  • 16 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Reality, always more interesting than fiction.

Wow. My mind was officially blow by this book. A wonderfully researched in depth insight into Area 51 and many marque' events of the Cold War era. I generally trudge through most history texts even "The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich" as admirably written as it was took attrition to get through. In contrast, I could not put this book down, so to speak. The narration is done by the author with much success, take note voice over talent agents Annie Jocobsen is a gem. Buy this book without fear of regret.
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- Zack


This book bills itself as an "uncensored history" of the secret military base, but feels much more like a telling of the declassified aspects of its history. The majority of the book is made up of easily
believable histories and anecdotes of mostly known weapons testing in the Nevada desert and the end of the book contains the items of a more sensational nature. The problem is that there are so many
statements in the early part of the book that are either scientifically or historically incorrect, misleading or grammatically confusing that they make it hard to believe the later statements. Here are some of them:

STATEMENT: The killing of the Russian royal family triggered the Russian Civil War.
COMMENT: The Russian revolution began in Feb 1917, tsar Nicholas abdicated in March, the Bolshevik revolution took place in Nov and the Rominovs were executed in July 1918, long after the revolution started (all dates Julian).

STATEMENT: One of the spy planes landed on the island of Kadena.
COMMENT: There is no island of Kadena. She probably means that the spy planes landed at Kadena AFB on the island of Okinawa.

STATEMENT: Generals wearing stars on their chests?
COMMENT: Generals, like all officers in the US military, wear their insignias on their shoulders and collars.

STATEMENT: Rods from God traveling at 10,000 miles per second?
COMMENT: I don't think so. 10,000 miles per second is the same as approx MACH 48,000, and nothing can move that quickly in the earth's atmosphere. The air cannot get out of the way quickly enough. She probably meant 10,000 miles per hour (or approx MACH 13). That is closer to what all of the online articles about this weapon specify as its possible speed.

There are more, but I think this is enough to make the point. If I cannot believe what I read in the body of the book, how can the author expect me to believe the more sensational parts of the book?

Having said all of that parts of the book are moderately interesting.
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- Mike From Mesa "MikeFromMesa"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-17-2011
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio