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Publisher's Summary

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
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Nathan on 02-23-15

Brilliant

A Very detailed historical anatomy of the Area 51 subject, highly recommended. No stone has been left unturned in this book.

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By Greg on 11-21-12

great yarn

Where does Area 51 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the top ten books I have listened to in the last two years. well researched, does not sensationalize the facts, well read

What did you like best about this story?

well researched

What does Annie Jacobsen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

cant read when i'm driving!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

no

Any additional comments?

well worth getting

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By N. D. Lenehan on 01-30-12

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!

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful


By Glen on 04-13-13

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.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Mike Carroll on 08-17-16

A story of arrogance and hubris.

Amazing research, fascinating and - for us mere mortals, a tragic story of war obsessed chauvinism.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful


By Glenn on 02-24-16

A Great Listen

Well researched and seemingly factual. It would makec a great documentary series if washington ever lets it happen

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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