It is the most famous military installation in the world. And it doesn't exist. Located a mere seventy-five miles outside of Las Vegas in Nevada's desert, the base has never been acknowledged by the U.S. government-but Area 51 has captivated imaginations for decades.
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 itself 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 nineteen men who served the base proudly and secretly for decades and are now aged 75-92, and unprecedented access to fifty-five additional military and intelligence personnel, scientists, pilots, and engineers linked to the secret base, thirty-two 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 super-secret, supersonic jets to pursuing the War on Terror.
This is the first book based on interviews with eye witnesses 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 facts are often more fantastic than fiction, especially when the distinction is almost impossible to make.
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Annie Jacobsen is an investigative journalist and bestselling author who writes about war, weapons, U.S. national security and government secrecy. Her newest book, “THE PENTAGON’S BRAIN: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America’s Top Secret Military Research Agency,” was chosen as one of the best nonfiction books of 2015 by The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and the Amazon editors. 2015.
Her 2011 non-fiction bestseller, ”AREA 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base,” has been published in five languages and is being made into an AMC scripted television series with Gale Anne Hurd (Walking Dead, Terminator). Her 2014 non-fiction bestseller, ”OPERATION PAPERCLIP: The Secret Intelligence Program That Brought Nazi Scientists to America,” has been published in five languages and is being adapted for television by Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment and Brett Ratner’s RatPac Entertainment. The Boston Globe and Apple iTunes chose “OPERATION PAPERCLIP” as one of the best books of 2014.
Annie Jacobsen graduated from St. Paul’s School and Princeton University where she wrote with Joyce Carol Oates and Paul Auster, studied Greek, and served as Captain of the Princeton Women’s Ice Hockey Team. She was a contributing editor for the Los Angeles Times Magazine from 2009 until 2012. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband Kevin and their two sons.