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Area 51 'Uncensored'
May 17, 2011 1:39 PM   Subscribe

Area 51 'Uncensored': Was It UFOs Or The USSR? With insider sources, LA Times journalist Annie Jacobson reveals more (see earlier 2009 story) about the deepest secrets of Area 51, including a shocking new explanation of " the little grey men".

Sure, she's got a book to sell, but it's on NPR so it must be true!!! (and here's the New York Times review of the book)
posted by Bwithh (130 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Here, for the record, is her explanation of the little grey men:
"The people were, according to the source, were child-sized pilots, and there's a lot of debate about how old they were. He believes they were 13, although other people believe they may have been older. But this is a firsthand witness to this, and I made a decision to write about this in the very end of the book, after I take the traditional journalist form of telling you everything in the third person, I switch and I kind of lean into the reader and I say, 'Look, this is not why Area 51 is classified to the point where no one in the government will admit it exists. The reason is because what one man told me.' And then using the first person, I tell you what I was told. And there's no doubt that people are going to be upset, alarmed and skeptical of this information, but I absolutely believe the veracity of my source, and I believe it was important that I put this information out there because it is the tip of a very big iceberg."

On the Soviet human experiments her source told her about

"The child-sized aviators in this craft [that crashed in New Mexico] were the result of a Soviet human experimentation program, and they had been made to look like aliens a la Orson Welles' War of the Worlds, and it was a warning shot over President Truman's bow, so to speak. In 1947, when this would have originally happened, the Soviets did not yet have the nuclear bomb, and Stalin and Truman were locked in horns with one another, and Stalin couldn't compete in nuclear weaponry yet, but he certainly could compete in the world of black propaganda — and that was his aim, according to my source. ...

"What is firsthand information is that he worked with these bodies [of the pilots] and he was an eyewitness to the horror of seeing them and working with them. Where they actually came from is obviously the subject of debate. But if you look at the timeline with Josef Mengele, he left Auschwitz in January of 1945 and disappeared for a while, and the suggestion by the source is that Mengele had already cut his losses with the Third Reich at that point and was working with Stalin."
If you believe any of this, you've been playing way too much Return to Castle Wolfenstein.
posted by nasreddin at 1:48 PM on May 17, 2011 [19 favorites]


Actually, this is much more believable to me than Aliens. But, less believable than "just testing experimental aircraft, folks. NOTHING ELSE TO SEE HERE. MOVE ALONG".
posted by yeoz at 1:48 PM on May 17, 2011 [8 favorites]


I heard this today on Fresh Air. The UFO/Aliens thing is a coda at the end of her book on the history of Area 51. The Area 51 stuff was interesting and seemed well-researched and solid.

But, then came the UFO/Alien story at the end of the interview, and it just worked to taint everything that came before.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:48 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm so, so skeptical of that explanation. But it's still more likely than them actually being aliens.
posted by empath at 1:51 PM on May 17, 2011


Coolness (highest to lowest): 1) Alien Autopsy and Salvaged Spacecraft. 2) Secret Soviet Aircraft. 3) Experimental aircraft.

Reverse order for plausibility. Which seems to be how it is 95% of the time in life.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:53 PM on May 17, 2011 [8 favorites]


Yeah, this pretty much sounds like a mish-mash of total bollocks.
posted by Artw at 1:54 PM on May 17, 2011


What kind of amazing hypersonic aircraft did the Soviets have that could transport children to New Mexico in 1947?
posted by Avenger at 1:55 PM on May 17, 2011 [8 favorites]


The flying wing from Raiders of the Lost Ark, of course!
posted by Artw at 1:56 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't get it, so Stalin just wanted to freak Truman out? Watch out or we'll send more freaky dead children your way, conveniently miles away from civilian witnesses?
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:57 PM on May 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


The real Area 51 is actually located 4000+m deep in a salt mine somewhere in Upper Michigan.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:58 PM on May 17, 2011 [11 favorites]


It would be interesting if the aliens' landing story was the coverup for the Mengele/child pilot truth.
posted by bonehead at 1:58 PM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


I heard the interview on the way home.. I agree, when they got to the part about 13 year old pilots, genetically/surgically engineered to look like aliens in order to induce panic in the US.....

Naw....
posted by tomswift at 1:59 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Roswell was a U.S. cover story to hide their nefarious activities in Area 51. New book about Area 51 Revealed Just as I suspected back in '97 in pg 117 of my own alien book.
posted by joetrip at 2:01 PM on May 17, 2011


Completely ridiculously. How would mutilating 13 year olds freak out the U.S. government? Why would the U.S. government even keep that classified, it would be useful for propaganda to freak people out even more about the communists.
posted by delmoi at 2:01 PM on May 17, 2011


Not to mention that finding, "surgically engineering," and training "child-sized aviators" to fly halfway around the world without ground support and without test flights is likely to take a bit longer than a couple years...
posted by nasreddin at 2:02 PM on May 17, 2011


Why would the U.S. government even keep that classified, it would be useful for propaganda to freak people out even more about the communists.

Aw. Wouldn't hurt to actually listen to the interview, no would it.
posted by phaedon at 2:03 PM on May 17, 2011


Yeah you know you've entered a rarefied air when an actual alien ship crash is the simpler explanation.
posted by The Whelk at 2:03 PM on May 17, 2011 [32 favorites]


Dudes, I know what my next novel is going to be!
posted by RakDaddy at 2:04 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


If we can somehow get Marylin Monroe into this I smell an airport paperback bestseller.
posted by The Whelk at 2:04 PM on May 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


I now want to write a book called A WAS A TEENAGE RUSSIAN SPACE ALIEN TEST PILOT.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:07 PM on May 17, 2011 [12 favorites]


Yeah. I was kind of with her until we got to the Soviets creating fake aliens in some kind of mad scientist human experiment and flying them into the US in 1947. Flying saucer aircraft aren't a particularly good design for planes for plenty of reasons. That the Soviets invented a secret one capable of traveling a considerable distance into the US in 1947 is awfully unthinkable.

Keep in mind that 1947 was before the Berlin Airlift and a year after Churchill's Iron Curtain speech. NATO wasn't even formed until April 1949 and the Soviets didn't have the bomb until August 1949. The Cold War was just been getting started, so why did they decide to target the US with their fake aliens, an operation that would surely take years of planning and tests?

And if the intent was really to scare the US population, why send the thing to the middle of the Nevada desert instead of a major city? And what do you do then? It might barely make sense to use it as the precursor for an invasion or major attack, but why would you want to freak out everyone with a space alien scare and then do absolutely nothing? This was clearly a one-shot mission, so why waste it by not using it for any discernible purpose?
posted by zachlipton at 2:07 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


The surgically altered child size pilots were clearly actually mi-go constructs.
posted by Artw at 2:09 PM on May 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


A WAS A TEENAGE RUSSIAN SPACE ALIEN TEST PILOT.

And we have our next collaborative novel title.
posted by The Whelk at 2:10 PM on May 17, 2011


genetically/surgically engineered

Given that this was 6 years before the correct model of DNA was even discovered, I have my doubts about the genetic engineering capabilities of late 1940s scientists.


But the rest of this story is completely believable. Totally.
posted by Panjandrum at 2:16 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


And if the intent was really to scare the US population, why send the thing to the middle of the Nevada desert instead of a major city?

The 1947 Roswell crash happened, well, in Roswell, New Mexico. Which is nearly in Texas. You're only off by nearly 1000 miles.
posted by hippybear at 2:16 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


A WAS A TEENAGE RUSSIAN SPACE ALIEN TEST PILOT.

Now I'm remembering the fighter pilots in Omon Ra.
posted by Artw at 2:18 PM on May 17, 2011


If this actually happened (though it certainly did not), then it would make more sense to infect the bodies with some kind of freaky disease. Then people in the US would get sick, and the only ones they can blame it on are "aliens."

But I don't think Stalin was into making real life Sci Fi movies. He was more of a brute force kind of guy.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:18 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just throw in that they were time-travelling genetic engineering flying saucer-building mad scientists and I think you can see all objections fade away.
posted by Zed at 2:20 PM on May 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


Flying saucer aircraft aren't a particularly good design for planes for plenty of reasons. That the Soviets invented a secret one capable of traveling a considerable distance into the US in 1947 is awfully unthinkable.


could the Soviets have dropped a fake flying saucer from an attachment on a special long-range aircraft of more standard design? #spooky theremin music#
posted by Bwithh at 2:21 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Using experimental Tesla technology seized after taking Prague Stalin kidnapped scientists from the future to build his alien child army.
posted by The Whelk at 2:23 PM on May 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Trevor Paglen has been (un)covering the topic of Area 51 as part of the much broader world of military secrecy for a long time, especially in his book "Blank Spots on the Map: The Dark Geography of the Pentagon's Secret World."
posted by twsf at 2:23 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Incidentally, possible evidence from another case for Annie Jacobsen being a tad too credulous despite being ace reporter?
posted by Bwithh at 2:25 PM on May 17, 2011 [8 favorites]


Incidentally, possible evidence from another case for Annie Jacobsen being a tad too credulous despite being ace reporter?

Ahh, in the context of her apparent xenophobia, I can see how the Ruskie genetically engineered human story is more believable to her than, you know, just a simple experimental aircraft.
posted by formless at 2:45 PM on May 17, 2011


Just bought this book today. Had not heard the part about child-sized faux-aliens from Russian Nazi doctors, I hope I do not regret this purchase.

I don't doubt the stuff about Russian aircraft being kept there, there's been a lot of hints and evidence of that over the years. Since WW2 the Air Force has worked to obtain examples of foreign aircraft starting with a Japanese Zero that crashed in the Aleutians early in the war. I've heard the story that they were designated in the century series following on after the F-111, as the F-112, 113, and so on up to the F-116. When they did the testing on the Stealth Fighter, they supposedly designated it the F-117 as a continuation of that series, making it a kind of secret within a secret.
posted by Mcable at 2:45 PM on May 17, 2011


So. Basically Gina Marie Wylie's Stoneface novelette, but without the sci-fi aspects?
posted by Old'n'Busted at 2:48 PM on May 17, 2011


The 1947 Roswell crash happened, well, in Roswell, New Mexico. Which is nearly in Texas. You're only off by nearly 1000 miles.

Fair enough. I was thinking Area 51, but according to Jacobson, the Soviets were invading New Mexico and we moved the flying saucer to Nevada in 1951. It all makes sense now...
posted by zachlipton at 2:54 PM on May 17, 2011


Bah
posted by chance at 2:58 PM on May 17, 2011


HORSE HOOEY
posted by BobFrapples at 2:59 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


The actual theory, for those who didn't listen to the interview, is that Stalin was fascinated by the American reaction to Orson Welles' War of the Worlds broadcast and wanted to see if the Soviets could exploit it militarily. [Plausible IMHO]

So the Soviets surgically altered some kids using knowledge about plastic surgery the Nazis had accumulated, put them in saucers and purposefully crashed them in the US to see what the US military's response would be. [Less plausible because as others in this thread have pointed out, there's no information on how this plan could have worked provided by her]

The big thing to swallow is not the above, but her claim that the US military covered it up because they wanted to learn how the alterations were done / what the Soviets were capable of, and began their own human experimentation. Her source for all of this claims to have been involved with the recovery of the crashed vehicle and the analysis of the bodies, and then with the program of human experimentation that happened later. [Implausible for various reasons; least of all why an air force engineer involved in aircraft recovery would have been involved in human experimentation]

She ends by discussing her belief in the veracity of her source and some previously admitted cases of unethical human experimentation by various branches of the US government.

I don't buy it, ultimately. Damn shame.
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 3:02 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


this sort of nonsense calls into question everything she says prior to it as questionable. Why does she bother to write up such crap and tack it on? Or is this simply more nonsense added to a lot of stuff that seemed ok prior to this?
posted by Postroad at 3:03 PM on May 17, 2011


thats a good way to sell ones authored book, just link the spill on the book to Metafilter!
posted by taxpayer at 3:11 PM on May 17, 2011


The actual theory, for those who didn't listen to the interview, is that Stalin was fascinated by the American reaction to Orson Welles' War of the Worlds broadcast and wanted to see if the Soviets could exploit it militarily. [Plausible IMHO]

Stalin didn't even really understand what the big deal about nuclear bombs was. As a military strategist, the guy was worth jack (when the Nazis attacked, he went into seclusion and had the politburo running things). His idea of warfare almost always involved smashing large numbers of soldiers and tanks into each other and seeing what would happen. The idea that he would initiate a project like this is ridiculous, as is the idea that something of the sort could have been done without his authorization.
posted by nasreddin at 3:13 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Pretty much the only exotic SF plot I can imagine Stalin undertaking would be some kind of ray that made him taller or everyone else shorter.
posted by The Whelk at 3:16 PM on May 17, 2011 [12 favorites]


could the Soviets have dropped a fake flying saucer from an attachment on a special long-range aircraft of more standard design?

If they had such aircraft at the time. Indeed, the Tu-4 was reverse engineered from B-29's that made emergency landings in the Soviet Union during the World War II. But such a plane, if flown from Soviet territory, would not have gotten much farther south than the Canadian border, without air-to-air refueling, which was not something they were likely to have at the time of Roswell, let alone, any working copies of the B-29.
posted by y2karl at 3:38 PM on May 17, 2011


You can sort of see the logic - alien invasion and abduction myths are often pegged as a cultural side-effect of 'reds under the bed' paranoia, so it makes sense that someone would join the dots in reverse like this.

I wonder if Bin Laden's execution will nudge fears in a new direction, or add something new to the mix. It's interesting that the Tea Party types have managed to combine so many tropes from the history of American paranoia without involving honest to goodness aliens.

I predict rumours of Obama being genetically engineered from the foetal stem cells of a white child, closely followed by outright claims that he's from another planet.
posted by jack_mo at 3:43 PM on May 17, 2011


A WAS A TEENAGE RUSSIAN SPACE ALIEN TEST PILOT.

Kinda sounds like Ayn Rand meets Pulp Sci Fi. I like it!
posted by never used baby shoes at 3:48 PM on May 17, 2011


From the NYT link: “You don’t want to know,” said this anonymous source, when grilled about the most nefarious part of Ms. Jacobsen’s U.F.O. theory. She asked again. “You don’t know the half of it,” he replied, still stonewalling. And then, over lunch, she put a crouton on a plate and asked how the extent of her knowledge about the whole Area 51 story compared with the crouton-plate ratio.

Great news for ufologists: the still-untold truth, this man finally admitted, is bigger than the crouton. Bigger than the plate. To the delight of conspiracy fans everywhere, it remains bigger than the whole table.



The Truth Is Still Out There
posted by Bwithh at 3:49 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


oops, the last line above was my editorial comment, just to be clear
posted by Bwithh at 3:51 PM on May 17, 2011


That is so the spirit of the times. Aliens crash-land in the USA, and the Americans believe they must be Russians... strangely mutated Russians, but it's definitely gotta be the Reds behind it!

This worked great in the video game "Destroy All Humans". After I had crashed my ship, vapourized a few pesky earthlings, and done some unmentionable things to others, the townsfolk were starting to catch on that something big was going down in their sleepy town. But I snuck into their town meeting, and used the mind-ray on the mayor, and had him point out the obvious - COMMUNISTS! There are COMMUNISTS AMONG US!

After that, I was golden. I could do what I wanted to the earthlings, and they just blamed other earthlings.

Except for the men in black suits. They were more of a problem. But that's what the death ray is for.
posted by -harlequin- at 3:55 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is only half the story. The 13 year old mutant cosmonaut twins actually survived and escaped to Hollywood, where they were taken in by L. Ron Hubbard, started a successful men's clothing line, and even for a while auditioned for Hollywood Squares. However, they both began drinking heavily, spending most of their days in a dark bar on Sunset Blvd. (due to their skin conditions, they had to stay out of the sun), and one of them committed suicide by setting himself on fire at the La Brea Tar Pits (a story the Men In Black quickly buried to avoid publicity). What became of the remaining alien-boy, named Andropov and by now a grown man, is somewhat unclear; some say he became an elderly hobo who slept in Griffith Park and adopted a coyote, while others insist he became a powerful Washington D.C. lobbyist. We may never know.
posted by Papaver somniferum at 3:55 PM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


When his first attempt at shocking the world with mutated fake space invaders made so small a splash, Ozymandias went back to the drawing board.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 4:06 PM on May 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


Actually, this is much more believable to me than Aliens. But, less believable than "just testing experimental aircraft, folks. NOTHING ELSE TO SEE HERE. MOVE ALONG".

All the Roswell/Aliens hocus pocus of leaked sources is just an attempt (and a very successful one) of diverting attention away from the staggering amount on money spent on arms spending, and also a great way to discredit anyone who questions anything about the Area 51s of the world.

I'm not sure why we need to perfect newer and better technologies for killing people.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:07 PM on May 17, 2011


>"What is firsthand information is that he worked with these bodies

>Where they actually came from is obviously the subject of debate.

>But if you look at the timeline with Josef Mengele... the suggestion by the source is that Mengele... was working with Stalin


So she's saying...

A) Old government scientist guy says...

1) Yeah, something fell, and they showed me these funny-looking dead bodies;
2) this was a Soviet propaganda op;
3) Mengele was involved.

I wonder how her source got from A1 to A2, and from A2 to A3.

B) What is sort of interesting is that in the interview, she off-handedly suggests that the US got some variant of the infamous Horten craft working, and developed it to the point of viable flight and... hovering.

Of course, this is a dive into the rabbit hole of Paperclip and Wunderwaffen and Black Triangles, of rumors and deathbed whispers and sloppy exaggerations and careful disinfo, so collecting these tales is the easy part. Verifying them is pretty much the impossible part.

At any rate, even if she's been misled to some degree or another, or she's drawing inaccurate conclusions, it's good that a relatively mainstream journalist is taking a stab at the subject, and doing so using conventional media.

Just the fact that there is government-held information which even the president cannot access-- even by explicit demand-- should be a topic of more frequent discussion.
posted by darth_tedious at 4:09 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sounds like a turn in Illuminati:

"The USSR, controlling the Nazis, controlling the Mutants, controlling the Flying Saucers, attacks the Pentagon!"
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:10 PM on May 17, 2011 [9 favorites]


"The child-sized aviators in this craft [that crashed in New Mexico] were the result of a Soviet human experimentation program, and they had been made to look like aliens a la Orson Welles' War of the Worlds, and it was a warning shot over President Truman's bow, so to speak.

Yeah, sure.
posted by doctor_negative at 4:10 PM on May 17, 2011


Man's got a PhD in negativity. I'd listen.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:16 PM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Just the fact that there is government-held information which even the president cannot access-- even by explicit demand-- should be a topic of more frequent discussion.

does anyone know what's the official justification (specific law / regulation?) for not giving the president this info when the prez asks for it?
posted by Bwithh at 4:18 PM on May 17, 2011


We need some mind control plants and identical gay clone soilders infiltrating hollywood if we want to hit it out of the park.
posted by The Whelk at 4:19 PM on May 17, 2011


Don't we already know that Project Mogul is the explanation for Roswell?
posted by wittgenstein at 4:20 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


jack_mo: "
I predict rumours of Obama being genetically engineered from the foetal stem cells of a white child, closely followed by outright claims that he's from another planet
"

I demand to see his Earth certificate.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:23 PM on May 17, 2011 [8 favorites]


> does anyone know what's the official justification (specific law / regulation?) for not giving the president this info when the prez asks for it?

Supposedly, there is a clause within the Atomic Energy Act of 1946, the act that established the AEC, that creates a category of information referred to as "born classified". Again supposedly, this information exists outside of standard chains-of-command.
posted by darth_tedious at 4:40 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Very do-able aliens. A little bit of this, a bit of this for the silvery gray skin, a dash of starvation, hey presto.
posted by nickyskye at 4:45 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


The irony of history is that all of these stories are true. It was a test of an experimental craft, it was piloted by children, it was from outer space, and the Russians had something to do with it. You see, the aliens have a long and rich tradition of confusing humans with various saucer escapades and laser shows, it is a little bit like how we like to tease cats, anyway, as my informant explained, they were particularly bored one week, and they had to watch their freshly hatched pod children, but as pod children are always a great deal more tiresome than capsule children, they had to think of something to do to get them from complaining about being bored. So, they let one of them take control over a landing saucer, so much like how we might let the kid sit on our lap and so they can steer the truck "just this once", so, they put their kids in a landing saucer and let them fly around confusing the humans. After all, humans are harmless when properly confused--especially the Russian humans. So they hurled their children down from Space unto the USSR. But they weren't idiots, they didn't just let them fly any old landing saucer. They were prepared, and so they purchased an experimental children's edition transit saucer, one with simpler controls and appendage joysticks they could reach with their dorsal manipulators. However, their children were terrible pilots, and the sauced crashed into New Mexico. Nowhere near Russia! Anyway, the guy at the Pentagon explained, this happens to also be why there aren't as many sightings anymore. The alien parental watchdog groups got all up in arms after this, and the teasing of humans was deemed to be too dangerous. The truth is so boring.
posted by TwelveTwo at 4:56 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


That's a great spacecraft whatya call it?
posted by The Whelk at 5:09 PM on May 17, 2011


I don't doubt the stuff about Russian aircraft being kept there, there's been a lot of hints and evidence of that over the years.

To back this up, there was definitely a military unit that flew Russian craft.
posted by drezdn at 5:28 PM on May 17, 2011


Bigger than the plate. To the delight of conspiracy fans everywhere, it remains bigger than the whole table.

Your plate can't handle the truth!
posted by formless at 5:49 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Of course, if the Russians *really* wanted to put the shits up the Yanks using WWII era technology they'd have put a thing that goes "beep" on top of a ballistic missile and send it into orbit.
posted by Artw at 6:55 PM on May 17, 2011 [11 favorites]


But if you look at the timeline with Josef Mengele...

OK, I did. Mengele was never in Soviet hands. If they had him, why would the Soviets ever allow Mengele to leave for Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil, where he worked as a provider of illegal abortions?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:57 PM on May 17, 2011


Don't we already know that Project Mogul is the explanation for Roswell?

We also know exactly how the Twin Towers fell and exactly where Obama was born. You'll notice how much that stops people from being idiots.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:59 PM on May 17, 2011


You know, sometimes a plate of mashed potatoes is just a plate of mashed potatoes....
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 7:15 PM on May 17, 2011


Why would you use 13 year olds? Just for the stature and build? If you're going to all the trouble of surgically altering people and putting them in an experimental aircraft, you think that a country with a population of 170 million people could find a few smaller-than-most adults? The whole "13 year olds don't make good pilots drawback" is thus easily overcome.




Also: THE CREUTON IS OUT THERE.
posted by Jehan at 7:45 PM on May 17, 2011


I'm listening to the interview now, and the author is basing her theory (her weird one) about the gullibility of American people based on their reaction to the War of the Worlds broadcast. This author is really opening up a few cans of worms. Her book will certainly sell, and will generate 2.5 million comments on the Web in he next day or two.
posted by kozad at 7:49 PM on May 17, 2011


"The people were, according to the source, were child-sized pilots, and there's a lot of debate about how old they were.

I see Billy Barty's tiny fingerprints all over this.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:51 PM on May 17, 2011


What would Mulder make of all this?
posted by juiceCake at 8:02 PM on May 17, 2011


Well, they had to use children so the aliens would be just like the conception of what aliens looked like that the public would be arriving at forty years later. It's all very clever.
posted by Artw at 8:06 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


This really runs afoul of William of Occum. . .
posted by Danf at 8:23 PM on May 17, 2011


In all sincerity, I think there is a conspiracy around Area 51: the conspiracy to maintain Area 51 as THE place for conspiracy theorists to obsess over, so that all the other military testing sites maintain genuine secrecy.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:30 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Honestly, I think the truth about Area 51 will have something to do with the Shaggs.
posted by mmmbacon at 8:33 PM on May 17, 2011


i am coCERNed about CERtaiN events.
...
...

posted by clavdivs at 8:50 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes Torgo?
posted by The Whelk at 9:02 PM on May 17, 2011


Also: THE CROUTON IS ON MY SALAD!
posted by hippybear at 9:04 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Owl is in the cat's shack, avoid the meringue. Tell Thompson to get the emeralds for the soup. The lecture is at eleven.
posted by TwelveTwo at 9:21 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


So, the Soviets have at least two intriguing technologies on hand--being able to modify human beings to the point of making them seem like plausible aliens, and flying saucer technology able to penetrate almost to the middle of North America--and they throw it away on an attempt to cause an alien invasion panic in the middle of nowhere, skipping over the country's great population centers to plop it in the middle of the desert? That's a hell of a suspension of disbelief put to the service of reforming the reputation of some dude who picked up a piece of Mylar with some half-legible letters on it and went a little nuts with the speculation.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:27 PM on May 17, 2011


I of course find this implausible, but less so after reading about the WWII Japanese fire balloons, which had been unknown to me and which I only learned about by mistakenly reading the wrong Cloud Atlas. I wonder how much weirder and science-fictional the strategies of WWII would have gotten had it lasted a few years longer. Though I guess, from the pov of 1945, you can't really get any more SF than two utterly unimagined and unanticipated atomic bombs.
posted by chortly at 9:35 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


snopes has encountered this woman before
posted by Blasdelb at 9:40 PM on May 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


and they throw it away on an attempt to cause an alien invasion panic in the middle of nowhere

That's actually the believable part for me, because it's consistent with my own experience in government:

"We have an awesome new capability!"
"Great! Go do this stupid thing with it."
"But...our strategic priorities! We had a planning day!"
"Why are you still in my office?"
posted by obiwanwasabi at 10:04 PM on May 17, 2011


One of several fictional scenarios based on the idea of manufactured aliens, The Architects of Fear episode of the original The Outer Limits series aired on September 30, 1963.

An idealistic human scientist — nicely played by Robert Culp — is physically modified into an alien being, given an advanced 'alien' weapon, and placed into a specially built 'alien' spacecraft with a plan to land it at the United Nations. The goal is to instigate fear and unite mankind against a common threat.

Needless to say, the best-laid schemes o' mice an' little green men gang aft agley, but it's a good story that's still worth watching [SLYT] nearly 50 years later.
posted by cenoxo at 10:28 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


What a complete load of steaming bollocks. The Horten brothers designed flying wings, not flying discs, and their postwar whereabouts are well documented. Also, flying wing designs, although uncommon, where also well-known of both the US and the Soviets at the time.

Mentioning the Horten brothers is just a weak attempt to drop some "Nazis in Space" pulp sauce and justifying the subsequent shoehorning of Mengele into the picture.
posted by Skeptic at 10:41 PM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's interesting that the Tea Party types have managed to combine so many tropes from the history of American paranoia without involving honest to goodness aliens.

Oh, give 'em time... A few reruns of V (original or reboot, doesn't matter) in the right markets, to percolate around in their REM cycles, and sooner or later they'll shoehorn the Lizard People and the Little Greys into their narratives.
posted by Philofacts at 10:47 PM on May 17, 2011


I was listening to this earlier, and kind of thinking gosh, Terry Gross is sounding a helluva lot more plausible as a Coast to Coast AM guest host than I would have expected.

Mentioning the Horten brothers is just a weak attempt to drop some "Nazis in Space" pulp sauce and justifying the subsequent shoehorning of Mengele into the picture.

Yeah, the Mengele thing was where I pretty much quit suspending my disbelief.

There's this moment with most conspiracy theories, kind of like the point in the Star Wars prequels where you realize that R2-D2 and C-3PO are going to be there for all the important stuff. The whole structure suddenly just goes all small and cheap...
posted by brennen at 11:25 PM on May 17, 2011


and they had been made to look like aliens a la Orson Welles' War of the Worlds

Is the idea that the kids were supposed to look like the Martians described in that broadcast? Because I don't remember any specific descriptions of them, beyond being tentacled. Definitely nothing about them being childlike.
posted by brundlefly at 11:34 PM on May 17, 2011


> What a complete load of steaming bollocks. The Horten brothers designed flying wings, not flying discs

That struck me as strange too, inasmuch as the Brothers H designed what were intended to be jets, rather than hovering flying saucer-ish critters. They worked on airframes, not entirely new propulsion systems.
posted by darth_tedious at 1:11 AM on May 18, 2011


Needs more cowbell.
posted by Schadenfreude at 3:49 AM on May 18, 2011


Flying saucer aircraft aren't a particularly good design for planes for plenty of reasons. That the Soviets invented a secret one capable of traveling a considerable distance into the US in 1947 is awfully unthinkable.

Pye Wacket, in addition to being the best code name for anything ever, was a design study that showed lenticular airframes were practical for air-to-air missile applications, and the LRV project showed they were well suited for re-entry craft, either warhead delivery systems or actual manned spacecraft.

"Lenticular" means "Saucer Shaped" - and they were working on this all through the '50s and '60s, at the height of the saucer craze.

Is there a correlation? Are there Mengele-children-piloted Commie Doom Disks in governent labs?

This stuff is why ufology is so entertaining. There's juuuust enough meat on that bone...
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:44 AM on May 18, 2011


snopes has encountered this woman before

Oh shit, that's her. Case closed, she's reached professional crazy lady status.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:45 AM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Grey star-children of Croatoan crashlanded 360 years after the Roanoke Colony managed to perfect John Dee's Alchemickal Wedding, by harnessing the Virgin Queen's aspect, they created a New Atlantis and opened a portal into the future. The Prieure de Sion, using their Templar dupes just missed the colony's transit into the timestream but focusing their hermetic magicks caused the colony to...change...in transit.

Later, in 1947, after many decanic cycles the last, mutated survivors of the Roanoke Colony fell out of the sky in the desert of New Mexico. MJ12, President Truman's elite magii, descended immediately and by weaving their own qabbalic machinations concealed the truth from the prying eyes of the Prieure, who, in their most recent incarnation as the United Nations, would have claimed Dee's New Atlantis for themselves.

The singer Andy Williams was at one time a test pilot for the USAF and was stationed at Nellis, AFB. In his biography "Moon River and Me" he actually touches upon this ever so briefly, and remarks about having seen the same flowing metallic material that was immune to the blow of a sledgehammer that we have heard from other sources. Rumours are that the title of his bio is a barely concealed reference to the codename for the operation whereby the bodies of the Roanoke Colonists were retrieved and returned to the great flat lakes of Area 51.

Williams' song "Up, Up and Away" is a further reference to the dubious answer the USAF gave in 1993, a prescient bit of song-titling where he mocks the MOGUL theory. As an ascended master of the hidden underground Tibetan city of Aggartha he used the Aryan Rune magic to cast the future and inserted himself in it to best deliver the theory that Barrack Obama was following Marxist theory and intended the ruin of New Atlantis.

Now - I've got Templars, the Prieure de Sion, Atlantis, Rosicrucianism, MJ12, the UN, four different types of magic, Tibet, Aggartha, the Roanoke colony and fucking Andy Williams. Clearly, as I have forced more stupid theories into a smaller space I have now won the game.

THE TRUTH IS UP, UP AND AWAY IN A BEAUTIFUL BALLOON.
posted by longbaugh at 5:59 AM on May 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


Also, my new band, "Doctor John Dee's Alchemickal Wedding" will be touring Nevada in early 2012 ('cos there's no late 2012 unless you mean "the late" 2012 right?). Tickets will be on sale shortly. Those who can show a CABAL membership card can get in on the doors with 50% off.
posted by longbaugh at 6:19 AM on May 18, 2011


is this the line for the anal probes?
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 6:21 AM on May 18, 2011


so.. did the russian alien child pilots start experimenting with cow mutilation in a desperate attempt to reverse their hideous alien appearance?
posted by jrishel at 7:02 AM on May 18, 2011


I should have read the MeFi comments before I bought the book off Amazon a few minutes ago. I'm only a few pages in and she's already brought up Bob Lazar. Ugh. A lot of the backstory and history looks good, I haven't encountered too much craziness yet.
posted by mrbill at 7:20 AM on May 18, 2011


Hideous to you and I but to the bug people of Hurrummrurrruhurm IV (V = 5 + I = 1 = 5 * 1 = 5! a number of deep magical significance!) they were beautiful creatures worthy of worship! The Illuminated seers of Area 51 (5 * 1 = 5! a number of deep magical significance!) launched the first Saturn V rocket (V = 5 = 5! a number of deep magical significance!) to send the five (five = 5! a number of deep magical significance!) Soviet Spacemongs to those who could best appreciate them.

5! is 2 + 3 = 23! 23 Skiddoo*! A number of deep significance to those of us steeped in the lore of bullshit!

Also - I totally missed out the masons in my earlier comment - Andy Williams is a 33rd Degree Mason of the Arcadia Lodge and his words of power can crack the foundations of reality. This is the true reason why Moon River was never released into the charts. The 33 1/3 revolutions of a long play recording of this track would trigger a reality quake and our world would be replaced by one populated entirely by Duck People.

George Lucas knew of this threat and using the combination of his fortune and the one secreted away by Howard Hughes made the film "Howard the Duck" an epic mind-virus designed to instill a fear of winged and beaked humanoids. An earlier effort to install anti-virus software in the human psyche failed and Walt Disney went to his frozen grave forever tormented by the thought that humankind would lose in a battle between our reality and the reality populated by Quacks.

His brain remains, forever awake, dead but dreaming, of our future duck overlords.
posted by longbaugh at 7:24 AM on May 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


*fnord.
posted by longbaugh at 7:25 AM on May 18, 2011


I'm a 3rd Degree Master Mason. Roswell was just an initiation ceremony that got out of hand.

fnord
posted by mrbill at 7:27 AM on May 18, 2011


Jacobsen writes "Backstory" for the LA Times. Here's an example:
Two European Nuclear Scientists Arrested as Al-Qaeda Suspects
Nabbed working at one of the most sensitive nuclear facilities in the world, this huge story has received almost no press.

... when I returned home from my trip on Friday night to read a single-line item on the Counterterrorism Blog: “Switzerland: Terror cops arrest Collider scientist linked with al-Qaeda,” it said. The Collider is the largest nuclear research facility in the world. For at least the next forty-eight hours the story did not appear anywhere in the U.S. press, despite the fact that the arrested nuclear scientist ... was being described by France’s Central Directorate of Interior Intelligence as a “very high-level” operative with AQIM ....

Looking into the story, I quickly learned that the charges against the “mild-mannered, deeply religious” French Algerian were stunning. Authorities say Dr. Adlene Hicheur and his 25-year-old brother Halim, also a nuclear scientist, had provided al-Qaeda with data on terrorism targets including the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva. That facility, located underground on the Swiss-French border, is not your average nuclear facility. It is a 17-mile underground tunnel track where scientists are trying to create anti-matter by smashing atoms together. The results, the scientists hope, will create mini black holes and allow scientists to further explore theories about what happened after the Big Bang created the universe 14 billion years ago. Throw terrorists into that mix and a lot could go wrong.
Another version of the same story.

Wkipedia article on Hicheur.
posted by nangar at 7:38 AM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Funnily enough Andy Williams' father died when he was quite young and he was raised solely by his mother. His father appears to have been a Scot's Rite Mason associated with a Lodge that claimed Hermes Trismegistus as a founder. When he first left the USAF and tried to break into the music industry it was rumoured that he asked "Will nobody help the widow's son?" and with that, a funny handshake and an exposed knee he had a contract.

I'm going to start loads of rumours about Andy Williams now. He was secretly Michael Jackson's father you know. Their names share kabbalic significance for one and Michael Jackson was also the Moonchild. Another reference to the moon, aka Luna - and wasn't Michael Jackson a Lunatic? IT ALL MAKES PERFECT SENSE.

Andy Williams worked briefly as a pilot after his time as a USAF test pilot at Area 51 and was responsible for flying Lee Harvey Oswald's double into Moscow whilst the real Oswald was being trained in the use of the magic bullet. Oswald's telekinetic skills allowed him to direct the path of the 6.5x52mm round, ensorcelled by ancient inscriptions to ensure the death of JFK and thereby ruining the Vatican's attempt to control New Atlantis. The bullet mysteriously vanished before the autopsy could take place...

Oswald's bullet-bending powers were suppressed by a hidden psionic trap in the basement of the police station allowing the MK-ULTRA controlled Jack Ruby to empty his .38 into Oswald and seal the fate of the New Millennium.

(I sincerely hope that someone adopts this random crap as the cornerstone of their worldview).
posted by longbaugh at 7:47 AM on May 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


That facility, located underground on the Swiss-French border, is not your average nuclear facility. It is a 17-mile underground tunnel track where scientists are trying to create anti-matter by smashing atoms together. The results, the scientists hope, will create mini black holes and allow scientists to further explore theories about what happened after the Big Bang created the universe 14 billion years ago. Throw terrorists into that mix and a lot could go wrong.

I, um, what, um, Jesus Christ on a pogostick.
posted by Artw at 7:58 AM on May 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Dude, can't somebody please just put all the Roswell documents on wikileaks? Secret government conspiracy is a *solved problem*, people. We know what to do about it.
posted by Galaxor Nebulon at 8:12 AM on May 18, 2011


David Icke remains unconvinced.
posted by kozad at 8:18 AM on May 18, 2011


David Icke could be convinced of anything given sufficient doses of psilocybin and a montage of frightening images. Why I remember those scant few years ago I was talking about Charles and Diana's wedding and the TV show "V" whilst we tripped balls...
posted by longbaugh at 8:25 AM on May 18, 2011


I'm a 3rd Degree Master Mason.

MORTAR FORKER!
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 8:25 AM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Daily Show: Annie Jacobsen talks about Stalin's secret spacecraft and the U.S. government's denial of Area 51.
posted by homunculus at 8:58 AM on May 18, 2011


MORTAR FORKER!

Our incoming Worshipful Master for my Lodge has a lot of international trips scheduled for 2011-2012. I keep threatening to make him a "Conspiracy Theory Tour 2012" t-shirt...
posted by mrbill at 9:42 AM on May 18, 2011


Bart: So finally, we're all in agreement about what's going on with the adults. Milhouse?
Milhouse: Ahem. OK, here's what we've got: the Rand Corporation, in conjunction with the saucer people —
Bart: Thank you.
Milhouse: — under the supervision of the reverse vampires —
Lisa: [sighs]
Milhouse: — are forcing our parents to go to bed early in a fiendish plot to eliminate the meal of dinner. We're through the looking glass, here, people...
posted by nfg at 9:51 AM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Daily Show: Annie Jacobsen talks about Stalin's secret spacecraft and the U.S. government's denial of Area 51."

WOW, just lost a lot of respect for Jon Stewart there
posted by Blasdelb at 11:09 AM on May 18, 2011


WOW, just lost a lot of respect for Jon Stewart there

Why, simply because he had her on? Remember that one of Stewart's favorite tactics is simply to give 'em enough rope.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:23 AM on May 18, 2011


The thing is, Jacobson is a legitimate mainstream journalist working for a major US paper. I'm sure she booked all of these appearances well before the crazy was apparent.

Listening to her, she just seemed remarkably credulous. And isn't standard journalistic practice that you never publish on the basis of a single source?
posted by mr_roboto at 11:35 AM on May 18, 2011


mr_roboto, she has a whole dance about that. The last section of the book with all the crazy is told in the first person. I.e., she says the journalistic account ends and then she relates the story from this one source.
posted by chrchr at 11:40 AM on May 18, 2011


OK, I'm about 100 pages through this and with the exception of referencing Bob Lazar it's mostly pretty solid so far. She SEEMS to be bringing up Lazar as an example of wild stories at Area 51, but I have a big problem with the section on the Horten Brothers. The Horten X and Horten 13 are not discs, saucers or any variation as a simple google search will tell you, they are flying wings. These aren't exactly unknown aircraft, you can buy plastic models of them at a good hobby store. Her insistence on categorizing them as discs or saucers bothers me a lot.
posted by Mcable at 12:53 PM on May 18, 2011


They're actually more plausible as the flying triangles of later UFO mythology.
posted by Artw at 12:55 PM on May 18, 2011


I bet she doesn't even know about British Rail's nuclear-powered flying saucer.
posted by longbaugh at 1:06 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Military disc-shaped aircraft
posted by Artw at 1:09 PM on May 18, 2011


ES IS EIN FLUGELRAD?
posted by longbaugh at 1:09 PM on May 18, 2011


Two can play at aircraft shapes! Triangular!
posted by longbaugh at 1:13 PM on May 18, 2011


And if you want a circular aircraft that can hover, there's always this.
posted by Mcable at 1:17 PM on May 18, 2011


ehh... just watched the Daily Show interview... Jon Stewart didn't question her account at all and just promotes the book... hmmm
posted by Bwithh at 4:08 PM on May 18, 2011


Boo!

Then again, my wife was watching Shirley MacLaine on Oprah the other day - it was an astonishing display of head nodding credulousness in the face of utter nonsense that I would challege any TV host to top.
posted by Artw at 4:18 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jon Stewart didn't question her account at all and just promotes the book... hmmm

Funny how a comedy show with regular book tour guests isn't actually a news show, isn't it?
posted by hippybear at 7:44 PM on May 18, 2011


chortly: for the balloon bombs, how on earth did they make them explode only when a user encountered them - it was like a mine?
posted by uni verse at 8:09 AM on May 19, 2011


From the wiki article chortly linked to -

A hydrogen balloon expands when warmed by the sunlight, and rises; then it contracts when cooled at night, and falls. The engineers devised a control system driven by an altimeter to discard ballast. When the balloon descended below 9 km (30,000 ft), it electrically fired a charge to cut loose sandbags. The sandbags were carried on a cast-aluminium four-spoked wheel and discarded two at a time to keep the wheel balanced.[3]

Similarly, when the balloon rose above about 11.6 km (38,000 ft), the altimeter activated a valve to vent hydrogen. The hydrogen was also vented if the balloon's pressure reached a critical level.

The control system ran the balloon through three days of flight. At that time, it was likely over the United States, and its ballast was expended. The final flash of gunpowder released the bombs, also carried on the wheel, and lit a 19.5 meter (64 ft) long fuse that hung from the balloon's equator. After 84 minutes, the fuse fired a flash bomb that destroyed the balloon.

posted by longbaugh at 9:23 AM on May 19, 2011


Physicist Richard Muller claims the Roswell "crash" was actually a balloon sent up to sonically detect Soviet bomb tests. The idea was that the sound might travel like whale songs, over great distances, if you knew where to listen.
posted by Camofrog at 7:01 PM on May 20, 2011


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