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This review is from: Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base (Paperback)
I bought this as a holiday read, being unsure of the quality but with the view that I could take a forgiving attitude if it was truly mindless. Having read it, I'm nothing short of perplexed.
I was expecting lots of wild hypothesising about aliens and UFOs but instead was impressed with the level of historical detail that Jacobsen puts into the first half of her book covering the nuclear arms testing, cold war technology race and internecine power struggles between the USAF and CIA that she asserts went on at Area 51. I'm no authority on these topics so cannot confirm the veracity of Jacobsen's content (as some other reviewers have) but I found her narrative compelling and at times genuinely chilling. I found myself reading large chunks several times per day.
What puzzled me so much however, is Jacobsen's commentary on the Roswell Incident. This latter part is so obviously incongruous with the rest of the book that it smacks of being bolted on at the end to appeal to the sensationalists and conspiracy theorists, and provide something revelationary regarding Roswell. It is quite remarkably ironic that Jacobsen resorts to citing an unnamed, elderly "engineer" whom she states was involved in a cover-up, to provide new information on the Roswell Incident which, tragically, exemplifies the kind of conspiracy theorising that she eschews and explodes throughout the early sections and undermines the solidity of her earlier writing. Jacobsen's 'revelation' (which I will not divulge for potential readers) is simply ludicrous on every imaginable technological and geopolitical level and ignores conflicting pre-existing testimonies by now well-known participants in the Roswell saga. Occam's Razor it most definitely isn't. I'm a sceptic regarding UFOs as alien craft so it's not a pre-conception that biases me against Jacobsen's conclusions. Instead it's being able to tell the difference between investigative journalism and unabashed sensationalism to sell copy. Bewilderingly, Jacobsen does both in the same book.
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Initial post: 26 Nov 2014 01:43:01 GMT
I wondered if you could recommend an alternative account of the Roswell incident and Area 51 as a whole?
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