Person 1: There are no aliens at Roswell.
Person 2: Are so. The Nazis told me.
Person 3: WTF?
Person 4: Indeed. The Nazis are there. But the aliens are in St Louis.
St Louis: Yeah. Ouch. It hurts to sit down.
Person 1: I read it in a book! It’s true! It’s in print! Check out this overly wordy review!!!
Which brings us to the Nazi-Soviet UFO. Citing interviews with a single unnamed former engineer from government contractor EG&G – now part of URS Corp. – Jacobsen purports to lift the veil on what really crashed near Roswell, N.M., in 1947 and what happened to the wreckage when it got to Nevada.
The craft, she writes, wasn’t an alien spaceship, as many have since theorized, nor was it a weather balloon, as the military alleged in its clumsy cover story. It was, according to Jacobsen, a Nazi-inspired Soviet spy plane with Cyrillic letters embossed on the hull, crewed by malformed adolescents, two of whom survived the crash.
Stalin used captured Nazi aircraft designs to build the plane, according to Jacobsen. She says he had Mengele provide surgically altered “grotesque child-sized aviators” who were supposed to climb out of the aircraft and be mistaken for visitors from Mars – to sow the kind of confusion in the United States created by Orson Welles’ 1938 “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast.
The wreckage and the comatose survivors found their way to the Nevada test site, where Area 51 engineers may have experimented on them for decades, Jacobsen says.
This “revelation,” such as it is, will no doubt gratify those who already suspected as much. Unfortunately, these chapters, which diverge so radically from the rest of the book in their journalistic rigor, may turn off readers who otherwise would enjoy learning about the creativity, political acumen and courage of the high-flying cold warriors who sought to protect the free world in the decades after World War II.
“Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base”
by Annie Jacobsen
544 pages, $27.99