UFO Conjecture(s)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A critique of Annie Jacobsen and her book: Area 51

Robert S. Norris and Jeffrey T. Richelson provide an incisive critical analysis of Annie Jacobsen's best seller: Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base

Click here for the link


  • While I agree with the reviewers that Jacobsen's book has an astounding number of basic factual errors, and that the publishers, Little, Brown & Co., apparently did little to no vetting or editorial review of much of the known historical content, this review also errs when it comes to their statements and conclusions regarding the Roswell incident itself.

    The reviewers refer to, cite, and apparently believe the US Air Force's dubious conclusions that the Roswell debris that was recovered derived from Project MOGUL balloon-train flight #4, which Brad Sparks, and others, have pretty well established never flew, and did not crash on the ranch Mac Brazel worked at, but also compound their error by also citing the later USAF report that alleged that the "bodies" supposedly seen were from tests of high-altitude instrumented dummy drops, which in documented fact did not occur until years later.

    So, caveat emptor. Spoon o'salt.

    The reviewers either are not aware of the depth and breadth of good Roswell incident research, and the legitimate questions raised, or chose to ignore it and bought into the USAF line due their own lack of research and acumen.

    And no, I don't believe the Stalin / Mengele story Alfred O'Donnell was told either, just to clarify.

    That was a high-level fabrication and disinformational ploy used to test the security reliability of those so exposed to this secondary hoax, if O'Donnell's story has any basis in fact, which it may, but would have been a US military / intelligence ruse, if anything, IMHO.

    Something very strange occurred near Roswell, but to me, as a UFO agnostic, it remains an unknown.

    By Blogger steve sawyer, at Sunday, July 17, 2011  

  • I should add that Alfred O'Donnell, the retired EG&G engineer who was allegedly prepped in 1951 with the risible Stalin / Mengele disinfo prior to being exposed to a US-hoaxed "Roswell UFO" and associated "mutated bodies" (if he told Jacobsen of an _actual_ experience, that is, which is questionable, IMHO), was written about by Tony Bragalia at his blog.

    See: http://tinyurl.com/3tw7w87

    I made a few comments there (37, 38, and 40) suggesting that the real story of significance was how elements of the US government's military and intelligence communities have promulgated and hoaxed UFO incidents, documents, and materials to not only test security and loyalty of individuals, and to surface hostile foreign agents, but that these practices also function as domestic psyops on civilians and influenced media and society at large to dismiss and ridicule the genuine interest and research efforts about the UFO phenomenon, and thus muddy already very opaque waters, which I feel is both wrong and potentially criminal.

    See: http://tinyurl.com/4x7tnbv

    By Blogger steve sawyer, at Sunday, July 17, 2011  

  • This book was inevitable in the popular cartoon vernacular, that goes back to the post civil war era when the young wild west was a rich source of confabulations in pulp books, which this is an extension of.
    A great deal of popular interest lowers the bar for "anything." Another issue this book exposes unintentionally, is the lack of critical thinking that occurs when this phenomenon became a sort of cinema verte of living an experiential science fiction lifestyle akin to being a fan of B movies or intentional irony.
    I just wrote a piece outlining my own disgust albeit in a polite manner, with projection bias, anthropomorphism, etc. It is hard to be motivated to say anything approaching a sincere consideration in a proverbial sea of crap and flotsam like this so called book. And so we have Paul K perhaps wisely in search of more tangible meaning, the Philip I suicide bomb, another planning to jump off a cliff, more Roswell debris in a metaphoric sense as well. All this only reinforces what this phenomenon does best, it reflects and draws out the sour apples of human nature and Twain in his latter years would have had a field day with this sort of black comedy of human nature.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Monday, July 18, 2011  

  • Bruce:

    As you so eloquently note, UFOs cause a gathering of goofs and goofy bromides, and has since the 1950s when Adamski et al. got there hands on the phenomenon, and had a lot of "fun" with it.

    Today, no one is pursuing the topic or phenomenon with scientific alacrity, aside from you, Tony Bragalia, and a few others.

    Jerome Clark has become a harpy, snickering at those he thinks are beneath him, ufologically.

    Kevin Randle is beset by a snub at a Roswell conference, and is spending time at his blog about it, rather than delving into what the Roswell conference provided in the way of substance, if anything.

    Paul Kimball is off on a metaphysical mid-life crisis it seems.

    Stan Friedman is upset by those alleged mistakes about him in the Jacobsen critique.

    Et cetera, et cetera.

    No one is digging into the phenomenon, like physicists are digging into string theory or dark matter/energy or black holes.

    Physicists are absorbed by their interests, letting gossip and snide reamrks about colleagues sit until they have a respite from their "obsessions" or when they finally write a book.

    UFO mavens are absorbed in the perpipheral aspects of UFOs: the frauds, the lousy witnesses, the assumed government cover-ups, and like matters; the phenomenon sits fallow, not being investigated with any elan or mental acuity.

    But that's the nature of the (UFO) beast....it's inherently a mystery that evokes nonsense rather than scientific awe.

    We have to accept that and go about our "business."

    Perhaps Paul Kimball's approach isn't that crazy after all...


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, July 18, 2011  

  • Kevin Randle already knows, with virtual certainty, the answer to Roswell so why should he investigate further?

    Stan Friedman insists, in his comments on the Area 51 book review, that despite what the two reviewers said about him, he is not a conspiracy theorist. Does he REALLY expect those who know him and his writings & lectures for the last 4 decades to accept that he is not a conspiracy theorist?

    Jerome Clark now does not accept, as he once did, that ETs descended at Roswell, but still insists the USAF is sitting on a huge pile of unreleased data on the case. (Is this another case of 'having it both ways'?)

    And so on.

    Incidentally, although a book may well be on the best-seller list for many weeks, it certainly does NOT follow that is was a 'best-reader' book. The emphasis is on the term 'seller'.

    I am reminded that Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time" was a best-seller in the UK for over a year, or maybe 2 years. Ah yes, but how many readers got beyond the first chapter? Or even the first few pages? Think that one over.

    By Blogger cda, at Monday, July 18, 2011  

  • If your list of human whirligigs were a lyric sheet to a Zappa take on Ufology all we need is an under chorus of "Why don't they contact us?" as many of those you pinned in your stamp collection don't have an ironic bone in their body. At least, as they say, publicly.It would be hilarious to do a Ken Kesey subterfuge and put LSD-25 in their martinis and have them tell us what really is on their minds. A frightening thought to be sure. Strange scenes in the goldmine. I crack up just thinking about this imaginary freak out, something like Hunter S Thomson's take on the police convention in Las Vegas. Watch out I may be lurking behind the conference table at the next Roswell festival, dutifully serving refreshments to our "experts".

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Monday, July 18, 2011  

  • Christopher:

    Your point(s) about best-sellers and best-readers are right on target.

    And yes, I haven't gotten very far in Hawking's book....it's a kind of drudge....not for anything that Hawking has done, but just because my mind-set is so limited compared to the great Hawking.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, July 18, 2011  

  • Bruce:

    You suggest a kind of Pandora's Box: the opening of ufological minds.

    The outpourings would be ghastly and/or psychotic, surely.

    But they would also be fascinating for the psychologically attuned.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, July 18, 2011  

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