Dreamland: Travels Inside the Secret World of Roswell and Area 51 by Phil PattonThere is a place in the Nevada desert the size of Belgium that doesnt officially exist. It is the airbase where test flights of our top-secret experimental military aircraft are conducted and --not coincidentally--where the conspiracy theorists insist the Pentagon is hiding UFOs and aliens. This is Dreamland--or Area 51. For Phil Patton, the idea of writing a travel account of a place he couldnt actually visit was irresistible. What he found was a world where Chick Yeager and the secret planes of the Cold War converged with the Nevada Test Site and alien landings at Roswell.
A think tank for aviation engineering, Dreamland can be seen from a summit outside the bases perimeter, a hundred miles north of Las Vegas. On Freedom Ridge, groups of airplane buffs gather with their camouflage outfits and binoculars. These are the Stealth chasers, the Skunkers, guys with code names like Agent X and Zero, hoping for a glimpse of the rumored raylike shapes of planes like Black Manta and the mother ship. The most mysterious craft is Aurora, the successor to the legendary U-2, said to run on methane and fly as fast as Mach 6. Scanning the same horizon, the UFO buffs are looking for the hovering lights and doughnut-shaped contrails of alien aircraft. Are they looking at something sinister and mysterious? Imagined? Or more terrestrial than they think? Dreamland shows how much we need mystery in the information age, and how the cultures of nuclear power and airpower merge with the folklores of extraterrestrials and earthly conspiracies.
Patton found people who found themselves in the mysteries of the place. John Lear, the son of aviation pioneer Bill Lear--who gave his name to the jet--served as a pilot for the CIAs Air America, but back home, he became fascinated by UFOs and eventually believed in it all: the underground bases, the alien-human hybrids, the secret treaties. But was he a true believer, or part of a disinformation campaign? Bob Lazar seems to know when the saucers will come, and has made three clear sightings at night along Dreamlands perimeter, but is his story real, or a vision of whats possible?
Dreamland is an exploration of Americas most secret place: the base for our experimental airplanes, the fount of UFO rumors, an offshoot of the Nevada Test Site. How this blackspot came to exist--its history, its creators, its spies and counterspies--is Phil Pattons tale. He tunnels into the subcultures of the conspiracy buffs, the true believers, and the aeronautic geniuses, creating a novelistic tour de force destined to make us all rethink our convictions about American know-how--and alien inventiveness.
How Area 51 became the center of alien conspiracy theories
Area 51's Secrets
Area 51 , secret U. Air Force military installation located at Groom Lake in southern Nevada. The installation has been the focus of numerous conspiracies involving extraterrestrial life , though its only confirmed use is as a flight testing facility. For years there was speculation about the installation, especially amid growing reports of UFO sightings in the vicinity. The site became known as Area 51, which was its designation on maps of the Atomic Energy Commission. Conspiracy theories gained support in the late s, when a man alleging to have worked at the installation claimed that the government was examining recovered alien spacecraft. In the U.
Sep 4, The site became known as Area 51, which was its designation on maps of the Atomic Energy Commission. Conspiracy theories gained support.
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Area 51 is an active Air Force base in Nevada.
Back in , according to a recently declassified CIA report, a trio of secret operatives scouted the western U. One day, they flew over the Groom Lake salt flat in Nevada, and found exactly were looking for — an old abandoned Army Air Corps airstrip that was just miles km from Las Vegas, yet so far off the beaten path that it didn't even have a name. On government maps, the place was designated nondescriptly as Area 51 of the Nevada Test Site. For decades, officials tried to avoid even acknowledging the top-secret base's existence, let alone revealing anything about the secret military aerospace research that took place there [source: Stuster ]. Nevertheless, it was hard to keep things totally hush-hush after airline pilots started reporting mysterious sightings of UFOs [source: Stuster ].