Home

Area 51 Part 1

Area 51 - novelonlinefull.com

You’re read light novel Area 51 Part 1 online at NovelOnlineFull.com. Please use the follow button to get notification about the latest chapter next time when you visit NovelOnlineFull.com. Use F11 button to read novel in full-screen(PC only). Drop by anytime you want to read free – fast – latest novel. It’s great if you could leave a comment, share your opinion about the new chapters, new novel with others on the internet. We’ll do our best to bring you the finest, latest novel everyday. Enjoy

AREA 51.

An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base.

ANNIE J JACOBSEN.

For Kevin

Time will bring to light whatever is hidden; it will cover up and conceal what is now shining in splendor.-Horace

PROLOGUE.

The Secret City.

This book is a work of nonfiction. The stories I tell in this narrative are real. None of the people are invented. Of the seventy-four individuals interviewed for this book with rare firsthand knowledge of the secret base, thirty-two of them lived and worked at Area 51.

Area 51 is the nation's most secret domestic military facility. It is located in the high desert of southern Nevada, seventy-five miles north of Las Vegas. Its facilities have been constructed over the past sixty years around a flat, dry lake bed called Groom Lake. The U.S. government has never admitted it exists.

Key to understanding Area 51 is knowing that it sits inside the largest government-controlled land parcel in the United States, the Nevada Test and Training Range Nevada Test and Training Range. Encompa.s.sing 4,687 square miles, this area is just a little smaller than the state of Connecticut-three times the size of Rhode Island, and more than twice as big as Delaware. Set inside this enormous expanse is a smaller parcel of land, 1,350 square miles, called the Nevada Test Site Nevada Test Site, the only facility like it in the continental United States. Beginning in 1951, on the orders of President Harry Truman, 105 nuclear weapons 105 nuclear weapons were exploded aboveground at the site and another 828 were exploded underground in tunnel chambers and deep, vertical shafts. The last nuclear weapons test on American soil occurred at the Nevada Test Site on September 23, 1992. The facility contains the largest amount of were exploded aboveground at the site and another 828 were exploded underground in tunnel chambers and deep, vertical shafts. The last nuclear weapons test on American soil occurred at the Nevada Test Site on September 23, 1992. The facility contains the largest amount of weapons-grade plutonium and uranium weapons-grade plutonium and uranium in the United States not secured inside a nuclear laboratory. in the United States not secured inside a nuclear laboratory.

Area 51 sits just outside the Nevada Test Site, approximately five miles to the northeast of the northernmost corner, which places it inside the Nevada Test and Training Range. Because everything that goes on at Area 51, and most of what goes on at the Nevada Test and Training Range, is cla.s.sified when it is happening, this is a book about secrets. Two early projects at Groom Lake have been decla.s.sified by the Central Intelligence Agency: the U-2 spy plane, decla.s.sified in 1998, and the A-12 Oxcart spy plane, decla.s.sified in 2007. And yet in thousands of pages of decla.s.sified memos and reports, the name Area 51 Area 51 is always redacted, or blacked out. There are only is always redacted, or blacked out. There are only two known exceptions two known exceptions, most likely mistakes.

This is a book about government projects and operations that have been hidden for decades, some for good reasons, others for arguably terrible ones, and one that should never have happened at all. These operations took place in the name of national security and they all involved cutting-edge science. The last published words of Robert Oppenheimer, father of the atomic bomb, were "Science is not everything. But science is very beautiful." After reading this book, readers can decide what they think about what Oppenheimer said.

This is a book about black operations, government projects that are secret from Congress and secret from the people who make up the United States. To understand how black projects began, and how they continue to function today, one must start with the creation of the atomic bomb. The men who ran the Manhattan Project wrote the rules about black operations. The atomic bomb was the mother of all black projects and it is the parent from which all black operations have sprung.

Building the bomb was the single most expensive engineering project in the history of the United States. It began in 1942, and by the time the bomb was tested, inside the White Sands Proving Ground in the New Mexico high desert on July 16, 1945, the bomb's price tag bomb's price tag, adjusted for inflation, was $28,000,000,000. The degree of secrecy maintained while building the bomb is almost inconceivable. When the world learned that America had dropped an atomic weapon on Hiroshima, no one was more surprised than the U.S. Congress, none of whose members had had any idea it was being developed. Vice President Harry Truman had been equally stunned to learn about the bomb when he became president of the United States, on April 12, 1945. Truman had been the chairman of the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program when he was vice president, meaning he was in charge of watching how money was spent during the war, yet he'd had no idea about the atomic bomb until he became president and the information was relayed to him by two men was relayed to him by two men: Vannevar Bush, the president's science adviser, and Henry L. Stimson, the nation's secretary of war. Bush was in charge of the Manhattan Project, and Stimson was in charge of the war.

The Manhattan Project employed two hundred thousand people. It had eighty offices and dozens of production plants spread out all over the country, including a sixty-thousand-acre facility in rural Tennessee that pulled more power off the nation's electrical grid than New York City did on any given night. And no one knew the Manhattan Project was there no one knew the Manhattan Project was there. That is how powerful a black operation can be.

After the war ended, Congress-the legislators who had been so easily kept in the dark for two and a half years-was given stewardship of the bomb. It was now up to Congress to decide who would control its "unimaginable destructive power." who would control its "unimaginable destructive power." With the pa.s.sing of the Atomic Energy Act of 1946, a terrifying and unprecedented new system of secret-keeping emerged. The presidential system was governed by presidential executive orders regarding national security information. But the newly created Atomic Energy Commission, formerly known as the Manhattan Project, was now in charge of regulating the cla.s.sification of all nuclear weapons information in a system that was totally separate from the president's system. In other words, for the first time in American history, a federal agency run by civilians, the Atomic Energy Commission, would maintain a body of secrets cla.s.sified based on factors other than presidential executive orders. It is from the Atomic Energy Act of 1946 that With the pa.s.sing of the Atomic Energy Act of 1946, a terrifying and unprecedented new system of secret-keeping emerged. The presidential system was governed by presidential executive orders regarding national security information. But the newly created Atomic Energy Commission, formerly known as the Manhattan Project, was now in charge of regulating the cla.s.sification of all nuclear weapons information in a system that was totally separate from the president's system. In other words, for the first time in American history, a federal agency run by civilians, the Atomic Energy Commission, would maintain a body of secrets cla.s.sified based on factors other than presidential executive orders. It is from the Atomic Energy Act of 1946 that the concept "born cla.s.sified" came to be the concept "born cla.s.sified" came to be, and it was the Atomic Energy Commission that would oversee the building of seventy thousand nuclear bombs seventy thousand nuclear bombs in sixty-five different sizes and styles. in sixty-five different sizes and styles. Atomic Energy was the first ent.i.ty to control Area 51 Atomic Energy was the first ent.i.ty to control Area 51-a fact previously undisclosed-and it did so with terrifying and unprecedented power. One simply cannot consider Area 51's uncensored history without addressing this cold, hard, and ultimately devastating truth.

The Atomic Energy Commission's Restricted Data cla.s.sification was an even more terrifying anomaly, something that could originate outside the government through the "thinking and research of private parties." In other words, the Atomic Energy Commission could hire a private company to conduct research for the commission knowing that the company's thinking and research would be born cla.s.sified and that even the president of the United States would not necessarily have a need-to-know about it. In 1994, for instance, when President Clinton when President Clinton created by executive order the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments to look into secrets kept by the Atomic Energy Commission, certain records involving certain programs inside and around Area 51 were kept from the president on the grounds that created by executive order the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments to look into secrets kept by the Atomic Energy Commission, certain records involving certain programs inside and around Area 51 were kept from the president on the grounds that he did not have a need-to-know he did not have a need-to-know. Two of these programs, still cla.s.sified, are revealed publicly for the first time in this book.

One of the Atomic Energy Commission's former cla.s.sifications officers, Donald Woodbridge, characterized the term born cla.s.sified born cla.s.sified as something that as something that "give[s] the professional cla.s.sificationist unanswerable authority." "give[s] the professional cla.s.sificationist unanswerable authority." Area 51 lives on as an example. Of the Atomic Energy Commission's many facilities across the nation-it is now called the Department of Energy-the single Area 51 lives on as an example. Of the Atomic Energy Commission's many facilities across the nation-it is now called the Department of Energy-the single largest facility is, and always has been, the Nevada Test Site largest facility is, and always has been, the Nevada Test Site. Other parts of the Nevada Test and Training Range would be controlled by the Department of Defense. But there were gray areas, like Area 51-craggy mountain ranges and flat, dry lake beds sitting just outside the official borders of the Nevada Test Site and not controlled by the Department of Defense not controlled by the Department of Defense. These areas are where the most secret projects were set up. No one had a need-to-know about them.

And for decades, until this book was published, no one would.

CHAPTER ONE.

The Riddle of Area 51.

Area 51 is a riddle. Very few people comprehend what goes on there, and millions want to know. To many, Area 51 represents the Shangri-la of advanced espionage and war fighting systems. To others it is the underworld of aliens and captured UFOs. The truth is that America's most famous secret federal facility was set up in order to advance military science and technology faster and further than any other foreign power's in the world. Why it is hidden from the world in southern Nevada's high desert within a ring of mountain ranges is the nexus of the riddle of Area 51.

To enter Area 51 requires a top secret security clearance and an invitation from the uppermost echelons of U.S. military or intelligence-agency elite. The secrecy oath that is taken by every individual who visits the base before arriving there is both sacred and legally binding. For those without an invitation, to get even the slimmest glimpse of Area 51 requires extraordinary commitment, including a ten-hour block of time, a four-wheel-drive vehicle, and a pair of good hiking boots. Through binoculars, from the top of a mountain called Tikaboo Peak, located twenty-six miles east of Area 51, one can, on occasion, see a flicker of activity. Daylight hours are bad for viewing because there is too much atmospheric heat distortion coming off the desert floor to differentiate airplane hangars from sand. Nighttime is the best time Nighttime is the best time to witness the advanced technology that defines Area 51. Historically, it has been under the cover of darkness that secret airplanes and drones are flight-tested before they are sent off on missions around the world. If you stand on Tikaboo Peak in the dead of night and look out across the darkened valley for hours, suddenly, the Area 51 runway lights may flash on. An aircraft slides out from inside a hangar and rolls up to its temporarily illuminated runway. After a brief moment, it takes off, but by the time the wheels leave the ground, the lights have cut out and the valley has been plunged back into darkness. This is the black world. to witness the advanced technology that defines Area 51. Historically, it has been under the cover of darkness that secret airplanes and drones are flight-tested before they are sent off on missions around the world. If you stand on Tikaboo Peak in the dead of night and look out across the darkened valley for hours, suddenly, the Area 51 runway lights may flash on. An aircraft slides out from inside a hangar and rolls up to its temporarily illuminated runway. After a brief moment, it takes off, but by the time the wheels leave the ground, the lights have cut out and the valley has been plunged back into darkness. This is the black world.

According to most members of the black world who are familiar with the history of Area 51, the base opened its doors in 1955 after two CIA officers, Richard Bissell and Herbert Miller, chose the place to be the test facility for the Agency's first spy plane, the U-2. Part of Area 51's secret history is that the so-called Area 51 zone had been in existence for four years by the time the CIA identified it as a perfect clandestine test facility. Never before disclosed is the fact that Area 51's first customer was not the CIA but the Atomic Energy Commission. Beginning in 1951, the Atomic Energy Commission used its parallel system of secret-keeping to conduct radical and controversial research, development, and engineering not just on aircraft but also on pilot-related projects-entirely without oversight or ethical controls.

That the Atomic Energy Commission was not an agency that characteristically had any manner of jurisdiction over aircraft and pilot projects (their business was nuclear bombs and atomic energy) speaks to the shadowy, sh.e.l.l-game aspect of black-world operations at Area 51. If you move a clandestine, highly controversial project into a cla.s.sified agency that does not logically have anything to do with such a program, the chances of anyone looking for it there are slim. For more than sixty years, no one has thought of looking at the Atomic Energy Commission to solve the riddle of Area 51.

In 1955, when the Central Intelligence Agency arrived at Area 51, its men brought with them the U.S. Air Force as a partner in the nation's first peacetime aerial espionage program. Several other key organizations had a vested interest in the spy plane project and were therefore briefed on Area 51's existence and knew that the CIA and Air Force were working in partnership there. Agencies included NACA-the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NASA's forerunner)-and the Navy, both of which provided cover stories to explain airplanes flying in and out of a military base that didn't officially exist. The National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC), the agency that would interpret the photographs the U-2 collected on spy missions abroad, was also informed about the area. From 1955 until the late 1980s, these federal agencies as well as several other clandestine government organizations born in the interim-including the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the National Security Agency (NSA), and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)-all worked together behind a barrier of secrecy on Area 51 programs. But very few individuals outside of an elite group of federal employees and black-world contractors with top secret clearances had confirmation that the secret base really was there until November of 1989. That is when a soft-spoken, bespectacled, thirty-year-old native Floridian named Robert Scott Lazar appeared on Robert Scott Lazar appeared on Eyewitness News Eyewitness News in Las Vegas with an investigative reporter named George Knapp and revealed Area 51 to the world. Out of the tens of thousands of people who had worked at Area 51 over the years, Lazar was the only individual who broke the oath of silence in such a public way. Whether one worked as a scientist or a security guard, an engineer or an engine cleaner, serving at Area 51 was both an honor and a privilege. The secrecy oath was sacred, and the in Las Vegas with an investigative reporter named George Knapp and revealed Area 51 to the world. Out of the tens of thousands of people who had worked at Area 51 over the years, Lazar was the only individual who broke the oath of silence in such a public way. Whether one worked as a scientist or a security guard, an engineer or an engine cleaner, serving at Area 51 was both an honor and a privilege. The secrecy oath was sacred, and the veiled threats of incarceration veiled threats of incarceration no doubt helped people keep it. With Bob Lazar, more than four decades of Area 51's secrecy came to a dramatic end. no doubt helped people keep it. With Bob Lazar, more than four decades of Area 51's secrecy came to a dramatic end.

That Bob Lazar wound up at Area 51 owing to a job referral by the Hungarian-born nuclear physicist Dr. Edward Teller Dr. Edward Teller is perfectly ironic. Teller coinvented the world's most powerful weapon of ma.s.s destruction, the thermonuclear bomb, and tested many incarnations of his diabolical creation just a few miles over the hill from Area 51, in the numbered sectors that make up the Nevada Test Site. The test site is America's only domestic atomic-bomb range and is Area 51's working partner. Area 12, Area 19, and Area 20, inside the test site's legal boundaries, are just some of the parcels of land that bear Dr. Teller's handprint: charred earth, atomic craters, underground tunnels contaminated with plutonium. is perfectly ironic. Teller coinvented the world's most powerful weapon of ma.s.s destruction, the thermonuclear bomb, and tested many incarnations of his diabolical creation just a few miles over the hill from Area 51, in the numbered sectors that make up the Nevada Test Site. The test site is America's only domestic atomic-bomb range and is Area 51's working partner. Area 12, Area 19, and Area 20, inside the test site's legal boundaries, are just some of the parcels of land that bear Dr. Teller's handprint: charred earth, atomic craters, underground tunnels contaminated with plutonium.* Area 51 sits just outside. Area 51 sits just outside.

Bob Lazar first met Edward Teller in Los Alamos, New Mexico, in June of 1982, when Lazar only twenty-three years old. Lazar was working at the Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory in radioactive-particle detection as a contractor for the Kirk-Mayer Corporation when he arrived early for a lecture Teller was giving for a lecture Teller was giving in the lab's auditorium. Before the lecture, Lazar spotted Teller reading the in the lab's auditorium. Before the lecture, Lazar spotted Teller reading the Los Alamos Monitor, Los Alamos Monitor, where, as coincidence would have it, there was where, as coincidence would have it, there was a page-1 story featuring Bob Lazar a page-1 story featuring Bob Lazar and his new invention, the jet car. Lazar seized the opportunity. "That's me you're reading about," he famously told Teller as a means of engaging him in conversation. Here was an ambitious young scientist reaching out to the jaded, glutted grandfather of ma.s.s destruction. In hindsight it makes perfect sense that the ultimate consequences of this moment were not beneficent for Lazar. and his new invention, the jet car. Lazar seized the opportunity. "That's me you're reading about," he famously told Teller as a means of engaging him in conversation. Here was an ambitious young scientist reaching out to the jaded, glutted grandfather of ma.s.s destruction. In hindsight it makes perfect sense that the ultimate consequences of this moment were not beneficent for Lazar.

Six years later, Lazar's life had reached an unexpected low Lazar's life had reached an unexpected low. He'd been fired from his job at Los Alamos. Terrible financial problems set in. He and his wife, Carol Strong, who was thirteen years his senior, moved to Las Vegas and opened up a photo-processing shop. The marriage fell apart. Lazar remarried a woman named Tracy Murk Tracy Murk, who'd worked as a clerk for the Lazars. Two days after Bob Lazar's wedding to Tracy, his first wife, Carol, committed suicide by inhaling carbon monoxide committed suicide by inhaling carbon monoxide in a shuttered garage. Lazar declared bankruptcy and sought advanced engineering work. He reached out to everyone he could think of, including Dr. Edward Teller, who was now spearheading President Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, or Star Wars. In 1988, Teller found Lazar a job. in a shuttered garage. Lazar declared bankruptcy and sought advanced engineering work. He reached out to everyone he could think of, including Dr. Edward Teller, who was now spearheading President Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, or Star Wars. In 1988, Teller found Lazar a job.

This job was far from any old advanced engineering job. Edward Teller had recommended Bob Lazar to the most powerful defense-industry contractor at Area 51, a company called EG&G. Among the thousands of top secret and Q-cleared contractors who have worked on cla.s.sified and black projects at the Nevada Test Site and Area 51, none has had as much power and access, or as little oversight, as EG&G. On Teller's instruction, Lazar called a telephone number. A person at the other end of the line told him to go to McCarran Airport, in downtown Las Vegas, on a specific date in December-to the EG&G building there. Lazar was told he would be flown by private aircraft to Groom Lake. He was excited and followed orders. Inside the EG&G building, he was introduced to a man called Dennis Mariani who would soon become his supervisor. The two men went to the south end of the airport and into a secure hangar ringed by security fences and guarded by men with guns. There, EG&G ran a fleet of 737 airplanes that flew back and forth to Groom Lake-and still do. Because they flew with the call sign Janet, this private Area 51 commuter fleet had become known as Janet Airlines. Lazar and his supervisor pa.s.sed through security and boarded a white aircraft with no markings or logo, just a long red stripe running the length of the airplane.

Fly to Area 51 on a northerly course from Las Vegas and you'll see a Nevada landscape that is cla.s.sic American Southwest: snowcapped mountains, rolling hills, and desert valley floors. Bob Lazar would not have seen any of this on his approach to Groom Lake because the window curtains on his Janet Airlines flight would have been drawn-they always are when newcomers arrive. The airs.p.a.ce directly over Area 51 has been restricted since the mid-1950s, which means no one peers down onto Area 51 without authorization except satellites circling the globe in outer s.p.a.ce. By the time Lazar arrived, the 575-square-mile airs.p.a.ce had long been nicknamed the Box, and Air Force pilots at nearby Nellis Air Force Base know never to enter it. Distinctly visible at the very center of Area 51's Box sits a near-perfect six-mile-diameter endorheic basin, also known as a dry lake. It was the lake bed itself that originally appealed to the CIA; for decades it had doubled as a natural runway for Area 51's secret spy planes. on a northerly course from Las Vegas and you'll see a Nevada landscape that is cla.s.sic American Southwest: snowcapped mountains, rolling hills, and desert valley floors. Bob Lazar would not have seen any of this on his approach to Groom Lake because the window curtains on his Janet Airlines flight would have been drawn-they always are when newcomers arrive. The airs.p.a.ce directly over Area 51 has been restricted since the mid-1950s, which means no one peers down onto Area 51 without authorization except satellites circling the globe in outer s.p.a.ce. By the time Lazar arrived, the 575-square-mile airs.p.a.ce had long been nicknamed the Box, and Air Force pilots at nearby Nellis Air Force Base know never to enter it. Distinctly visible at the very center of Area 51's Box sits a near-perfect six-mile-diameter endorheic basin, also known as a dry lake. It was the lake bed itself that originally appealed to the CIA; for decades it had doubled as a natural runway for Area 51's secret spy planes.

Almost everything visible on approach to Area 51 from the air is restricted government land. There are no public highways, no shopping malls, no twentieth-century urban sprawl. Where the land is hilly, Joshua trees and yucca plants grow, their long spiky leaves extended skyward like swords. Where the land is flat, it is barren and bald. Except for creosote bushes and tumbleweed, very little grows out here on the desert floor. The physical base-its hangars, runways, dormitories, and towers-begins at the southernmost tip of Groom's dry lake. The structures spread out in rows, heading south down the Emigrant Valley floor. The hangars' metal rooftops catch the sunlight and reflect up as the Janet airplane enters the Box. A huge antenna tower rises up from the desert floor. The power plant's cooling tower comes into view, as do the antennas on the radio-shop roof, located at the end of one of the two, perpendicular taxiways. Radar antennas spin. One dish is sixty feet in diameter and always faces the sky; its beams are so powerful they would instantly cook the internal organs of any living thing. The Quick Kill system, designed by Raytheon to detect incoming missile signals designed by Raytheon to detect incoming missile signals, sits at the edge of the dry lake bed not far from the famous pylon featured in Lockheed publicity photos but never officially identified as located at Area 51. Insiders call the pylon "the pole"-it's where the radar cross section on prototype stealth aircraft is measured. State-of-the-art, million-dollar black aircraft are turned upside down and hoisted aloft on this pole, making each one look tiny and insignificant in the ma.s.sive Groom Lake expanse, like a bug on a pin in a viewing case.

As a pa.s.senger on the Janet 737 gets closer, it becomes easier for the eye to judge distance. Groom Mountain reveals itself as a ma.s.sive summit that reaches 9,348 feet. It towers over the base at its northernmost end and is rife with Area 51 history and lore. Countless Area 51 commanding officers have spent weekends on the mountain hunting deer. Hidden inside its craggy lower peaks are two old lead and silver mines named Black Metal and Sheehan Mine. In the 1950s, one ancient miner hung on to his federal mining rights with such ferocity that the government ended up giving him a security clearance and briefing him on Area 51 activities rather than continuing to fight to remove him. The miner kept the secrecy oath The miner kept the secrecy oath and took Area 51's early secrets with him to the grave. and took Area 51's early secrets with him to the grave.

At the southernmost end of the base sits a gravel pit and concrete-mixing facilities that are used to construct temporary buildings that need to go up quick. Against the sloping hills to the west sit the old fuel-storage tanks that once housed JP-7 jet fuel, specially designed for CIA spy planes that needed to withstand temperature fluctuations from 90 degrees to 285 degrees Fahrenheit. To the south, on a plateau of its own, is the weapons a.s.sembly and storage facility. This is recognizable from the air by a tall ring of mounded dirt meant to deflect blasts in the event of an accident. Behind the weapons depot, a single-lane dirt road runs up over the top of the hill and dumps back down into the Nevada Test Site next door, at Gate 800 (sometimes called Gate 700). Old-timers from the U-2 spy plane days called this access point Gate 385 access point Gate 385, originally the only way in to Area 51 if you were not arriving by air. On the Area 51 side of the gate, the shipping and receiving building can be found. In the height of the nuclear testing days, the 1950s and 1960s, trucks from the Atomic Energy Commission motor pool trucks from the Atomic Energy Commission motor pool spent hours in the parking lot here while their appropriately cleared drivers enjoyed Area 51's legendary gourmet chow. spent hours in the parking lot here while their appropriately cleared drivers enjoyed Area 51's legendary gourmet chow.

In December of 1988, had Lazar been looking out the Janet 737 aircraft window just before landing, off to the northwest he would have seen EG&G radar sites dotting the valley floor in a diagonal line. Part of the Air Force's foreign technology division, which began in 1968, these radar sites include coveted Soviet radar systems acquired from Eastern-bloc countries and captured during Middle East wars. Also to the north lies Slater Lake, named after Commander Slater and dug by contractors during the Vietnam War. Around the lake's sloped banks are trees unusual for the area: tall and leafy, looking as if they belong in Europe or on the East Coast. This is the only nonindigenous plant life in all of Area 51. Move ahead to December of 1998, and five miles beyond Slater Lake, across the flat, dry valley floor, an airplane pa.s.senger would have seen a crew of men dressed in HAZMAT suits men dressed in HAZMAT suits busily removing the top six inches of soil from a 269-acre parcel contaminated with plutonium. Set inside Area 51's airs.p.a.ce but in a quadrant of its own, this sector was designated Area 13. What the men did was known to only a select few. Like all things at Area 51, if a person didn't have a need-to-know, he knew not to ask. busily removing the top six inches of soil from a 269-acre parcel contaminated with plutonium. Set inside Area 51's airs.p.a.ce but in a quadrant of its own, this sector was designated Area 13. What the men did was known to only a select few. Like all things at Area 51, if a person didn't have a need-to-know, he knew not to ask.

The airplane carrying Lazar would likely have landed on the easternmost runway and then taxied up to the Janet terminal, near the security building. Lazar and his supervisor, Dennis Mariani, would have gone through security there would have gone through security there. According to Lazar, he was taken to a cafeteria on the base. When a bus pulled up, he and Mariani climbed aboard. Lazar said he could not see exactly where he was taken because the curtains on the bus windows were drawn. If Lazar had been able to look outside he would have seen the green gra.s.s of the Area 51 baseball field, where, beginning in the mid-1960s, during the bonanza of underground nuclear testing, Area 51 workers battled Nevada Test Site workers at weekly softball games. Lazar's bus would have also driven past the outdoor tennis courts, where Dr. Albert Wheelon, the former Mayor of Area 51, loved to play tennis matches tennis matches at midnight. Lazar would have pa.s.sed the swimming pool where CIA project pilots trained for ocean bailouts by at midnight. Lazar would have pa.s.sed the swimming pool where CIA project pilots trained for ocean bailouts by jumping into the pool jumping into the pool wearing their high-alt.i.tude flight suits. Lazar would have pa.s.sed the wearing their high-alt.i.tude flight suits. Lazar would have pa.s.sed the Area 51 bar, called Sam's Place Area 51 bar, called Sam's Place, built by and named after the great Area 51 navigator Sam Pizzo and in which a photograph of a nearly naked Sophia Loren used to drive men wild.

In December of 1988, Lazar had no idea that he was stepping into a deep, textured, and totally secret history. He couldn't have known it because the men described above wouldn't tell their stories for another twenty years, not until their CIA project was decla.s.sified and they spoke on the record for this book. But Lazar's arrival at Area 51 made its own kind of history, albeit in a radical and controversial way. In making Area 51 public, as he subsequently did, Lazar transformed the place from a clandestine research, development, and test-flight facility into a national enigma. From the moment Lazar appeared on Eyewitness News Eyewitness News in Las Vegas making utterly shocking allegations, the public's fascination with Area 51, already percolating for decades, took on a life of its own. Movies, television shows, record alb.u.ms, and video games would spring forth, all paying homage to a secret base that no outsider could ever visit. in Las Vegas making utterly shocking allegations, the public's fascination with Area 51, already percolating for decades, took on a life of its own. Movies, television shows, record alb.u.ms, and video games would spring forth, all paying homage to a secret base that no outsider could ever visit.

According to Lazar, that first day he was at Area 51 he was driven on a b.u.mpy dirt road for approximately twenty or thirty minutes before arriving at a mysterious complex of hangars built into the side of a mountain somewhere on the outskirts of Groom Lake. There, at an outpost facility Lazar says was called S-4, he was processed through a security system far more intense than the one he'd been subjected to just a little earlier, at Area 51's primary base. He signed one doc.u.ment allowing his home telephone to be monitored and another that waived his const.i.tutional rights. Then he was shown a flying saucer and told it would be his job to reverse engineer its antigravity propulsion system. All told, there were nine saucers at S-4, Lazar says. He says he was given a manual that explained that the flying saucers had come from another planet. Lazar also said he was shown drawings of beings that looked like aliens-the pilots, he inferred, of these outer-s.p.a.ce crafts.

According to Lazar, over the following winter, he worked at S-4, mostly during the night, for a total of approximately ten days. The work was intense but sporadic, which frustrated him. Sometimes he worked only one night a week. He longed for more. He never told anyone about what he was doing at S-4, not even his wife, Tracy, or his best friend, Gene Huff. One night in early March of 1989, Lazar was being escorted down a hallway inside S-4 by two armed guards when he was ordered to keep his eyes forward. Instead, curiosity seized Bob Lazar. He glanced sideways, through a small, nine-by-nine-inch window He glanced sideways, through a small, nine-by-nine-inch window, and for a brief moment, he says, he saw inside an unmarked room. He thought he saw a small, gray alien with a large head standing between two men dressed in white coats. When he tried to get a better look, he was pushed by a guard who told him to keep his eyes forward and down.

For Lazar, it was a turning point. Something shifted in him and he felt he could no longer bear the secret of the flying saucers or what was maybe an alien what was maybe an alien but "could have been a million things." Like the tragic literary figure Faust, Lazar had yearned for secret knowledge, information that other men did not possess. He got that at S-4. But unlike Faust, Bob Lazar did not hold up his end of the bargain. Instead, Lazar felt compelled to share what he had learned with his wife and his friend, meaning he broke his Area 51 secrecy oath. Lazar knew the schedule for the flying saucer test flights being conducted out at Groom Lake and he suggested to his wife, Tracy, his friend Gene Huff, and another friend named John Lear-a committed ufologist and the son of the man who invented the Learjet-that they come along with him and see for themselves. but "could have been a million things." Like the tragic literary figure Faust, Lazar had yearned for secret knowledge, information that other men did not possess. He got that at S-4. But unlike Faust, Bob Lazar did not hold up his end of the bargain. Instead, Lazar felt compelled to share what he had learned with his wife and his friend, meaning he broke his Area 51 secrecy oath. Lazar knew the schedule for the flying saucer test flights being conducted out at Groom Lake and he suggested to his wife, Tracy, his friend Gene Huff, and another friend named John Lear-a committed ufologist and the son of the man who invented the Learjet-that they come along with him and see for themselves.

The group made a trip down Highway 375 into the mountains behind Groom Lake. With them they brought high-powered binoculars and a video camera. They waited. Sure enough, they said, the activity began. Lazar's wife and friends saw what appeared to be a brightly lit saucer rise up from above the mountains that hid the Area 51 base from view. They watched it hover and land. The following Wednesday they returned to the site. Then they made a third visit, on April 5, 1989-this time down a long road leading into the base called Groom Lake Road-which ended in fiasco. The trespa.s.sers were discovered by Area 51 security guards, detained, and required to show ID. They answered questions for the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department and were let go. down Highway 375 into the mountains behind Groom Lake. With them they brought high-powered binoculars and a video camera. They waited. Sure enough, they said, the activity began. Lazar's wife and friends saw what appeared to be a brightly lit saucer rise up from above the mountains that hid the Area 51 base from view. They watched it hover and land. The following Wednesday they returned to the site. Then they made a third visit, on April 5, 1989-this time down a long road leading into the base called Groom Lake Road-which ended in fiasco. The trespa.s.sers were discovered by Area 51 security guards, detained, and required to show ID. They answered questions for the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department and were let go.

The following day, Lazar reported to work at the EG&G building at McCarran Airport. He was met by Dennis Mariani, who informed Lazar that he would not be going out to Groom Lake as planned. Instead, Lazar was driven to Indian Springs Air Force Base. The guard who had caught him the night before was helicoptered in from the Area 51 perimeter to confirm that Bob Lazar was one of the four people found snooping in the woods the night before. Lazar was told that he was no longer an employee of EG&G and if he ever went anywhere near Groom Lake again, alone or with friends, he would be arrested for espionage.

During his questioning at Indian Springs, he was allegedly given transcripts of his wife's telephone conversations transcripts of his wife's telephone conversations, which made clear to Lazar that his wife was having an affair. Lazar became convinced he was being followed by government agents. Someone shot out his tire when he was driving to the airport, he said. Fearing for his life, he decided to go public with his story and contacted Eyewitness News Eyewitness News anchor George Knapp. Lazar's TV appearance in November of 1989 broke the station's record for viewers, but the original audience was limited to locals. It took some months for Lazar's story to go global. The man responsible for that happening was a j.a.panese American mortician living in Los Angeles named anchor George Knapp. Lazar's TV appearance in November of 1989 broke the station's record for viewers, but the original audience was limited to locals. It took some months for Lazar's story to go global. The man responsible for that happening was a j.a.panese American mortician living in Los Angeles named Norio Hayakawa Norio Hayakawa.

Decades later, Norio Hayakawa still recalls the moment he first heard Lazar on the radio. "It was late at night," Hayakawa explains. "I was working in the mortuary and listening to talk radio. KVEG out of Las Vegas, 'The Happening Show,' with host Billy Goodman. Remember, this was in early 1990, long before Art Bell and George Noory were doing 'Coast to Coast,'" Hayakawa recalls. "I heard Bob Lazar telling his story about S-Four and I became intrigued." As Hayakawa toiled away at the f.u.kui Mortuary in Little Tokyo, he listened to Bob Lazar talk about flying saucers. Having no television experience, Hayakawa contacted a j.a.panese magazine called Mu, Mu, renowned for its popular stories about UFOs. " renowned for its popular stories about UFOs. "Mu got in touch with me right away and said they were interested. And that Nippon TV was interested too." In a matter of weeks, j.a.pan's leading TV station had dispatched an eight-man crew from Tokyo to Los Angeles. Hayakawa took them out to Las Vegas, where he'd arranged for an interview with Bob Lazar. That was in February of 1990. got in touch with me right away and said they were interested. And that Nippon TV was interested too." In a matter of weeks, j.a.pan's leading TV station had dispatched an eight-man crew from Tokyo to Los Angeles. Hayakawa took them out to Las Vegas, where he'd arranged for an interview with Bob Lazar. That was in February of 1990.

"We went on a Wednesday because that was the day we'd heard on the radio they did flying saucer tests," Hayakawa recalls. "We interviewed Lazar for three or four hours. He was a strange person. He had bodyguards He had bodyguards with him in his house who followed him around everywhere he went. But we were satisfied with the interview. We decided to try and film some of the saucer activity at Area 51." Hayakawa asked Lazar if he would take them to the lookout point on Tikaboo Mountain off Highway 375. Lazar declined but told them exactly where to go and at what time. "We went to the place and set up our equipment. Lo and behold, just after sundown, a bright orangeish light came rising up off the land near Groom Lake. We were filming. It came up and made a fast directional change. This happened three times. We couldn't believe it," Hayakawa says. At the time, he was convinced that what he saw was a flying saucer-just like Lazar had said. with him in his house who followed him around everywhere he went. But we were satisfied with the interview. We decided to try and film some of the saucer activity at Area 51." Hayakawa asked Lazar if he would take them to the lookout point on Tikaboo Mountain off Highway 375. Lazar declined but told them exactly where to go and at what time. "We went to the place and set up our equipment. Lo and behold, just after sundown, a bright orangeish light came rising up off the land near Groom Lake. We were filming. It came up and made a fast directional change. This happened three times. We couldn't believe it," Hayakawa says. At the time, he was convinced that what he saw was a flying saucer-just like Lazar had said.

Hayakawa showed the footage to the magazine's bosses in j.a.pan, who were thrilled. The TV station had paid Lazar a little over five thousand dollars for a two-hour segment about his experience at Area 51. Part of the deal was that Lazar was going to fly to Tokyo with Norio Hayakawa to do a fifteen-minute interview there. Instead, just a few days before the show, Lazar called the director of Nippon TV and said federal agents were preventing him from leaving the country. Lazar agreed to appear on the show via telephone and answered questions from telephone callers instead. "The program aired in j.a.pan's golden hour," Hayakawa says, "prime time." Thirty million j.a.panese viewers tuned in. "The program introduced j.a.pan to Area 51."

As Lazar's Area 51 story became known around the world, Bob Lazar the person was scrutinized by a voracious press. Every detail of his flawed background was aired as dirty laundry for the public to dissect. It appeared he'd lied about where he went to school. Lazar said he had a degree from MIT, but the university says it had no record of him. In Las Vegas, Lazar was arrested on a pandering charge. It didn't take long for him to disappear from the public eye. But Bob Lazar never changed his story about what he saw at Area 51's S-4. Had Lazar witnessed evidence of aliens and alien technology? Was his discrediting part of a government plot to silence him? Or was he a fabricator, a loose cannon who perceived what he saw as an opportunity for money and fame? He sold the film rights to his story, to New Line Cinema, in 1993. Lazar took two lie detector tests lie detector tests, and both gave inconclusive results. The person administrating the test said it appeared that Lazar believed what he was saying was true.

"The odd part," says Norio Hayakawa, "is how in the years after Lazar, the story of Area 51 merged with the story of Roswell. If you stop anyone on the street and you ask them what they know about Area 51 they say aliens."

Or they say Roswell.

To the tens of millions of Americans who believe UFOs come from other planets, Roswell is the holy grail. But Roswell has not always been considered the pinnacle of UFO events. It too had a hidden history for many years.

"What you need to remember is that in 1978, the Roswell crash registered a point-zero-one on the scale in terms of important UFO crashes," explains Stanton Friedman Stanton Friedman, a septuagenarian nuclear-physicist-turned-ufologist often referred to by Larry King and others as America's leading expert on UFOs. "Until the 1980s, the most important book about UFOs was called Flying Saucers-Serious Business, Flying Saucers-Serious Business, written by newsman Frank Edwards," Friedman says. "In the book, thousands of UFO sightings are discussed and yet Roswell is mentioned for maybe half a paragraph. That is not very much compared to now." written by newsman Frank Edwards," Friedman says. "In the book, thousands of UFO sightings are discussed and yet Roswell is mentioned for maybe half a paragraph. That is not very much compared to now."

Until Stanton Friedman's expose on the Roswell incident Stanton Friedman's expose on the Roswell incident, which he began in 1978, the story was limited to a few publicly known facts. During the first week of July 1947, in the middle of a powerful lightning storm, something crashed onto a rancher's property outside Roswell, New Mexico. The rancher, named W. W. Brazel, had been a famous cowboy in his earlier days. Brazel loaded the strange pieces of debris that had come down from the sky into his pickup truck and drove them to the local sheriff's office in Roswell. From there, Sheriff George Wilc.o.x reported Brazel's findings to the Roswell Army Air Field down the road. The commander of the 509th Bomb Group at the base a.s.signed two individuals to the W. W. Brazel case: an intelligence officer named Major Jesse Marcel and a press officer named Walter Haut.

Later that same day, Frank Joyce, a young stringer for United Press International and a radio announcer at KGFL in Roswell, received a telephone call from the Roswell Army Air Field. It was press officer Walter Haut saying that he was bringing over a very important press release to be read on the air. Haut arrived at KGFL and handed Frank Joyce the original Roswell statement, which was printed in the paper later that afternoon, July 8, 1947, and in the San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle the following day. the following day.

The many rumors regarding the flying disc became a reality yesterday when the intelligence office of the 509th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force, Roswell Army Air Field, was fortunate enough to gain possession of a disc through the cooperation of one of the local ranchers and the Sheriff's Office of Chaves County. The many rumors regarding the flying disc became a reality yesterday when the intelligence office of the 509th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force, Roswell Army Air Field, was fortunate enough to gain possession of a disc through the cooperation of one of the local ranchers and the Sheriff's Office of Chaves County. The flying object landed on a ranch near Roswell sometime last week. Not having phone facilities, the rancher stored the disc until such time as he was able to contact the Sheriff's office, who in turn notified Major Jesse A. Marcel, of the 509th Bomb Group Intelligence Office. The flying object landed on a ranch near Roswell sometime last week. Not having phone facilities, the rancher stored the disc until such time as he was able to contact the Sheriff's office, who in turn notified Major Jesse A. Marcel, of the 509th Bomb Group Intelligence Office. Action was immediately taken and the disc was picked up at the rancher's home. It was inspected at the Roswell Army Air Field and subsequently loaned by Major Marcel to higher headquarters. Action was immediately taken and the disc was picked up at the rancher's home. It was inspected at the Roswell Army Air Field and subsequently loaned by Major Marcel to higher headquarters.

Three hours after Haut dropped off the statement, the commander of the Roswell Army Air Field sent Walter Haut back to KGFL with a second press release stating that the first press release had been incorrect. What had crashed on W. W. Brazel's ranch outside Roswell was nothing more than a weather balloon. Photographs showing intelligence officer Major Jesse Marcel posing with the weather balloon were offered as proof. The story faded. No one in the town of Roswell, New Mexico, spoke of it publicly for more than thirty years. Then, in 1978, Stan Friedman and his UFO research partner, a man named Bill Moore, showed up in Roswell and began asking questions. "Bill and I went after the story the hard way," says Friedman. "There was no Internet back then. We went to libraries, dug through telephone records, made call after call." After two years of research, Friedman and Moore had interviewed more than sixty-two original witnesses to the Roswell incident. Those interviewed included intelligence officer Major Jesse Marcel and press officer Walter Haut.

It turned out that a lot more had happened in Roswell, New Mexico, in the first and second weeks of July 1947 than just a weather-balloon crash. For starters, large numbers of the military had descended upon the town. W. W. Brazel was jailed for almost a week. Some witnesses saw military police loading large boxes and crates onto military trucks. Other witnesses saw large boxes being loaded onto military aircraft. The local coroner received a mysterious call requesting several child-size coffins that could be hermetically sealed. Townsfolk were threatened with federal prison time if they spoke about what they saw. The majority of the stories relayed by the sixty-two witnesses to UFO researchers Friedman and Moore all had two factors in common. The first was that the crash, which included more than one crash site, involved a flying saucer, or round disc. The second a.s.sertion was jaw-dropping. Witnesses said they saw bodies. Not just any old bodies but child-size, humanoid-type beings that had apparently been inside the flying saucer. These aviators had big heads, large oval eyes, and no noses. The conclusion that the majority of the witnesses drew for the UFO researchers was that these child-size aviators were not from this world.

In 1980, a book based on Friedman and Moore's research was published a book based on Friedman and Moore's research was published. It was called The Roswell Incident. The Roswell Incident. The lid was off Roswell, and the floodgates opened. "By 1986 a total of ninety-two people had come forward with eyewitness accounts of what really had happened back in 1947," Friedman a.s.serts. Ufologists elevated the Roswell incident to sacred status; that is how it became the holy grail of UFOs. The lid was off Roswell, and the floodgates opened. "By 1986 a total of ninety-two people had come forward with eyewitness accounts of what really had happened back in 1947," Friedman a.s.serts. Ufologists elevated the Roswell incident to sacred status; that is how it became the holy grail of UFOs.

When Bob Lazar went public with his story about flying saucers and a small, alien-looking being at S-4, just outside the base at Area 51, it would seem to follow that Stanton Friedman and his colleagues would champion Bob Lazar's story. Instead, the opposite happened. "Bob Lazar is a total fraud," Friedman contends. "He has no credibility as a scientist. He said he went to MIT. He did not. He called himself a nuclear physicist and he is not. I resent that. I got in to MIT and could not afford to go there. You can't make something like that up and expect to be taken seriously." Friedman says he does not care what Lazar says he saw. He can't get past the false statements Lazar made about himself. It was not like Friedman didn't try to have a face-to-face with Lazar. "I spoke with Lazar on the telephone in 1990. We arranged to have lunch [in Nevada] but he never showed up," Friedman explains. "Scientists normally have diplomas. They write papers, they appear in directories. I wanted to ask him why none of that applies to Bob Lazar. I tried to believe him. I was not ant.i.thetic to his story. He's obviously a very smart guy and not just because he could put a jet engine on the back of a car. But my conclusion about him is that he's a total fraud."

It is unfortunate the two men never had lunch. In talking, they might have realized how close to the truth-something far more earthly and shocking than anyone could have imagined-they both were. The true and uncensored story of Area 51 spans more than seven decades. The Roswell crash is but a thread, and Area 51 itself-the secret spot in the desert-has its origins in places and events far outside the fifty square miles of restricted airs.p.a.ce now known as the Box.

It all began in 1938, with an imaginary war of the worlds.

CHAPTER TWO.

Imagine a War of the Worlds.

On Halloween eve in 1938, ma.s.s hysteria descended upon New Jersey as CBS Radio broadcast a narrative adaptation of Victorian-era science fiction novel The War of the Worlds. The War of the Worlds. Listening to the live radio play, many people Listening to the live radio play, many people became convinced that Martians were attacking Earth became convinced that Martians were attacking Earth, in New Jersey, and killing huge numbers of Americans. "Ladies and gentlemen," the show's narrator began, "we interrupt our program of dance music to bring you a special bulletin." A huge, flaming meteorite had crashed into farmland at Grover's Mill, twenty-two miles north of Trenton, listeners were told.

Frank Read.i.c.k, playing Carl Phillips, a CBS reporter claiming to be physically on scene, delivered a breaking report: "The object doesn't look very much like a meteor," Phillips said, his voice shaky. "It looks more like a huge cylinder. The metal casing is definitely extraterrestrial!" Things quickly moved from harmless to malevolent and Phillips began to scream: "Ladies and gentlemen, this is the most terrifying thing I have ever witnessed! Someone's crawling out of the hollow top!" Phillips explained that extraterrestrial beings had begun wriggling their way out of the crashed craft, revealing bodies as large as bears' but with snakelike tentacles instead of limbs. The woods were ablaze, Phillips screamed. Barns were burning down, and the gas tanks of parked automobiles had been targeted to explode. Radio listeners heard wailing and then silence, indicating the newsman was now dead. Next, a man solemnly identified himself as the secretary of the interior and interrupted the report. "Citizens of the nation," he declared, "I shall not try to conceal the gravity of the situation that confronts the country." Scores were dead, including members of the New Jersey police force. The U.S. Army had been mobilized. New York City was under evacuation orders. Interplanetary warfare had begun.

Although the 8:00 p.m. broadcast had opened with a brief announcement that the story was science fiction and based on the novel by H. G. Wells, huge numbers of people across America believed it was real. Those who turned their radio dials for confirmation learned that other radio stations had interrupted their own broadcasts to follow the exclusive, live CBS Radio coverage about the Mars attack. Thousands called the station and thousands more called the police. Switchboards jammed Switchboards jammed. Hospitals began admitting people for hysteria and shock. Families in New Jersey rushed out of their homes to inform anyone not in the know that the world was experiencing a Martian attack. The state police sent a Teletype over their communications system noting the broadcast drama was "an imaginary affair," but the hysteria was already well beyond local law enforcement's control. Across New York and New Jersey, people loaded up their cars and fled. To many, it was the beginning of the end of the world.

The following morning, the New York Times New York Times carried a page-1, above-the-fold story headlined "Radio Listeners in a Panic Taking War Drama as Fact." Across the nation, there had been reports of "disrupted households, interrupted religious services, traffic jams and clogged communications systems." All through the night, in churches from Harlem to San Diego, people prayed for salvation. In the month that followed, more than 12,500 news stories discussed the carried a page-1, above-the-fold story headlined "Radio Listeners in a Panic Taking War Drama as Fact." Across the nation, there had been reports of "disrupted households, interrupted religious services, traffic jams and clogged communications systems." All through the night, in churches from Harlem to San Diego, people prayed for salvation. In the month that followed, more than 12,500 news stories discussed the War of the Worlds War of the Worlds broadcast. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) opened an investigation but in the end decided not to penalize CBS, largely on the grounds of freedom of speech. It was not broadcast. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) opened an investigation but in the end decided not to penalize CBS, largely on the grounds of freedom of speech. It was not the FCC's role the FCC's role to "censor what shall or shall not be said over the radio," Commissioner T. A. M. Craven said. "The public does not want a spineless radio." to "censor what shall or shall not be said over the radio," Commissioner T. A. M. Craven said. "The public does not want a spineless radio."

The 1938 War of the Worlds War of the Worlds broadcast tapped into the nation's growing fears. Just two weeks before, Adolf Hitler's troops had invaded Czechoslovakia, leaving the security of Europe unclear. Rapid advances in science and technology, which included radar, jet engines, and microwaves, left many Depression-era Americans overwhelmed by how science might affect a coming war. Death rays and murderous Martians may have been pure science fiction in 1938 but the concepts played on people's fears of invasion and annihilation. Man has always been afraid of the sneak attack, which is exactly what Hitler had just done in Czechoslovakia and what j.a.pan would soon accomplish at Pearl Harbor. The weapons introduced in World War II included rockets, drones, and the atomic bombs-were all foreshadowed in Wells's story. Advances in science were about to fundamentally change the face of war and make science fiction not as fictional as it had once been. World War II would leave fifty million dead. broadcast tapped into the nation's growing fears. Just two weeks before, Adolf Hitler's troops had invaded Czechoslovakia, leaving the security of Europe unclear. Rapid advances in science and technology, which included radar, jet engines, and microwaves, left many Depression-era Americans overwhelmed by how science might affect a coming war. Death rays and murderous Martians may have been pure science fiction in 1938 but the concepts played on people's fears of invasion and annihilation. Man has always been afraid of the sneak attack, which is exactly what Hitler had just done in Czechoslovakia and what j.a.pan would soon accomplish at Pearl Harbor. The weapons introduced in World War II included rockets, drones, and the atomic bombs-were all foreshadowed in Wells's story. Advances in science were about to fundamentally change the face of war and make science fiction not as fictional as it had once been. World War II would leave fifty million dead.

From the moment it hit the airwaves, the War of the Worlds War of the Worlds radio broadcast had a profound effect on the American military. The following month, a handful of "military listeners" relayed their sanitized thoughts on the subject to reporters with the a.s.sociated Press. "What struck the military listeners most about the radio play was its immediate emotional effect," the officials told the AP. "Thousands of persons believed a real invasion had been unleashed. They exhibited all the symptoms of fear, panic, determination to resist, desperation, bravery, excitement or fatalism that real war would have produced," which in turn "shows the government will have to insist on the close co-operation of radio in any future war." What these military men were not saying was that there was serious concern among strategists and policy makers that entire segments of the population could be so easily manipulated into thinking that something false was something true. Americans had taken very real, physical actions based on something entirely made up. Pandemonium had ensued. Totalitarian nations were able to manipulate their citizens like this, but in America? This kind of ma.s.s control had never been seen so clearly and definitively before. radio broadcast had a profound effect on the American military. The following month, a handful of "military listeners" relayed their sanitized thoughts on the subject to reporters with the a.s.sociated Press. "What struck the military listeners most about the radio play was its immediate emotional effect," the officials told the AP. "Thousands of persons believed a real invasion had been unleashed. They exhibited all the symptoms of fear, panic, determination to resist, desperation, bravery, excitement or fatalism that real war would have produced," which in turn "shows the government will have to insist on the close co-operation of radio in any future war." What these military men were not saying was that there was serious concern among strategists and policy makers that entire segments of the population could be so easily manipulated into thinking that something false was something true. Americans had taken very real, physical actions based on something entirely made up. Pandemonium had ensued. Totalitarian nations were able to manipulate their citizens like this, but in America? This kind of ma.s.s control had never been seen so clearly and definitively before.

America was not the only place where government officials were impressed by how easily people could be influenced by a radio broadcast. Adolf Hitler took note as well Adolf Hitler took note as well. He referred to the Americans' hysterical reaction to the War of the Worlds War of the Worlds broadcast in a Berlin speech, calling it "evidence of the decadence and corrupt condition of democracy." It was later revealed that in the Soviet Union, broadcast in a Berlin speech, calling it "evidence of the decadence and corrupt condition of democracy." It was later revealed that in the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin had also been Joseph Stalin had also been paying attention. And President Roosevelt's top science adviser, paying attention. And President Roosevelt's top science adviser, Vannevar Bush, observed the effects Vannevar Bush, observed the effects of the fictional radio broadcast with a discerning eye. The public's tendency to panic alarmed him, he would later tell W. Cameron Forbes, his colleague at the Carnegie Inst.i.tution. Three months later, alarming news again hit the airwaves, but this time it was pure science, not science fiction. of the fictional radio broadcast with a discerning eye. The public's tendency to panic alarmed him, he would later tell W. Cameron Forbes, his colleague at the Carnegie Inst.i.tution. Three months later, alarming news again hit the airwaves, but this time it was pure science, not science fiction.

On January 26, 1939, the Carnegie Inst.i.tution sponsored a press conference to announce the discovery of nuclear fission to the world. When the declaration was made that two German-born scientists had succeeded in splitting the atom, a number of physicists who were present literally ran from the room. The realization was as profound as it was devastating. If scientists could split one atom then surely they would be able to create a chain reaction of splitting atoms-the result of which would be an enormous release of energy. Three months later, the New York Times New York Times reported that scientists at a follow-up conference were heard arguing "over the probability of some scientist blowing up a sizable portion of the Earth with a tiny bit of uranium." This was the terrifying prospect now facing the world. reported that scientists at a follow-up conference were heard arguing "over the probability of some scientist blowing up a sizable portion of the Earth with a tiny bit of uranium." This was the terrifying prospect now facing the world. "Science Discovers Real Frankenstein" "Science Discovers Real Frankenstein" headlined an article in the headlined an article in the Boston Herald Boston Herald that went on to explain that now "an unscrupulous dictator, l.u.s.ting for conquest, [could] wipe Boston, Worcester and Providence out of existence." Vannevar Bush disagreed with the popular press. The "real danger" in the discovery of fission, he told Forbes, was not atomic energy itself but the public's tendency to panic over things they did not understand. To make his point, Bush used the that went on to explain that now "an unscrupulous dictator, l.u.s.ting for conquest, [could] wipe Boston, Worcester and Providence out of existence." Vannevar Bush disagreed with the popular press. The "real danger" in the discovery of fission, he told Forbes, was not atomic energy itself but the public's tendency to panic over things they did not understand. To make his point, Bush used the War of the Worlds War of the Worlds radio broadcast as an example radio broadcast as an example.

Atomic energy, it turned out, was far more powerful than anything previously made by man. Six years and seven months after the announcement of the discovery of fission, America dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, essentially wiping out both of those cities and a quarter of a million people living there. President Roosevelt had appointed President Roosevelt had appointed Vannevar Bush to lead the group that made the bomb. Bush was the director of the Manhattan Project, the nation's first true black operation, and he ran it with totalitarian-like control. Vannevar Bush to lead the group that made the bomb. Bush was the director of the Manhattan Project, the nation's first true black operation, and he ran it with totalitarian-like control.

When the j.a.panese Empire surrendered, Vannevar Bush did not rejoice so much as ponder his next move his next move. For eighteen days he watched as Joseph Stalin marched Soviet troops into eastern Asia, positioning his Red Army forces in China, Manchuria, Sakhalin Island, and North Korea. When the fighting finally stopped, Bush's response had become clear. He would convince President Truman that the Soviet Union could not be trusted. In facing down America's new enemy, the nation needed even more advanced technologies to fight future wars. The most recent war might have ended, but science needed to stay on the forward march.

As Americans celebrated peace (after the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, public opinion polls showed that more than 85 percent of Americans approved of the bombings), Vannevar Bush and members of the War Department began planning to use the atomic bomb again in a live test-a kind of mock nuclear naval battle, which they hoped could take place the following summer in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific. There, in a deep lagoon at Bikini Atoll, dozens of captured j.a.panese and German warships would be blown up using live nuclear bombs. The operation would ill.u.s.trate to the world just how formidable America's new weapons were. It would be called Operation Crossroads. As its name implied, the event marked a critical juncture. America was signaling to Russia it was ready to do battle with nuclear bombs. (after the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, public opinion polls showed that more than 85 percent of Americans approved of the bombings), Vannevar Bush and members of the War Department began planning to use the atomic bomb again in a live test-a kind of mock nuclear naval battle, which they hoped could take place the following summer in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific. There, in a deep lagoon at Bikini Atoll, dozens of captured j.a.panese and German warships would be blown up using live nuclear bombs. The operation would ill.u.s.trate to the world just how formidable America's new weapons were. It would be called Operation Crossroads. As its name implied, the event marked a critical juncture. America was signaling to Russia it was ready to do battle with nuclear bombs.

In less than a year, Operation Crossroads was in full swing Operation Crossroads was in full swing on Bikini Atoll, a twenty-five-mile ring of red coral islands encircling a clear, blue lagoon. A July 1946 memo, one of many marked Secret, instructed the men not to swim in the lagoon wearing red bathing trunks. on Bikini Atoll, a twenty-five-mile ring of red coral islands encircling a clear, blue lagoon. A July 1946 memo, one of many marked Secret, instructed the men not to swim in the lagoon wearing red bathing trunks. There were barracuda everywhere There were barracuda everywhere. Word was that the fanged-tooth fish would attack swimmers without warning.

The natives of Bikini, all 167 of them, were led by a king named Juda led by a king named Juda, but in July of 1946, none of them were on Bikini Atoll anymore. The U.S. Navy had evacuated the natives to Rongerik Atoll The U.S. Navy had evacuated the natives to Rongerik Atoll, 125 miles to the east. The upcoming three-bomb atomic test series three-bomb atomic test series would make their homeland unsafe for a while, the natives were told. But it was going to help ensure world peace. would make their homeland unsafe for a while, the natives were told. But it was going to help ensure world peace.

On the sh.o.r.es of the atoll, a young man named Alfred O'Donnell a young man named Alfred O'Donnell lay in his Quonset hut listening to the wind blow and the rain pound against the reinforced sheet-metal roof above him. He was unable to sleep. "The reason was because I had too much to worry about," O'Donnell explains, remembering Crossroads after more than sixty years. "Is everything all right? Is the bomb going to go off, like planned?" What the twenty-four-year-old weapons engineer was worrying about were the sea creatures in the lagoon. "Let's say an octopus came into contact with one of the bomb's wires. What would happen? What if something got knocked out of place?" The wires O'Donnell referred to ran from a concrete bunker on Bikini called the control point and out into the ocean, where they connected to a twenty-three-kiloton atomic bomb code-named Baker. The men in the U.S. Navy's Task Force One gave the bomb a more colorful name: they called it Helen of Bikini, after the legendary femme fatale for whom so many ancient warriors laid down their lives. A nuclear weapon was both destructive and seductive, the sailors said, just like Helen of Troy had been. lay in his Quonset hut listening to the wind blow and the rain pound against the reinforced sheet-metal roof above him. He was unable to sleep. "The reason was because I had too much to worry about," O'Donnell explains, remembering Crossroads after more than sixty years. "Is everything all right? Is the bomb going to go off, like planned?" What the twenty-four-year-old weapons engineer was worrying about were the sea creatures in the lagoon. "Let's say an octopus came into contact with one of the bomb's wires. What would happen? What if something got knocked out of place?" The wires O'Donnell referred to ran from a concrete bunker on Bikini called the control point and out into the ocean, where they connected to a twenty-three-kiloton atomic bomb code-named Baker. The men in the U.S. Navy's Task Force One gave the bomb a more colorful name: they called it Helen of Bikini, after the legendary femme fatale for whom so many ancient warriors laid down their lives. A nuclear weapon was both destructive and seductive, the sailors said, just like Helen of Troy had been.

As a leading member of the arming party that would wire and fire the atomic bombs during Operation Crossroads, O'Donnell had a tremendous responsibility, especially for someone so young. "Five years earlier I was just a kid from Boston with a normal life. All I was thinking about for my future was a baseball career," O'Donnell recalls. In 1941, when O'Donnell was in high school, he'd been recruited by the Boston Braves, thanks to his exceptional .423 batting average. Then came the war, and everything changed. He married Ruth. He joined the Navy, where he learned radio and electronics. In both subjects he quickly excelled. Back in Boston after the war, O'Donnell was mysteriously recruited for a job with Raytheon Production Corporation, a defense contract company cofounded by Vannevar Bush. What exactly the job entailed, O'Donnell did not know when he signed on. The recruiters told him he would find out more details once he was granted a security clearance. "I didn't know what a security clearance was back then," O'Donnell recalls. After a month, he learned that he was now part of the Manhattan Project. He was transferred to a small engineering company named for the three MIT professors who ran it: Edgerton, Germeshausen, and Grier. Later, the company shortened its name to EG&G. There, O'Donnell was trained to wire a nuclear bomb by Herbert Grier, the man who had invented the firing systems for the bombs dropped on j.a.pan.

"The next thing I knew I was asked to go to Bikini in the summer of 1946," says O'Donnell. "I did not want to go. I'd fought on those atolls during the war. I'd seen bodies of young soldiers floating dead in the water and I swore I'd never go back. But Ruth and I had a baby on the way and she said go, and I did." He went on, "I missed Ruth. She was pregnant, thank G.o.d, but I wondered what she was doing back in Boston where we lived. Was she able to take out the garbage all right?" Forty-two thousand people had gathered on Bikini Atoll to witness Operation Crossroads, and O'Donnell could not sleep because he felt all of those eyes were on him. Thinking about Ruth was how O'Donnell stopped worrying about how well he had wired the bomb.

Elsewhere on Bikini Atoll, Colonel Richard Sully Leghorn cut the figure of a war hero. Handsome and mustached, Leghorn looked just like Clark Gable in It Happened One Night. It Happened One Night. Commanding officer of Task Force 1.5.2, Leghorn was one of the pilots leading the mission to photograph the nuclear bombs from the air. Leghorn spent afternoons with Navy navigators rehearsing flight paths that, come shot day, would take him within viewing distance of the atomic cloud. At twenty-seven years old, Richard Leghorn was already a public figure. He'd been the young reconnaissance officer who'd taken photographs of the beaches of Normandy on D-day. " Commanding officer of Task Force 1.5.2, Leghorn was one of the pilots leading the mission to photograph the nuclear bombs from the air. Leghorn spent afternoons with Navy navigators rehearsing flight paths that, come shot day, would take him within viewing distance of the atomic cloud. At twenty-seven years old, Richard Leghorn was already a public figure. He'd been the young reconnaissance officer who'd taken photographs of the beaches of Normandy on D-day. "In the face of intense fire from some of the strongest anti-aircraft installments in western Europe, Richard Leghorn photographed bridges, rail junctions, airfields and other targets," the U.S. Army Air Forces was proud to say. Leghorn, a physicist, had a degree from the Ma.s.sachusetts Inst.i.tute of Technology. He loved the scientific concept of photography, which was why he went to work for Eastman Kodak after the war. Then, in early 1946, the Navy called him back for temporary duty on Operation Crossroads. He trained at the Roswell Army Air Field in New Mexico and flew the military's best photographic equipment across the Pacific. Now here he was on Bikini. Soon, Leghorn would be soaring over the mushroom cloud taking pictures of what happens to warships when they are targeted by a nuclear bomb. from some of the strongest anti-aircraft installments in western Europe, Richard Leghorn photographed bridges, rail junctions, airfields and other targets," the U.S. Army Air Forces was proud to say. Leghorn, a physicist, had a degree from the Ma.s.sachusetts Inst.i.tute of Technology. He loved the scientific concept of photography, which was why he went to work for Eastman Kodak after the war. Then, in early 1946, the Navy called him back for temporary duty on Operation Crossroads. He trained at the Roswell Army Air Field in New Mexico and flew the military's best photographic equipment across the Pacific. Now here he was on Bikini. Soon, Leghorn would be soaring over the mushroom cloud taking pictures of what happens to warships when they are targeted by a nuclear bomb.

At central command, Curtis Emerson LeMay stood chomping on a cigar. LeMay was going over procedures and protocols for the Crossroads event. Just thirty-nine years old, LeMay had already graced the cover of Time Time magazine and was known around the world as the man who'd helped end World War II. By the time he was forty-five, Curtis LeMay would become the youngest four-star general in the U.S. military since Ulysses S. Grant. Dark, brooding, and of legendary self-will, LeMay had led the incendiary bombing campaigns against j.a.panese cities, including Tokyo. When the napalm bombs didn't end war in the Pacific, President Truman authorized LeMay to lead the 509th Operations Group, based on Tinian Island, to drop the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs. magazine and was known around the world as the man who'd helped end World War II. By the time he was forty-five, Curtis LeMay would become the youngest four-star general in the U.S. military since Ulysses S. Grant. Dark, brooding, and of legendary self-will, LeMay had led the incendiary bombing campaigns against j.a.panese cities, including Tokyo. When the napalm bombs didn't end war in the Pacific, President Truman authorized LeMay to lead the 509th Operations Group, based on Tinian Island, to drop the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs.

Curtis LeMay rarely smiled. When he spoke, it was described as "not much more than a snarl." Critics called him a coldhearted military strategist and attributed his calculated vision to a troubled upbringing. His father was a violent drunk, and LeMay was forced to help support the family when he was a child. At the age of seven, he was shooting sparrows for an old-lady neighbor who paid five cents per bird five cents per bird. Though journalist I. F. Stone called LeMay a "Caveman in a Jet Bomber," "Caveman in a Jet Bomber," his men adored him, often noting that he was not someone who sent his men into battle but one who led them there. During the war in the Pacific, LeMay often flew lead on bombing raids. But now the war was over and LeMay was thinking about a military strategy for the future. Beginning at Crossroads, he would shape the U.S. Air Force in a way no other individual has since. As deputy chief of air staff for research and development of the U.S. Army Air Forces, his men adored him, often noting that he was not someone who sent his men into battle but one who led them there. During the war in the Pacific, LeMay often flew lead on bombing raids. But now the war was over and LeMay was thinking about a military strategy for the future. Beginning at Crossroads, he would shape the U.S. Air Force in a way no other individual has since. As deputy chief of air staff for research and development of the U.S. Army Air Forces, LeMay was at Bikini to determine LeMay was at Bikini to determine how effective the bomb could be in nuclear naval battles against the Soviet Union. how effective the bomb could be in nuclear naval battles against the Soviet Union.

Operation Crossroads was a huge event, described as "the apocalypse with fireworks." To someone who didn't know World War II was over, the scene on the lagoon at Bikini that day might have seemed surreal. An armada of captured German and j.a.panese warships had been lined up alongside retired American cruisers and destroyers. These were ma.s.sive, football-field-size warships whose individual might was dwarfed only by the combined power of them all. Eight submarines had been tethered to anchors on the ocean floor. There were over one million tons of battle-weary steel one million tons of battle-weary steel floating on the ocean without a single human on board. Instead, thousands of pigs, sheep, and rats had been set out in the South Pacific sunshine, in cages or in leg irons, and they would face the coming atomic blast. Some of the animals had metal tags around their necks; others had Geiger counters clipped to their ears. The Navy wanted to determine how living things fared against nuclear bombs. floating on the ocean without a single human on board. Instead, thousands of pigs, sheep, and rats had been set out in the South Pacific sunshine, in cages or in leg irons, and they would face the coming atomic blast. Some of the animals had metal tags around their necks; others had Geiger counters clipped to their ears. The Navy wanted to determine how living things fared against nuclear bombs.

Forty miles west of the lagoon, Alfred O'Donnell stood below deck Alfred O'Donnell stood below deck in the control room of an observation ship watching the control bay. Above him, on deck, Los Alamos scientists, generals, admirals, and dignitaries waited in great antic.i.p.ation for the bomb. Shielding their eyes were dark, 4.5-density goggles, necessary measures to prevent anyone from being blinded by the nuclear flash. O'Donnell worked the instrument panel in front of him. There were sixty seconds to go. He watched the auto sequence timer perform its function. With less than a minute remaining, the firing system moved into automation. The bars on the oscilloscopes moved from left to right as the signals pa.s.sed down through in the control room of an observation ship watching the control bay. Above him, on deck, Los Alamos scientists, generals, admirals, and dignitaries waited in great antic.i.p.ation for the bomb. Shielding their eyes were dark, 4.5-density goggles, necessary measures to prevent anyone from being blinded by the nuclear flash. O'Donnell worked the instrument panel in front of him. There were sixty seconds to go. He watched the auto sequence timer perform its function. With less than a minute remaining, the firing system moved into automation. The bars on the oscilloscopes moved from left to right as the signals pa.s.sed down through the DN-11 relay system the DN-11 relay system. There were ten seconds left. Then five seconds. The light for the arming signal blinked on. Two seconds. The firing signal flashed.

It was zero time.

O'Donnell kept his eyes on the control panel down to the last second, as was his job. In the event of a malfunction, it would be up to him to let the commander know. But the signal had been sent without a problem, and now it was moving down the underwater wires, racing toward the Baker bomb. If O'Donnell moved fast, he could make it onto the ship's deck in time to see the nuclear blast. Racing out of the control room, he pulled his goggles over his eyes. Up on the ship's deck he took a deep breath of sea air. There was nothing to see. The world in front of him was pitch-black viewed through the goggles. He stared into the blackness; it was quiet and still. He could have heard a pin drop. He listened to people breathing in the silence. Facing the lagoon, O'Donnell let go of the ship's railing and walked out farther on the deck. He knew the distance from the b.u.t.ton to the bomb and the time it took for the signal to get there. In a matter of seconds, the signal would reach its destination.

There was a blinding flash and things were not black anymore. Then there was a white-orange light that seemed brighter than the sun as the world in front of O'Donnell transformed again, this time to a fiery red. He watched a ma.s.sive, megaton column of water rise up out of the lagoon. The mushroom cloud began to form. "Monstrous! Terrifying! It kept getting bigger and bigger," O'Donnell recalls. "It was huge. The cloud. The mushroom cap. Like watching huge petals unfold on a giant flower. Up and out, the petals curled around and came back down under the bottom of the cap of the mushroom cloud." Next came the wind. O'Donnell says, "I watched the column as it started to bend. My eyes went back to the top of the mushroom cloud where ice was starting to form. The ice fell off and started to float down. Then it all disappeared into the fireball. Watching your first nuclear bomb go off is not something you ever forget."

Mesmerized by the Baker bomb's power, O'Donnell stood staring out over the sea from the ship's deck. He was so overwhelmed by what he'd witnessed, he forgot all about the shock blast that would come his way next. The wave of a nuclear bomb travels at approximately one hundred miles per hour, which means it would reach the ship four minutes after the initial blast. "I forgot to hold on to the rail," O'Donnell explains. "When the shock wave came it picked me up and threw me ten feet back against the bulkhead." Lying on the ship's deck, his body badly bruised, O'Donnell thought to himself: You d.a.m.n fool! You had been forewarned.

High above the lagoon, Colonel Richard Leghorn piloted his airplane through the bright blue sky. To the south, in the distance, c.u.mulus clouds formed. The U.S. Army Air Forces navigators had sent Leghorn close enough to ground zero to a.s.sess what had happened down below on the lagoon, but far enough away so as not to be irradiated by the mushroom cloud. What Leghorn witnessed horrified him What Leghorn witnessed horrified him. He watched Baker's underwater fireball produce a hollow column, or chimney, of radioactive water six thousand feet tall, two thousand feet wide, and with walls three hundred feet thick. The warships below were tossed up into the air like bathtub toys tossed up into the air like bathtub toys. The j.a.panese battleship Nagato, Nagato, formerly the flagship of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the man responsible for planning the attack on Pearl Harbor, was thrown four hundred yards. The retired USS formerly the flagship of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the man responsible for planning the attack on Pearl Harbor, was thrown four hundred yards. The retired USS Arkansas, Arkansas, all twenty-seven thousand tons of it, was upended against the water column on its nose. Eight mighty battleships disappeared in the nuclear inferno. Had the armada floating in the lagoon been crewed to capacity, thirty-five thousand sailors would have been vaporized. all twenty-seven thousand tons of it, was upended against the water column on its nose. Eight mighty battleships disappeared in the nuclear inferno. Had the armada floating in the lagoon been crewed to capacity, thirty-five thousand sailors would have been vaporized.

From up in the air Colonel Leghorn considered what he was witnessing in the exact moment that the bomb went off. It was not as if Leghorn were a stranger to the violence of war. He had flown more than eighty reconnaissance missions over enemy-controlled territory in Europe, from 1943 to 1945. On D-day, at Normandy, Leghorn made three individual pa.s.ses over the beachheads in a single-seat airplane without any guns. But like O'Donnell, Leghorn was able to recollect Operation Crossroads with precise detail after more than sixty years. For Colonel Leghorn, this is because he remembered exactly how it made him feel. "I knew in that life-defining moment the world could not ever afford to have a nuclear war," Leghorn says. The only sane path to military superiority in an atomic age was to spy on the enemy so that you always had more information about the enemy than the enemy had about you. Leghorn says, "That was the way to prevent war and that is how I formulated the original idea of overhead."

At the time, in 1946, America's intelligence services had virtually no idea about what was going on in Russia west of the Volga River west of the Volga River and absolutely no idea what was happening west of the Ural Mountains. Leghorn believed that if the United States could fly secret reconnaissance missions over Russia's enormous landma.s.s and photograph its military installations, the nation could stay ahead of the Russians. By spying on the enemy, America could learn what atomic capabilities the Russians had, what plutonium- or uranium-processing facilities existed, and absolutely no idea what was happening west of the Ural Mountains. Leghorn believed that if the United States could fly secret reconnaissance missions over Russia's enormous landma.s.s and photograph its military installations, the nation could stay ahead of the Russians. By spying on the enemy, America could learn what atomic capabilities the Russians had, what plutonium- or uranium-processing facilities existed, what shipyards or missile-launch facilities what shipyards or missile-launch facilities the Soviets were constructing. And because Leghorn was a scientist, he could imagine precisely the way the military could accomplish this. His idea was to create a state-of-the-art spy plane that could fly higher than the enemy's fighter jets could climb or than their antiaircraft missiles could travel. In that moment during Operation Crossroads, Leghorn committed himself to developing this new philosophy of spying on the enemy from above, a concept that would come to be known as overhead, or aerial, espionage. Leghorn's efforts would take him from the halls of Congress to the corridors of the U.S. Air Force Strategic Air Command. There, he would be at odds with a third set of eyes watching the twenty-three-kiloton Baker bomb at Crossroads. The eyes of Curtis LeMay. the Soviets were constructing. And because Leghorn was a scientist, he could imagine precisely the way the military could accomplish this. His idea was to create a state-of-the-art spy plane that could fly higher than the enemy's fighter jets could climb or than their antiaircraft missiles could travel. In that moment during Operation Crossroads, Leghorn committed himself to developing this new philosophy of spying on the enemy from above, a concept that would come to be known as overhead, or aerial, espionage. Leghorn's efforts would take him from the halls of Congress to the corridors of the U.S. Air Force Strategic Air Command. There, he would be at odds with a third set of eyes watching the twenty-three-kiloton Baker bomb at Crossroads. The eyes of Curtis LeMay.

Please click Like and leave more comments to support and keep us alive.

RECENTLY UPDATED MANGA

The Grand Secretary's Pampered Wife

The Grand Secretary's Pampered Wife

The Grand Secretary's Pampered Wife Chapter 556.2: Exposing The Young Owner Author(s) : Pian Fang Fang, 偏方方, Folk Remedies, Home Remedy View : 206,640
Overgeared

Overgeared

Overgeared Chapter 1995 Author(s) : Park Saenal View : 12,321,700

Area 51 Part 1 summary

You're reading Area 51. This manga has been translated by Updating. Author(s): Annie Jacobsen. Already has 617 views.

It's great if you read and follow any novel on our website. We promise you that we'll bring you the latest, hottest novel everyday and FREE.

NovelOnlineFull.com is a most smartest website for reading manga online, it can automatic resize images to fit your pc screen, even on your mobile. Experience now by using your smartphone and access to NovelOnlineFull.com