L. A. Times investigative reporter Annie Jacobsen on her new book about Area 51; plus writer Jack Boulware talks about his longtime coverage of UFologists and his visit to Area 51 20 years ago.
Jacobsen's new book is Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base. It's a fascinating look at recently declassified information about the airbase near Groom Lake, Nevada from WWII into the 1980's. She reports that the bulk of UFO sightings in the '50's and '60's were caused by test flights of the U-2 spy plane; that Area 51 was the home to a fleet of captured Soviet MIG fighters; that stealth fighters, and most likely the unmanned drones of recent years were developed at Area 51. She sheds new light on the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 and the role of U-2's in that showdown and on operation Paperclip, where the US recruited Nazi scientists to work on our space programs. The most controversial part of her book, based on a well-placed source, reveals more about the incident in Roswell, NM in 1947: a Soviet craft with bizarre human occupants who may have been produced by Josef Mengele's human experiments. Jacobsen responds to criticism over the Roswell materials from a UFologist who thinks she was "had" or manipulated on this subject.
At 44:48, Jack Boulware returns. Former editor of The Nose magazine and co-author of the book about San Francisco's punk rock scene in the 1980's, Boulware first introduced your humble host to Area 51, and describes how he and a photojournalist visited the area and triggered a security response. Boulware has been to Roswell, and has been covering the UFO scene for many years.