The other night a customer at the bar, that had recently returned from a trip to New Mexico, was extolling the virtues of the beers produced in the “Land of Enchantment” by Sierra Blanca Brewing—his favorite being their Roswell Alien Amber Ale. That exchange led to the inevitable discussion about “Area 51,” the newly published book by Annie Jacobsen, a respected investigative journalist who covers issues concerning national security.
While Ms. Jacobsen’s work mostly deals with those things that one would expect to see addressed in an intelligent well researched inquiry into the workings of one of the world’s most secret military installations (atomic testing, advanced weapons design, experimental aircraft and espionage) there is the new explanation as to what actually occurred in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947 that I find a bit hard to swallow.
The author suggests that the purported crash of a possible extraterrestrial craft was actually a highly developed Soviet spy plane, that was built by way of technology secured from the Germans after the Second World War. There is also the fantastic claim that the aircraft was piloted by genetically altered children, with alien-like features, that were the result of experiments conducted by the infamous Nazi “Angel of Death” Joseph Mengele at the behest of Joe Stalin. And supposedly the point to all of this was simply an attempt by the Russians to wage an elaborate game of psychological warfare against an American population that was apparently living in fear of a possible invasion from outer space.
Quite frankly though, after suffering the hardships and horrors of World War II, and now having to cope with the new threats posed by the nuclear age, I believe Americans would probably have had the grit to deal with an intergalactic tussle with little green men.
But since I love a good conspiracy theory as much as the next earthling, let’s examine some of the known facts that may have led Ms. Jacobsen to propose this rather astounding hypothesis:
- By the end of the war the Germans had developed the Horton HO 229 Fighter/Bomber, a long-range jet powered flying wing that was the forerunner of modern stealth technology.
- During the early 1950s a comprehensive book by Rudolph Lusar appeared in Europe that chronicled Nazi weapons development during the Second World War. In a section of the book devoted to special projects, the author provides detailed information about a German saucer program.
- On June 14th, 1947, aviator Kenneth Arnold claims that during a flight near Mt. Rainer he witnessed seeing a formation of nine unusual disc-like craft flying at speeds estimated to be in excess of 1200 miles per hour. His description of the lead craft does bear some resemblance to the Horton 229. This sighting is considered to be the beginning of the modern age UFOs.
- Either in June or early July of the same year, rancher William “Mac” Brazel happened upon some strange debris on the Foster homestead located near Roswell, New Mexico.
- On July 8th, 1947, the public information officer at the Roswell Army Air Field issued a press release that stated that members of the 509th Bomb Group had recovered what was referred to as a “flying disc.” On the following day the Commanding General of the Eighth Air Force reported to the press that it was, in fact, the remnants of a radar-tracking balloon that was retrieved from the ranch near Roswell.
- The entire incident quickly faded from the public’s memory. But in 1978, physicist and ufologist Stanton Friedman interviewed Major Jesse Marcel who was involved with the original recovery operation in 1947. Marcel told Friedman that an actual crashed alien spacecraft was removed from the New Mexico site, and that the military and government were involved in the cover-up. This led to years of wild speculation within the UFO community, and it brought to light other supposed crash and recovery operations conducted by the United States military.
- But the absolutely most important fact to remember is that any book about Area 51 that does not include some wild supposition about UFOs is doomed to be quickly relegated to the bargain bookshelf.
And lastly, had Stalin actually been in possession of some technologically superior mode of flight that could have bested the air forces of the world in 1947, I doubt that even this crazy Russian would have given the keys to the craft to some mutant teenager and then told him to take it for a spin over the deserts of New Mexico.
Posted by: Chris Poh