I-Team: Area 51 Book Offers Wild Claims of Roswell Incident
Published: May 26, 2011 4:08 PM CDT
By Stephen Jackson, Online News Editor
By George Knapp, Chief Investigative Reporter
By Matt Adams, Chief Photojournalist
LAS VEGAS -- Nevada's top secret military base known as Area 51 exploded into the public arena in the late 1980's after stories first broadcast on Channel 8 about alleged alien technology being tested out in the desert.
Now, a new, equally bizarre account is generating a furor. It's a twisted tale involving Nazi's, Russians, and horrific human experimentation.
L.A. Times writer Annie Jacobsen did not set out to uncork one of the most exotic conspiracy stories of all time. The focus of her new book, Area 51, An Uncensored History, was always going to be on the Cold War heroes who toiled in obscurity at Groom Lake on top secret programs like the U-2 and SR-71 spy planes.
Area 51 workers, part of a social group called the Roadrunners, first went public with their insiders tales of the base in 2005 on 8 News NOW. Jacobsen knew their histories would make a great book.
But a seven page section at the end of her new book has overshadowed everything else, generating a media firestorm. Jacobsen has appeared on everything from Comedy Central to National Geographic telling a story that ties Area 51 to the infamous Roswell incident.
"I got this email from these conspiracy theorists in the UK who were very angry with me and said that even we don't believe you," she said.
UFO researchers have long contended that a flying saucer crashed near Roswell in 1947, that alien bodies were recovered, that everything was whisked to Wright Patterson Air Force Base and later to Area 51 in Nevada. A former government scientist, Bob Lazar, first told us that he worked on recovered saucers near Groom Lake, trying to master the extraterrestrial technology.
Jacobsen says she was told a much different tale by a senior engineer who worked on the atomic bomb program for 30 years, but who was part of a small team in charge of a recovered saucer and little bodies.
"He was told it came from the Roswell crash. In addition to the equipment, he and the four other engineers received these child-sized aviators, two of whom were comatose but still alive," she said.
The engineers were told the saucer had been built by the Russians, based on a flying wing design created by German engineers for Adolf Hitler. The crew members were large-headed, alien looking teenagers who had been surgically altered by Nazi doctor Joseph Mengele.
The plot was to create a War of the Worlds type panic in the U.S., but it went awry when Stalin's saucer crashed.
Jacobsen defends this wild tale based on the credibility of her anonymous source.
"I believe my source. He believes what he was told," she said.
But others have a lot of trouble with the story. The Area 51 roadrunners, for one, whose president T.D. Barnes says that while they support most of the book, they are disappointed with the saucer story and strongly disavow any association with it.
UFO researchers and critics finally agree on something -- that this story is hard to swallow. And national media are aiming their guns at Jacobsen.
"So it goes when you're a journalist, George," she said.
The book is already headed for the bestsellers lists.
Two Unusual Sighting Reports from College Station, Texas
Published: 12:33 PM 5/28/2011
Texas - 03-01-11
One morning, around 2 AM in early March of 2011, I walked into my backyard to have a cigarette before going to sleep.
Before I proceed, I want to state that I am an avid observer of the sky, particularly in the city of College Station. I can therefore attest that I am very familiar with seeing planes (commercial and military), stars, meteors, cloud formations, and just about anything else you would see if you spent a lot of time sky-watching.
Going back to 2 AM, I had just walked outside and looked up like I always do facing southwest. About 45 degrees off the horizon, I noticed a rusty, orange-colored object flying from south to north (my left to right).
This object was close (less than 200 feet off the ground and less than 250 feet away from me) and made absolutely no sound.
It was shoebox-shaped (rectangle) and appeared orange-like in color, but only because it was reflecting the orange hue of street lights it was flying over.
Had there been no streetlights, this craft would have appeared black. The craft was not very large, maybe only several cubic meters in volume. My immediate reaction to explain how it moved so straight at constant speed and constant elevation, made no sound, and was so close to me was that it had to be a glider.
This cannot have been the case however, as a glider would have a very visible wing structure, which this craft definitely lacked.
Eventually, this object flew out of my sight, bearing north. I have never seen an object fly like this before or after this event.
Several days later, standing in the same backyard and looking in the sky northwest, I noticed an even stranger event.
A few days later (no more than 4) right around sunset (approx. 7:30 PM), I was sitting in my backyard and noticed a white, vertically oriented cigar-shaped object, relatively far away, about 15 degrees off the horizon, that appeared to be moving.
This object was brilliantly white, in stark contrast to other clouds in the sky that were painted red and orange by the setting sun.
As I stared, this object appeared to be changing and moving, as I could see the object crossing below and then going back above a non-moving power line that happened to be in the same line of sight between me and this object.
I watched this object for about a minute, and during that time its color remained this odd white, but its shape changed from vertical cigar, then shrunk into a sphere maybe a quarter the size of the cigar, then elongated into a horizontal shaped cigar, and then shrunk back into a sphere.
When it shrunk back into a sphere the second time, a bright orange point of light began shining from within this cloud-like sphere.
The light was not moving, was colored bright orange, and was not any star or planet I have ever seen. It was still daylight out and maybe a few other stars or planets were even visible at this point in the evening, but this light was 10 times brighter than any other object/light in the sky.
This convinced me to run inside and get out a half broken telescope, and view the object through the star finder of the telescope (similar angular resolution as a rifle scope).
Looking through the star finder at the still shining sphere revealed something incredible, and something I will do my best to describe in words.
The orange light appeared star-like (a point source) and was very bright. It was orange, and its color stayed constant.
Its position remained constant with regards to the "sphere" and in my line of sight, making it seem as if both the orange light and the cloud-like sphere it came from were not moving with regards to each other or me.
The orange light was coming from under what looked like a mushroom cap that was colored this cloud-like white. The best way I can describe what the cloud-like shapes (that turned into the mushroom cap) looked like would be very similar to the vapor cone that forms around a jet as it breaks the sound barrier. At least, it was very similar in texture and color.
Eventually, both the orange light and the cloud-like mushroom cap disappeared into invisibility. They more or less faded from sight as I was looking at them.
I have not seen anything unusual since these two sightings, but because of them I find myself constantly watching the skies with an undying anxiety of seeing something similar.
I know what I saw and I know it was no object, natural or man-made, that I had ever seen before or have ever seen since.
Topic of the Moment: SETI – The search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
Published: May 25, 2011 at 10:37 am
What's new in physics — By Lena
With the cancellation of funding for an alien-hunting telescope in California, we look at the science behind the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence.
Where is everybody?
This was the question reportedly asked by nuclear physicist Enrico Fermi during a lunch at Los Alamos laboratory in New Mexico back in 1950.
It’s now known as the Fermi Paradox. It’s intended to highlight the apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability that there are alien civilizations in our galaxy, and the lack of any evidence that they really do exist.
There are a number of attempted explanations of why this should be the case, such as alien civilizations being too far away, eventually being destroyed by themselves or by natural events – or because they aren’t there to find.
A decade after Fermi’s question, astrophysicist Frank Drake, the pioneer of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, created what is now referred to as the Drake Equation to try to estimate the number of alien civilizations in our galaxy.
The equation is based on the star formation rate, the fraction of stars that have planets and the probabilities of, for example, the planets developing life and that life evolving intelligence.The problem is that we don’t accurately know the values of most of the variables, and Drake himself has said that his equation is just a way of “organising our ignorance” on the matter.
Most approaches aimed at detecting aliens involve listening out for signals and hoping we find something.
Efforts to detect signs of extraterrestrial intelligence usually use radio telescopes, typically utilising a portion of their time that is not devoted to traditional radio astronomy.
Assuming that alien signals are much like our own, the data analysts are on the lookout for repeating signals with a narrow bandwidth.
But because there is little time dedicated to SETI activities, and resources are scarce, there have only been studies at a handful of frequencies from a few thousand star systems – out of more than 100 bn stars in total.
Arguably the best candidate for the detection of an artificial transmission so far is the “Wow!” signal, picked up in 1977 by the Big Ear radio telescope at Ohio State University.
It lasted for the entirety of the maximum 72 seconds for which it could be observed, suggesting a constant signal, and was at a frequency similar to that of hydrogen resonance, which has been suggested as one at which strong interstellar signals might be transmitted.
Repeated attempts to relocate the signal have not found anything, however.
Because using radio telescopes can only possibly detect civilizations that have reached a certain level of technology, some have suggested finding planets around other stars and monitoring their atmospheres.
This could first determine whether they’re capable of supporting life like that which is found on Earth, and then detect any changes in composition that would result from an industrial revolution.
Announcing our presence
Signals from Earth have been leaking into space, unwittingly announcing our presence to any extraterrestrial civilizations, since the first FM radio and TV transmissions.
Unlike some other frequencies, which bounce off the atmosphere, FM signals can penetrate it and be carried through space.
But any aliens wanting to catch 24-hour rolling news coverage would have to be nearby.
Until recently, TV transmissions have been omnidirectional – they spread out roughly equally in every direction through space. So their power decreases with the square of the distance that the signal has travelled through space, meaning that broadcasts would be extremely difficult to pick up at a range of more than a few tens of lightyears.
It will be even harder in the future because of both satellite television and the digital switchover. Whereas the old type of broadcasts sent radio waves in every direction, the requirements of satellite TV mean sending them in tighter beams up to satellites and then back down to Earth again, so less of the signal leaks into space.
The UK is also due to switch over to digital rather than analogue broadcasting, and digital signals only need about a quarter of the power, making any transmission even weaker still by the time it reaches neighbouring stars.
But even if accidentally leaked messages are weak, we can still try to make contact deliberately by beaming messages towards a particular location in space.
This has been attempted several times, the best known of which was transmitted by the Arecibo radio observatory in 1974. The message was a sequence of binary digits, which, when decoded shows pictorial and mathematical representations of a human being, our solar system and DNA.
It was aimed at the M13 globular cluster of around 30 000 stars 21 000 light years away, which will no longer be there by the time the message arrives – it was intended more as a demonstration of technology and to be thought-provoking.
Although the power of deliberately transmitted beams doesn’t drop as rapidly as with accidental broadcasts, they are still only likely to be strong enough to be detected within perhaps a few hundred to a few thousand lightyears. The effective range of a transmission depends on several factors, including the frequency, bandwidth and transmission power.
Even for messages at high power, any extraterrestrials waiting to hear from us could need a radio dish several kilometres across. They may not have the budget for it.
Man Witnesses Black Sphere UFO near Belgrade, Montana
Published: 12:00 PM 5/20/2011
Montana - 05-15-11
On Sunday morning I was heading south out of Belgrade, MT, on Highway 191 to go to my business to retrieve something I forgot.
Anyway, as I was driving by this meadow, which is completely devoid of trees and completely flat, I noticed a black sphere approximately 3-4 ft. in diameter heading north at about 40-50 feet off the ground.
It was about 150 - 200 yards off the highway, and moving at about 20-30 mph.
My first thought was that it was a balloon, but the wind that morning was out of the east and blowing real hard and this thing was not being buffeted by the wind whatsoever.
It continued unaffected by the wind for a distance of about 200 yds., bobbled a couple of times, and rapidly descended to a height of about 8-10 ft. and just sat there.
I watched for a bit and seeing no further movement went on my way.
Now was this a balloon? NO.
Was it a government spy drone? Possibly, but why would it be in some farmer's vacant field in Montana?
My personal feeling on what this could be is that it was an alien probe of some kind.
Possibly, it was looking for cattle to do some of that weird cattle mutilation to.
It might be worth talking to the people that live nearby to see if they have seen anything like this before or that morning.
I wish I was able to get my camera off the floor of my truck to get a video clip, but I’m recovering from a broken clavicle (No, I wasn't high on pain meds!). If I ever see one of these again, hopefully, I can get some footage or even shoot it down so we can see what it really was.
I happened to be having trouble sleeping so around 0345 hours I decided to go outside and sit on my back porch since the weather was so nice.
The sky was very clear with an occasional cloud which could easily be seen. I was lying on my back looking straight up at a particularly bright star (the moon was off to my left) and just basically relaxing and star gazing.
I started to get stiff lying down, so I sat up facing south.
I happened to look straight up over my head again and noticed what appeared to be a very bright star which I thought was the same star I had just been looking at, but this one was much brighter and I noticed it was moving at what appeared to be a fairly high rate of speed towards the south.
I observed the star I had been looking at before which was stationary and less bright.
I then noticed the very bright light directly above me was followed by another bright light (much brighter than the surrounding stars).
The two lights were off-set, and then I noticed the third light almost immediately to the west of the first light and the entire formation appeared to be moving as if it were one object.
The lights formed a triangular shape (the sides longer than the base) and appeared to me as if it was a triangle flying backwards (leading with the base).
The object appeared to be extremely large, and traveling at a much higher rate of speed than any satellite or aircraft I observed before or after.
The triangular shape was heading south-southeast. I watched as the first light (east side) of the object appeared to reflect the moon light and got brighter and then dimmed as it traversed the sky almost directly away from me to the south.
There were no visible clouds in the path of the formation and it was completely silent. The lights did not blink or change color.
I watched the formation for about three or four seconds, and then reached down for my cell phone which was on the ground next to me to try and take video of the lights.
I looked down for a second to retrieve my phone and when I looked back to photograph the object, it was gone.
I was very disappointed to not get a video.
I took two photos with my cell phone of the area of the sky I expected the object to be but nothing turned out.
The time on my phone was 0402 after I tried to take the video.
I am not sure if it was a formation of three separate lights or if it was a triangular object. All the lights appeared fixed in relation to each other.
The day was above average warmth for May in Norway. Wind was calm. Just before this picture was taken I had flown my plane under a bit more wind, but by the time the Sabre was in the air the wind was practically zero.
Weather forecasts for Sunday said wind was St 2.5 m/sec. Normal RC flying for small planes stop at around 4.0 m/sec IMO.
I took 30 minutes of video footage of flying before and after this picture was taken. Nothing can be seen over the forest. I took around 40 other pictures between 15:00 and 16:00 CET. No other picture has this object on it.
It's not a lens issue.
I rule out dirt, sand, leafs, and birds. Dirt because I was on a grass strip. I was in position waiting to take the picture for at least 10 seconds before I took it, waiting for the plane to come into view. Therefore, I did not kick up anything.
I was also alone. My brother, the pilot, is way further down the airstrip.
Sand for the same reason. Leaf might be a possibility, but since the winds were so calm and there are no trees close by in the area, I doubt it.
Birds because, well, there's no wings. And if there was a bird, I believe it would have been more blurry?
There is a flight path just over this area. I saw at least one passenger jet going in for landing at Oslo Gardermoen Airport at the time, which is around 1.5 hours away by car to the south.
Here's footage of a flight a few minutes before the picture was taken. As you can hear, the wind is blowing, but it sounds worse than it is. I wouldn't have debuted my plane under windy conditions.