a reply to: gariac
I don't get the hummus reference but TD once served me some apple butter made from fruit grown at Area 51. True story.
Back on topic, this set of books is generally a good read and helps put a lot of things about Area 51 into historical perspective. That said, all
three volumes would have benefitted from some rigorous editing and fact-checking. There are a number of typographical errors, a few misspelled names,
and a fair amount of redundancy in the content. The various sections do not always following a logical organization but they are all clearly labeled
by section title.
I did not go through page-by-page and catalog every factual error and I am not planning to do so. Here are a few items that jumped out at me:
Vol. 1, page 62
In a section on how the U-2 test location was chosen it says, "Groom Lake was on the grid number 51, a grid number that existed long before it became
widely known as the infamous Area 51." This, of course, is not true. No such grid exists. The area designation was derived from Project 51, the 1959
construction project that began the transition from the temporary Watertown Airstrip to the permanent air base we know today. There are several other
minor errors in this same section including the identification of Lockheed's Beechcraft as a V-35 model. It was actually a Beech 50 Twin Bonanza.
Vol. 1, page 63
The AEC guards in the 1950s are identified as working for "Federal Protection Services." They actually worked for Federal Services, Inc. (FSI).
Vol. 1, page 85
"The world's best-known secret base didn't become known while the CIA ran Area 51." Actually, news stories published as early as November 1955
described the Groom Lake base as "the super secret 'proving grounds within the proving grounds.'" Articles written in the 1960s described Area 51 as a
"super-secret Nevada base" though without revealing the CIA connection.
Vol. 3, p31
A photo caption describes the pictures as, "The HAVE DOUGHNUT MiG-21 w/Israeli markings before delivery to Area 51." This is actually a relatively
recent photo of a MiG-21 in an Israeli museum, where it has been painted to look the way the HAVE DOUGHNUT aircraft looked after it had been returned
to Israel in 1968 and before it returned to Area 51 in the early 1970s. A former Red Hats pilot said that the original airplane did not return to
Israel a second time and that the example in the museum is a different airplane.
Vol. 3, page 148
This section states that project HAVE GLIB "involved testing Soviet tracking and missile control radar systems." OK, this one is my fault. Years ago,
I made that assumption based on some compelling but flimsy circumstantial evidence and posted it on the Internet. Now, everyone takes it as gospel,
even people who worked at Groom Lake. It's possible that HAVE GLIB did include testing of Soviet threat systems but it was mainly the follow-on effort
to the HAVE DOUGHNUT and HAVE DRILL evaluations of MiG-21 and MiG-17 fighters.