Today is Memorial Day 2011, a day for remembering the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform. For many of us who listened to Coast-to-Coast radio
last night, it is a day that we Roadrunners of Groom Lake, a.k.a. Area 51 realize that our valor has been stolen by an author who refuses to repent
her literary crimes and errors described herein.
Many members of our Roadrunner association fought in World War II, Korea, Viet Nam, and the Cold War. For years on end, we worked in secrecy, leaving
our homes on Monday morning and returning on Friday night, unable for almost half a century to tell our families where we’d been or what we did.
Over the past few years the Roadrunners nudged the edge of the security envelope as we sought to establish the legacy of our proud U-2 Aquatone and
A-12 Oxcart sacrifices and contributions to our nation’s security and survival of the Cold War. In 2007, the CIA declassified our identities in the
projects, which enabled us to publish our individual participation for the benefit of history, family, and friends. We circled the wagons and as a
band of brothers told our stories and contributed to stories establishing the legacy of those already departed on their final flight. For this their
families and friends were very grateful.
Approximately two years ago, Annie Jacobsen, an established author and contributing editor for the LA Times wrote an excellent article entitled “The
Road to Area 51″, which described the beginning of our Project Oxcart. Because of the success of the article, Mrs. Jacobsen undertook to author a
book about the projects and Roadrunner participants, which we embraced with open arms. We saw it as a great means of passing our stories and proud
legacy on to our families, friends, and future generations.
We took Mrs. Jacobsen into our homes and told her our life history that led to our being proud participants in the ultra secret activities at Area 51.
We introduced her to our contemporaries, something that most of us had never done before. After 50 years of silence, we sought to allow our brothers
the opportunity to finally tell about the major contributions recently declassified that we, as a band of brothers, made to our nation’s wars. In a
domino like effect, each of us opened the doors of others who took our lead in the telling of their personal sacrifices and contributions to past
wars, including the Cold War, and to our nation’s future wars to keep us free.
When we organized the Oxcart Legacy Tour in September 2010, where we spent ten days in the Washington area conducting panel discussions at various
intelligence agencies, the Air & Space Smithsonian Museum, the International Spy Museum, and the Capitol Hill Club, we brought Annie Jacobsen along as
a friend and author writing our stories. Out of respect to us, these agencies allowed Annie Jacobsen to accompany us to these presentations conducted
deep in the inner sanctums of agencies normally closed to those lacking security clearances and a need to know.
Unknown to us, the “author,” to whom we were telling our life histories, somewhere along the way became an “Investigative Journalist”
credulously seeking to associate our time at Area 51 with the so-called Roswell flying saucer crash in 1947. Unknown to us, she located an elderly
former employee of the Atomic Energy Commission whose mind now recalls seeing a Russian-made flying saucer constructed by Stalin that reportedly
crashed at Roswell packed with medically and genetically altered children as pilots. According to Jacobsen writing in first person and stating as
facts, Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele worked with Stalin to create these alien-looking children and this unidentified witness, a nuclear engineer, was given
the job of caring for the comatose child pilots incased in vertical tubular tanks filled with Jell-O-like substance and life support systems. Why, if
Russia having this technology in 1947, we aren’t all speaking the Russian language today, or why a nuclear engineer would be called upon to
medically care for comatose children incased in Jell-O-like substance is totally lacking in Jacobsen’s book. However, on the basis of the
sole-source stories of an elderly, unidentified witness, Jacobsen and her publisher completely changed the focus of her book from one of heroics to
one of horror and fantasy. When presented with discrepancies in her book and on her website promoting the book, Jacobsen refused to correct them,
stating she stands by what she was told or wrote. The following discrepancies on the website could have been corrected, but were not: Bud Wheelon only
went up in the trainer, it’s misleading to say he flew in a “Mach 3 spy plane. Bissell resigned in 1961 and Wheelon didn’t become DDS&T until
1963, thus it is misleading to connect the two events. Herbert Scoville, the Deputy Director for Research (appointed in 1962 to the position that
preceded the establishment of the DS&T) would have been Bissell’s replacement as “Mayor of Area 51”. (A term not officially used to describe the
position.) Referencing the JFK assassination in the Donohue character description is off the mark; it had no effect on the program.
Nonetheless, Jacobsen’s book, “Area 51 an uncensored history of America’s Top Secret Military Base” has excited those who subscribe to
activism, scandal, conspiracy, Nazi and Stalin atrocities, and child mutilation, and is racing towards being a number one seller. The scandal is not
the veterans, named and unnamed, whom the public now affiliates to the wild, unsubstantiated gory “facts” contained in the last chapter of the
book where Jacobsen ventures into writing as an activist in the first person. The scandal is Jacobsen who is fending off international condemnation by
the media, fellow journalists, and the veterans of Nevada’s atomic programs and DOD operations at Area 51 by now claiming that as a “reporter”
it was her duty to report what she was told and that it was not her job to verify the truth. Instead of enjoying a great book that the DOD and DOE
families can be proud of and share with their families, the aging Roadrunners are having to show up at Jacobsen’s book signings, not to promote her
book, but to set the record straight and clear their names and legacy. However, take away the final chapter, Area 51 An Uncensored History Of
America’s Top Secret Military Base is certainly one that should be read to learn a bit about the secret heroes of the Cold War.
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