Inside the Real Area 51, by Thomas J. Carey and Donald R. Schmitt (Hardcover, 2013)|
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Reviewer: Mark Lamendola, author of over 6,000 articles.
This is an interesting book. The authors present some things that truly raise
questions. But the book falls well short of being authoritative on its central
thesis. It does provide yet more proof of how opaque our federal "government"
is, and regardless of what you think about UFOs that's a good "takeaway" from
The authors didn't explicitly didn't claim to finally have definitive
proof of anything, because there is no definitive proof (at least not
available to the public). This fact is borne out in the book. The authors
show time and again how investigative efforts were stymied, access was
denied, and people involved in various cases were under an enforced silence.
Whether the powers that be were hiding actual "space visitor" evidence or
something else, we really can't know (this, however, is what the authors
Magicians use misdirection to provide us with the many illusions we see
in magic shows. Misdirection has long been a high art form amongst the
ruling class, as well. For an example of this, just consider how long
organized crime has run unabated while employees of Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big
Banking, and other criminal organizations pose as our "representatives" in
what pretend to be two separate political parties in the US Congress. Yet no
matter which one is "in power," the crime simply continues. It's all
misdirection. So it's a reasonable assumption that the whole UFO thing is
yet another exercise in misdirection.
My own take on the whole UFO controversy it's a way to divert attention
away from the many nefarious actions undertaken by those who are supposed to
govern (rather than steal). The authors did not disprove this, because their
own "evidence" was mostly of the inadmissible sort. I had hoped the claims
on the cover are what you find inside the book, but sadly that is not quite
the case for the reason just mentioned.
The authors did provide many accounts in which people said this or that
in favor of the idea that Area 51 is all about hiding evidence of a crashed
space ship from some other planet. But I personally am skeptical of such
accounts no matter what the issue; their lack of accuracy is a known issue
among investigators. I want to see actual evidence.
I'd like to see photographs of actual artifacts, but you can't fault the
authors for not having them. As demonstrated repeatedly in this book, those
were not provided or permitted by those controlling Area 51. The reason
might have nothing to do with hiding UFOs; it may have to do with
perpetuating the controversy so as to misdirect attention.
It's not that the authors are uncredentialed crackpots, it's just that
their standards of evidence are low (per the above, and I'll say more in a
bit). The authors do have credentials and don't seem to be crackpots.
For example, Cary is an Air Force veteran. Not only that, he once held
Top Secret clearance. To get that clearance, a person must undergo quite the
rigamarole. And these authors have been investigating this topic for a very
long time. They didn't just go see a movie and then decide to write a book
based on a cursory view of conspiracy Websites.
In fact, the bibliography is oversized in relation to the book. Some of
the references cited are from leading universities. Others are actual
government documents (images of some even appear in the book). And here's
were we get to the low standards part. Most of the references are dubious.
Where the authors fell down was mostly in the huge number of
second-source interviews. That is, they interviewed one person about what
another person (now dead) said. Those kinds of sources are especially prone
to error. This pattern was pretty persistent. Rather than eyewitness
interviews, we seemed to get accounts of eyewitness interviews.
This kind of "evidence" isn't permissible in court, and for good reason.
Because the authors kept using it, I am inclined to discount all of the
included accounts. It's a credibility issue. The authors had a duty to
include predominantly unimpeachable evidence, not build a case on dubious
evidence and toss in some facts. The could have used a sampling of the
secondhand info as corroboration, perhaps. But it seems to be the core of
They also referenced a large number of UFO publications. No bias
And there are clues in the writing that the authors are not as careful
and knowledgeable as they want to appear to be. For example, near the end of
the book they talk about "Marshall Law" when it seems from the context they
meant "martial law." Notice the difference in case, but also the difference
in that first word. This shows a lack of understanding about a basic
concept. Also near the end of the book, they "I guess...." something where
they should have looked up the fact and stated it. There are other
anomalies, as well. Perhaps these are the fault of a copy editor, not the
authors. But I have to go by what's in the book.
There's also a fundamental head-scratcher behind the authors' basic
thesis (aliens have been coming to earth, only to hide from us). If we
humans found intelligent life on another planet or, even (and I know it's a
remote possibility) in Washington, DC, would we not be excited and try to
establish meaningful contact? Our Voyager space probe was designed partly
with that goal in mind--its inscriptions are all about communicating with
other life forms, not hiding from them. We have SETI and other means of
trying to find and contact intelligent life on other planets. Apparently,
we've given up on the idea of intelligent life in Washington, DC. But we do
reach out to other, more promising places.
So it seems implausible, at best, that beings on another planet made a
huge investment of resources to visit Earth and then have tried to hide the
fact they are here. In fact, we have huge amounts of evidence supporting
(though not conclusively) the idea that aliens were here thousands of years
ago and made extensive contact (see the works of Vonnegut, among others).
But implausible is not a synonym for impossible. This book is intriguing,
partly because it pushes the implausibility quite a bit closer to reality.
While you're scratching your head over why aliens would come here and hide
from us, you also have to scratch your head over the many issues the authors
raised. Among those are the extreme efforts at secrecy and suppression. But,
as I said, it could just be yet another exercise in misdirection. Given the
fact that Obama's deficit spending last year alone was (according to the
GAO) $6 trillion rather than the $1 trillion he stated, my vote goes to