×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

New Book Reports Soviets Behind Roswell UFO Scare

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the I-want-to-believe dept.

Sci-Fi 135

jalefkowit writes "A new book by Los Angeles Times Magazine investigative reporter Annie Jacobsen, titled Area 51, reports that that the famous 1947 UFO sightings in Roswell, New Mexico, were actually an attempt by the Soviet Union to demonstrate that they could panic the American population if they wished. According to the book, the UFOs were actually aircraft derived from flying-wing technology, piloted by 'child-size aviators' surgically altered by captured Nazi doctors to appear more frightening. Skeptics note that this account is based on testimony provided to Jacobsen by a single unnamed source, who she describes as one of only five engineers given full access to the crash debris at the top-secret facility in Nevada known as Area 51."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

135 comments

Bullshit, but a kernel of truth there (5, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262282)

Silly claims about surgically-altered child-sized navigators aside, there is a connection between the Soviets and Roswell. Project Mogul [wikipedia.org], a top secret program to spy on the Soviets, was being testing near Roswell in 1947. One of their spy balloons was what crashed in that famous incident (and why there was a subsequent cover-story and cover-up by the local military).

In fact, if you look at the mass of "UFO" incidents, you'll notice a pretty consistent pattern. They almost always took place near secret U.S. air bases during the height of the Cold War. Doesn't take a genius to figure out that the strange lights, mysterious craft, and "men in black" that people were seeing had a lot less to do with little green men than with Cold War secrecy, paranoia, and spycraft.

Re:Bullshit, but a kernel of truth there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36262330)

Last I checked it was the US military testing high altitude parachuting with crash-test dummies instead of people, dropped from a high altitude balloon.

Re:Bullshit, but a kernel of truth there (0)

steelfood (895457) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262630)

I think your argument would hold more weight if it weren't for the last section in the wikipedia article (yeah, I probably shouldn't trust wikipedia 100%, but I think it's accurate enough to believe until I hear otherwise). The flight that supposedly was the Roswell crash was also supposedly canceled due to poor weather. That reeks too much like the "magic bullet" theory to me.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Soviets pulled a stunt like this, and there was (and still is) a massive coverup by the U.S. government. The only issue is, there are far too many assumptions to make to accept the author's premise.

Between this and actual E.T.'s crashing, Occam's Razor feels mightly sharp right about now.

Re:Bullshit, but a kernel of truth there (1)

Calindae (1256922) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262796)

Occam's Razor? How about the fact that we know Russians *exist*? I would be the first to hope that there are non-Earth life forms out there, but since you mentioned assumptions, it seems assuming alien life actually exists is pretty far from lex parsimoniae.

Re:Bullshit, but a kernel of truth there (1)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#36263272)

I think that was steelfood's point - that yes, this explanation, however outlandish, is simpler than assuming humanoid alien life capable of interstellar/planetary travel.

I take much the same approach on the "fake" moon landing pictures. If we presume the apparent photographic problems like rocks overlapping film crosshairs are actually there, then assuming that some of the photos were doctored is realistic - it doesn't mean that the entire event involving thousands of people and enormous amounts of hardware were fake. Faking the photos is easy, faking an entire moon mission is difficult. Therefore if the photos are faked it's more likely that just the photos were faked.

Re:Bullshit, but a kernel of truth there (1)

Progman3K (515744) | more than 2 years ago | (#36263490)

Sounds like a great plan; start a terror campaign to make Americans believe an alien invasion is about to start.

There's no way the soviet people could also have heard about it, what with the news media blaring. No danger of it backfiring on the soviets.

I believe think-tanks are a bit smarter than that.

Nice try, book-selling charlatan.

Re:Bullshit, but a kernel of truth there (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#36263686)

Sounds like a great plan; start a terror campaign to make Americans believe an alien invasion is about to start.

Except that would be an incredibly stupid way to go about it. If you were going to do something like that (and it would be a stupid idea, on so *many* levels), you wouldn't crash your "alien craft" on some desert farm in the middle of bumfuck nowhere. You would crash it in a suburb, or near a city. And, even so, the panic wouldn't last very long--because a quick autopsy would reveal the "alien" pilots to be human almost immediately. Not only that, but the U.S. government would tear your "UFO" apart and find Soviet serial numbers and markings on the parts (removing all traceable evidence of earthly construction from a modern aircraft would be almost impossible)--and use that as a pretense for possible war (or, at least, a very embarrassing reveal at the UN).

No remotely sane person would buy that as a workable plan. It's so epically stupid, it almost boggles the mind that anyone would even dare propose it , much less execute it.

Re:Bullshit, but a kernel of truth there (3, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#36263862)

It was to be announced at the Party Congress on Monday. As you know, the Premier loves surprises.

Re:Bullshit, but a kernel of truth there (1)

socz (1057222) | more than 2 years ago | (#36264436)

You know, you make a very valid point:

You would crash it in a suburb, or near a city. And, even so, the panic wouldn't last very long--because a quick autopsy would reveal the "alien" pilots to be human almost immediately.

I think crashing it into a big city would cause an undesired side affect - setting off an entire nation and gaining further support for mass armament.

So here's what I would do, besides using a font straight out of predator for everything, I would basically finish the job on the inside that was started on the outside of the 'freaky pilots.' Throw in some komodo dragon parts, maybe an ostrich gizzard or two, and for good measure, an elephant's trunk. That'll do something! (oh and take out all of the human body parts). Sure, there are other things to take into consideration - how to get the 'ufo' there in the first place. But i'm sure that's easy when compared to the 'rest of the mission.'

Don't forget that both they and us had no limits to stop whatever crazy ideas we had to one up each other. And remember, Area 51 'officially, doesn't exist.'

Re:Bullshit, but a kernel of truth there (1)

orkysoft (93727) | more than 2 years ago | (#36263700)

What news media? You do realize you're talking about 1947 Soviet Russia, right?

Re:Bullshit, but a kernel of truth there (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262938)

It's always interesting to watch the line of thought play out with this general subject. Secret aeronautical experiments during the Jet Age / Space Age / Cold War? No. Wait a second. Something just doesn't add up here. Extraterrestrial visitors crashing on our planet? Hey now - we might be on to something!

Surgically altered pilots flying bleeding edge technology in to the heart of US air space just to screw with people sounds like a nice combination of UFO mythos. Occam's Razor indeed.

Re:Bullshit, but a kernel of truth there (3, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262954)

Eyewitness testimony of the Roswell wreckage is consistent with a high-altitude balloon. Witnesses described strange lightweight metal foil and strange strong but lightweight metal (keep in mind that this was before the general public would have encountered much aluminum material in consumer goods). And we know that the top secret Project Mogul was real and was testing nearby in the same time period. We also know that the military imposed a pretty heavy-handed lockdown of the materials not long after the crash and that witnesses were even threatened by MP's not to talk about the materials they had seen.

Now, in that case, what do you think is the simplest, sanest explanation--that a Project Mogul balloon crashed or that the Soviet Union surgically altered humans to look like children and flew them in a strange craft to the middle of the desert, then crashed them, all to instill mild fear in a bunch of local rednecks? Or perhaps you believe that alien creatures capable of crossing the almost unimaginably vast emptiness of interstellar space decided to expend the vast amounts of energy needed to cross hundreds of light years--all just to go the the middle of nowhere out in the desert and buzz some military base (and maybe probe a few rednecks while they were here)?

Re:Bullshit, but a kernel of truth there (1)

TheSeventh (824276) | more than 2 years ago | (#36263034)

No where does it say humans were altered to look like children. I believe what they were trying to explain was humans that were already short (dwarfs, little people, race-horse jockeys) were altered to look like aliens.

Re:Bullshit, but a kernel of truth there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36262974)

Occam's Razor is about the simplest explanation overall - not choosing one ludicrous bunch
of nonsense over an ever more ludicrous bunch of nonsense.

Re:Bullshit, but a kernel of truth there (1, Insightful)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 2 years ago | (#36263960)

The story is beyond stupid. The well established history of the advancement in aerodynamics in the US completely disproves the story.

Frankly, aliens are more likely that this bullshit story...and that's saying a lot!

Re:Bullshit, but a kernel of truth there (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262986)

No, it wasn't one of their spy balloons. IT wsa are experiment. it was an experiment to see if the US can detect atomic weapons testing and/or a launch.

Re:Bullshit, but a kernel of truth there (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#36263162)

I'm pretty sure the Soviets would classify floating a secret high-altitude balloon over their country in an attempt to determine if they were doing atomic testing as "spying."

Re:Bullshit, but a kernel of truth there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36263158)

If it were the US, I've always thought that it might have been to convince or attempt to at least convince the Soviets and others that an ~Alien technology had fallen into our laps. Now don't fuck with us or we'll use this on you. >8~D

Re:Bullshit, but a kernel of truth there (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#36263474)

On a related note, I've always been intrigued with Project Blue Book [wikipedia.org] and its ilk and their role in the Cold War. The goals of this program and others were to covertly survey the public around secret military bases to find out what they knew about the technology being tested there (the "Tell me about any strange craft you've seen" question), as well as to determine if there had been any legitimate sightings of Soviet spycraft on U.S. soil (and if anything could be learned from these sightings).

But I've often wondered if an secondary goal of this wasn't to actually encourage the public belief in extraterrestrial UFO's. After all, the Air Force, et.al. were very well-served by alien conspiracy theories that diverted attention away from questions about the actual secret aircraft and spycraft they were testing. Did they see this as a tool? Did they actually encourage the nutballs?

Re:Bullshit, but a kernel of truth there (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#36264586)

I remember all sorts of UFO theories about triangular and not round UFOs near Area 51 and how they had to be alien in origin because the crafts were very quiet and didn't appear on civilian radar. Then a decade later the government acknowledged the existence of the F-117 Nighthawk and the B-2 Spirit and no one would admit that all people saw were merely secret but terrestrial military aircraft.

I'm skeptical (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36262316)

Russians? Nazis? Not according to any movie I've seen.

This is a claim, and not a 'report' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36262332)

This is an unsubstantiated claim and not a report. Absolutely ridiculous.

Re:This is a claim, and not a 'report' (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262848)

It's a better explanation than "some alien species buzzed our planet and got shot down over the USA in the 1940's".

Re:This is a claim, and not a 'report' (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 2 years ago | (#36263438)

Heh, not by much... 'surgically altered (by Nazis no less) childlike aviators from Russia' is damn near as loony as it gets.. I'm looking forward towards the movie.. It would be right up Oliver Stone's alley..

Straighten Up and Fly Right [youtube.com]

Who cares (1)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262334)

I know we're all naturally curious creatures, and love a good narrative, but no experimental technology, political conflict, or conspiracy surrounding a single crash in the 40s is going to have much bearing against todays in-use technologies, political conflicts, or conspiracies(if there are any). Whatever happened is essentially irrelevant today, unless it was aliens(it wasn't aliens).

Re:Who cares (2)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262962)

Well, yes. We should just ignore history. After all, today's in-use technologies, political conflicts, and possible conspiracies had nothing to do with what happened in the past.

They did panic the American population. (1)

olsmeister (1488789) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262364)

It was called the Cuban missile crisis.

Re:They did panic the American population. (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#36264646)

Yes, much like douche bag MacArthur telling Truman it'd be be grand idea to drop up to 50 nukes on China. But I think you might have the timeline for it all a bit off.

The real headline is (5, Insightful)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262378)

An obscure journalist attempts to demonstrate that she can capture the attention of the media by publishing yet another a crackpot conspiracy theory.

Re:The real headline is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36262502)

Well, this isn't really a conspiracy theory. There's exactly one party, the guys in the Soviet Union who built and flew this thing. It seems logically like a reasonable explanation to me (nothing particularly far-fetched about painting a plane silver and sending some burn victims in), though I doubt it's any more accurate than all the others.

Re:The real headline is (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#36263312)

The Soviets, apparently wanting to scare a bunch of local rednecks in some desert shithole town, send in "flying-wing technology, piloted by 'child-size aviators' surgically altered by captured Nazi doctors to appear more frightening."

That seems perfectly reasonable to you? Really?

Re:The real headline is (1)

GreyyGuy (91753) | more than 2 years ago | (#36263574)

If it is true, then it worked didn't it? And it is certainly less crazy than a number of other well documented spy/war/cold war evens.

Re:The real headline is (1)

brusk (135896) | more than 2 years ago | (#36263376)

It is a conspiracy theory. The principal party to the conspiracy would be not the Soviets but the US government agency/ies that covered it up. It's also a stupid theory, of course.

Re:The real headline is (0)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262820)

Nope, she works for the Los Angeles Times, a reputable newspaper whose halo of truth shines on all its journalists. Her book is 544 pages, of which 30 contain this account. If she's making it up, then we must conclude that the Los Angeles Times and a whole lot of other reputable journalists make shit up on a regular basis, and we know this simply isn't true. Journalists are only allowed to print facts that have been independently verified by their editors. Get some knowledge before you spout off anti-journalist conspiracy theories, you stupid teabagger.

Re:The real headline is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36262976)

"If she's making it up, then we must conclude that the Los Angeles Times and a whole lot of other reputable journalists make shit up on a regular basis"

This is not a valid conclusion to jump to at all. Many times we've seen journalists at reputable organizations found to have made up stuff for a story. Regardless of the validity of this book, your logic in claiming it true is flawed.

Re:The real headline is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36263424)

If she's making it up, then we must conclude that the Los Angeles Times and a whole lot of other reputable journalists make shit up on a regular basis,

That's a non-sequitur.

and we know this simply isn't true

So that's fallacious nonsense. She can write what the hell she likes in her spare time, the book was not published by the LA Times and so was not fact-checked nor in any way vouched for by them.

Re:The real headline is (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262946)

She isn't obscure, and quite frankly I am shocked at how who journalism skill falls away at the end of the book.

Listen to the Fresh Air Interview (1)

psyclone (187154) | more than 2 years ago | (#36263270)

She specifically warns the reader that she changed to the first person to give an accurate account from that single source (mentioned in the summary). Since she only had once source for that information, and the information appears to be extreme if even partially true, she told his story in a different way.

The Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross:
http://www.npr.org/2011/05/17/136356848/area-51-uncensored-was-it-ufos-or-the-ussr [npr.org]

Listen or Download link is right at the top.

As fun as slandering people is... (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 2 years ago | (#36263486)

As fun as slandering people is, two notes should probably be kept in mind. First, the vast majority of the book is about research told to her by multiple sourced first-hand accounts of what was going on at Area 51. As in, non-conspirational yet still interesting stuff. Second, as a commenter above noted, this is not Annie Jacobsen's crazy theory on what was happening. She took special pains to point out that this was a story directly recounted to her from someone who was supposedly directly involved, unfiltered by her bias. In fact, if I recall correctly, she actually says at some point that she thinks the whole story is highly unlikely.

Unfortunately, the media loves a good sensationalist story, so out of the whole book, this is the one extremely minor thing picked out of it to publicize, and people are trying to cast Annie Jacobsen in the light of the crackpot theorist.

How about actually finding out more about her and the book [npr.org] next time before you go maligning people like this? Oh, right. Because the media isn't the only one who loves a good sensationalist story.

The truth will never be known (4, Insightful)

bl8n8r (649187) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262382)

No matter how many people speak out the "truth", there have been so many wildly different stories and claims that everything automatically gets tagged as bullshit in everyone's mind.

Re:The truth will never be known (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36262500)

but it's out there :-P

Re:The truth will never be known (1)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262756)

I wish I hadn't commented on another post in this thread, because I would have had moderator points to flag your comment as [+1 Insightful]

Re:The truth will never be known (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262926)

Except the truth IS KNOWN. there are no more secrets about what happened. IT's a very mundane and boring explanation but people who make money sling shit just ignore it, or make an ad hom attack against the theory and then ignore all responses.

How the russians would have gotten this craft their isn't explained, nor is it explained why the Russians would be using Scotch Tape, and american tape with flowers printed on it is ignored. Like all inconvienant facts people with an emotional tie to in idea tend to ignore.

Re:The truth will never be known (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 2 years ago | (#36263020)

No matter how many people speak out the "truth", there have been so many wildly different stories and claims that everything automatically gets tagged as bullshit in everyone's mind.

It's a pity that said calling of bullshit doesn't happen more often.

Re:The truth will never be known (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36263078)

No matter how many people speak out the "truth", there have been so many wildly different stories and claims that everything automatically gets tagged as bullshit in everyone's mind.

And that my friends, is what desinformation is all about

Re:The truth will never be known (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36263994)

Oh, bullshit!!

Seriously? (4, Insightful)

Hitch (1361) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262392)

I'm more willing to believe it was an actual UFO.
And I don't believe in Alien UFOs.

This is the most convoluted conspiracy theory I've heard since the "9/11 was perpetrated by the US" and "Obama's Birth Certificate" nutjobs

It's a shame... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36262396)

It's a shame that the stuff at the end (Stalin smuggled Josef Mengele out of Nazi Germany in the closing days of WWII so that he could surgically/genetically alter 13 year old kids to look like aliens for the purpose of starting a panic in the US that would delay the response to a preemptive Soviet attack- really?) will discredit what otherwise seems to be a well sourced history of cold-war research.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAH (0)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262428)

the crap that is told by that book, is less believable than extraterrestrial visitors.

ironic that this shit came out a short while after fbi ufo disclosure (right or wrong) news hit the major news outlets.

aliens may be there, or not, but, THIS is the most incompetent piece of disinformation that can ever be attempted. 'child size aviators' my ass.

Re:HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAH (2)

snookiex (1814614) | more than 2 years ago | (#36264308)

I could buy that if it wasn't for the "altered by captured Nazi doctors to appear more frightening" part :P

Not even pointing fingers at a democracy... (1)

Shoten (260439) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262454)

Holy crap...the most batshit-crazy theory yet to explain Roswell, and it doesn't even point to a consipracy by our own government, or a shadow organization? Who would have thought?

Re:Not even pointing fingers at a democracy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36262574)

i heard an interview with the author and actually she does claim that once we saw the Russians doing this, we began our own human experiments to mimic what they had done to us. we can be leaving the US out of such wild conspiracies.

Re:Not even pointing fingers at a democracy... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262740)

Actually it does. And it's the stupidest 'theory' ever based on...well... nothing.

Re:Not even pointing fingers at a democracy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36264380)

Holy crap...the most batshit-crazy theory yet to explain Roswell

Please, enlighten us as to how "fake aliens" is a crazier theory than "real aliens".

if the Soviets were behind it, (1)

kubitus (927806) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262456)

they would have made it public for a worldwide haha on the US!

Re:if the Soviets were behind it, (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262728)

She claims that our government didn't say anything because we decided to do it after finding out the Russian did it. As if that has any gain over coming out and telling people look what the reds did!

And she sidesteps the issue of how the Russians got a craft there.

Don't kill the messenger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36262464)

Despite the claims being crazy, if the author is to be believed, all she did was take the claims of people who were working at Area 51 at the time and wrote a book on what they said to her. Blame those guys.

Re:Don't kill the messenger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36262718)

Blame those guys.

Sometimes I imagine a bunch of nerds in a retirement home trying to one-up each other in terms of the funniest cover story they got some over-inquisitive reporter to buy into.

"UFOs piloted by aliens! Top that!"
"I'll see your space aliens and raise you Russian midgets pretending to be using Nazi flying wings in order to pretend to be space aliens!"
"Wow, someone actually went for that. OK, you win, beers are on me tonight."

Blame those guys? I thank those guys. They brought us civilians moments of hilarity even while doing deadly serious work, even if 50 years later, they can only smile to themselves at a job well done.

Re:Don't kill the messenger (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 2 years ago | (#36263354)

Perception and memory are interesting aspects of human psychology. It doesn't have to involve intentional deception to get inaccurate accounts. Eye witnesses do not always provide trustworthy accounts of situations - especially when they only have a limited view of the situation. Bias can greatly skew interpretation of events. And then add on several decades of distance between the event and the retelling of the story to allow some details to fade and become fuzzy and the biased perceptions to remain the only pieces of memory.

Re:Don't kill the messenger (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262822)

if the author is to be believed, all she did was take the claims of people who were working at Area 51 at the time and wrote a book on what they said to her. Blame those guys.

No, I blame the author, who wrote a book based entirely on 100% unsubstantiated, unverified nonsense.

Re:Don't kill the messenger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36263792)

Well I guess it's fair to criticise the messenger for volunteering to give out messages from crazy people.

Hear her out (4, Informative)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262472)

She was on the daily show last week; she seemed pretty sane, even if her story doesn't... Judge for yourself. [thedailyshow.com]

Re:Hear her out (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262698)

Sanity isn't really the question. On OPB she clearly had huge holes in her story, and when pressed it was pretty clear she has nothing to base this on.

Re:Hear her out (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 2 years ago | (#36263370)

She was on the daily show last week; she seemed pretty sane, even if her story doesn't... Judge for yourself. [thedailyshow.com]

Many authors are completely sane - including the ones who write fiction.

Re:Hear her out (1)

hoytak (1148181) | more than 2 years ago | (#36263704)

Ah.... a nice example of knowing what would sell.

In other words, she doesn't have to believe it to understand how people think about this, and it's likely a lot of readers will see it as a work of fiction, buy it, and be entertained. In other words, she seems successful as an author here.

Fantastically stupid (2)

JMZero (449047) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262522)

This narrative doesn't make sense for any of the players involved. The only way you see the plastic-surgeried child pilot is if you're deliberately crashing the thing - at which point it is clear to the people picking it up it's "normal" technology and the child is clearly a clumsily mutilated (even modern plastic surgery is not going to conceal this kind of thing) human. It would have also been immediately clear who did it, why it isn't scary aliens, and it would have been reasonably hard to do (requires launching a plane deep into the US). It also wouldn't make much sense to keep secret - the message is simple: the Russians are weird douchebags who sent a over a plane with a dead kid.

Contrast that with another, significantly-less-crazy-but-still-pretty-crazy plan that could have actually worked: Have a weird formation of small planes with blinking lights. Send them around at night to New York. If you want, maybe blow up the Statue of Liberty with an unconventional mix of explosives while shining a big light on it or something. Get a whole bunch of weird coincidence stuff going too, broadcast strange radio messages and have it happen in correspondence with some astrological phenomenon. Then get out real fast before they can find your planes, and see that they have conventional propulsion systems and human pilots.

Anyways, I'm sure you or I could do better than the above stupid plan with a little time to think it out (heck, a rope and a cornfield works pretty good). Imagining that the Russians, with plenty of time to think through a plan that required significant commitment, couldn't do better than mutilated kid crashing a plane in the desert... is just so very dumb. I think the only people dumb enough to accept it would be the morons who already have an "explanation" (ie. those who believe it was aliens).

Re:Fantastically stupid (1)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262688)

1) The account seems pretty clear that the intention was to crash one, to prove to the US military that they (the Russians) could cause a nation-wide UFO scare.

2) Flying disk technology was considered advanced technology in that day, as flying wing technology was still being tested.

I'm not fully convinced of the truthfulness of the account, but it seems far more plausible than a covered-up alien encounter.

Re:Fantastically stupid (1)

JMZero (449047) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262972)

The account seems pretty clear that the intention was to crash one, to prove to the US military that they (the Russians) could cause a nation-wide UFO scare.

To cause a scare, why not, uh, let their UFO get caught flying on film (hopefully doing things that only their advanced aircraft could do). Again, if I was trying to fake this, I'd do it at night with a formation of planes (thus appearing larger than a plane could be, or - using tricks of perspective and a formation moving faster than planes could move). Crashing one proves only one thing: that they couldn't fake a crash site well enough to fool anyone. How do I know their crash evidence wouldn't be good enough to fool anyone? Because you still couldn't do a crash that would fool anyone, at least not by starting with a plane that could fly in that era and a human pilot.

Flying disk technology was considered advanced technology in that day, as flying wing technology was still being tested.

If you're trying to make a good crash site - why make it fly at all? Again, if I was doing a fake crash site, I'd leave out the human (which is an obvious, stupid tell that only a fantastic moron would think of or try) and just have a big disk with layers of odd metal. Have a bunch of magnets, glass spheres, crystals, long antennas made of strange plastic, and generally weird crap in there, all intricate and incomprehensible. Then drop the whole deal out of a plane.

Again, the starting plot doesn't make any sense, and requires a lot of commitment for something that obviously wasn't going to do anything (at least not anything more than just flying around a weather balloon would).

I'm not saying my stupid ideas would work either. But they at least aren't guaranteed not to work (as this stupid, stupid plan would be), and they have some hope of not being discovered in an embarrassing way. Give the Russians some credit - if they'd wanted to do something like this (which they, uh, wouldn't because it's a fantastically dumb goal to start with) then they could have come up with something much better.

Sounds OK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36262536)

Another get money and run book, but it is plausible at least.

So that's ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36262568)

...Conspiracy Theory^2.

Whoosh (1, Interesting)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262640)

That really isn't the story here, and she pretty much says that in all the interviews I've heard with her. The story is the fact that the organization behind Area 51, the US Department of Energy, can classify information so tightly that no one in the US Government (Including the President) could be deemed to have a "need to know" to see it. They are unaccountable and outside any system of checks and balances. Of course, that alone doesn't sell books so I can see why she trotted out the freak show.

Re:Whoosh (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36262850)

The story is the fact that the organization behind Area 51, the US Department of Energy, can classify information so tightly that no one in the US Government (Including the President) could be deemed to have a "need to know" to see it

Or the DoE has no such ability, and the only reason nobody has ever been able to see this "information" is because there's no such information to see beyond the rather mundane and the now widely reported stories regarding weather/spy balloons. Even if there was still a hidden truth behind this, how do you know what the President or any other high-level official has seen? Right, you don't. Your "real story" is as much a conspiracy theory as the UFO crash itself.

Re:Whoosh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36262918)

Oh, thats crazy talk there is No Such Agency within the Government that does that. Greyfox is obviously a Pinko Commie.

Re:Whoosh (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 2 years ago | (#36264130)

The story is the fact that the organization behind Area 51, the US Department of Energy, can classify information so tightly that no one in the US Government (Including the President) could be deemed to have a "need to know" to see it.

Trash that video of "Independence Day" and get back to taking your meds.

Not quite... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36262650)

"by a single unnamed source, who she describes as one of only five engineers given full access to the crash debris at the top-secret facility in Nevada known as Area 51."

Except that the crash debris was taken to the so-called "Hangar 18" at Wright Patterson AFB in Ohio and Area 51 was a bombing range in 1947. It wasn't until 1955 until they started doing stuff there... oops...

Obligatory UHF Quote (2)

supersloshy (1273442) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262666)

"Lesbian Nazi hookers abducted by aliens and forced into weight-loss programs. All next week on Town Talk"
          - George Newman (Weird Al Yankovic), UHF

I heard an interview with her (4, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262670)

CLearly she stopped applying all thought when she talked about child altered surgically and/or genetically.

In fact, in order to use emotions to make her claims more believable, she changes from a proper journals 3rd person writting to a 1 person writing.

IT's crap. Complete hearsay. She also made the classic blunder of people who start to buy in to this kind of lunacy: Made up security clearances.

At one point she said:
My source remains anonymous because he is afraid of what will happen. He is the last remaining engineer on a 5 man tame.
As if that wouldn't give him away to the very people she claims he is afraid of.

"Gosh Bob, we would shut this person up, be he is anonymous. We do know he was on the uber top secret project with pal;id levels security, and we know he's the only surviving member. But Who can it be?"

When pressed she started making up crazier and wider reaching 'theories'. I mean she was told by some guy who claim to have been on some project, and then uses the Ad ignorantiam ad the 'argument from authority' logical fallacies.

IT';s kind of sad. Watching a good journalist get sucked in like that.

Almost... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36262704)

You know, I was going along with the theory until we got to "'child-size aviators' surgically altered by captured Nazi doctors".

Crap (2)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262744)

I recently heard an interview with Annie Jacobsen and this book is a huge load of crap. It's all based on third-hand information ("I was told by someone, who was told by someone...."). She claims that the aircraft was being remotely piloted by the Soviets and contained people, who appeared to be 12-13 years old, who had been genetically engineered by Josef Mengele (who went to work for the Soviets after the end of WWI) to look like aliens.. Of course she had no explanation of how Mengele genetically engineered a few 12-13 year old people in the 2 years between the end of WWII and the crash at Roswell. Not to mention the fact that the knowledge and technology for genetic engineering didn't exist at that time. She never did answer questions about the people in the aircraft -- did the US recover them? Were they alive? Were they dead? She just changed the subject and started talking about something else.

The entire interview was nothing but weasel words and lots of backpedaling whenever she was asked about specific details.

Read it? (-1)

Essequemodeia (1030028) | more than 2 years ago | (#36262896)

I wish there were a tick box beside each comment's subject reading thusly: __ I have read the book. __I have not read the book. It's important to categorize the debunkers.

No Certainly Not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36263074)

Roswell was a part of my family lore because a relative was with Army Air Force Intelligence at Roswell. Heard all about it since I was a very wee fellow. No, this new book is phoney baloney. Oh .. based on all accounts I heard over the years cannot confirm personally it was UFO or of alien manufacture. Relative certainly did think so. Said so on his death bed. Very strange event.

Wreckage was sent to Wright-Patterson Hangar 18 (1)

BenJeremy (181303) | more than 2 years ago | (#36263100)

Was Area 51 even a facility back then? Whatever they recovered from Roswell went to "Hangar 18" - an environmental test facility at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, OH.

Even most skeptics agree on that (regardless of what they thought was recovered).

Anybody claiming Area 51 involvement in the Roswell incident instantly loses all credibility.

Find the book in the Fiction section... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36263110)

Because that is largely what it is, fiction.

Sad to see a moderately successful writer of average competence complete such a sad, misleading work.

Even the "New Right" doesn't spout much as flawed as what Jacobsen has done with her book.

15 minutes of fame- successful
Lifelong damage to credibility-absolutely.

I'm amazed.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36263256)

No, not by the claims, but by the linked article.

I'm just impressed there's a site out there that's slower and more processor intensive than /.

Rubbish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36263648)

This book is plain rubbish. I can't believe she got published with such attention, let alone almost a full hour on NPR.

Excuse me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36263900)

the famous 1947 UFO sightings in Roswell

Sorry, what UFO sightings? Does a crashed something-or-other even count as a sighting?

Doesn't even make historical sense... (1)

mrbrown1602 (536940) | more than 2 years ago | (#36264388)

I watched the Nightline report on this book last night. Ms. Jacobsen claims that Josef Mengele was working with Stalin and the Soviets, developing these alien-looking children.

Josef Mengele, after WW2, was captured by the United States while he was FLEEING the Soviets. He used a fake name and was in a POW camp for a while, was released, and then escaped to Buenos Aires care of the ODESSA network, where he remained until the 1980s.

So, historically speaking, her story makes no sense.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...