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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  June 5, 2011 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT

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around and have them debate the other side. then write a position paper that, you know, involves multiple points of view. that is such a valuable thing for young people. sometimes i don't tell them what side they are arguing until 15 minutes before so that they have to learn both sides of an issue. then they can't get stuck in one point of view. teeten ..
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i know people love to ask questions. i certainly do and i wouldn't be here if i didn't have that sense of curiosity. what i'm going to start with, i'm going to actually read two paragraphs from my book, but i'm going to set the stage so to speak a little bit first and let you know where area 51 is that rather than people's imaginations because it really does exist and it's located in southern nevada about 75 miles north of las vegas. it's a much bigger parcel of land that is the largest federally restricted piece of real estate in the united states. it's about the size of connecticut and it's called the
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nevada test and training range. inside the nevada test and training range there's a 1,350 if square-mile parcel called the nevada test site and it is to avoid until quadrants. bookwalter and numbers have changed and shifted and have gone underground over the years, but in essence they are one through 30 with some mysteriously missing. area 516 just outside of the nevada test site, but inside the greater land parcel that is the nevada the trading range, and it is there that my book but the basis of my book centers and that is where many of the most secret and perhaps most alarming national security projects took place but many of the most fantastic ones that kept us all save that kept us out of world
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war iii with the russians certainly helped pilots in vietnam. so many things went on there and continue to go on today. but with that said i'm going to read two paragraphs of my book about that really speak to what the book is, and when i was researching the book i was able to interview a total of 74 men who had unprecedented access to area 51. 32 of whom lived and worked at the base for extended periods of time and about 20 of them i kind of tell their stories, they are characters in my book, and one of them i'm going to be reading about is a pilot, cia pilot named ken collins, and kenneth collins and this seems close high-flying the car which is the original box three plane that
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flew at 90,000 feet so mach three is three times as sound and 90,000 is about 17 miles up and this was in the 1960's, so it was radical science and technology at a time and the spy plane was built to take over after the spy plane program halted winning gary powers was out of the soviet union. so i write collins pushed the air craft and another 45 seconds she would be out of the danger zone where 85,000 feet the inevitable tiny black dots began to appear on the aircraft windshield sporadic at first like the first drops of severin. only a few months earlier scientists at area 51 had been baffled by the black dots.
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they were worried it was some kind of corrosion in to the mystery solved in the lab. it turned out the black spots were cycling around in the upper atmosphere blasted into the jet stream by the world superpowers rally of formal nuclear bombs. they were killed in the bomb blast and sent aloft to 90,000 feet in the ensuing clouds of the orbiter. when i first came across that detail i found it incredible and i thought to myself what on earth that high up our dead bugs doing circling around, and i didn't really understand being 43-years-old not having lived through the cold war to the extent many of my sources did, what was 40 when i started, but i wondered, it didn't make much sense why the bugs were there
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but it's a bit of an anthology what area 51 is. it was set up to conduct espionage on the soviet union. the cia began building its base in 1955 with the u-2 spy plane because the cia wanted to spy on russia and see what they were doing. and one of the other men i interviewed in my book was herby stockman and he past two months ago which was also a really interesting side note that the men on a interviewed in the last chapter of their lives but he explained to me what it was like to be the first man to fly over the soviet union in a you to, and yes he agitated mickey the crush of greatly, and yes there was a lot of fallout between the eisenhower administration and the soviets over this spying that was going on but at the
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same time would hurt the stock then brought back from the u-2 was over 400,000 square feet of supply footage of what was going on in the soviet union and as her she said to me, the cia was able to learn and understand the soviets were not lining up for world war iii as many members of the air force wanted to believe certainly the general has a character in my book as well you might call him and antagonized. when you consider that the cia's job is to prevent intelligence to the president based on facts, not fiction or not speculation, that is what this biplane certainly did for us and that was an important notion but at the same time there were other
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elements of the government that were really pushing science as i write in the book and i think here is where i get into some of the more dangerous areas and questions that i would like readers to be able to ask of themselves about whether or not pushing science is necessarily a good thing. right around that same time or actually if you back up a bit, for a while after world war ii we had an atomic bomb, and then when we found out the russians have also had an atomic bomb, this was 1949, there was a big movement toward creating a bigger bomb called the thermonuclear bomb which is how these bugs got so high up, and robert oppenheimer the father of the atomic bomb a post that on moral ground. she said it was not a good idea to create a weapon that was larger than its target. in other words, the
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thermonuclear bomb is so big that it wouldn't wipe out a military installation would wipe out a whole city. the thermonuclear bomb is what cent above is a lot that can collins flew through was a thermonuclear bomb that was 10 megatons and that nuclear bomb is big enough if it is dropped on manhattan it would wipe out all sides and kill 75% of the population down to washington, d.c. over time. so obviously that is a bomb that is bigger than its target, and in my book one of the more interesting analogies i can across was that area 51 sure we were trying to prevent war so to speak. that's what the cia doing at the platforms and on the other side over the atomic bombing range of the nevada test site of the atomic energy commission and the department of defense were
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practicing how to have a nuclear war. the spy plane kenneth collins was flying was called the ox cart and all those people probably never heard of it because it was declassified by the cia in 2007, 50 years after its and drawings and one of the characters in my book is a physicist who did those original drawings and helped for the cia, but this idea that you could have these notions working at once is a little bit complicated presenting a war but practicing to have one, and the point i was making is that you probably have never seen it or heard of it may be, but it's cousin is very famous, and that is the -- i don't know if this is a military crowd, but it is the sr-71, the air force famous blackbird that
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went ma three coming and the sr-71 is interesting because it actually stood for originally reconnaissance strike of president johnson when he announced and they didn't want to correct the president so they corrected the plane. [laughter] reconnaissance strike meaning so when the air force decided to take over the cia espionage program of their idea was to have it be a spy plane that could go in and photographed post nuclear sites to figure out what to follow-up the bombing with, and i think that is one of the more interesting parts or more evocative parts of my book that i hope people will read and think of which is how these different federal organizations that we have worked together fight with one another on the
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secret plans and on balance keep us a safer and more nationally in secure but sometimes enter into the area of recklessness and i write about that in the book also some of the weapons tests we did out there or in my opinion reckless, there was a program that we had called project 57, and i told this story through the eyes of the security guard who worked on that program. he was also the first security guard at area 51 during of the youtube program his name was richard manning this but to work overtime so he could buy a new car he agreed to moonlight on projects 57 which was the idea that the defense department had what would happen in america -- this is 1957 by the ways -- what would happen if one of our planes carrying a nuclear weapon were to crash on american soil
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with it have an actual explosion? would create a kind of dirty bonn environment? they didn't know and they wanted to find out, so at the edge of area 51 in a land parcel called area for 13 the decided to do what they called a safety test, and in essence they set up a dirty bomb out there, and they contaminated 895 acres with plutonium that is still contaminated out there. so the idea of what is keeping a safe, what is pushing science, what is reckless, what is important, all kind of come together in what i think is the enigma of area 51. i could go on for a very long time. i read a 500 page book and it's still the story may be to keep me on track i will take some questions from the audience and we can start a dialogue.
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>> we have questions coming up. it's about secrecy and how of budget this operation was. first percentage of the cia budget was area 51 and how was area 51 justified, but you write in your book that the cia is certainly running area 51. a large part of this and most controversial things in your book comes from the atomic energy commission >> the atomic energy commission is now known as the the part of energy. they change their name four times over the years i think tichenor -- if you change the name or something enough times many people will forget about it. but the original part of your question that i wanted to ask it's very interesting one of the people in my book that i write about at length although he is passed through everything i've written in the archives, he was sort of the first man to run a
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real 51 for the cia, the famous richard bissell, and he's famous in the cia legend and more for a number of things, but he ultimately has to step down for taking all the blame for the bay of pigs, and in my book i explain a little bit i think that he got the bad rap on the bay of pigs but so it goes when you were, kind of business. but asking about where the budget came from, i found out in my research he was a brilliant economist, he was a graduate and became the executor of finance for the marshall plan after world war ii so there was something like $13 billion that was at the disposal of richard bissell to help rebuild and a friend came knocking at his door one night in washington, d.c. a man by the name of frank and they sat in front of his
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fireplace and he said we need some money for this group we have at the cia and because they had a mutual friend, he knew better than to ask many more questions and just kind of agreed that that would be all right and that those firms were diverted over from the marshall plan to the cia about two and a half years later bissell became the subordinate to allen, the director at time of the cia and area 51 was up and running. >> okay. several people want you to cut [inaudible] [laughter] i told her before we started the the last time i saw the reverend abernathy he complained to me that he wrote, and it is if you ever get a chance to read a brilliant book on the civil rights movement and all he wanted to ask was one sentence about martin luther king's personal life so the seven pages
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in this book and here comes a bunch of questions. what were the little men that were seen at roswell in the first chapter? can you comment on the other ufo connection to area 51? what about the ufos and aliens and what about the ufo's? go for it. [laughter] >> no one wants to hear about the weapons when there is little green men to talk about. okay but first i want to say something about my sources because this is important to me and me as a journalist. i interviewed a lot of men for this book, the largest number that had ever gone on record about area 51 and they all go on record using their names. and there is one exception, and that is the source that i write about in the last seven pages of my book that many people want to
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know about. and this source remains anonymous for reasons of security and also because that program that he discussed with me has not been declassified and it's an interesting distinction as a journalist to make between being able to source your source of information against classified documents as i did with the first 367 pages of my book national archives, library of congress, declassified documents of the cia, the tight energy, department of defense, department of intelligence agency, i can go on and on and on to read a lot of late nights looking at documents. there is a point in the book where i make a shift in the way i wrote the books. everything in the beginning is
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written in a traditional journalists' forum where you imitate everything and make clear wear your sources came from and in the end of the book i mean in to the reader who i trust has read my book and i say a kid that's not why area 51 is still classified and area 51 had never been admitted to by any organization in the government and that's a fact to be any of the classified documents have the word area 51 blacked out or reject it. sometimes they refer to it as the test facility or the site, but it's only ever located in print by me twice and i believe those are errors. so why keep this space secret and by a lehman to my reader and say here's why i think it's a secret and this came to me from the source. the last seven pages i tell you what the source said to me, and
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i'm very clear to make it clear that there is no document to fact check this against. why why did get some hungary what i consider to be corroborated suggested evidence and archives, the actual story is from one man's oral history. this worse of the engineer for eg&g which means he had a top-secret clearance and a key clearance for handling nuclear secrets, and i examined the sources mevacor records, war records, the documents, the certificates he was given by the atomic energy commission. he worked for the commission across three decades as a contractor. he was a member of the manhattan project, and the source told me that in 1951 he was one of five
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engineers that was asked to solve what is called a wicked engineering problem and that means that it's something that no one has figured out and needs to be solved but solving that will create its own new set of problems and the source told me he was one of five people who received the equipment from wright-patterson air force base, and that was originally but crashed in roswell and that it was a flying circular shaped aircraft. it wasn't from mars, it was from russia, and it was actually originally a third right design. much of what i write about in the book discusses how a program called operation paper clip was put into effect after the war where america pillage of the scientists who had upset aerospace programs and much of
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our military programs. john brown is the best example. he designed the rocket for hitler and came over and decided the apollo rockets for kennedy. but russia also did the same thing. the privilege the science they could get their hands on. so this flying disc according to the engineer was something that had crashed in new mexico, and the intent was for it to be a hoax that in 1947 when we are talking about that roswell crash, 1947 stalin did not yet have an atomic weapon, truman did. they were bitter rivals, and so stalin made a move, fired a shot over the bowels of to speak to say you may have the atomic bomb but i have psychological warfare
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and all over the world he wanted to send this disk to land in new mexico and have people come out that look like mexicans and the engineer told me that the results of gasoline human experience in the soviet union, and that is what he told me and i repeated in my book because i wrote to the uncensored history of area 51, and many people take umbrage with that. a couple guys in my book aren't happy about it and i understand why. we were saving the free lubold and no one likes to hear about this kind of ghastly going on in the desert that this is what my source told me. i found by his veracity and it's what i wrote in the book people
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are skeptical of it and at the same time want to know more about. >> let me ask one follow-up before you go to the next one. so, the reason than if it would panic the population for keeping it such a deep dark secret would have been what? >> the reason for keeping the program secret? >> keeping this program reverse engineering, the idea of the russians were doing this if they were caught red handed, why keep it a secret? look at what they've done, there was evidence that he took some of the papers that were of joseph 9:00 and this would have been a great propaganda for the united states. >> absolutely, and that is a question that i asked my source repeatedly. it was 18 months now more than
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ten years we would discuss nuclear weapons and lots of things i would then go fact check. and at the end of our several of our interview, i would say can i ask you another question about the subject of the we are not allowed to talk about? and she would say yes and that is one question i asked often, and now remember, keep in mind that this individual also participated in the program, so he was according to him a firsthand witness reverse engineer the craft, received people that were the child's eyes aviators come so i asked him this question and he finally gave me an answer which i write in the book and he said because we were doing the same thing. the idea that the american scientists also wanted to push science, they didn't want the soviets ahead of us in any program whenever it may be and i
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do want to say a note on that because another journalist said to me how dare you accuse the united states government of such horrible things? and my answer was, and i spent quite a bit of time writing about this in my book, why don't claim to be able to speak for the technology into flying craft or certainly the kind of medical experiments that would create that kind of an alien looking person. what i do speak to and write about and fact check and a source is what the atomic energy commission did during its tenure and the reckless human experimentation that they did president clinton put together a commission in the 1990's after eileen wells revealed that the atomic energy commission had been experimenting injecting retarded children with plutonium at a state school in
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massachusetts. so i see also fees' is everyone's like how horrible. people don't want to hear about that and the turn the other way and say it's just horrible and kind of go on. i felt as a journalist that by i believe what my source told me and i believe that what he told me, the reason he told me what he told me is it was a matter of conscience. the other engineers are dead and so it's just him, he is very clear about that and so if a debate or discussion ensues as to whether or not this kind of a program could go on, how long it went on for a i feel that's an important discussion and it's why i chose to write about it in my book. >> you're listening to the commonwealth program of california our guest is annie gypsum author of a new book detailing her investigation of the legendary military base known as area 51. this question from the audience
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of the content and activity of area 51 are less shocking than the speculation all these years why do you think the government maintained so much secrecy about it? >> i think we touched upon that as well but i take the reader ought we get through the 80's, one of the last programs i write about was the f-117 bombers that sort of a diamond shape stealth bomber that became famous in the world war i the was developed out of area 51 after the airforce took over and sort of replace a lot of the camera's base with weapons base, but what has been going on since the war on terror began is certainly out of my need to know, and i didn't have any sources tell me what was going on there now because that really is of national security concern because we are fighting the war on terror but it's certainly a place the
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drones are tested and also write another interesting story from right about 1998 when the drones' everyone is familiar with them now because they are used in pakistan but they began as espionage platforms to be directly used in the bosnian conflict and they were kind of not interesting to many people of the than the cia but right around the late nineties, this on known terrorist named osama bin laden appeared on the scene, and the cia wanted to consider assassinating him what they drone and the way they would do it is they would attach missiles to the drone and this is kind of a radical idea. they got together, the cia and the air force, and they decided to engineer visa hellfire missiles, it comes from a fire and just push a button and it goes.
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so first they had to test it out there and the president's concern at the time was this osama bin laden character is known to do a lot of hunting with members of the various middle eastern families, and what if somebody important is that a compound when they are attacking when this predator drum carrying a missile we don't know much about we haven't used yet so they built a markup of bin laden's afghanistan form and that's where they practiced how to possibly assassinate him without collateral damage. this is the four 9/11, but at the end of the experiment the state department got involved and there was lots of luck devotees about assassinating someone so they decided not to do it. >> how can area 51 secrets kept from american presidents? >> that's a very tricky and uncomfortable question certainly
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for most journalists, but in the very beginning of the book on the explain to you that something i felt really pretty shocking when i learned in researching this book that the atomic energy commission actually has a system of secret keeping that runs parallel to the presidents system of secret keeping which is the national security system. that is not the way the constitution was written, but it is what the atomic energy act of 1946 allowed so when the charter was written after world war ii for the atomic energy commission, they created the system of secret keeping which the slang for it is called bourn classified. scholars who have looked into this secret keeping system say that it allows them to have unanswered authority, and that is certainly the case and that
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is why the atomic energy commission was able to do so many things. the bomb a test i told you about up to 90,000 feet, that nuclear bomb test involved 12,000 people in the middle of the pacific ocean. no one knew it was going on when it went on. so secret keeping is an important area of area 51 for many reasons, but it's not a good situation for other reasons, and it is the source who tells me the story in the end who told me that i asked him you know, president clinton looked into the kind of atomic energy commission's, how come he didn't find out about this program in area 51 that involve croswell and what he said to me is he almost found out about it, but he didn't have the need to know. >> a question that goes back to
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the ufo story why would stall lummis indy 500 croft to roswell mexico instead of a more populated area? >> that's not an answer i have. i will ask this worse, i was kidding. no, the thing i right in the end of the book is i'm very clear about saying she said this, and according to the engineer there are some places in the ball where i speculate about some things and i go to some of my other sources and ask the physicist's okay, you know, could we've really have had a still of the flying disc. the physicist for the cia had an interesting answer which is he recalled some time in the 1950's kelly johnson who invented and built for the cia, kelly johnson had radar tests and round shaped
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aircraft, and at the end of the day they decided that it just wasn't -- it just wasn't appropriate for a pilot to fly, it was a dangerous thing for a pilot to fly. so i have as many questions as answers. i have more questions than answers but i don't have an answer to that one. >> you write in the book the roswell base was an important base and of course white sand, los alamos, that wasn't important in terms of national security. spinnaker was the most important area in the united states, was almost is where the nuclear science was working, the weapons were being assembled come and roswell was the base of the 509 which was the bomber group. one of the guys interviewed in the book is an amazing legend, colonel richard langhorne, he's 92 now and is at home writing according to his secretary writing a paper on my book.
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he did an interview with the cape cod times talking about his role in my book and he is accredited in general with inventing the the concept of overhead. a first postwar nuclear test was in 1946 called operation crossroads and the colonel was in charge of photographing of those bombs from the air, and my interview with him was amazing because he explained to me all about how the base from which they left with the camera equipment was the roswell a army air base because at the time that was the only military base in the country that had bombers that could actually carry nuclear weapons. so, that area of new mexico couldn't have been more important to national security in 1947.
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>> some duals to know if it's possible, you answer this in the book, many ufos were actually were and are u.s. military and aircraft but the united states has been lying about it. >> absolutely. one of the things i was able to source was the cia obsession with the ufos starting in the 1950's. they actually created their own ufo department and this is all based on the declassified documents. it's funny to read through them because the guys at the cia in the 1950's were really still gentlemen, they fancied themselves on the ground spies and this idea of science and technology so you see in all of these memos where they have to deal with ufos they say why can't the air force handle this? but in fact, out in the area 51 thus by plame accounted for over 50% of all ufo sightings on the west coast.
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it flew at about 13 miles up and when it was flying up in the sky it looked like a giant silver cross, and you can imagine people on the ground things of that high would wonder and the same thing happened in the 1960's is the incredible cia spy plane called the oxcart was flying even high europe and there was a couple of great accounts from some of the guys in my book. colonel sleeper is a cold war hero who i write about was the commander in the base for a number of years in the 60's and he explained to me how often commercial airline pilots would be flying on the west coast but say at dusk 30,000 feet, and they would receive the oxcart fly overhead at 90,000 feet at mach three and people in the
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plane the pilots would radio and ufo and colonels leader would have to send the fbi to wherever it was the plane was landing and make the pilots and the people find inadvertent disclosure forms letting them know they would be in serious trouble with the told anyone about that, and these kind of things only added to the ufo. >> plus we have five parts that crashed and as they went out to get the titanium covers and all that, obviously the secret people went out in the desert and look like they are getting something very secret which it was but just not like a flying saucer which brings us to some the asking why in your opinion has area 51 become such a popular element in the u.s. and global popular culture? >> most assuredly because of the
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conspiracies that are attached to it. we talked about a ufo and the aliens, but there's two other conspiracies that are sort of embedded themselves in area 51. they are that the lunar landing was filmed at area 51. that's a big one. i interviewed a lot of conspiracy theorists for my book and also buzz aldrin, the second man on the moon and i found his testimony to be a little bit more believable than the other people but that's just the journalist in me. [laughter] but the link there is that over at the nevada test site the neighbors area 51, there are these giant craters from the atomic bombs. i was lucky enough to go there with a couple of the guys in my book and these atomic bomb craters were the giant cavernous
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things that look very much like the surface of the moon, and i interviewed a man named ernie williams who actually was the tour guide for the apollo astronauts in the late 60's and early 70's they would go to the nevada test site and put markups on their back that they would wear on the moon when they finally went there, but the point was to kind of rumor around the geology of the lunar landscape, and i have some great photographs in the book of that but i think if this gave way to some of the conspiracies about the lunar landing, and another 1i will touch upon is a lot of conspiracy theorists told me that area 51 is filled with underground tunnels and that these tunnels connect to other military bases across the country. what i found out is there are a lot of underground tunnels certainly at the nevada test
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site under area 12 and 11. one of the tunnels as 4,500 feet deep. that's a very deep. and starting in the late 1950's, the department of defense and the energy commission would use these underground tunnels to explode nuclear weapons, to see what would happen to different pieces of military equipment, to see what could survive and what not so that's where a lot of that mythologies i believe comes from. ha >> i think this is an important before we take the next question when we are talking about some of the scientific recklessness something i never heard of before reading area 51 was we did a high-altitude nuclear test that they knew in advance might endanger the ozone layer but they wanted to see what would happen. true? >> when i first heard about this it made me wonder when i was growing up in the 70's we were told we couldn't use aerosol
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deodorant any more because it is ruining the ozone and when i heard this i thought i don't think it's the deodorant. [laughter] and what is interesting is i heard the story from the nuclear weapons engineer who actually wired this bomb, but there were two nuclear tests code named orange and they actually took place down and johnston island in the pacific, not at area 51 but the crew that worked regularly at area 511 zearing of the nuclear bombs went down there and the idea of the president's science adviser the time, she had such power and persuasion with of the president did anything he did he didn't have to report to congress. later in his memoirs he admits may be that wasn't a good idea. but at the time, he authorized
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this to get its nuclear weapons test thermonuclear bomb one of what set off 28 miles up, the other 50 miles up, but 28 miles up is right around where the ozone layer is, and at that time there was i found in the declassified documents there was discussion among the scientists what might happen and could we make a hole in the ozone layer. this was an actual discussion, and the answer was yes, we could, but we believe the turbulence within close back up that hole if it remained, so they went ahead with the test. >> there's a couple questions and the audience of sources. if everyone's interview is sworn to secrecy how is anything they say valuable or believable and then a variation on that, do you have a top-secret clearance and
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makes these people you interviewed tell the truth? >> what's interesting is some of the things i've been talking about like project 57, the dirty bomb test over 895 acres up their people said to me well that's actually not classified. those documents are located in the atomic energy commission archived. alladi even located a photographs, but it didn't look to me like anyone else had looked at them and i had a difficult time trying to find them but to find someone who had knowledge of that and knew it had been declassified. i was able to talk freely about that program and he was able to give me some keywords to look at the program and access it the project was called 57 that
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everything was classified under the project organized. so, all of the programs that i talk about except for the program in the end has actually been declassified. it's just that a lot of them are kind of hidden or perhaps people were not interested in them in and of themselves. i think part of what makes my book interesting is that all i try to give you the whole landscape of area 51, and it's near neighbors and what was going on. >> i have another one about the aliens to work according to your source not aliens at all. were there autopsy's done on their roswell victim's? according to his story, too actually, and why would the remains still remain classified?
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>> the first part of the question was -- >> the first part of the question was where their autopsies? >> that, i don't know. they arrived as bodies when they arrived at area 51 and they were comatose but still breathing. one of them died shortly thereafter according to my source and the reason the program is still classified according to my source is what we touched upon earlier that the government decided to embark upon its own program. what i'm also going to say is that it's interesting that one of the most interesting and disturbing pieces of information my source shared with me is the individual who was the head of the program was in charge of the manhattan project from he was the one who was in charge of
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this program that really is the mother of all black operations that is the manhattan project, and all other black operations kind of trickle-down from that original idea in the both the analogy and also secrecy. >> you also point out for people who wonder whether something could be kept secret, the manhattan project, the size of the budget amount and even the vice president had no idea that the manhattan project was under way how many people were working and what was the budget of that? >> it's in the book. [laughter] >> it was huge. the plutonium and uranium at the time was being processed in tennessee that outfit pulled more power of the united states electrical grid on any given night than the entire city of new york city. and yet no one knew was there.
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that's how powerful a black operation can be. the vice president that you are referring to when the project was originally going on was harry truman had no idea about the nuclear weapon until he became president. and if a person who told him was nanavar push. >> y deneen a area 51? was there 1350? six bling. >> that is a subject of great debate. even my main sources in the book say that mr. squadron they came up with. but according to my source and the end of the book, the reason that it is named area 51 is because in 1951 the original equipment and remains of the roswell crash came there. >> have you been called a conspiracy theorist this audience asks it often includes investigative reporters such as yourself, in other words you
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kind of get front and with the 3 a.m. votes? >> i will let you guys decide on that one. >> i've definitely been accused of being part of the government conspiracy to hide aliens because my theory does not push the idea that aliens have been visitors and i did get a letter from a group or any e-mail rather from a group in the u.k. furious with me last week that my book first published they said even we don't believe you. laughter, >> of the truth is still out there, not here. >> y dudish a la been de wikileaks document? was it due to weapons testing or? >> that's news to me. i don't know about it. souci me afterwards.
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>> we talk about reverse engineering because it comes up talking about roswell one of the most significant parts of the book in reverse engineering with on that area 511 of the greatest secrets was reverse engineering was kind and delivered for million dollars by an iraqi pilot to the israelis. it's been it's a great story. i tell you barnes who is an engineer who worked out of area 51 on a number of projects in 1966 the story that you're talking about made headlines when an iraqi air force colonel defected from iraq to israel in a soviet make, and at the time no one had member of the western world ever hand believed to have their hands on the make. it's obviously with the soviets and the bloc countries new. so the mossad got all the tichenor is a very big deal that
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helped them when half the six day war but what didn't make the news is after they were done with it and they made a deal with the cia to bring who referred to area 51, and barnes was on the team that reverse engineered that. they to get down to its nuts and bolts and looked at it to figure out what made it fly. and at the time we were engaged in the vietnam war and our pilots over there were getting shot down in this terrible ratio of mind-1. the soviets were supplying them come and so there was a halt on the dogfights over the vietnam wall mac that the engineers in the area 51, and after the reverse engineered it, that was called the technical phase then they began what was called the tactical phase so they put it together and began flying it in
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dogfights and in the sky over area 51 to figure out how to beat the air to air combat and what is not known until now or is kind of known to the men who worked on that program is that there was actually the birth of the famous top gunfighters school >> there's another thing that comes of that being there that almost out of area 51 some of the top-secret project when a general decides basically to go joyriding. to respect as a general in charge of the f17 bomber program out of area 51 and he became enamored with them according to sources and he wanted to take it for a flight and he did and it went out of control and crashed in area 25 next door to 20 miles
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from airing a 51. where he crashed was right into this place where another secret program was going on surprise, surprise. at the time it was like my god, we've got the f-117 program, at area 25, we've got area 51, and you've got a general who's dead so a newspaper reporter was leaked information that the general had been flying and that program was ousted in that way and it allowed the other secrets to remain hidden. >> there's a number of questions about the advanced technology created at area 51 such as mach three speed aircraft and why this has not been released commercially. the questioner says it's odd that the commercial aircraft can only travel compared to what
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erie of 51 technology has a half a century ago. >> commercial aircraft? i'm not an expert on the jet engines. i did interview robert abernathy who developed the engine and it was super interesting talking to him about that. but my understanding would be, it's limited but it takes so much jet fuel to fly mach three that the spy plane was basically get the fuel tanks just filled with fuel. it could get from one coast to the other coast in a little over 60 minutes, so i don't think that would be cost-effective on the commercial airline and not have anyplace to put your bag. [laughter] >> plus all that mid-air refueling. >> it's tricky, too. islamic and a couple of things were lost in the stories that you tell in the book.
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>> i'm going to say one other thing. i became a good fan of the cia science and technology department i must say because of the things they did out there in total secrecy without getting any credits but it was such an incredibly fast flying plane it had to fly at its slowest speed and the fuel tanker has to fly at its fastest speed at the same time and the plane would sometimes almost all that's how fast it had to go. is the maximum in the audience is why was the government to declassify this and put a great stuff for your book? >> that's an interesting question. they didn't declassify all of it. a declassified in 2007, and i don't know why. i've asked some people why and
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they have different answers, none of which answer the question because if you're trying to keep the base secret it would make sense not to declassify one of the major programs but that is how i was able to speak to it and who was the original source, and that is how i was introduced one to the next to the next of the different sources who make up the narrative of my book and to whom i'm very grateful because it was an honor and privilege to be able to talk to these men who are a group of cold war heroes, scientists, engineers, physicists known only among themselves, and now i think in reading the book you are able to see to have an interesting window to be like anybody that does all this work for a absolutely no glory.
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>> people have read the book to know that it's probably the most frightening part of the book and it's a stage to attack on area 51 to test the parameters for the security even though it was secrets many have known about this place since forever and watched it by satellite, so they decided to test the security and if i understand from your book correctly without telling anybody about syria 51, and during the time of a nuclear test. >> the way i was able to put the string together is interesting because the actual attack on the are gated area by the security guard is still classified but what isn't classified is the fact that the nuclear weapons tests engineers on the other side of the sense are working to get a nuclear bomb down into a shaft so they could exploded on a weapons test so the story came
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from the guys were over on the other side of defense working on a nuclear bomb, not from the dysart area 51 who can't talk about it. but there was a weapons test going on and the system of measurement to get a bomb down takes so it's like x number of yards means that it's this pick and it has to get to a certain depth before its second consider secure otherwise it could still in essence be hijacked so there's different layers of security they are watching this go down and the gentleman in charge of the program is my source in the book who is in charge of it and there he is waiting for it to get down, the nuclear bomb to get down the hole and he hears suddenly we are under attack and he has to treat that as of the russians are attacking war enemy force is attacking because it made no
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sense otherwise, but as it turned out it was actually an attack by the security people who wanted to see what it would be like, how the guards would respond to an attack so they flew a helicopter over the guard gate and were shooting at. the alert went all the way to the white house, and according to the source, the nuclear subs on the west coast were also put on alert. >> sleep better hearing that. the nuclear weapon in the hole at that time. >> and the test went on by the way. >> a number of questions from people saying here's the united states military project in area 51 including the f-117 stealth fighter was the black hawk helicopter used in the osama bin laden raid the foltin area 51? >> i w

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