Earlier this year Annie Jacobsen's excellent Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base came out and claimed to reveal the truth behind the Roswell crash. I wrote about this claim back when the book came out, and I really find it hard to swallow. Jacobsen says that the crash was purposeful, that the Russians were doing deep psych ops on us, and that the aliens were deformed (or purposefully mutated) teens.
But it's totally interesting! And I do believe some of the stuff that Jacobsen writes about, although I think the book is dripping with disinformation (one of her biggest sources is an ex-Area 51 guard who she basically met by accident. Yeah, right.). Half the fun is trying to pull apart what's true and what's hand-fed bullshit. And even with hand-fed bullshit, Area 51 seems to expose more about the secret base than we have ever known before (and since the best disinfo is planted inside of good info, I believe big pieces of the book).
Does it make a TV show, though? Gale Anne Hurd thinks so, as she has optioned the book. Hurd's vision for a TV series is a little sexier than Jacobsen's book (which largely debunks the most exciting stories about the secret base): "It will follow two men working on the base who are thrust into danger when they uncover secrets that the government will protect at any cost," says Deadline.
That's too bad! Area 51 could be a really good The Right Stuff meets Mad Men-esque series, spanning the history of the base from the 40s to the 70s and dealing with the lives of the men who keep these big secrets. Area 51 was home to the hottest shot test pilots, whose life expectancies were pretty short, scientists, regular guys, military types - all of whom lived double lives, never telling their families what they really did.
Earlier this year I got to visit Area 51 for the first time. You can read about my adventures here.