Well, the controversy surrounding Annie Jacobsen's Area 51 book rumbles on at a steady pace - as this latest post from Tony Bragalia demonstrates. And, for further evidence of the way in which the UFO research community has been commenting on (and continues to comment on) the controversy, check out the Comments section at this recent post at The UFO Iconoclasts.
But, there's something else I want to talk about. It's something that has not been noted thus far, but is nevertheless highly relevant to this particular saga.
The angle of insiders with links to Area 51 being told that Roswell was a Soviet hoax (involving genetically-altered human beings) is an intriguing one. Now, just so there can be no misunderstanding, I don't mean that because it's intriguing I believe it's the answer to the puzzle. I certainly don't.
However, the scenario of Area 51-linked people being told such a story does not begin and end with Jacobsen's informant. Six-months ago, my book, The NASA Conspiracies was published and included a whole chapter that told the tale of a man who had worked at Area 51 in the early 1970s, and who had heard a very similar story.
It's a strange and convoluted saga involving a man named John who was exposed to a series of weird and controversial files that told astonishing tales of alien visitation and UFO crashes in the early, formative years of the Flying Saucer era.
As I note in my book, The NASA Conspiracies:
"John stressed that although the documentation at issue certainly looked genuine, he was never able to entirely dismiss from his mind the possibility that his exposure to the files could have been a part of some large, and very curious and convoluted, mind game on the part of NASA and the intelligence services, such as the CIA, Air Force Intelligence, and the National Security Agency. Since his work at Area 51 and his access to the files surfaced as a direct result of his FBI contacts, John speculated that his superiors may have exposed him to totally bogus materials at Area 51, and then watched his every move to see if he spoke out of turn, and to those without security clearances. The fact that John never did speak out of turn in that twelve month period, and was thereafter considered utterly trustworthy, led him to be rewarded with a near decade long career in the private security sector. It was a career that saw him move, practically effortlessly, within highly influential circles in the world of U.S. Intelligence that were totally unconnected to UFOs."
To me, at least, this is all very refreshing. Whistle-blowers are generally extremely keen to have their story believed; but John noted to me from the absolute outset (and as the above extract clearly demonstrates) that the nature of the data to which he was exposed should be addressed very carefully, and not accepted uncritically at all.
But, there's more.
John related an aspect of the story to me, that was published in my NASA book, and which dealt with one specific set of papers that, today, we can see is highly relevant to the account provided to Jacobsen. I described it in the pages of my 2010 book like this:
"...John did assert, however, that there was a brief collection of documents dating from July 1947 speculating that this might have all been the result of a very ingenious hoax on the part of the Soviets – until, that is, it very quickly became acutely apparent to one and all that not even the Soviet Union would have had the required expertise to successfully pull off such a fantastic ruse, much less biologically alter, or mutate, a number of human beings into something very different."
To me, this is important, as we have old files (that ultimately found their way to Area 51 - they did not originate there) discussing the two central points of the story told to Jacobsen: (A) the idea that Roswell was a Soviet ruse; and (B) the theory that the bodies found at the crash-site might have been biologically altered or mutated by the Russians.
The story told by John, and published by me in late-2010, is astonishingly close to the one provided to Jacobsen. The big difference, of course, is that Jacobsen's Area 51 source believed the Russian theory, while the originators of the files read by John at Area 51 clearly did not accept it as having any validity.
But, that such files did apparently exist at Area 51, and did refer to both the Russian hoax angle and the issue of genetically altering human beings, does make me think that this Russian-themed story/theory was indeed in circulation amongst Area 51 personnel at some point decades ago.
And maybe some who were exposed to the files, to the rumors, and (as John speculated as a possibility) to some weird loyalty-testing mind-game, came to accept the Russian story as being utterly genuine; when in reality the truth may have been very diferent.
This controversy, I suspect, is far from over...