Area 51: The Graphic History of America's Most Secret Military Installation

Area 51: The Graphic History of America's Most Secret Military Installation


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The actual history of the United States' worst-kept military secret revealed in graphic format.

Though nearly everyone has heard of it, almost no one has known anything about it . . . until now. Located in the remote Nevada desert near the dry bed of Groom Lake, Area 51 is the most famous military installation in the world that doesn't "officially" exist. In Area 51, author Dwight Zimmerman and artist Greg Scott unravel the real history - minus the aliens and sci-fi movie plots - revealing in detail how for more than 60 years, the CIA, the U.S. Air Force, and aerospace company Lockheed Martin have all used Area 51 as a staging ground for test flights of experimental or highly classified aircrafts. Scott illustrates the Archangel-12 as well as follow-on aircrafts, such as the U-2, the SR-71 Blackbird, and the F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter, while author Zimmerman tells the history of how they sprang from the research and development conducted at Area 51. This first-of-its-kind graphic history strips away the fantastical aspects of this mysterious location and establishes the actual, significant history made there.

"Zimmerman's rendition of the Area 51 story is a walk down memory lane for this former USAF insider. It superbly captures the history, mystery and folklore of one of America's best-kept secrets. Riveting, accurate, and thought-provoking for anyone with - and even those without - a Need-to-Know!" - Michael Angley Colonel, USAF (ret) Special Agent, OSI (ret)

"Of all the books written about Area 51, the best and most accurate is the striking new graphic history written by best-selling author Dwight Jon Zimmerman and expertly illustrated by comic-book artist Greg Scott. Military historians and aviation enthusiasts will love it, as will anyone else who wants a fascinating and easy-to-digest history of America's most secret site. UFO enthusiasts, conspiracy theorists and sci-fi fans might not find exactly what they're looking for here (though I suspect they'll enjoy it too), but this is the real story of the place where a handful of intelligence chiefs, aeronautical engineers and test pilots made history and changed the world." - Nick Pope (UK Ministry of Defense, 1985-2006)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780760346648
Publisher: Zenith Press
Publication date: 11/03/2014
Pages: 96
Sales rank: 1,181,018
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Dwight Jon Zimmerman is a best-selling and award-winning author, radio show host, and producer and the president of the Military Writers Society of America. Zimmerman has authored the text for several graphic novels, including the acclaimed The Hammer and the Anvil, a dual biography of abolitionist Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln. His other titles include The Vietnam War: A Graphic History and Uncommon Valor: The Medal of Honor and the Six Warriors Who Earned It in Afghanistan and Iraq. He is also the co-author, with Bill O'Reilly, of the New York Times number-one bestseller Lincoln's Last Days.

Greg Scott is a comic-book artist who has done stints at both Marvel and DC Comics, working on such series as Gotham Central and Case Files: Sam and Twitch. He's also a film fanatic and he typically watches two movies a day. The aesthetic of film informs his work, more so than traditional drawing. Get sneak peeks at his blog:

Table of Contents

Prologue 1

Chapter 1 The Origin of Area 51: From Roswell To Oxcart 5

Chapter 2 From Oxcart to the Dawn of the Drones 22

Chapter 3 Unleash the Drones 42

Chapter 4 Going Underground 51

Chapter 5 From Hopeless Diamond to Have Blue To F-117A Nighthawk 58

Chapter 6 Beware the Predator 65

Chapter 7 Test Bed for Technologies, Not Operations 74

Chapter 8 Flights or Fantasies? 78

Chapter 9 The Outing of Area 51 82

Chapter 10 The Future of Area 51 87

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Area 51: The Graphic History of America's Most Secret Military Installation 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
NJBiblio More than 1 year ago
I wasn't really sure what to expect when I started reading Area 51.  Was it going to be another UFO conspiracy piece, disguised as the "actual" story of the governments secret facility near Groom Lake, Nevada?  Was it going to be something chock full of misinformation and deflection to keep everyone still guessing about the actual nature of the installation?  Was it going to be full blown, open the doors, no holds-barred here are all the secrets?  It was none of the above -- but it was still a fantastic read. Avoiding just about all mention of conspiracy and UFOs, and everything else that surrounds most stories of the facility known as Area 51, this graphic novel sticks to basic facts about the United States spy and experimental air craft programs from 1947-2013.  Working with recently declassified documents, Zimmerman and Scott create a blow-by-blow breakdown of just about every spy plane, reconnaissance craft, stealth vessel, and drone that the US military has worked on and produced since the dawn of the Cold War.  All of these were either built, or extensively tested at Area 51 and many gave rise to the popular waves of UFO sightings and conspiracies surrounding secrecy on the base.  Ostensibly, this secrecy is solely due to the fact that the government was hiding technological secrets about our intelligence gathering technology from our enemies, namely the Soviets and the Chinese, rather than hiding extraterrestrials. Short, sweet, and to the point, Area 51 checks in at a hair under 100 pages, but it packs a good punch for the history buff or student.  Seeing as by being a graphic novel history, this book will most likely be read more by young adults, it works perfectly in providing a history of Cold War spy technology.  In some areas, actions and projects became seemingly oversimplified, and I am not sure if this is a part of the writing, or simply the lack of information in the declassified source material.  There were not enough of these instances to detract from the overall impact of the history, however.  It's very interesting to see how our technologies at this time evolved, and frankly, how long ago some such as the stealth technologies and predator drones were devised! I would highly recommend this to anyone interested more in aviation and Cold War history than I would the Area 51 UFO seeker.  For most of the time I spent reading this, I completely forgot that Area 51 was the focal point, as the planes and technology took center stage more than the facility itself.  I will definitely be looking to add a physical copy to my own and my school library collection soon!