It is the airbase where test flights of our top-secret experimental military aircraft are conducted and --not coincidentally--where the conspiracy theorists insist the Pentagon is hiding UFOs and aliens.
For Phil Patton, the idea of writing a travel account of a place he couldn't actually visit was irresistible.
What he found was a world where Chick Yeager and the secret planes of the Cold War converged with the Nevada Test Site and alien landings at Roswell.
A think tank for aviation engineering, Dreamland can be seen from a summit outside the base's perimeter, a hundred miles north of Las Vegas.
Scanning the same horizon, the UFO buffs are looking for the hovering lights and doughnut-shaped contrails of alien aircraft.
Dreamland shows how much we need mystery in the information age, and how the cultures of nuclear power and airpower merge with the folklores of extraterrestrials and earthly conspiracies.Patton found people who found themselves in the mysteries of the place.
John Lear, the son of aviation pioneer Bill Lear--who gave his name to the jet--served as a pilot for the CIA's Air America, but back home, he became fascinated by UFOs and eventually believed in it all: the underground bases, the alien-human hybrids, the secret treaties.
Dreamland is an exploration of America's most secret place: the base for our experimental airplanes, the fount of UFO rumors, an offshoot of the Nevada Test Site.
He tunnels into the subcultures of the conspiracy buffs, the true believers, and the aeronautic geniuses, creating a novelistic tour de force destined to make us all rethink our convictions about American know-how--and alien inventiveness.