Dreamland: Travels Inside the Secret World of Roswell and Area 51

Dreamland: Travels Inside the Secret World of Roswell and Area 51

by Phil Patton

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.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Nonfiction
  • Rating: 3.57
  • Pages: 336
  • Publish Date: July 21st 1998 by Villard
  • Isbn10: 0679456511
  • Isbn13: 9780679456513

What People Think about "Dreamland: Travels Inside the Secret World of Roswell and Area 51"

I started this book thinking only it would be about UFOs, but it is so very much more. Much better and more interesting than I expected when I started.

Dreamland is not solely about 'the' Area 51, the conspiracy codename for Groom Lake, Nevada, where experimental jets are/were tested. My personal favorite, in part because it's the sort of thing I would do if I were in charge of a secret government project, is that Area 51 is cover, used to distract the public; the real base is in Tonopah. (Of course, if I were in charge of the secret government project, I would put it underground and then stick a shopping complex on top of it.) Although the first and final fifths of Dreamland are very odd reading, fraught with true-believer syndrome ("Yes, the flying saucer we saw was a B2. But they're just letting us see it so we won't freak out about the real flying saucers!"), there's actually an enormous amount of information on military test aviation throughout the late 20th century, including on projects that were scrapped but which are now declassified.

Its also an important book in the sense that we finally have a credible investigation into the complex and elusive world of Area 51 - a world that Patton coins as Dreamland. Patton's admirable efforts to gather as much empirical data on far-reaching claims of the existence UFOs inside Area 51 often and invariably lead him into very murky water. Though it's no fault of Pattons, the lack of any shred of stirring evidence of the existence of UFO's in Dreamland makes this book just a tad anticlimactic. Patton's assiduous and unrelenting study of Area 51, military aircraft, "youfers", UFO folklore and UFO history is full, thorough and colorful. Patton's in-depth inquiry left me skeptical about the existence of UFOs and it has given me a critical attitude toward the conspiracy buffs.

Phil Pattons Dreamland is kind of a rambling travelogue that slips past the military checkpoints of the remote Nevada desert, heading toward the elusive Area 51 and the bases dodgy history of secret military aircraft, UFOs, and government conspiracy.

I'd hoped to read about flying saucers and aliens from outer space, but, alas and alack, all I got was a thoroughly-researched history of Area 51, the development site for top-secret military aircraft.

Is it treason to purchase US Top Secret info from a foreign country?

You can easily find better information on the Nevada Test Site, the nuclear rocket program, Project 57, etc than you will get from this book.

He has also written for Art in America, ARTnews, Connoisseur, Geo, Harper's Bazaar, Men's Journal, The New Republic, New York Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, Rolling Stone, Smithsonian, Travel + Leisure, Traveler, The Village Voice and Vogue.