It's right out of an "X-Files" episode. But is it true?
A government agency declassifies information they've been sitting on for years. The revelation sparks further controversy. A reporter writes a book about it. It seems the real controversy is just beginning.
The CIA recently declassified information about a secret military installation in Nevada; a military site approximately the size of Connecticut. According the reports about the CIA releases, the area designated as "Area 51," was first established as place to build and experiment with more advanced defense technology. The U-2 high-altitude reconnaissance plane and the OXCART project were two such programs the CIA kept under wraps during heightened tensions between the United States and Russia years ago.
Annie Jacobsen, a Los Angeles Times writer recently wrote a book about Area 51 entitled "Area 51: An Unsensored History." She says she's interviewed engineers, pilots, spies, and other personnel, who previous to now, were ordered to keep silent about tests that took place at Area 51. She says she has concluded the U-2 and OXCART projects were not the only reason for the government's devout secrecy.
"It stunned me when one of them said it and it made my jaw drop," she said in an ABC television report. "Everything the myth of Roswell has come to be has an element of truth in it," she said.
Roswell, New Mexico was the site of an alleged UFO landing in 1947. For years afterward, people speculated the U.S. government found alien remains in a spacecraft, then hid them away at the Area 51 installation. According to Jacobsen, the spacecraft was not from space at all.
"There were horribly disfigured children inside about 13 years old," she said. "They'd been manipulated surgically and genetically to appear as if they were alien."
In Jacobsen's book, she says her sources told her that Joseph Stalin employed infamous Nazi physician, Josef Mengele to surgically alter children in order to make them appear as if they were from outer space, according to the ABC report. She says the dictator ordered that the children be sent over to the United States. The plan was to incite a mass panic after the "War of the Worlds" radio scare.
"One man and four other engineers were the recipients of what they said were the equipment and people inside," she said. "Two of them were still alive."
Some scholars say Jacobsen's story just isn't true. Amy Knight, a Cold-War historian, says there just isn't any proof.
"It's just not conceivable," she said in an ABC television report. "It is highly unlikely that Mengele would have been drawn in to any agreement with Stalin or the Soviet government."
When asked to substantiate her claims, Jacobsen says she need only do her job.
"I am not sure if it is my job to prove anything, but only to report it," she said. "And that's what I did."