Nick Redfern, Keep Out! Top Secret Places Governments Don't Want You to Know About, New Page Books, N.J., 2012

In this romp through stories mainly about alleged strange goings-on at secret bases, Nick Redfern lets the reader decide whether they are true, partly true, or just misinformation, lies and fantasies.

He starts with one of the best-known cases, the claims of Bob Lazar that he was employed at a secret base in Nevada, the notorious Area 51, on the task of investigating the workings of a fleet of alien spacecraft which the US government had somehow acquired. Lazar certainly had some technical knowledge and experience, but he also claimed to have received an MS in electronics from the California Institute of Technology and an MS in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but no evidence could be found to support these claims. Some of the things Lazar claimed were true and some were false, the resulting confusion giving plenty for believers and sceptics to argue about.

Those who believe that the US government possibly holds the secret of the saucers are also fascinated by Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Among these people was Senator Barry Goldwater, who wrote to a UFO researcher in 1975 stating that he had tried to find out what was in a certain building there.
Redfern informs us: "The building to which Goldwater was referring is allegedly a super-secret location that many UFO researchers believe houses the remains of one or more crashed UFOs, along with the cryogenically preserved remains of their deceased alien crewmembers. Its memorable moniker is Hangar 18."

One theory about the persistence of such stories is that they are encouraged by officialdom to hide research into new aircraft designs and weaponry. This is supposed to discourage serious journalists interested in defence matters from investigating because they don't want to be associated with a subject as disreputable as ufology.

Almost everybody who reads this review will have heard of the British hacker Gary McKinnon, who is awaiting possible extradition to the USA concerning alleged damage to NASA computers. Redfern mentions him in passing, as he has written about him at length elsewhere, but he gives more space to another British hacker, Matthew Bevan, who hacked into Wright-Patterson in 1994 and 1995 using a Commodore Amiga 1200, a computer that was primitive compared to those readily available today. However, Bevan got away with it, as the judge dismissed the case after the US authorities refused to supply the evidence to support their charges.

What puzzles me about such cases is why it was apparently so easy for such people to hack into US government computers containing lots of classified information. Why do the US authorities employ such incompetents to manage their computer systems?

The main theme of secret bases includes a chapter about bases on the moon, thought by some to have been built secretly by the USA (who else?). However, Ingo Swann used his amazing remote-viewing talents to determine that lunar bases were the work of extraterrestrials. If that doesn't seem incredible enough, it is true that Swann actually worked for the US government's remote viewing program, which investigated the possibility of using such talents (if they really existed) for intelligence gathering.

There are chapters on other topics, including one on stories of strange creatures, phantoms, and even cannibals haunting the London Underground railway system. This book is great fun to read, especially if you are unfamiliar with the topics discussed. -- John Harney.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous28.1.12

    cda: I feel a comment on the Goldwater matter is necessary. As far as I can tell, Senator Goldwater once requested access to the Blue Book files at Wright-Patterson AFB, nothing else. This was during the period 1961-65 while General Curtis LeMay was the USAF Chief of Staff. Goldwater's request was refused (presumably by LeMay himself). In March 1975 Goldwater replied to a constituent who had asked him about UFOs and related this story of "ten or twelve years ago". Although Goldwater used the phrase "above top secret", at no point did he say he was trying to access bodies or UFO wreckage. He was merely trying to access USAF files, like writers such as Keyhoe and organisations such as NICAP and APRO. It was only years later that the Goldwater story mushroomed into rumors about artefacts and bodies, and a top secret room known as the "Blue Room". Tim Good, writing in Above Top Secret, talks about Goldwater trying to see UFO artefacts but not bodies or actual craft. Nick Redfern appears to See more...
    By cda on KEEP OUT! on 05/01/12

    Nick Redfern: CDA: You say: "Nick Redfern appears to take the story a stage further and talks about the senator seeking the remains of bodies and crashed UFOs, all supposedly stored in a secret building known as Hangar 18." Where the hell are you getting that idea from? Certainly not from my book, I know that much! Here are my exact words from my "Keep Out!" book as they relate to what I say in the book about the Goldwater saga: QUOTE: 'On March 28, 1975, the late and renowned Barry Goldwater – who served as a Major-General in the Air Force, a Senator for Arizona, the Republican Party’s nominee for President of the United States in the 1964 election, and the Chairman of the U.S. Government’s Senate Intelligence Committee - wrote the following, highly thought-provoking words to a UFO researcher named Shlomo Arnon: “The subject of UFOs is one that has interested me for some long time. About ten or twelve years ago I made an effort to find out what was in the building at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base where the information is stored that has been collected by the Air Force, and I was understandably denied this request. It is still classified above Top Secret.” 'Well, it’s certainly not every day you receive in the mail a letter like that – and from a U.S. senator and a presidential-nominee. Unless, that is, the subject-matter of the letter left a deep, lasting impression upon that same senator and nominee, which it clearly did.' END OF QUOTE. I made no specific statement - at all - that Goldwater was on the hunt for alien bodies. Rather, directly after referring to Goldwater's letter to Shlomo Arnon, I state in the book that UFO researchers believe the place Goldwater was trying to access is where alien bodies are stored, and that it has become known as Hangar 18. Saying some UFO researchers believe there might be bodies at Wright-Pat is very, very different from, as you word it: "Nick Redfern appears to take the story a stage further and talks about the senator seeking the remains of bodies and crashed UFOs." There's no statement in my book about Goldwater seeking bodies or crashed craft, only that this is what some investigators conclude. By Nick Redfern on KEEP OUT! on 09/01/12.

    cda: Quite right Nick. I ought not to have implied that you said this in your book (which I have not read). However it is true that some UFO extremists HAVE said this about Sen. Goldwater. I should have made this clear rather than extrapolating from John Harney's review. I am still curious who first used the term 'Hangar 18'. By cda on KEEP OUT! on 12/01/12