This book is a work of non-fiction. The stories in the narrative are real. Of the seventy-four individuals interviewed for this book—all with rare, firsthand knowledge of the secret base—thirty-two of them lived and worked at Area 51.

Area 51 is the most secretive, domestic military facility in the United States. It is located in the high desert of Southern Nevada, seventy-five miles north of Las Vegas. Its facilities have been constructed over the past sixty years around a flat, dry lakebed called Groom Lake. The government has never admitted it exists.

Because everything that goes on at Area 51 is classified top secret when it is happening, this is a book about secrets. About government projects and operations that have been hidden for decades—some for good reason, others for arguably terrible ones, and one that should have never happened at all. These operations took place in the name of national security and they all involved cutting edge science.

Area 51 is a riddle. In this book, the enigmatic true story of Area 51 is finally told.

Praise for AREA 51

“Compellingly hard-hitting.”
— Janet Maslin, New York Times
“Read this book from page one. It will blow your mind.”

Jon Stewart, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart


Deirdre Donahue, USA Today

“Journalist Annie Jacobsen has shocked even the most devoted conspiracy theorists.”

Marina Watson Pelaez, Time

“A dream for aviation and military buffs.”

Scott Martelle, Los Angeles Times

“Annie Jacobsen is the perfect writer to investigate the granddaddy of all government cover-ups.”

Rachael Larimore, Slate

“A sane, grounded history.”

Dave Gilson, Mother Jones

“Area 51 is so controversial that it has shocked even its sources.”

Lee Speigel, Huffington Post

“Jacobsen presents a thorough and levelheaded history that includes revelations about controversial black operations and secret weapons development programs at the facility.”

Daniel Honan, Big Think

“What if the little grey men were actually Russians in Nazi-designed aircraft? Area 51 by Annie Jacobsen explains.”
— Gizmodo
“Area 51 makes for a fascinating and thorough read.”

— Tampa Tribune

“Internationally recognized for her investigative reporting, Jacobsen used her expertise to research her latest work, Area 51.”
“The definitive book on Area 51.”
— Sean Gonsalves, Cape Cod Online
“CAULDRON-STIRRING…REVELATORY…Compellingly hard-hitting…The book is noteworthy for its author’s dogged devotion to her research.”
Janet Maslin, New York Times
“….CHILLING DEPICTIONS…a dream for aviation and military buffs.”
— Scott Martelle, Los Angeles Times
“Jacobsen’s expansive, well-written narrative takes in the sweep of Cold War history, from the Bay of Pigs to Francis Gary Powers to Joe Stalin to Vietnam to the Nazi doctors pressed into service by U.S. and USSR alike—and none of it is pretty…Jacobsen provides an endlessly fascinating—and quite scary—book.”
Kirkus Reviews