UFOs, Aliens, & Dreamland:
BY PHIL PATTON
VILLARD BOOKS / RANDOM HOUSE
Reviewed by bdpoe
Phil Patton, contributing editor to ESQUIRE, gives readers
an inside glimpse of the " secret world of Roswell and Area 51"
in DREAMLAND. This is not to be dismissed as another
speculative fantasy about visitors from other planets.
Instead it is a look at several cults, communities and the history of super secret spy plane development at a mysterious government facility in New Mexico known by many names as DreamLand.
Touching upon mythos and culture, Patton explores a unique
community of diverse characters obsessed with the long denied
military base that gave birth to the U2 and Stealth spy planes.
War plane buffs, ham radio electronics fans, conspiracy theorists , UFO believers, scientists and military personnel interact in a strange metaphoric quest for the truth.
There is Bob Lazar who claims that he "back engineered" UFO propulsion systems for the government at Dreamland. A character calling himself PsychoSpy routinely breaks government parameters in an attempt to photograph strange secrets within the ultra secure compound.
At one point PsychoSpy is apprehended by helicopter and ground troops, his film is confiscated. He sues in court claiming the film shows the helicopter flying below FAA guidelines and thus is evidence of a crime. Meanwhile ham radio hobbyists , called interceptors , monitor and record endless hours of radio traffic in hopes of garnering sensitive secrets.
One such interceptor, named Steve Douglas, caught on tape
transmissions from a sinking Soviet Submarine that was
subsequently rescued by US ships and leaked the story to the
Associated Press. While the government denied the story at the time, the intercepted transmissions broke the case to the public.
Another story involving the cover up of a fighter crash by the Air Force, who blamed the crash on homosexual suicide, was exposed by Douglass interceptions on tape.
Patton explores the history of spy plane development in
DREAMLAND. Recounting U2 pilot Frank Gary Powers' capture
by the Russians in 1960, he tells of a suicide device, a silver dollar with an attached pin treated with poison.
Twice, the pin escaped discovery in body searches.
When the Soviets took his flight suit, though, he
warned them about the pin. they tested it on a dog.
The dog's tongue turned blue, and it collapsed on
it's side. Within ninety seconds it stopped breathing;
in three minutes it was dead. He found his
interrogators frequently incompetent.
In his final chapter of Dreamland, Patton ponders an obscure
poem of the same name by Edgar Allen Poe. "Poe is the patron poet of Dreamland" he writes. "Thinking about Poe's room (at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville) I believe I better understood where the dark visions of the black (secret) world fit into the ideal of American order.."
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