Friday, September 11, 2009

Forgive your enemies

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9/11: Truth, Trutherism, and Truthiness




The morning of 9/11, when the alarm went off with National Public Radio’s Carl Kasell talking about planes flying into the World Trade Center, I was convinced I’d stumbled into a modern-day War of the Worlds. And that unreal feeling didn’t lift for the rest of that day—not when I got to the virtually empty Mother Jones office (there were still all those reports of more planes in the sky), not when I saw ex-CIA head James Woolsey on TV, already talking about how Saddam Hussein had to be behind this.
Nor, really, did it lift for another seven years. These were the years when we were served up lie after lie, when doubt became treason and reality itself grew increasingly preposterous. (We had a 21-year-old private from West Virginia do what?) Even the accounting, when it finally began, came not over the substance of what had happened, but focused on oddly procedural sideshows (did Scooter Libby out Valerie Plame Wilson? Did we really care, when the point was that Dick Cheney stovepiped intelligence to con the nation into war?) They were the years of truthiness—of claims just plausible enough to be believed, of accurate details gathered into deceitful conclusions, and of course of reporters who truthfully reported the lies they were told.

This is the first 9/11 anniversary when the country is no longer being run by those who so cynically exploited horror and legitimate anger. We have repudiated torture (though we’ll still send detainees to be tortured elsewhere on our behalf). We are withdrawing from Iraq, and will withdraw from Afghanistan sooner or later; most importantly, perhaps, we have elected a president who reminds the world that America is more than Gitmo and Predator drones.
But the end of the Bush era is not the end of the 9/11 era. There were deeper historical currents that made both the attack and its exploitation possible, and they still run strong.
Remember the poll that appeared around the fifth anniversary—revealing that one-third of Americans believed the government engineered the attacks or deliberately let them happen? Really, it wasn’t that surprising. At a time when both government and media were giving Americans ample reason for distrust, it wasn’t such a leap to conclude that the official story was not to be believed. The corollary to truthiness, its opposite and logical partner, was trutherism.

Trutherism is an expression of one of those deeper trends—the growing belief that no deed is too heinous, no deception too extreme, for the evil overlords in our government. It’s the legacy, at least in part, of the 60s and 70s, of Vietnam, J. Edgar Hoover, Watergate. It is also the belief that animates the birther and death-panel conspiracists of 2009: Of course the government would lie, cheat, and kill your grandmother. Why do you ask?
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Fifty questions on 9/11

by Pepe Escobar

It's September 11 all over again – eight years on. The George W Bush administration is out. The "global war on terror" is still on, renamed "overseas contingency operations" by the Barack Obama administration. Obama's "new strategy" – a war escalation – is in play in AfPak. Osama bin Laden may be dead or not. "Al-Qaeda" remains a catch-all ghost entity. September 11 – the neo-cons' "new Pearl Harbor" – remains the darkest jigsaw puzzle of the young 21st century.

It's useless to expect US corporate media and the ruling elites' political operatives to call for a true, in-depth investigation into the attacks on the US on September 11, 2001. Whitewash has been the norm. But even establishment highlight Dr Zbig "Grand Chessboard" Brzezinski, a former national security advisor, has admitted to the US Senate that the post-9/11 "war on terror" is a "mythical historical narrative".

The following questions, some multi-part – and most totally ignored by the 9/11 Commission – are just the tip of the immense 9/11 iceberg. A hat tip goes to the indefatigable work of 911truth.org; whatreallyhappened.com; architects and engineers for 9/11 truth; the Italian documentary Zero: an investigation into 9/11; and Asia Times Online readers' e-mails.

None of these questions has been convincingly answered – according to the official narrative. It's up to US civil society to keep up the pressure. Eight years after the fact, one fundamental conclusion is imperative. The official narrative edifice of 9/11 is simply not acceptable.

Fifty questions


1) How come dead or not dead Osama bin Laden has not been formally indicted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as responsible for 9/11? Is it because the US government – as acknowledged by the FBI itself – has not produced a single conclusive piece of evidence?

2) How could all the alleged 19 razor-blade box cutter-equipped Muslim perpetrators have been identified in less than 72 hours – without even a crime scene investigation?

3) How come none of the 19's names appeared on the passenger lists released the same day by both United Airlines and American Airlines?

4) How come eight names on the "original" FBI list happened to be found alive and living in different countries?

5) Why would pious jihadi Mohammed Atta leave a how-to-fly video manual, a uniform and his last will inside his bag knowing he was on a suicide mission?

6) Why did Mohammed Atta study flight simulation at Opa Locka, a hub of no less than six US Navy training bases?

7) How could Mohammed Atta's passport have been magically found buried among the Word Trade Center (WTC)'s debris when not a single flight recorder was found?

8) Who is in the possession of the "disappeared" eight indestructible black boxes on those four flights?

9) Considering multiple international red alerts about a possible terrorist attack inside the US – including former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice's infamous August 6, 2001, memo – how come four hijacked planes deviating from their computerized flight paths and disappearing from radar are allowed to fly around US airspace for more than an hour and a half – not to mention disabling all the elaborate Pentagon's defense systems in the process?

10) Why the secretary of the US Air Force James Roche did not try to intercept both planes hitting the WTC (only seven minutes away from McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey) as well as the Pentagon (only 10 minutes away from McGuire)? Roche had no less than 75 minutes to respond to the plane hitting the Pentagon.

11) Why did George W Bush continue to recite "My Pet Goat" in his Florida school and was not instantly absconded by the secret service?

12) How could Bush have seen the first plane crashing on WTC live – as he admitted? Did he have previous knowledge – or is he psychic?

13) Bush said that he and Andrew Card initially thought the first hit on the WTC was an accident with a small plane. How is that possible when the FAA as well as NORAD already knew this was about a hijacked plane?

14) What are the odds of transponders in four different planes be turned off almost simultaneously, in the same geographical area, very close to the nation's seat of power in Washington, and no one scrambles to contact the Pentagon or the media?

15) Could defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld explain why initial media reports said that there were no fighter jets available at Andrews Air Force Base and then change the reports that there were, but not on high alert?

16) Why was the DC Air National Guard in Washington AWOL on 9/11?

17) Why did combat jet fighters of the 305th Air Wing, McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey not intercept the second hijacked plane hitting the WTC, when they could have done it within seven minutes?

18) Why did none of the combat jet fighters of the 459th Aircraft Squadron at Andrews Air Force Base intercept the plane that hit the Pentagon, only 16 kilometers away? And since we're at it, why the Pentagon did not release the full video of the hit?

19) A number of very experienced airline pilots – including US ally Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a former fighter jet pilot – revealed that, well, only crack pilots could have performed such complex maneuvers on the hijacked jets, while others insisted they could only have been accomplished by remote control. Is it remotely believable that the hijackers were up to the task?

20) How come a substantial number of witnesses did swear seeing and hearing multiple explosions in both towers of the WTC?

21) How come a substantial number of reputed architects and engineers are adamant that the official narrative simply does not explain the largest structural collapse in recorded history (the Twin Towers) as well as the collapse of WTC building 7, which was not even hit by a jet?

http://waronyou.com/topics/fifty-questions-on-911/
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Died Young, Stayed Pretty

 
Ward Sutton Makes the Case for Posters as Art (Or Junk)
A cartoon review of Died Young, Stayed Pretty
 
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Winston the pigeon wings it

http://www.iol.co.za/images/redesign2004/iol_logo.gif

Winston The Pigeon.

Winston the pigeon is not only the most tech-savvy pigeon in the world, but he also carries himself - and data bundles - remarkably well.

And much faster than Telkom.

The 11-month-old homing pigeon took off from a call centre in Howick on Wednesday morning to deliver four gigabytes of data to The Unlimited company's office in Hillcrest, Durban, easily winning the race against an ADSL line.

'It gets people smiling and it gets people talking'
"Winston is over the moon," The Unlimited IT head Kevin Rolfe said.

"He is happy to be back at the office and is now just chilling with his friends."


The flight took an hour and eight minutes.

"It was a little slower than what we were hoping for but it was overcast and rainy, with a lot of mist, that made travel conditions difficult for the little fellow," said Rolfe.

In total, it took two hours, six minutes and 57 seconds for Winston to leave Howick with the data card strapped to his legs, to fly to Hillcrest, and to upload the data from the card onto the call centre system, said Rolfe.

By that time, the ADSL transmission of the same data size was around four percent complete.

"The bottom line for us right now, is that we would have had all the data here in two days' time [with ADSL]," said Rolfe.
 
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Would you still sign the 9/11 Truth petition?

salon.com

We ask signatories of the statement that helped drive Van Jones from office if they stand by it. Updated

By Vincent Rossmeier

  • NewsSept. 11, 2009 | Thanks in large part to his association with the 9/11 Truth movement, Van Jones is no longer a member of the Obama White House. Jones resigned last week amid a swirl of controversy -- prodded on largely by Fox News' Glenn Beck -- that included the former "green jobs" advisor's signing of a petition put out by the 9/11 Truth movement urging a further investigation into the World Trade Center attacks. Most controversially, the petition wondered darkly that "unanswered questions ... suggest that people within the current administration may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps as a pretext for war," before drifting into a list of wild and dubious speculation. (You can read the petition right here.)

Initially, Jones said that he hadn't fully reviewed the statement before he signed. But that didn't stop the onslaught of bad publicity that ultimately led to his exit.

The statement was released in October 2004 and has been signed by nearly 200 people, including many relatives of those who lost someone in the attacks. It called for an investigation into 9/11 but also directly questioned the government's conclusions about the plane crashes.

In the wake of Jones' departure, Politico's Ben Smith contacted two other signatories of the statement, Rabbi Michael Lerner and historian Howard Zinn. Smith found that both men felt they had signed a petition of more limited scope than the one that appears at the 9/11 Truth Web site, one that asked only for an investigation into the attacks and not one questioning President Bush's prior knowledge of 9/11.

Salon contacted nearly 30 of the petition's signatories to see if they felt, as did Lerner, Zinn and Jones, that the document didn't reflect their views on 9/11. We asked a simple question: If you had to do it all over again, would you still sign the statement?

Salon has not heard back from two of the statement's most famous signatories: actor Ed Asner and comedian Janeane Garofalo. (Updated: We have received and added  Asner's response to the list below.) But many did respond and most -- though not all -- expressed their full-fledged support for the petition. Their responses are below:

Ed Asner (through his company, Quince Productions): Mr. Asner would sign the petition again without the slightest hesitation.

Gray Brechin, historical geographer and visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Department of Geography: Until recently, I thought that I (like Van Jones) live in a country with a First Amendment that permits freedom of speech, thought and petition without fear of reprisal. I had that pleasant illusion despite growing up in the dark shadow of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, of red scares, blacklists and witch hunts, of the John Birch Society (and worse), which the Old Guard of the Republican Party then considered zanies. The ideological descendants of those wackos have since taken over that party. I suspect that you did not grow up at that time.

Since when did Salon permit Glenn Beck and the almost equally loony WSJ editorial page to set the terms of discussion, calling those who want answers to so much that remains unexplained about 9/11 "truthers" and thus giving them equivalence with "birthers," "deathers" and "tea baggers"? Since when was Van Jones a "czar" rather than an advisor? Since when was he not entitled to his opinions, past or present? Was it when he was born black and inexcusably smart? Jones is the kind of visionary with whom Franklin Roosevelt surrounded himself but of which the Obama administration is almost entirely bereft, and now that administration has shamefully thrown him to the sharks.

Have you contacted the widows and other family members who lost loved ones on that terrible day and asked them if they recant wondering why, for example, New York City and the Pentagon -- the fucking Pentagon! -- were defenseless on that morning more than a month after the would-be president was informed that Osama bin Laden was determined to attack the United States? Have you asked them if they are as disloyal, or as nuts, as Van Jones for signing that petition? Have you an answer for that and other questions on that petition, which were never discussed by the mainstream media when it piled on Jones at Beck's behest?

Van Jones was not only flayed for once signing a petition but for jokingly calling Republicans "assholes." Why is that "extreme" speech when Glenn Beck freely advocates violent overthrow of the U.S. government, gives an exegesis of the Communist/Fascist messages that "progressive" John D. Rockefeller Jr. insidiously inserted in the art of Rockefeller Center, and fantasizes killing Michael Moore and the speaker of the House on air to millions? When will the men with butterfly nets take this man away so that he does not hurt others or himself, rather than journalists allow him to take them down into his rat-infested sewer with him?

I keep hoping that, like Joe McCarthy, Mr. Beck (and O'Reilly, Coulter, Malkin, "Savage," etc.) will go too far, but -- with the wreck of public education and its replacement by entertainment -- Americans have so lost any moral compass that "too far" no longer exists as long as one is to the right of Dick Cheney.

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2009/09/11/truth_petition/index.html

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Gone.

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Amid noisy health care debate, free clinics struggle to keep up

FREDERICK, Md. — One recent Monday, the line in the Church of the Brethren parking lot began to form at around 2:30 a.m. when a husband and wife arrived. They came almost 8 hours early in the hope of seeing a dentist — for free.

They soon watched the headlights of other cars as they pulled into the lot. Some would-be patients laid out blankets and sat on the pavement to wait for hours so they'd make the top of the walk-in list to see a doctor or dentist at the Mission of Mercy traveling clinic.

By the time the clinic, a converted recreational vehicle, opened its doors and the church's multi-purpose room became a waiting room, a nursing station and a dental office with blue dividers and folding chairs, more than 100 people had assembled.

At the check-in table, new patients were asked one question: "Are you insured?"

The Mission of Mercy, a group of traveling clinics that circulate through towns in Maryland , Pennsylvania , Texas and Arizona , is one of more than 1,200 free clinics across the nation that are feeling the effects of the economic downturn.

Their patient lists are growing as Americans lose their jobs and their health insurance, but as demand grows with rising unemployment, their donations are dwindling. This year, Mission of Mercy has $350,000 less than it did last year; it takes no government funds for its services.

"People are so afraid to give now, because they're thinking they could lose their job next," said Linda Ryan , the executive director of Mission of Mercy. "We're squished because we have more people in need; we need to grow now more than ever — who knows what will happen with health care?"

Over the past year, free clinics across the country have seen a 20 percent decrease in donations and a 40 percent to 50 percent increase in patients, said Nicole D. Lamoureux , the executive director of the National Association of Free Clinics . Last year, the clinics the association represents — which largely have been excluded from the health care debate — treated 4 million people. This year, Lamoureux expects, they'll serve some 8 million, 83 percent of whom come from homes in which at least one person works full time.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20090906/pl_mcclatchy/3303609

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GLENN BECK’s WEIRDEST EVER

 
This video is so odd, so unhinged, so . . . well, it's one of the strangest rants you'll ever see.  But one thing is clear.  A lot of it has to do with a guy "holding a hammer" –  Beck points directly at a long-handled shovel, not a hammer, and then you get a close-up of the shovel, which Beck keeps calling a hammer.  And because the guy's holding a hammer (but . . . it's . . . a . . . shovel) and another guy's holding a sickle, it must prove that the depression-era art that oil-tycoon Rockefeller commissioned is a precursor to today's communist/fascist progressives because it's all "hiding in plain sight" in and around the lobby of NBC.  Huh?
 
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Can a mere domain name be defamation? Glenn Beck says yes

Ars Technica: The Art of Technology

Hugely popular conservative talker Glenn Beck has sicked his lawyers on a satirical website that's been up for a week, but the attorneys may have a point on this one. The site, called glennbeckrapedandmurderedayounggirlin1990.com, toes the line on defamation—and may have stepped across it.

Can a mere domain name be defamation? Glenn Beck says yesWhen someone registers a domain like glennbeckrapedandmurderedayounggirlin1990.com, they probably expect to hear from Glenn Beck's lawyers. In this case, it took two days. The site's anonymous operator tells Ars that the whole thing is satire—but that may not be enough to avoid charges of defamation.

Gilbert Gottfried, what have you started?

The controversy started a week ago in the Fark forums, where someone picked up on an old Gilbert Gottfried roast of the "comedian" (scare quotes fully intended) Bob Saget. During the roast, Gottfried repeatedly said (watch the video) that Saget had "not raped and killed a girl in 1990." The Fark forums took the joke about the power of insinuation and applied it to right-wing talk show host Glenn "Obama is a racist" Beck.

One of the Fark readers then took the forum meme to the next level, registering a domain name and launching a web site in order to make a point about talking head TV demagoguery. "Why won't Glenn Beck deny these allegations?" asks the site. "We're not accusing Glenn Beck of raping and murdering a young girl in 1990—in fact, we think he didn't! But we can't help but wonder, since he has failed to deny these horrible allegations. Why won't he deny that he raped and killed a young girl in 1990?" At the very bottom of the page was a small text disclaimer saying that the site was satirical.

I spoke to the anonymous owner of the site, who tells Ars that launching it "just felt right"—it flipped the "birther" non-falsifiable conspiracy theories about Obama's birth and citizenship around and applied the same tactics to one of the biggest talking heads (no pun intended?) on cable news. It's just "using Beck's tactics against him" and is a small way of "directing all this frustration" with Beck and others into action.

gelnn-beck-banner.jpg

The site went up on September 1 and had a huge spike of initial interest—it served more than 120,000 page loads in the first 24 hours. By September 3, lawyers for Beck's media company, Mercury Radio Arts, had contacted the domain registrar demanding that the "highly defamatory domain name" glennbeckrapedandmurderedayounggirlin1990.com be deleted, that the WhoisGuard privacy protection service be revoked, and that the owner's contact information be turned over to the lawyers.

Registrar NameCheap didn't do this, of course, and Beck's lawyers sent another letter the next day, making the same demands. They also showed that they were reading the website: "We also note that it appears you contacted the individual, as he states on his website hosted on the Defamatory Domain that 'my webhost is taking some flak over this website, so if he gets shuts me down, it may take a bit to get rehosted.'"

The registrar did change the site's nameservers without alerting the owner, but allowed him to change them back once he contacted the company, and the site remains up. The owner also registered additional backup domains, such as "DidGlennBeckRapeAndMurderAYoungGirlIn1990.com" (form of a question!) and "gb1990.com" (inoffensive!).

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/09/can-a-mere-domain-name-be-defamation-glenn-beck-says-yes.ars?utm_source=microblogging&utm_medium=arstch&utm_term=Main%20Account&utm_campaign=microblogging

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What were you doing on Sept. 11, 2001?

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Michael Moore's 'Capitalism' Flick Rips into Crimes of Wall Street

Movie Mix

By Xan Brooks


Moore's latest documentary drew tumultuous applause at the Venice film festival, suggesting that the veteran tub-thumper has lost none of his power to whip up a response.

The bankrobbers caught on camera at the start of Capitalism: A Love Story are a forlorn and feeble bunch. We see a bedraggled old man in a Hawaiian shirt, and what looks to be a 12-year-old boy wearing a balaclava. For all their flailing efforts, they've got nothing on the real crooks: the banking CEOs who recently absconded with $700bn of public money, no strings attached. That's what's known as a clean getaway.

Michael Moore's latest documentary drew tumultuous applause at the Venice film festival, suggesting that the veteran tub-thumper has lost none of his power to whip up a response. If the film finally lacks the clean, hard punch provided by the record-breaking Fahrenheit 9/11, that can only be because the crime scene is so vast and the culprits so numerous.

Undeterred, Moore jabs his finger at everyone from Reagan to Bush Jr, Hank Paulson to Alan Greenspan. He drags the viewer through a thicket of insurance scams, sub-prime bubbles and derivative trading so willfully obfuscatory that even the experts can't explain how it works.

The big villain, of course, is capitalism itself, which the film paints as a wily old philanderer intent on lining the pockets of the few at the expense of the many. America, enthuses a leaked Citibank report, is now a modern-day "plutonomy" where the top 1% of the population control 95% of the wealth. Does Barack Obama's election spell an end to all this? The director has his doubts, pointing out that Goldman Sachs – depicted here as the principal agent of wickedness – was the largest private contributor to the Obama campaign.

Capitalism: A Love Story is by turns crude and sentimental, impassioned and invigorating. It posits a simple moral universe inhabited by good little guys and evil big ones, yet the basic thrust of its argument proves hard to resist.

Crucially, Moore (or at least his researchers) has done a fine job in ferreting out the human stories behind the headlines. None of these is so horrifyingly absurd as the tale of the privatised youth detention centre in Pennsylvania, run with the help of a crooked local judge who railroaded kids through his court for a cut of the profits. Some 6,500 children were later found to have been wrongly convicted for such minor infractions as smoking pot and "throwing a piece of steak at my mom's boyfriend". The subsequent bill for their incarceration went directly to the taxpayer.

Moore's conclusion? That capitalism is both un-Christian and un-American, an evil that deserves not regulation but elimination.

http://www.alternet.org/movies/142496/michael_moore%27s_%27capitalism%27_flick_rips_into_crimes_of_wall_street/

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Anniversary

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The Road to Area 51

After decades of denying the facility's existence, five former insiders speak out

BackstoryArea 51. It's the most famous military institution in the world that doesn't officially exist. If it did, it would be found about 100 miles outside Las Vegas in Nevada's high desert, tucked between an Air Force base and an abandoned nuclear testing ground.

Then again, maybe not-- the U.S. government refuses to say. You can't drive anywhere close to it, and until recently, the airspace overhead was restricted--all the way to outer space. Any mention of Area 51 gets redacted from official documents, even those that have been declassified for decades.

It has become the holy grail for conspiracy theorists, with UFOlogists positing that the Pentagon reverse engineers flying saucers and keeps extraterrestrial beings stored in freezers. Urban legend has it that Area 51 is connected by underground tunnels and trains to other secret facilities around the country. In 2001, Katie Couric told Today Show audiences that 7 percent of Americans doubt the moon landing happened--that it was staged in the Nevada desert. Millions of X-Files fans believe the truth may be "out there," but more likely it's concealed inside Area 51's Strangelove-esque hangars--buildings that, though confirmed by Google Earth, the government refuses to acknowledge.

The problem is the myths of Area 51 are hard to dispute if no one can speak on the record about what actually happened there. Well, now, for the first time, someone is ready to talk--in fact, five men are, and their stories rival the most outrageous of rumors. Colonel Hugh "Slip" Slater, 87, was commander of the Area 51 base in the 1960s. Edward Lovick, 90, featured in "What Plane?" in LA's March issue, spent three decades radar testing some of the world's most famous aircraft (including the U-2, the A-12 OXCART and the F-117). Kenneth Collins, 80, a CIA experimental test pilot, was given the silver star. Thornton "T.D." Barnes, 72, was an Area 51 special-projects engineer. And Harry Martin, 77, was one of the men in charge of the base's half-million-gallon monthly supply of spy-plane fuels. Here are a few of their best stories--for the record:

On May 24, 1963, Collins flew out of Area 51's restricted airspace in a top-secret spy plane code-named OXCART, built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation. He was flying over Utah when the aircraft pitched, flipped and headed toward a crash. He ejected into a field of weeds.

Almost 46 years later, in late fall of 2008, sitting in a coffee shop in the San Fernando Valley, Collins remembers that day with the kind of clarity the threat of a national security breach evokes: "Three guys came driving toward me in a pickup. I saw they had the aircraft canopy in the back. They offered to take me to my plane." Until that moment, no civilian without a top-secret security clearance had ever laid eyes on the airplane Collins was flying. "I told them not to go near the aircraft. I said it had a nuclear weapon on-board." The story fit right into the Cold War backdrop of the day, as many atomic tests took place in Nevada. Spooked, the men drove Collins to the local highway patrol. The CIA disguised the accident as involving a generic Air Force plane, the F-105, which is how the event is still listed in official records.

As for the guys who picked him up, they were tracked down and told to sign national security nondisclosures. As part of Collins' own debriefing, the CIA asked the decorated pilot to take truth serum. "They wanted to see if there was anything I'd for-gotten about the events leading up to the crash." The Sodium Pento-thal experience went without a hitch--except for the reaction of his wife, Jane.

"Late Sunday, three CIA agents brought me home. One drove my car; the other two carried me inside and laid me down on the couch. I was loopy from the drugs. They handed Jane the car keys and left without saying a word." The only conclusion she could draw was that her husband had gone out and gotten drunk. "Boy, was she mad," says Collins with a chuckle.

At the time of Collins' accident, CIA pilots had been flying spy planes in and out of Area 51 for eight years, with the express mission of providing the intelligence to prevent nuclear war. Aerial reconnaissance was a major part of the CIA's preemptive efforts, while the rest of America built bomb shelters and hoped for the best.

"It wasn't always called Area 51," says Lovick, the physicist who developed stealth technology. His boss, legendary aircraft designer Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson, called the place Paradise Ranch to entice men to leave their families and "rough it" out in the Nevada desert in the name of science and the fight against the evil empire. "Test pilot Tony LeVier found the place by flying over it," says Lovick. "It was a lake bed called Groom Lake, selected for testing because it was flat and far from anything. It was kept secret because the CIA tested U-2s there."
 
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