Original Novel Title: Area 51
Author: Robert Doherty
Publisher: Dell Publishing, March 1997 (paperback).
Like Dreamland and the 1996 hit movie Independence Day this novel takes seriously the claims of UFO enthusiasts that the United States Government is hiding the secret behind the mysterious flying saucers. Doherty weaves a grand design extending back to the last ice age over 10,000 years ago; he incorporates Atlantis and other so-called ancient mysteries into his tale.
During the search for the truth surrounding Area 51, the quartet of heroes -- a female journalist searching for a missing colleague; a renegade military security guard invovled with the Area 51 coverup; an elderly German scientist being poisoned to death by his military bosses; and an archaeologist -- are informed another even more secret military installation at Dulce, New Mexico.
At Dulce somewhere in Sublevel 2 they stumble upon
"Archives," Turcotte said, resting a finger on a room [on a computer screen schematic]. He looked up at Nabinger and Von Seeckt. "That's yours." (p. 285)
Locating the archives
At the other end of this level of the facility Von Seeckt and Professor Nabinger were staring at an intellectual treasure trove. The archives had been dark when they opened the doors. When Nabinger hit the lights, a room full of large filing cabinets had come into view. Opening drawers, they found photos. The drawers were labelled with numbers that meant nothing to the two men. At the far end of the room there was a vault door with a small glass window. Von Seeckt peered through. "The original stone tablets from the mothership cavern are in there," he said. "But they must have photographs of them in these cabinets."
Nabinger was already opening drawers. "Here's the same high runes from the site in Mexico that Slader showed me," Nabinger said, holding up large ten-by-fifteen-inch glossies.
"Yes, yes," Von Seeckt said absently, throwing open drawer after drawer. "We need to find ones she didn't show you--the ones from the mothership cavern. I do not believe our Captain Turcotte will have much patience once his five-minute limit is up."
Nabinger started going through drawers more quickly. (p. 287)
Von Seeckt finds the crucial photographs while archaeologist Nabinger makes off with a rare rongorongo tablet from Easter Island. Miraculously, despite the lack of a comparative language, Professor Nabinger manages to produce a rough translation of the tablet.
Ironically, the photos and the tablet from the archives prove worthless as evidence for publicity purposes precisely because they were stolen goods and the four heroes have no valid explanation for possessing the material nor can they authenticate their origin.
This novel is the first of a trilogy. The subsequent two novels have not yet been reviewed for archival references.
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The Fictional World of Archives
Submitted by David Mattison, 1997.09.16. Updated 1999.06.28.