Re: My review of Peter Merlin's book on Area 51 with respect to guided missiles

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Message posted by Peter Merlin (Member since 11/13/2003) on June 19, 2024 at 7:57:07 PST:

I was pretty happy with these sections of my book. As noted, it was the first time these programs had been fleshed out in any amount of detail.

Ben Rich wanted to include a SENIOR PROM chapter in his 1994 autobiography. He had, in fact, written it up for the initial draft but was apparently asked to leave it out along with a chapter on project AZORIAN.

The account Rich planned to include in his book was a streamlined version of one he had hand-written for his own record while working for Lockheed. This, along with his manuscript draft and various other program documents were among his collection of personal papers that were donated to the Huntington Library after his death in 1995.

The Ben Rich Collection underwent extensive vetting by AFOSI/PJ prior to being approved for public release. Presumably, any documents still considered sensitive were removed prior to the collection's public debut in 2005, which was announced in the Los Angeles Times and elsewhere. I didn't get around to looking through this material until 2010. By that time, many people had examined and copied the SENIOR PROM papers, but none used them in any publications that I am aware of.

For the record, there are two other sections of my book that I am particularly proud of, those concerning AQUILINE and HAVE RASH (also known as HALSOL). These are both projects that have not previously received thoroughly fleshed-out histories. Until now, even the best coverage of AQUILINE has lacked a considerable amount of detail and all previous histories of HALSOL were based on Curtis Peebles' brief account, which contained some surprising errors.

In Reply to: My review of Peter Merlin's book on Area 51 with respect to guided missiles posted by Vahe Demirjian on June 18, 2024 at 13:10:29 PST:


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