Thursday, December 25, 2008

Shadowhawk has New Book

Agent Shadowhawk, perhaps the only original Interceptor who has conducted real research over the past ten years, has a new book out: X-Plane Crashes: Exploring Experimental, Rocket Plane & Spycraft Incidents, Accidents & Crash Sites (Amazon).

The book is discussed in an article in the Dec. 11 Antelope Valley Press. (The article is no longer available on their website, but here is a cache of it.)

Excerpt from the article...
Some aviation buffs collect pilot autographs; others gather photos or aircraft models.

Peter Merlin and Tony Moore collect crash sites.

The self-described aerospace archeologists so far have meticulously researched, located and visited more than 100 sites across the southwestern United States. Some have held but a few small pieces of debris, while others have yielded huge chunks of airframe.

They focus their energies primarily on historic crashes related to the "Golden Age" of flight test from the 1940s through the 1970s, the era of the exotic, experimental "X-planes" in which Edwards Air Force Base played a key role.

"There's just hundreds and hundreds of stories" surrounding these crashes, Merlin said. "Many contain heroism or great tragedy."

After much prodding from friends and colleagues to share the stories of their work, the two collaborated on a book, "X-Plane Crashes," available from Specialty Press.

The book is packed with research and photos about the pilots and aircraft as well as the circumstances of each crash and the archeologists' efforts to seek out and document the sites.

Monday, December 8, 2008

New Area 51 Contractor?: CSC Applied Technologies

I have heard from a grape in the vine that EG&G Special Projects is no longer the general contractor at the Groom Lake base. As of 2000, it is now CSC Applied Technologies.

EG&G supposedly still has the transportation contract (running the Janet flights), but CSC handles the operation of the base. (Although the Air Force "owns" the base, the general contractor handles everything from food to maintenance.)

There's a jobs listing at the CSC website. It may provide some corroboration (but my connection is too slow to load it).