You can always count of Nick Redfern for some quality conspiracy literature. He’s a recognized expert in areas of UFOs, Bigfoot, conspiracies, and other unsolved mysteries. His books have run the gamut from alien abduction to exposes on the infamous ‘Men in Black’ to the search for elusive creatures hidden in various environments around the world. In his latest book, KEEP OUT! TOP SECRET PLACES GOVERNMENTS DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT, he serves up a virtual smorgasbord of ‘whose-its’ and ‘what’s-its’ that makes the world of the paranormal so compelling for its readers.
Several of the locations explored here have been covered to greater explanation elsewhere – such as Nevada’s ultimate secret base, Area 51 – and one could make the strong argument that many of them are ripe enough for an entire book instead of serving only as fodder for an individual chapter in KEEP OUT! But that’s the nature of the book – provide the reader with a functional overview of significant details and then push on to the next mystery. These are summaries – as the book’s subtitle clearly indicates – so don’t look for exhaustive detail. However, if you want a concise snapshot of the public history for Area 51 or Wright-Patterson Air Force Base or even Royal Air Force Base at Bentwaters-Woodbridge, then you can find them covered here. Also, Redfern provides terrific context for the reader to capture the gist of the central mystery surrounding each of the secured locations, and that alone is the greatest service he offers with this release: here are the fine points, but, if you want to know more, you may need to go elsewhere. For those inclined, he provides ample citations in the bibliography.
What Redfern has done is created a ‘soft’ reference book – a compendium of inter-related essays, really – that isn’t so much, per se, about geographic places that world governments necessarily prohibit their citizens from visiting (indeed, one can get to the outskirts of many cited military installations but not inside the perimeter without prerequisite authorization) so much as it is demonstrably proof that there are significant places about the Earth – Area 51, England’s possibly subterranean bases, underground bunkers, Hangar 18 – that governments openly and amply deny any association with. Some of the chapters, in fact, don’t necessarily deal directly with any specific location so much as they highlight individuals associated to global or national conspiracies (i.e. the post-9/11 anthrax scare, Nazi mysteries of World War II, efforts to colonize the Moon, etc.); this is not to say that there aren’t certain “places” exposed in those chapters but rather to clarify that these specific locations aren’t necessarily the prime focus of those portions of the book. You say “tom-A-to”, I say “tom-AH-to.”
It’s a brisk read told by a mind learned to the subject matter. Arguably, you won’t find many minds better suited to the task at hand as laid out in the book’s introduction. I’ve read several books on most matters explored here, and, while I would’ve hoped for something a bit meatier, KEEP OUT! still serves as an excellent primer for the subject matter as well as a healthy appetizer for my own search now that Redfern’s pointed me in some new directions … I had heard about the mysterious deaths of world-renowned microbiologists, so now I’m off to research the topic a bit more. It’s good to know that Nick is already on the job!
In the interest of fairness, I’m happy to disclose that the kind folks at New Page Books provided me with a press copy for the purposes of completing this review.
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