They all, President Truman, the Army, Air Force, Navy, and the Marine Corps feared the Central Intelligence Agency, yet the president tasked it with doing something that the Air Force would not do. That was to develop a manned overhead reconnaissance program to spy on Russia. Despite many technological and bureaucratic hurdles, the CIA, in eight months from contract to flying, and under budget, produces the revolutionary U-2 spy plane. A few months later, the CIA is overflying the Communist Soviet Union to disprove the feared bomber and missile gap between the two superpowers. The struggle between the CIA and the US Air Force to control the U-2 Angels and the persistent tension between the CIA and Presidents Truman and Eisenhower extends to the A-12 Archangels intended to replace the U-2. The CIA loses many lives of pilots flying out of the agency's remote site in Nevada known today as Area 51.
About the Author
Thornton D. "TD" Barnes, author and entrepreneur, grew up on a ranch at Dalhart, Texas. He graduated from Mountain View High School in Oklahoma and embarked on a ten-year military career. He served as an Army intelligence specialist in Korea and then continued his education while in the US Army, attending two and a half years of missile and radar electronics by day and college courses at night. Barnes deployed with the first combat Hawk missile battalion during the Soviet Iron Curtain threat before attending the Artillery Officer Candidate School, where an injury ended his military career. During his extensive professional career, Barnes was a field engineer at the NASA High Range in Nevada for the X-15, XB-70, lifting bodies and lunar landing vehicles; working on the NERVA project at Jackass Flats, Nevada. He was a member of a special projects team at Area 51 for the Central Intelligence Agency. Barnes later formed a family oil and gas exploration company, drilling and producing oil and gas and mining uranium and gold. Barnes is currently the CEO of Startel, Inc., a landowner, and is actively mining a quarry for landscape rock and gold in Nevada. He is the president of Roadrunners Internationale, an association of Area 51 veterans, and is the executive director of the Nevada Aerospace Hall of Fame. Two National Geographic Channel documentaries feature Barnes: Area 51 Declassified and CIA-Secrets of Area 51. Numerous documentaries on the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, the Travel Channel and others also feature him. The Annie Jacobsen book Area 51 Declassified documents his career. Barnes lives in Henderson, Nevada.