Peter W. Merlin is an American writer, researcher, and journalist. Before transitioning to academia and a position at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s School of Aviation, he spent more than two decades as a government contractor in the flight test and research environment. Merlin has authored numerous books on aviation and space technology and history, and two volumes on aerospace safety and human factors. As a subject matter expert on aerospace and Cold War history, he has appeared in more than a dozen film and television documentaries for the History Channel, Discovery, National Geographic, Smithsonian, and others. He has been doggedly pursuing the history of Area 51 for more than 30 years with a view toward separating fact from fantasy.

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