|Born||June 28, 1967|
Middletown, Connecticut, U.S.
|Education||St. Paul’s School|
|Alma mater||Princeton University|
|Occupation||Journalist, non-fiction writer|
Annie Jacobsen (born June 28, 1967) is an American investigative journalist, author, and a 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist. She was a contributing editor to the Los Angeles Times Magazine from 2009 until 2012. Jacobsen writes about war, weapons, security, and secrets. Jacobsen is best known as the author of the 2011 non-fiction book, Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base, which The New York Times called "cauldron-stirring." She is an internationally acclaimed and sometimes controversial author who, according to one critic, writes sensational books by addressing popular conspiracies.
Her 2011 book, Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base, addresses the Roswell UFO incident. The Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Richard Rhodes, reviewing the book in The Washington Post, called the book "error-ridden," pointing out that she relies on a single source for her claim that that in the 1940s Soviet leader Joseph Stalin sent a Nazi-designed flying disc filled with 13-year-olds with surgically enlarged heads into the United States to scare Americans as part of a black propaganda hoax modeled after The War of the Worlds. He concluded that "Jacobsen shows herself at a minimum extraordinarily gullible or journalistically incompetent." Jacobsen's book, Area 51, was on The New York Times Best Seller list for thirteen weeks and has been translated into six languages. Area 51 is being developed into an AMC Series with Gale Anne Hurd as executive producer.
Jacobsen's 2014 book, Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program That Brought Nazi Scientists to America was called "perhaps the most comprehensive, up-to-date narrative available to the general public" in a review by Jay Watkins of the CIA's Center for the Study of Intelligence. Operation Paperclip was included in a list of the best books of 2014 by The Boston Globe. Space historian Michael J. Neufeld gave a negative review of the book: "I cannot endorse Operation Paperclip because: it is error-ridden, it produces no fundamentally new information, it is unbalanced, and its notes are poor." Jacobsen contributed to the October 24, 2019 Throughline Podcast The Dark Side of the Moon podcast episode.
The Pentagon's Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America's Top Secret Military Research Agency, was chosen as finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in history. The Pulitzer committee described the book as "A brilliantly researched account of a small but powerful secret government agency whose military research profoundly affects world affairs." The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and the Amazon Editors chose Pentagon's Brain as one of the best non-fiction books of 2015.
Her next book was published in March 2017: Phenomena: The Secret History of the U.S. Government's Investigations into Extrasensory Perception and Psychokinesis.
In May 2019, she released her newest book Surprise, Kill, Vanish: The Secret History of CIA Paramilitary Armies, Operators, and Assassins. Apple audiobooks recorded SKV as one of the most popular audiobooks of 2019. The CIA reviewed SKV saying, "Jacobsen has a well-deserved reputation as a good writer and an excellent researcher.”
On Flight 327
In 2004, Jacobsen wrote an article about an incident she witnessed with a group of thirteen foreign nationals on board a flight from Detroit to Los Angeles. Two air marshals came out of cover during flight. FBI and homeland security agents met the aircraft when it landed. In May 2007, the Department of Homeland Security declassified a report about the flight. The men were identified as twelve Syrians, members of a musical group, and a Lebanese, their promoter; all were traveling illegally on expired visas. Eight of the men had "positive hits" for past criminal records and suspicious behavior. They were involved in an earlier incident on an aircraft which had them on the FBI watch list. However, the report noted that the musicians were not terrorists and law enforcement assessments at the time were appropriate.
- Terror in the Skies: Why 9/11 Could Happen Again. Spence Publishing Company, 2005, ISBN 1-890626-62-7.
- Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base, Hachette Digital, Inc., 2011, ISBN 1-4091-4113-6.
- Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America. Little, Brown. 11 February 2014. ISBN 978-0-316-22105-4.
- The Pentagon's Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America's Top-Secret Military Research Agency. Little, Brown and Company. 2015. ISBN 978-0316371766. OCLC 900012161.
- Phenomena: The Secret History of the U.S. Government's Investigations into Extrasensory Perception and Psychokinesis. Little, Brown and Company. 2017. ISBN 978-0316349369.
- Surprise, Kill, Vanish: The Secret History of CIA Paramilitary Armies, Operators, and Assassins Little Brown, 2019, ISBN 0316441430
- "A Military Post's Secrets: Espionage, Not Aliens". The New York Times. 16 May 2011.
- Harding, Thomas (May 13, 2011). "Roswell 'was Soviet plot to create US panic'". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 20 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-15.
- Maslin, Janet (May 15, 2011). "A Military Post's Secrets: Espionage, Not Aliens". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 19, 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-18.
- "AMC Developing 'Area 51' Drama With 'Walking Dead' EP". The Hollywood Reporter.
- "Gale Anne Hurd". IMDb.
- "Willkommen". The New York Times. 2 March 2014.
- "Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program to Bring Nazi Scientists to America". Central Intelligence Agency.
- "The best books of 2014". The Boston Globe.
- "Review: Operation Paperclip". The Space Review. 15 June 2015.
- "The Dark Side Of The Moon". NPR.org. Retrieved 2019-12-04.
- "Nonfiction Book Review: The Pentagon's Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA".
- "Finalist: The Pentagon's Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America's Top-Secret Military Research Agency, by Annie Jacobsen (Little, Brown & Company)". The Pulitzer Prizes.
- Jacobsen, Annie (2017-03-28). Phenomena: The Secret History of the U.S. Government's Investigations into Extrasensory Perception and Psychokinesis. Google Books. ISBN 9780316349376. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
- Jacobsen, Annie (2019-11-21). "Apple Audiobooks reports SURPRISE, KILL, VANISH was one of the most popular audiobooks of the year. (!!) Thank you everyone who reads my books. I am hard at work on the next one, a contemporary story (also about the future) which is experiencing major plot twists in real timepic.twitter.com/lp2aKzbaT1". @AnnieJacobsen. Retrieved 2019-12-04.
- "surprise-kill-vanish — Central Intelligence Agency". www.cia.gov. Retrieved 2019-12-04.
- "'Jack Ryan' Season 2 Will Focus on the Decline of Democracy". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
- Andreeva, Nellie (2017-03-22). "Blumhouse TV & Amblin TV Team For 'Phenomena' TV Series Based On Book About ESP & Psychokinesis Experiments". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
- Harshaw, Tobin (May 30, 2007). "It's Not Paranoia If They're Really Out to Get You". The New York Times. Retrieved June 5, 2011.
- "Security flaws confirmed on Flight 327". The Washingtion Times.
- "FACT CHECK: Annie Jacobsen 'Terror in the Skies', False". Snopes. May 28, 2007. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
- "Review of Department's Handling of Suspicious Passengers Aboard Northwest Flight 327" (PDF). Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General. March 30, 2006. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
- Annie Jacobsen. "OPERATION PAPERCLIP". Kirkus Reviews.