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Dreamland is journalist Phil Patton's chronicle of his road trip into the low deserts and dry lakes of southern Nevada in search of the truth (which, presumably, is Out There). It's a cultural history of the cold war, a psychoanalysis of the military, and an unswerving look at our fascination for UFOs. What happened at Roswell in the 1940s? What is the Air Force doing out at Area 51? Whether you join the "youfers," and decide that genuine aliens are here, doing their inexplicable thing, or the "Interceptors," who desperately seek sightings of stealth planes, or "black aircraft," you'll need to camp at the perimeters of the vast desert wildernesses set aside for secrecy to do your research. Patton explores the edges (and sometimes the insides) of these strange, lonely places in the same way he examines the psyches and motives of the people who inhabit them--with bemused semiobjectivity. Patton seems to be saying that human weirdness is roomy enough to encompass everything, from UFOs to top-secret military planes to global atomic destruction. He writes of Dreamland: "I came to believe that its legend and lore, its language and paradoxes, provided a strange and yet appropriate time capsule of a half century of cold war and black secrecy. Here, the cultures of nuclear power and airpower merged with the folklores of extraterrestrials and earthly conspiracies; their interference patterns formed a moiré of the weird. It was a place from which to see our own planet with the eyes of an outsider." --Therese Littleton [via]