His family and friends never knew he worked on special projects for the CIA. Fifty years later, the CIA admits the existence of the top-secret facility known as Area 51. Barnes, an Area 51 and Cold War veteran tells what brought him from a desolate childhood on a remote ranch in the West Texas Panhandle, and through an Army career in radar and missiles to Area 51 to serve the CIA as an electronic specialist engaged in stealth and clandestine exploitation of enemy aircraft.
Thornton D. “TD” Barnes, author and entrepreneur, grew up on a ranch at Dalhart, Texas, graduated from MT. View High School, Oklahoma, followed by a ten-year military career that started as an Army Intelligence in Korea to Nike and Hawk missile schools, and ended with his attending Artillery OCS where an injury ended his military career.
Barnes served during the arms, nuclear, and space races that made it America’s battlefield of World War II, the cold war and all the wars since. My Odyssey To Area 51 by TD Barnes provides a personal account of the selection process for admission into Area 51. The book follows his odyssey through his childhood on a ranch in New Mexico, his military career, involvement with the NSA, CIA, and NASA that brought him to Area 51. The book follows the career of a veteran of the NASA High Range where he and others pioneered the NASA X-15, XB-70, and Lifting Bodies to place Americans in space. The CIA selected Barnes for a special projects team during CIA A-12 Project OXCART at Area 51 where he remained as Special Projects cadre for the Soviet MiG exploitation programs, the early days of stealth. The book includes the personal sacrifices of the family to support Barnes’ career while not knowing what he did or where. They followed him to places where the Army issued his wife Doris and their child, dog tags and required mandatory practice evacuation runs in preparation for war. Barnes’ name is engraved on a national memorial monument on Mt. Charleston, Nevada with a distant view of Area 51. The monument is in recognition of the Silent Heroes of the Cold War who worked at Area 51.
This book covers much of the recently declassified and rich military and technological deeds that are the legacy of Nevada and aviation and aerospace. The author is president of Roadrunners Internationale, an association of the CIA, Air Force, and contractor personnel who worked at Area 51. He co-founded the Nevada Aerospace Hall of Fame and served as its first Executive Director for almost five years. Several books and documentaries on the History Channel, Discovery Channel, and two on National Geographic have featured Barnes’ career at Area 51.
TD and Doris formed a family oil and gas exploration company drilling and producing oil and gas, mining uranium and gold. He is currently CEO of Startel, Inc. landowner and actively mining landscape rock and gold in Nevada.
Barnes is currently the president of Roadrunners Internationale, an association of Area 51 veterans, and formerly the first executive director of the Nevada Aerospace Hall of Fame
The History Channel, the Discovery Channel, the Travel Channel, and others feature him in two National Geographic Channel documentaries “Area 51 Declassified” and “CIA – Secrets of Area 51,” and numerous documentaries. The Annie Jacobsen book, Area 51 Declassified also features his career.
Barnes’ books are available on Amazon, B&N, Apple, iTunes, CreateSpace, and Smashwords.
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