Aliens, Archaeology, and the Atomic Bomb

Sunday October 13, 2019 Written by Smith

Writer Brian Phillips had a bad year, so he took off on a road trip through the desert in search of UFOs, his sanity and the American Dream. What he found, on the desolate roads between Roswell and Area 51, wasn’t exactly what he’d expected, but the journey – which he recounts in Lost Highway: Aliens, Archaeology, and the Atomic Bomb over on – sure makes for interesting reading.

Phillips’ writing contains all the obvious joys: there are accounts of the many conspiracy theories that have taken hold in the area (a particularly interesting one involves Stalin, a Nazi doctor and mutant children), and profiles on the people (and African antelopes) that call the place home.

But the glue that binds everything together is Phillips's own story, which he ekes out in pathos-driven dribs and drabs. Think of it as The X-Files meets the personal essay.