Peter Merlin 🚀 214
👯 September 8, 2014
Peter W. Merlin is an aerospace historian who has been researching the history of Area 51 since 1984 and has written numerous articles on the subject. He has also appeared on such television programs as Modern Marvels, Mystery Hunters, Man-Moment-Machine, Inside Area 51, UFO Down To Earth, Return to Area 51, Atomic Journeys, UFO Hunters, MysteryQuest, and others.
As a freelance writer Merlin has published articles in a variety of periodicals, covering subjects from aerospace history to nuclear weapon accidents. He is the author of Mach 3+: NASA/USAF YF-12 Flight Research, 1969-1979 (NASA, 2001), From Archangel to Senior Crown - Design and Development of the Blackbird (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2008), Ikhana Unmanned Aircraft System Western States Fire Missions (NASA, 2009), “The Evolution of Remotely Piloted Research Vehicles,” NASA’s Contributions to Aeronautics, Vol. 2, edited by Dr. Richard P. Hallion (NASA, 2010), and X-Plane Crashes - Exploring Experimental, Rocket Plane and Spycraft Incidents, Accidents and Crash Sites, with Tony Moore (Specialty Press, 2008). He also co-authored Donald L. Mallick’s autobiography, The Smell of Kerosene: A Test Pilot’s Odyssey (NASA, 2003).
As a founding member of the X-Hunters Aerospace Archeology Team, he also specializes in recovering historic aircraft artifacts from crash sites in the southwestern United States, especially from the areas surrounding Edwards Air Force Base, California, and Groom Lake, Nevada. He has visited over 100 aircraft wrecks including the X-1A, X-2, X-15, XP-80A, XB-51, XB-70, N-9M, YB-49, U-2, A-12, YF-12A, and SR-71.
Merlin was born in Hollywood, California. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Studies from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. Merlin is a member of the Flight Test Historical Foundation, Nevada Test Site Historical Foundation, National Atomic Museum Foundation, Nevada Aerospace Hall of Fame, and is an Associate Member of Roadrunners Internationale. He spends much of his time exploring the southwestern United States in search of ghost towns, mines, caves, prehistoric ruins and rock art, nuclear test sites, abandoned missile silos, fossils, and interesting natural features. He has also journeyed to the mountains of Baja California, Mexico, and the Tassili N’Ajjer plateau region of the central Sahara Desert in Algeria to photograph prehistoric cave paintings. Merlin occasionally lectures on aerospace history and prehistoric archeology. 🚀