Was Area 51 a conspiracy between Stalin and Joseph Mengele?

Did two of the most evil Joes of the 20th century team up to troll America with fake child aliens? According to author Annie Jacobsen's new book Area 51, Stalin and Mengele collaborated on a Cold War of the Worlds.

According to Jacobsen, Stalin was inspired by the extraterrestrial hysteria following Orson Welles' 1938 War of the Worlds radio reading and wanted to throw the American populace into a fearful frenzy. Notes the Telegraph:

According to the book, the plot started after the Soviet Union seized from Germany at the end of the war the jet-propelled, single wing Horton Ho 229 – a fighter said to be the forerunner of the modern B2 stealth bomber.

This is where Mengele enters the story. The Nazi doctor, who experimented on prisoners in Auschwitz and fled to South America after the war, was supposedly enlisted to create a crew of "grotesque, child-size aviators" in return for a eugenics laboratory.

The book says that the plane was filled with "alien-like" children, aged 12 or 13, who Stalin wanted to land in America and cause hysteria similar to the 1938 broadcast. But, the plane, remotely piloted by another aircraft, crashed and the Americans hushed up the incident.

Jacobsen's source, a retired engineer from the former defence company EG&G, which handled the US government's most sensitive projects, said he was put on to the Roswell project in Area 51 in 1978.

Does this whole story sound too outlandish to be true? Obviously. But if Stalin's super ape warriors were somehow weaved into the narrative, then it would be just crazy enough to work.

Artwork via Stalin Vs. Martians. Hat tip to Mike!