A new blockbuster book accuses the federal government of a shocking 50-year cover-up -- charging that the U.S. has secretly been using Nazi war criminals as "slave scientists" since 1946.According to researcher Byron Lavalle, 67 of Hitler's top scientists were brought to the U.S. as captives -- and at least 11 of the now-elderly men are still alive, held at the ultra-secret U.S. Air Force base known as Area 51, near Rachel, Nev.
"At the end of World War II these scientists were given a simple choice: Hang like dogs at Nuremburg or go to work for Uncle Sam," says Lavelle, author of the upcoming book, The Boys from Berlin.
"They chose to live--as prisoners--and they ended up creating a host of weapons for our country, including the Stealth Bomber, the neutron bomb and elements of the Star Wars defense system."
Lavelle says he reached the startling conclusion after receiving classified documents from a concerned Defense Department insider.
"There are some among the military brass who feel extremely uncomfortable with the idea of our nation's security resting in the hands of a cabal of Nazi bigwigs," explained the historian.
The strange saga began during World War II, when Hitler threw his scientific team into high gear in the fight against the Allies.
"Hitler's scientists were remarkable," said Lavelle. "They developed the V-2 missile used to devastate London.
"They even invented a wooden plane that was invisible to radar. It's no coincidence the prototype's shape was almost identical to the space-age F-117 Stealth Bomber later tested at Area 51."
At the end of the war there was a scramble for German scientists between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Some, like famed Werner von Braun, were simply allowed to immigrate to America, their involvement with Hitler overlooked.
"Drawing upon their previous experience with missiles, they played a vital role in our space program," said Boston-based Lavalle.
But others were deemed too evil for such treatment. "These men had committed unspeakable atrocities, including experiments on concentration camp prisoners," said the historian.
"Had it not been for this program, these men would surely have been tried by the war crimes tribunal at Nuremburg and hanged."