In his investigation of the super-secret "black" aircraft possibly under development at the U.S. Air Force base known as Area 51 (on the cover of our October issue and available online now), PopSci's resident military aviation guru Bill Sweetman writes:
"The need for such secrecy is simple: It is essential to preserving technological surprise. The Pentagon wishes to prevent enemies from developing strategies to counter the technology. The challenge is to figure out what precisely is happening—without betraying national security—because the bigger the black world gets, the better it conceals its activities."
But if the programs themselves are shrouded in absolute secrecy, does intelligent speculation by a veteran analyst itself represent a risk to national security? Sweetman himself points out that his investigation is "inescapably an educated guess," but what if he's managed to guess more or less correctly?
Take a look at the article and let us know what you think in the comments section below.