Your Twilight Zone-Inspired Reading List

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The Twilight Zone

“There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.”

Americans first heard these words on October 2, 1959, when the first episode of The Twilight Zone hit the airwaves. Slow to popularity, Rod Sterling’s eerie and thought-provoking show was unlike anything else on television.

The episode “Four O’Clock” (S3E29) explores Oliver Crangle, a conspiracy theorist who aims to rid the world of all “evil” people (communists, subversives, etc). He makes phone call after phone call to expose these troublemakers. His pet parrot squawks “nut” throughout the episode to beg for his favorite treat (or is that what he means?). Crangle gets his comeuppance in the end…Watch The Twilight Zone on Hulu or other streaming services and take a peek at these fun reads below.

The Secret Genesis of Area 51 by TD Barnes

Special projects at Area 51 were shrouded in mystery, and the first was one of the world’s most famous spy planes, the U-2. It fueled half-truths, rumors, and legends for more than half a century. Now with many details of that endeavor declassified, the real story can finally be told. You can find this book here

Margaret Chase Smith’s Skowhegan by Frank H. Sleeper

Called “the most influential woman in the history of American politics,” Senator Margaret Chase Smith always carried with her a strong connection to her roots in Skowhegan. Her strong convictions and tolerance for dissent, especially apparent in her famous “Declaration of Conscience” speech against Senator Joe McCarthy, may well have come from her background in Skowhegan. You can find this book here!

Fremont Older and the 1916 Bombing by John C. Ralston

What became known as the “American Dreyfus Case” led to an international outcry, finally resulting in one defendant’s pardon and the other’s parole—but only after both men had been imprisoned for twenty-three years. You can find this book here!

New Mexico Space Trail by Joseph T. Page II

Rocket development in Roswell, missile launches in the Tularosa Basin, astronomy efforts around the state, and commercial space flights are just a few of the stops along the trail. Join the journey and discover night skies that are so dark that the Milky Way and its millions of luminous stars create shadows over the desert landscape. You can find this book here!

Outbreak in D.C. by Kerry Walters

The National was once the grandest hotel in the capital. In 1857, it twice hosted President-elect James Buchanan and his advisors, and on both occasions, most of the party was quickly stricken by an acute illness.  Some claimed that the illness was born of a sewage “effluvia,” while others darkly speculated about an assassination attempt by either abolitionists or southern slave-owners intent on war. Author Kerry Walters investigates the mysteries of the National Hotel disease. You can find this book here!

Related: President Buchanan Poisoned By A Bioweapon?

Massacre at Duffy’s Cut by William E. Watson and J. Francis Watson

Fifty-seven Irish immigrant laborers arrived in the port of Philadelphia in June 1832 to work on Pennsylvania’s Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad. Contractor Philip Duffy soon hired them to work a stretch of track in rural Chester County known as Duffy’s Cut. They all perished within six weeks. For more than 180 years, the railroad maintained that cholera was to blame and kept the historical record under lock and key. You can find this book here!