Area 51, like Roswell, is one of those names which is known to most people as having something to do with aliens and UFO's.
And, just like Roswell, there is a lot of speculation but very little hard evidence.
Firstly, where is it?
If you were to ask the government, you might not get a straight answer. It will allow that there is an operating location near Groom Lake (a dried lake bed), but beyond that, very little information seeps out through official channels.
The map below contains a link to a much larger version which opens up in a separate page or tab and contains a lot of information about the area.
The base, which has various alternate names such as Groom Lake, Horney Airport and Dreamland, is tucked deep inside a heavily protected area in Nevada.
Highway 95 in Nevada (billed as the loneliest highway), runs alongside the whole Test area, inside of which nestles Area 51.
That part of Nevada is a barren wasteland; hot, desolate and just plain uncomfortable. It is, as a result, the perfect place to put anything you don't want people to find out about.
That is a very good question. And a very difficult one to answer.
There are many reasons for the difficulty. Firstly there is the security on the ground. There are security patrols along the perimeter, along with motion sensors and notices prohibiting any photography.
Then there is the security above the ground. The whole area has a 'no-fly' zone (known as 'The Box') for both military and civilian craft.
With the advent of satellite imagery, there are more photos available of the base, but they only show buildings and can't give any further detail. (Apart from that, as satellite times are known, it is relatively easy to wait until the sky is 'clear' before putting anything on a runway.)
OK, so what is THOUGHT to be there?
Firstly, let's try and keep to what is known and then to what is conjectured to be in Area 51.
It was opened up as a testing site for Lockheed's spy plane, the U-2. After that, it became the place to develop test other craft. Chief amongst these was the SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance and the F-117 stealth fighter.
In addition, weapons such as cruise missiles have been tested there. (Remember that bordering Area 51 is the area where 795 nuclear test have been carried out.)
After that, you get into conspiracy theories, black budget projects, extraterrestrial technology and the like.
The alien connections
For some people, Area 51 is the place where the wreckage from the Roswell Incident was taken.
In addition, because of this supposed association with aliens, the Groom Lake facility is thought to be the place where reverse engineering of alien technology happens.
However, like most stories associated with aliens, it has been suggested that any alien technology work has been transferred to a place in Utah. This means that all the continuing secrecy around Area 51 is just another example of misdirection, and (by implication) more misinformation.
If it's secrecy and speculation you are after, then researching alien influence and the role of the government are perfect places to start.
For example, there are rumors of black budget projects at Groom Lake. A hypersonic aircraft (called 'Aurora', with a possible maximum speed of Mach 12) is thought to be have been developed there along with other craft. These other craft are thought to have been based on alien technologies, using UFO propulsion methods.
Then there are the ideas that advanced science has allowed experiments in teleportation and time travel to take place there.
Finally (apart from weather control ideas or advanced weaponry being developed there), you also have the base being associated with the shadowy Majestic-12 group.
This group, otherwise called MJ 12, or M12 amongst other names, is supposed to consist of various intelligence officers, government officials and scientists. It was purportedly begun by President Harry Truman after the Roswell crash as a means of investigating the alien threat. Obviously, with the area's supposed connection association with aliens and UFO's, it has long been suspected that this group has been involved in dealings with aliens.
What does it all mean?
The point about Area 51 is that it serves as a focal point for
In other words, it is all things to all people.
Yes, there are strange sights and sounds reported on and around the airbase.
Yes, it is also true that security there is tighter than around many other bases.
Yes, large numbers of people work there and are ferried there regularly from Las Vegas airport. Large sums of money (in the billions) are being spent in projects at Groom Lake.
Yes, it is very isolated in a very desolate area of the country.
All of these could point to aliens and UFO's being hidden. It could also point to a highly advanced research base dealing in difficult and expensive research projects.
It might be one or the other. It could also be both at the same time.
One thing is for certain. The government is not going to suddenly open the gates to Area 51 and invite the public to poke around there.
Until anything definite comes along, this inhospitable spot in Nevada is going to continue to feed the hopes, fears and dreams of many people around the world.
Area 51 is going to be exactly what you want it to be!
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