When you hear the name Area 51, you likely think about aliens, secrets, and mystery. Area 51 is a military base located about 80-miles outside Las Vegas, Nevada. The site is a restricted area where secretive military testing takes place. There are plenty of things people don’t know about this place. Here are 15 far-out facts about Area 51.
The name, Area 51, makes this place sound mysterious. It makes people wonder where Area 1 through 50 are located. The name simply comes from the location on the Nevada Test Site map from the ’50s. In this area, hundreds of nuclear tests were performed beginning in the 50s, and close to 100 of these tests were performed above ground.
The Beginning Of the Conspiracy
The conspiracy started in July 1947 when there reports in the Roswell Daily Record that a flying saucer crashed on a ranch in Roswell. The headline read, “RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch In Roswell Region.” The U.S. military claims that what crash-landed was a weather balloon, but many people reported that it was an alien spacecraft that landed there. In 1994, the Air Force updated the story saying it wasn’t a typical weather balloon. It was actually an atomic monitoring balloon that had the ability to detect far-off nuclear blasts.
Area 51’s alien reputation began in the late 80s when a man named Robert Lazar told a Las Vegas television station that his job was to reverse-engineer crashed flying saucers. It was later determined that he never worked there. He also fabricated his education. He claimed to have graduated from MIT and Caltech, but he never went to either one. He also claimed to have worked for Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Area 51 is a restricted area that has armed guards patrolling the area 24/7. They are known as “Camo Dudes” because that is what they wear while on patrol. Many former guards have sought out compensation for breathing problems sustained due to being exposed to toxic chemicals from the burning of coatings that are meant to shield aircrafts from radar.
The Filming Of the Moon Walk
People not only believe that there are aliens at Area 51, but there are also conspiracy theorists who say that we never landed on the moon, and the footage of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon was all filmed at Area 51. Conspiracy theorist wrote a book on the subject called “We Never Went To The Moon: America’s Thirty Billion Dollar Swindle.” Considering that the six Apollo missions brought back 842-pounds of moon rocks, we know that we landed there. The government did; however, test rovers and life support system at Area 51.
Nellis Air Force Base
Officially, Area 51 is part of the Nevada Test and Training Range, and it is affiliated with Nellis Air Force Base. The area covers 2.9 million acres, and there are 5,000 square miles of restricted airspace.
Area 51’s Real Purpose
Aircraft crews train in combat scenarios and live munitions training. The Air Force says that they also perform operational testing. In the past, Area 51 has been used to develop new airplanes, helicopters, and unmanned drones, which were considered top-secret military technologies. In 1955, Area 51 was also used to test a U-2 spy plane, which is an ultra-high altitude aircraft.
Paradise In the Desert
In the early days of Area 51, engineer Kelly Johnson came up with a way to help with debt by convincing government workers and their families to move to the middle of the desert. He called the area, Paradise Ranch, and it was usually at least 100 degrees during the summer.
The Conspiracy Comes From the Secrets
The reason that people believe all of the conspiracies surrounding Area 51 is because of all the secrets. With all of the top-secret testing going on in the area, how can people not wonder what is going on over there?
The closest look that we can get of Area 51 is from Google Earth. You can see neatly kept runways that look like are still being used. There is also a cluster of buildings. There is one section of Area 51 that appears to have been recently constructed over the last decade.
If you are thinking about driving up to the front or back gates of Area 51, you might want to think twice. Trespassing can result in being arrested, getting a $1,000 fine, six months in prison, or both. Tourists often visit Rachel, Nevada, where you can have a meal at the Little A’le’Inn and stay at the conspiracy-focused Dreamland Resort. There is no gas station in the area, and the trailer that called itself the Area 51 Research Center has been shut down.
Mysterious Landing Strip
In 2016, Google Earth revealed images of a mysterious mile-long landing strip in the Yucca Flat test site, about 12 miles from Area 51. There are also a few hangers at the end of the runway. According to the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, the site is used to test reconnaissance drones and sensors.
There may be no evidence that the military has captured UFO’s at Area 51, but declassified documents in 2013 revealed that the U.S. did capture Soviet MiG fighters during the cold war. They have dubbed the projects, HAVE DOUGHNUT, HAVE DRILL, and HAVE FERRY.
These same declassified documents showed that the area was also a testing site for the Lockheed A-12 Oxcart and the D-21 Tagboard. They also revealed that the F-117 Nighthawk was tested there.
When Hilary Clinton was running for President in 2016, she was on Jimmy Kimmel Live and told him that she would like to make more of the files from Area 51 public. Its a shame that she didn’t win, because we could have many more answers about Area 51 to either debunk or prove the conspiracies once and for all.