Revealed: Area 51 — It does exist

posted at 4:01 pm on August 16, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

It’s a real news desert out there today, so here’s a fun and Friday-worthy post for any self-declared space nerds in the audience. The mysteriously fenced-off and airspace-restricted area of land about 125 miles north of Las Vegas known as Area 51, a top-secretive government compound nearby a military base — long thought among certain circles to potentially contain answers to that age-old question, “Are we alone in the universe?” — has finally been officially acknowledged by the federal government.

In what will surely be a disappointment for conspiracy theorists everywhere, however, the newly disclosed information about what’s really inside the parcel of land is… well… kind of a letdown. CNN reports on the recently released CIA documents:

According to these reports, which include a map of the base’s location in Nevada, Area 51 was merely a testing site for the government’s U-2 and OXCART aerial surveillance programs. The U-2 program conducted surveillance around the world, including over the Soviet Union during the Cold War. …

This information will be disappointing to some, who have come to view the area has been a mecca of sorts for alien encounters. …

The map and other documents were released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by Jeffrey T. Richelson, a senior fellow at the National Security Archives, in 2005.

Richelson submitted the request as part of his continuing study of aerial surveillance programs and told CNN that he was not given an explanation of why the new documents were less redacted than previous versions declassified by the agency.

So, in the end, after all of the folklore and pop culture references about aliens and unidentified flying objects and creepy extraterrestrial experiments, it turns out that Area 51 really has just been your typical Cold-War era military and technological testing ground all along.

…Or has it?!?!


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Bmore on August 16, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Of course it exists. I was born there. In a test tube, mixed with alien DNA.

The Rogue Tomato on August 16, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Revealed: Area 51 — It does exist

Some folks on here wondered where
Capitalist Hoggie came from…

ToddPA on August 16, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Who didn’t know that? Doesn’t everyone get the History Channel?

Akzed on August 16, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Y’all call this news.

I call it old news.

Though it will give the less knowledgeable masses a new squirrel to chase.

Carry on, squirrels.

cozmo on August 16, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Area 51 doesn’t exist, Groom Lake Base however does.

RickB on August 16, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Art Bell vindicated!

Resist We Much on August 16, 2013 at 4:08 PM

it turns out that Area 51 really has just been your typical Cold-War era military and technological testing ground all along.

Like the grassy knoll in Dallas, Area 51 will live on as the place where the government hides the other kind of aliens.

Happy Nomad on August 16, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Dang.

And here I thought that was where they kept the spare Stargate and all the Alien tech that SG1 brought back with them. I guess that’s all still over at Cheyenne Mountain.

On a side and related note, As many here know, I am a FPV RC Hobbyist. Many of us FPV guys have flown some pretty cool places, including Niagara Falls, The Grand Canyon, and even the Hoover Dam. In a recent informal poll on one of the FPV forums people were asked which famous place they would most like to be able to fly if risk to themselves were not an issue. Area 51 scored surprisingly high on that list. Even I must admit the idea of doing an overflight is tempting… If not for, ya’ know, the whole “end up getting sent to Gitmo” thing. :D

wearyman on August 16, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Can the Obama Admin keep anything a secert? I guess not.

BigGator5 on August 16, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Carry on, squirrels.

cozmo on August 16, 2013 at 4:08 PM

The Ultimate ‘Squirrel!’

Put your pants back on!

Resist We Much on August 16, 2013 at 4:11 PM

According to these reports, which include a map of the base’s location in Nevada, Area 51 was merely a testing site for the government’s U-2 and OXCART aerial surveillance programs.

Aliens were behind the development of the U-2 and OXCART?

funkengruven on August 16, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Who didn’t know that? Doesn’t everyone get the History Channel?

Akzed on August 16, 2013 at 4:08 PM

They’re now claiming Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah is the new Area 51.

RickB on August 16, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Area 13, just north of Area 51, had a smaller positive demo in early polling…so 51 is what we got. Obama would have liked to have called it Area 57, for all the states, but John Kerry objected, said Theresa had copyright to “57.”

Besides, the facility stopped being called “Area 51″ decades ago.

And, there is no drink service on those 737′s out of Vegas, either.

coldwarrior on August 16, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Who didn’t know that? Doesn’t everyone get the History Channel?

Akzed on August 16, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Yeah, but I only watch Counting Cars on there.

ToddPA on August 16, 2013 at 4:13 PM

Who didn’t know that? Doesn’t everyone get the History Channel? – Akzed on August 16, 2013 at 4:08 PM

I get the History Channel and the Military Channel ……………… just don’t try to fly over it or get too close on the ground around the area. If you try flying over it, may God help you. If you get to close on the ground you will be escorted away.

SC.Charlie on August 16, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Hey Look! Squirrels! Lots of ‘em!

2nd Ammendment Mother on August 16, 2013 at 4:17 PM

I wonder if they are hiding that flag that Neil Armstrong planted on Mars in 1969 in Area 51.

Inquiring minds Sheila Jackson-Lee wants to know!

Resist We Much on August 16, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Yeah, but I only watch Counting Cars on there. – ToddPA on August 16, 2013 at 4:13 PM

I agree, the History Channel is misnamed. It is horrible and has usually has nothing to do with history.

SC.Charlie on August 16, 2013 at 4:18 PM

They’re now claiming Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah is the new Area 51.

RickB on August 16, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Is that what they are calling the new NSA facility?

lol

Resist We Much on August 16, 2013 at 4:19 PM

I wonder if they are hiding that flag that Neil Armstrong planted on Mars in 1969 in Area 51.

Inquiring minds Sheila Jackson-Lee wants to know! – Resist We Much on August 16, 2013 at 4:18 PM

I suggest that all member of Congress take a standard IQ test. If they don’t score 100 or over, they are not allowed to sit in Congress.

SC.Charlie on August 16, 2013 at 4:21 PM

Did you really think they’d admit it’s a super secret super science facility? No of course not. You tell people some mundane cover story and it’ll get people off your case… I mean really I thought they were supposed to balloon surveillance or something – are you sure their previous stories are not changing?

My bet is that all the really interesting stuff was moved to Area 52 years ago.

Ukiah on August 16, 2013 at 4:21 PM

Yeah, but I only watch Counting Cars on there. – ToddPA on August 16, 2013 at 4:13 PM

I agree, the History Channel is misnamed. It is horrible and has usually has nothing to do with history.

SC.Charlie on August 16, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Agreed.

ToddPA on August 16, 2013 at 4:23 PM

O that is where Obama came from…

watertown on August 16, 2013 at 4:23 PM

Resist We Much on August 16, 2013 at 4:11 PM

RWM…warning please!! My knees are still weak!!

Deano1952 on August 16, 2013 at 4:24 PM

Sorry, Deano!

Resist We Much on August 16, 2013 at 4:26 PM

I wonder if they are hiding that flag that Neil Armstrong planted on Mars in 1969 in Area 51.

Inquiring minds Sheila Jackson-Lee wants to know! – Resist We Much on August 16, 2013 at 4:18 PM

I suggest that all member of Congress take a standard IQ test. If they don’t score 100 or over, they are not allowed to sit in Congress.

SC.Charlie on August 16, 2013 at 4:21 PM

Well, we are a Representative Republic. Hence the
House of Representatives being the original Chamber
of Congress….

Most of the people in Jackson Lee’s District probably
are outsmarted by a House Cat. So she, being a
“Representative” of the people is the way it was
intended.

ToddPA on August 16, 2013 at 4:27 PM

Look out! He has his probe! – The Simpsons

Oil Can on August 16, 2013 at 4:32 PM

I agree, the History Channel is misnamed. It is horrible and has usually has nothing to do with history.

SC.Charlie on August 16, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Well, The History Channel has more history than MTV has music.

THC got its start showing old documentaries with a heavy emphasis on WWII.

Happy Nomad on August 16, 2013 at 4:34 PM

..no big news — even then. Almost went there PCS when I was in the USAF in ’72.

The War Planner on August 16, 2013 at 4:36 PM

I flew on a kiowa scout helicopter out of ft irwin, CA many years ago with a friend and we headed out east over death valley. It is true that there are areas of airspace in that part of the country that are simply not to be messed with.

ted c on August 16, 2013 at 4:38 PM

Tonopah is a small town near area 51. Everybody grew up together. During the testing of the Stealth Fighter people hunters, etc. periodically saw them. Strangers would stop by now and then to bars and restaurants casually asking if anyone had seen anything strange. Story has it until they were made public not one person ever told what they saw. Pretty patriotic.

CW20 on August 16, 2013 at 4:39 PM

I was over NV once and two aircraft passed under us less than 500 feet away, headed north, at wingtips to one another. They looked more like rockets than airplanes, like the old X-15. They were black with orange trim with stubby wings and no marks that I could see.

Prolly aliens.

Akzed on August 16, 2013 at 4:44 PM

The government has never “denied” that there was an Area 51; they just did the “No comment” thing that they do with all classified programs (and the Oxcart Project, which morphed into the SR-71, was very classified).

Even Penn & Teller did one of their BS shows on it.

RoadRunner on August 16, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Well, The History Channel has more history than MTV has music.

THC got its start showing old documentaries with a heavy emphasis on WWII.

Happy Nomad on August 16, 2013 at 4:34 PM

The History Channel has mutated into a channel to get ratings. MTV mutated into reality shows ……….. to get braindead people watching other braindead people.

SC.Charlie on August 16, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Prolly aliens.

Akzed on August 16, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Very creative Mexican cartels…evading that super secure and super tough border fence that stretches all the way from San Diego to Matamoros.

coldwarrior on August 16, 2013 at 4:49 PM

I suggest that all member of Congress take a standard IQ test. If they don’t score 100 or over, they are not allowed to sit in Congress.

SC.Charlie on August 16, 2013 at 4:21 PM

Too big of a jump. You would lose too many of the critters and not have a quorum. Try for something more reasonable like an IQ of 85 and you might get half of them passed.

Old Country Boy on August 16, 2013 at 4:51 PM

Area 51 doesn’t exist, Groom Lake Base however does.

RickB on August 16, 2013 at 4:08 PM

WRONG! Area 51 exists because it is a section of Nevada designated by the Atomic Energy Commission as Area 51. It sits right next to Area 50.

See that, in trying to look all smart-like you just came across as looking foolish.

The Notorious G.O.P on August 16, 2013 at 4:51 PM

Now that that’s been solved…try finding out about Training Station ‘A’ in Virginia.

Solaratov on August 16, 2013 at 4:55 PM

Prolly aliens.

Akzed on August 16, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Anyone remember the old Scooby Doo episode at the abandoned
airport hangar??

The bad guy had on an Alien suit….with a really EVIL laugh.

See, the entire Area 51 mystery can be attributed to
a cartoon!

ToddPA on August 16, 2013 at 4:59 PM

I was over NV once and two aircraft passed under us less than 500 feet away, headed north, at wingtips to one another. They looked more like rockets than airplanes, like the old X-15. They were black with orange trim with stubby wings and no marks that I could see.

Prolly aliens.

Akzed on August 16, 2013 at 4:44 PM

I am an aviation buff. Over twenty years ago I was in my front yard looking in the sky and an object was moving in level flight. It stopped. And, then it moved off at a speed in totally different direction. It moved at a speed so fast that it shocked myself and others who were with me at the time. It was like zip ……………. and it was no longer in the our viewable sky. It was an UFO.

SC.Charlie on August 16, 2013 at 4:59 PM

Dude! We knew about Area 51 when Independence Day came out. That’s where they landed AF1 at when the aliens destroyed the WH. D’uhhh!

44Magnum on August 16, 2013 at 5:02 PM

The F-117 was also tested there during its development.

ljmesq on August 16, 2013 at 5:06 PM

My bet is that all the really interesting stuff was moved to Area 52 years ago.

Ukiah on August 16, 2013 at 4:21 PM

Decades ago, I was in Air Force ROTC with a couple of guys that had independently researched and came to the same conclusion that the Roswell Aliens were being stored in a heavily guarded hangar at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, OH.

Discuss.

Kafir on August 16, 2013 at 5:20 PM

Edwards AFB and Skunk Works are hidden in plain sight.

viking01 on August 16, 2013 at 5:26 PM

I get the History Channel and the Military Channel ……………… just don’t try to fly over it or get too close on the ground around the area. If you try flying over it, may God help you. If you get to close on the ground you will be escorted away.

SC.Charlie on August 16, 2013 at 4:16 PM

It’s like I mentioned in the headline thread…there is still, to this very day, an immense amount of security around the Groom Lake base. The “Camo dudes” watch everyone who drives up to the signs…which still warn of “deadly force” should you cross the line. And peppered around the landscape are high-tech motion detectors, heat sensors, motion sensors, vibration sensors, etc…anything larger than a constipated fly would be detected.

Not to mention, any space geek would know that alien technology is at S-4 off the Papoose Dry Lake bed about a 15 minute drive from Area 51. And even Area 51 has been expanding even in recent years, with a new huge hangar and long runway. And the JANET flights carrying in employees still operate, as do the white busses.

That’s a lot of security for what authorities now say is minor testing site for a couple of past spy plane projects.

JetBoy on August 16, 2013 at 5:26 PM

I am an aviation buff. Over twenty years ago I was in my front yard looking in the sky and an object was moving in level flight. It stopped. And, then it moved off at a speed in totally different direction. It moved at a speed so fast that it shocked myself and others who were with me at the time. It was like zip ……………. and it was no longer in the our viewable sky. It was an UFO.

SC.Charlie on August 16, 2013 at 4:59 PM

E.T. forgot the grocery list again.

viking01 on August 16, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Anyone remember the old Scooby Doo episode at the abandoned
airport hangar??

The bad guy had on an Alien suit….with a really EVIL laugh.

See, the entire Area 51 mystery can be attributed to
a cartoon!

ToddPA on August 16, 2013 at 4:59 PM

Heh, that was every Scooby-Doo episode…abandoned hangar/house/amusement park with some “bad guy” in a costume with an “evil laugh”.

JetBoy on August 16, 2013 at 5:29 PM

After years of hearing the New Agers prattle about the remarkable stuff they saw at and around Area 51, I found it very interesting that the Stealth air craft matched just about every report.

catsandbooks on August 16, 2013 at 5:35 PM

Can the Obama Admin keep anything a secert? I guess not.

BigGator5 on August 16, 2013 at 4:11 PM

He’s pissed cause they won’t let him near it. Betja. Rumor was they wouldn’t let Carter near it either.
‘Course that was back when George senior ran the CIA too so.

onomo on August 16, 2013 at 5:52 PM

Solaratov on August 16, 2013 at 4:55 PM

If I recall, that is a CIA commo station out in Warrenton, and up on the hill, at the old plantation across the highway, is an office of technical services site, going back to the old OSS days.

The Army ASA used to run the Warrenton facility…Vint Hill Farms…before they became part of INSCOM.

coldwarrior on August 16, 2013 at 6:24 PM

The Truth Is Out There

Blaise on August 16, 2013 at 6:29 PM

Of course it exists. I was born there. In a test tube, mixed with alien DNA.

The Rogue Tomato on August 16, 2013 at 4:04 PM

So they can grow a walking, talking, subversive tomato, but I can’t get a tomato down at the grocery that tastes worth a darn?

oldroy on August 16, 2013 at 6:33 PM

Cue Twilight-Zone theme music.

Wrong choice, correct choice would be X-file theme.

Kjeil on August 16, 2013 at 6:33 PM

Did Snowden let this cat out of the bag?

TimBuk3 on August 16, 2013 at 6:40 PM

According to these reports, which include a map of the base’s location in Nevada, Area 51 was merely a testing site for the government’s U-2 and OXCART aerial surveillance programs. The U-2 program conducted surveillance around the world, including over the Soviet Union during the Cold War. …

That’s what they want you to believe.

Besides no one really knows what to believe when it comes from this Marxist administration.

bgibbs1000 on August 16, 2013 at 6:49 PM

They are simply trying to protect 50+ year old flying technology!

The U2 spy plane that first flew in 1955 and the Oxcart, the Lockheed A-12 which first flew in 1962.

Well, that fully explains why security is tighter than ever at Area 51.

I’m convinced!!!

RJL on August 16, 2013 at 6:49 PM

The bad guy had on an Alien suit….with a really EVIL laugh.

See, the entire Area 51 mystery can be attributed to
a cartoon!

ToddPA on August 16, 2013 at 4:59 PM

Dooooood, that was Sparky.

Resist We Much on August 16, 2013 at 6:50 PM

We used to land there all the time

DarkCurrent on August 16, 2013 at 7:25 PM

Now that that’s been solved…try finding out about Training Station ‘A’ in Virginia.

Solaratov on August 16, 2013 at 4:55 PM

Or that nuclear reactor on a barge at Ft. Belvoir. :-)

Oldnuke on August 16, 2013 at 7:40 PM

Solaratov on August 16, 2013 at 4:55 PM

coldwarrior on August 16, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Either of you guys ever hear anything about the NSA Naples facility?

Oldnuke on August 16, 2013 at 7:43 PM

The map and other documents were released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request submitted… in 2005.

Wow, they’ve got their backlog down to the point they can respond in a mere EIGHT YEARS?

Impressive.

/sarc

gekkobear on August 16, 2013 at 7:45 PM

Oldnuke on August 16, 2013 at 7:43 PM

Outside of Naples? Navy Support Activity? Has a small Naval Security Group unit there.

coldwarrior on August 16, 2013 at 8:10 PM

Resist We Much on August 16, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Yee-OWTCH!

That’s gonna leave a mark!

;-)

cheers

eon

eon on August 16, 2013 at 8:45 PM

Heh, that was every Scooby-Doo episode…abandoned hangar/house/amusement park with some “bad guy” in a costume with an “evil laugh”.

JetBoy on August 16, 2013 at 5:29 PM

My favorite was the one in the abandoned circus. Daphne was cute in the sequined bodysuit, riding the unicycle.

BTW, the alien and spaceship in the abandoned airport episode were drawn by Alex Toth, who created Space Ghost.

cheers

eon

eon on August 16, 2013 at 8:48 PM

Cue Twilight-Zone theme music.

Wrong choice, correct choice would be X-file theme.

Kjeil on August 16, 2013 at 6:33 PM

+1

jaydee_007 on August 17, 2013 at 9:24 AM

This was a documentary on NatGeo last night. Very revealing when the pilot of OXCART was asked if he was willing to be hypnotized for security purposes and said, “Sure!” They couldn’t get him to go into the trance however, so they used pentathol. The SR-70 Blackbird is a legend. One of the most beautiful planes ever made.

One mystery left: since our only source of titantium was in the USSR, hos did we get it out?

flataffect on August 17, 2013 at 11:20 AM

One mystery left: since our only source of titantium was in the USSR, hos did we get it out?

flataffect on August 17, 2013 at 11:20 AM

One of the more interesting tales of the Cold War, my friend…one day..it shall be revealed.

A couple of inventive young minds, a bit of cash, and a darn good cover story.

coldwarrior on August 17, 2013 at 11:29 AM