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Area 51 - The Truth, Myths and Legends

Updated on December 29, 2011

Area 51 - A Popular Conspiracy Theory

We all love a good conspiracy theory, and on the top of the list, along with the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the death of Princess Diana, and the moon landings is the U.S. Air Force installation in Nevada, which is better know as Area 51. Due to the overwhelming secrecy surrounding this air force base, the very existence of which the U.S. Government acknowledges simply as a ‘operating location’, has lead to numerous Area 51 conspiracies, myths and legends.

Do you know one of the most popular places people go sightseeing for on Google Earth, apart from their own house, is Area 51. There is a global wide interest in a place which ‘allegedly’ doesn’t exist. Yet, its there it is on Google Earth for the world to see. Due to the U.S. Government’s attempts to keep the intense secrecy surrounding the base, the interest in Area 51 remains at an all time high. So much so, that Area 51 sightseeing tours from Las Vegas are extremely popular.

The Truth of Area 51 :

Area 51 is a military air force base located in the southern Nevada in the United States. Situated at the centre of Area 51, on the southern shore of Groom Dry Lake, is a large U.S. Air Force airfield, which ‘allegedly’ has one of the longest runways in the world at 23,270 feet long. The reported reason for the base and the long runway was for development and testing of experimental aircraft and weapons systems. The whole area is restricted airspace even for military aircraft as part of the Nellis Military Operations Area.

Groom Lake Early Years : Pre Area 51

Operations at Groom Lake began during World War II, being using for artillery and bombing practice, but was abandon after the war finished. In 1955, Lockheed's Skunk Works team decided that the dried lakebed at Groom Lake was the ideal location to test the forthcoming Lockheed U-2 spy plane. A runway and a small based called the ’The Ranch’ was constructed, and the first U-2 flew from this location in August 1955.

Since then, various high altitude reconnaissance aircraft have been tested at Area 51 well out of the sight of the public. More recently ultra-secret testing continued there until mid-1981 including the prototype F-117 stealth fighter. In 1995, the U.S. federal government expanded the exclusionary area around the base at Groom Dry Lake, which included views of the base and runway from the nearby mountains. Perimeter security at Area 51 is very strict indeed, and deadly force is authorised for anybody who attempts to breach the secured area and fails to heed warnings to halt.

Area 51 for all to see on Google Maps
Area 51 for all to see on Google Maps | Source
Roswell Alien mask...
Roswell Alien mask... | Source

Area 51 - The Myths and Legends 

Due to overwhelming secrecy surrounding this air force base, and the U.S. Government’s many attempts to keep quite about Area 51, has laid the foundations for numerous conspiracies, myths and legends, which have been running for decades.  Area 51 has become the centre for modern UFO theories, which are centred around crashed alien spacecraft ‘allegedly’ recovered by the USAF at Roswell in New Mexico in 1947.  From this stories have risen about reverse engineering from crashed alien spacecraft, which includes items such as micro computer chips and velcro fastenings.

Other popular theories about what goes on at Area 51 includes experiments into weather control, time travel, teleportation, and even joint undertakings with extraterrestrials. Other popular myths are the deep and extensive underground facilities at Groom Lake, an underground railway system and a disappearing airstrip at Papoose Lake, 8 miles south of Groom Lake, which only appears when water is sprayed onto its camouflaged tarmac. 

Area 51 - in the Popular Media 

Fictional portrayals of Area 51 have appeared in numerous books, TV programmes and on the big screen over the years.  Many link the Roswell UFO incident to Area 51.  The action film Independence Day is centred around the United States military uses alien technology captured at Roswell UFO to attack the invading alien fleet from Area 51.  More recently, in the latest Indiana Jones film, ‘Hangar 51’ government warehouse is used to store rare items such as the Ark of the Covenant, and an alien skeleton taken from the Roswell UFO crash site.  This portrayal has only fuelled the various conspiracies, myths and legends even further.  

The allure and mystery surrounding Area 51 continues, but to coin a catchphrase from a popular TV show, ‘the truth is out there’.  However, we are not likely to find out the real truth about Area 51 for many years to come, so the Area 51 conspiracies, myths and legends will continue to grow.    


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    • Midnight Oil profile imageAUTHOR

      Midnight Oil 

      7 years ago from Isle of Man UK

      Perimeter security at Area 51 is very strict indeed, and deadly force is authorised for anybody who attempts to breach the secured area and fails to heed warnings to halt.

    • Midnight Oil profile imageAUTHOR

      Midnight Oil 

      7 years ago from Isle of Man UK

      The allure and mystery surrounding Area 51 continues, but to coin a catchphrase from a popular TV show, ‘the truth is out there’...

    • Midnight Oil profile imageAUTHOR

      Midnight Oil 

      8 years ago from Isle of Man UK

      They like to keep you in the dark Granny - the less you know, the easier you are to control.

    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 

      8 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      Don't you think when they make it so mysterious, it makes people wonder more. Other countries are releasing their info on UFO sightings. Why does ours hide it?



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