Area 51 is undoubtedly one of the most mysterious places on earth. This place has been attracting conspiracy theories for years now. Claims of UFO sightings and extraterrestrial happenings have made this place one of the most creepy places in the US. In 2013, the CIA publicly acknowledged the existence of the base for the first time, declassifying documents detailing the history and purpose of Area 51. Area 51 is located in the western United States, 83 miles north-northwest of Las Vegas in the southern portion of Nevada. At its center, a large military airfield is located on the southern shore of Groom Lake. In 1955, the site was taken by the United States Air Force. It was primarily used for the flight testing of the Lockheed U-2 aircraft. Though any civilian is forbidden to enter Area 51, there is a small town called Rachel on the “Extraterrestrial Highway” that you can visit.
Area 51 drives its name from its marking on 1950’s Nevada Test Site maps. The official name of this United States Air Force facility is Air Force Flight Test Center, Detachment 3, or AFFTC Det. 3 for short. Other than that Area 51 has been known from many names. It is often referred by the name of the dry lake it was built around, Groom Lake. People also know Area 51 as Paradise Ranch, it was a half-serious way to lure employees to accept positions at the remote, rustic base. In 1956, the official test site was given the name Watertown.
The area has also a nickname, DREAMLAND. The name was supposedly derived from an Edgar Allan Poe poem by the same name. It advises that “the traveler, traveling through it, may not-dare not openly view it; Never its mysteries are exposed, to the weak human eye unclosed.” A part of the Nevada Test Site known as the Nevada National Security Site, Area 51 has been hosting hundreds of nuclear weapons tests starting in the 1950s. It was a test site for atomic bombs and still remains a testing site for America’s most distinguished spy planes and other secretive missions.
2. Limited Entertainment
In the early days, entertainment at Area 51 was very limited. In the beginning, there was basically nothing at Groom Lake. Later wise, the area was given a much better appearance. It had a tennis court, bowling alley, and you could listen to the radio in the evenings. There were no televisions or any other way of entertainment. The Employees of the base used to enjoy a once-a-week steak night, with oysters and lobsters served by the mess hall. They reportedly used to test military jets by asking them to fly cross-country and stopping in Maine to pick up the foods.
3. The Employees
Because of security reasons, the national security wanted to make sure that the workers at Area 51 wouldn’t be able to make it to the base without a roadmap. They also wanted to keep locals from suspecting something strange happening. Most of the base staff are flown in every day from Las Vegas, which is 90 miles away from the area. They are transported on planes they call JANET, that stands for, Just Another Non Existent Terminal. There’s also an association for former Area 51 employees which is called Roadrunners Internationale. There the employees meet up to discuss their work experiences, but with most information still classified, there’s little they can actually talk about.
4. Conspiracy Theories
Though Area 51 is known as a nuclear test site, it actually rose to fame as an alleged extraterrestrial technology research site. In July 1947, Roswell Daily Record’s front page stated “RAAF Caught A Flying Saucer On Ranch” and as obvious the news spread like fire and everyone started to scratch their heads. The U.S. military denied all the reports and claimed the unidentified crashing object was just a weather balloon. But conspiracy theorists asserted it was an alien spacecraft that was then taken from the Roswell ranch property to Area 51 for reverse-engineering. And possibly there was a large-eyed alien “grey” inside it.
In September 1994, the Air Force released a report. The incident was a U.S. government cover-up but not exactly what most people thought. They admitted that it was definitely not any normal weather balloon but it was a top-secret balloon called Project Mogul. The balloon was meant to detect far-off nuclear testing blasts, especially to detect atom bomb testing in the Soviet Union.
5. The Moon Landing Conspiracy Theory
Many conspiracy theorists believe that the moon landing was fake and was staged at Area 51. People believe there is a sliver of truth to this conspiracy theory. Various space equipment such as land rovers and life support systems were tested by the astronauts at the nuclear testing grounds. According to, conspiracy theorist Bill Kaysing who wrote in his 1974 book that NASA astronauts have didn’t really stepped on the Moon, let alone explore it and accomplish all of those missions there whatsoever.
Then there is Robert Lazar who didn’t say anything about the moon landing, but then had to make a guest appearance on a TV station, he actually stated that he worked at a place called S-4. The super bizarre place where strange things are believed to have happened. This S-4 site also appeared to be near Area 51. Robert also mentioned that during one of his missions he was supposed to reverse-engineer and take care of a crashed flying saucer. But because of Lazar’s falsely claimed background, many people debunked his statements.
6. No Entry
Though you can find Area 51 on the map but getting there is not a good option. The area is restricted with armed guards patrolling the fences around the parameter, known as Camo dudes because that’s what they wear when on the job. The guards may be the ones who are also most affected by whatever was going in the site. Guards often suffer from heavy breathing problems. They say it’s because being exposed to toxic chemicals from the burning of the coatings meant to shield aircraft from radar. The perimeter is also said to be surrounded by motion sensors, and it’s also reported that hi-tech electronic surveillance systems are installed to ensure no possible intruders can get in.
The BBC reportedly tried to break into the Area 51 facility to record video but they were held up at gunpoint. There was also a family named Sheahan family, they owned land near Area 51. They were offered $333,300 by the federal government, but they refused. So, the government just took the land anyway through eminent domain. The US Military also intended to help out with costumes and equipment for the hit film Independence Day. But they later withdrew as the filmmakers’ refused to take out Area 51 references from the script.
7. UFO Sightings
According to reports, 90% of reported UFO sightings at Area 51 could be easily debunked, while the other 10% was a number of incredible reports from credible observers. When the UFO sightings increased in 1952, the CIA created the “Robertson Panel,” a group of nonmilitary scientists, to investigate and debunk the claims. The CIA stated that “there is a remote possibility that they may be interplanetary aircraft,” and that it was necessary to investigate each sighting. Even the US President doesn’t fully know what’s going on Area 51. They are on a ‘need to know’ basis. In 1995, President Bill Clinton signed an executive order which will protect Area 51 from any legislation or investigation in the purposes of national security. President Obama was the first US President to even have made a comment about Area 51 but not any further information. The heavily protected area also has secret tunnels that connect it to other secret sites.
8.Cases Reported On Area 51
Sadly, two civilian contractors who were unfortunately totally exposed to extremely dangerous chemicals lost their lives at Area 51. As a result, the wives of those two unlucky employees filed a lawsuit against the Area 51 and the military force. But they lost the case in the end. Reportedly, Area 51 is immune to environmental exposure laws.
9. Reconnaissance Flights
Between the 1950s and 1960s, over half of all UFO reports were accounted for by manned reconnaissance flights such as the U-2 over the United States. Before Area 51 was used to test Air Force planes, it was used as an aerial gunnery range in World War II. President Eisenhower who served as the 34th president of the United States from 1953 to 196, approved the strip of land that would become Area 51.
10. A-12 OXCART
Like the U-2 they also tested out spy planes like the A-12 OXCART. A-12 OXCART traveled up to 2,200 mph and was the predecessor to the SR-71. It flew on a special fuel that was made to withstand extremely high temperatures and would not ignite even if someone threw a match into a barrel full of it in order to fly at such extreme speeds and heights. The OXCART’s strong engines worked as vacuum cleaners, sucking up any debris left on the runway. The plane was kept undercover out of official speed competitions. The A-12 OXCART was the world’s first titanium plane and consisted of more than 90% titanium.