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What Is Area 51? Separating Fact from Fiction

In the middle of the Nevada desert exists an old American army base that has drawn conspiracy theories from all over the world. It’s one of the worst secrets the government has kept from the public for many decades.

In a bid to conceal what goes on in the famous Area 51, the government pretended it never existed. But it’s been a place widely known to the public, and efforts to keep it a secret didn’t go too far.

Driven by imagination and creativity, people have built myths around the existence of this place and what goes on in there. And it didn’t start today. 

Area 51 has been in the spotlight since days of old, with historians and researchers trying to make discoveries that would confirm or disapprove the theories revolving around it.

Some people associate this place with alien technology, while others believe it houses mysterious spacecraft not found anywhere else in the world. But what’s true and what’s not remains a mystery.

Nevertheless, we are here to separate facts from fiction and help you learn more about Area 51’s mythology.

What’s Area 51?

120 miles northwest of Las Vegas, in the middle of the Nevada desert, is a dusty unmarked road that leads to the gates of a military base. No buildings can be seen in this place, but on the civilian aviation maps, the road leads to Groom Lake, a dry lake bed, or Homey Airport. 

Owing to the mysteries surrounding it, the spot has many unofficial names. Some people call it the Nevada Test Site, Dreamland Resort, Red Square, or the Detachment 3, but to most, it goes by the name Area 51. 

Many years back, before the second world war, the area around Groom Lake was a mine with Silver and Lead reserves. However, soon after the war started, the army turned the area into a training base. The area was also used for weapon testing and researching nuclear weapons.

Everything that goes on in there remains a secret, and people are barred from accessing the facility by frightening trespassing signs, including armed guards at the gate. 

The territory is under constant electronic surveillance, and no one goes beyond the dusty road unnoticed. Even those working here aren’t allowed to share any information with the public. While the facility can now be seen on satellite images, it’s illegal to fly above this area. 

Although the base was opened in the 1950s, it wasn’t until 2013 that the Central Intelligence Agency officially confirmed its existence. 

What goes on in the base is still concealed to the public, but rumor has it that the United States Air Force uses Area 51 to develop weapons and aircraft. 

The History Behind Area 51

Area 51 was birthed as a result of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. Back in the 1950s, the Soviet Union was at the cutting edge of science and technology and was a threat to the whole world.

Worried that the Soviet Union would expand their influence and plan secret attacks against them, the United States began to spy on the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics’ technology. Between 1950 and 1955, the US Air Force and the Navy began carrying out low-flying reconnaissance expeditions over the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. 

However, there were high chances that the planes would be seen and gunned down. So there was a need to develop an aircraft that would soar higher than the Soviet radar. President Eisenhower approved the building of a confidential, high-altitude, reconnaissance aircraft nicknamed Project Aquatone (U-2 program) in 1954. 

To keep the development a secret, the American military had to look for a hidden location that spies and civilians couldn’t access easily. They would, therefore, conduct their training and testing from this place without interference.

Looking at the maps, the Nevada desert around Groom Lake became the ideal location for this project. The location was once used as military gunnery by American Army pilots during the second world war. 

In less than eight months, the engineers had developed an aircraft that would fly at an altitude of about 70,000 feet, which was higher than most aircraft at that time. For this reason, the pilots could fly above the Soviet space without being spotted.

In the summer of 1955, the US Air Force had already begun testing the new aircraft, and people reported sightings of “unidentified flying objects” above the area near Groom Lake, now known as Area 51. 

Nevertheless, the US Air Force couldn’t reveal the secret behind the aircraft sightings to the public. Instead, they said it was a “natural phenomena” and “high-altitude weather research.”

Although the U-2 tests ended in the later years of the 1950s, the US Air Force continued to use Area 51 to develop cutting edge aircraft to spy on the Soviet Union’s intelligence.

Up to date, Area 51 is still used to carry out tests for most aircraft.

Aliens And Area 51

The mystery surrounding the secret military base has led to many conspiracy theories, the most famous one claiming that Area 51 houses an alien spacecraft with bodies of its pilots after the aircraft crashed in 1947 at Roswell. 

The alien mythology picked up in 1989 when Bob Lazar, who claimed to have worked in the base before, said that he had spotted aliens in the area and even took part in examining the construction of alien spacecraft. 

However, the American government says no aliens exist in this area and that the crashed spacecraft was a weather balloon. 

Also, most people who’ve interacted with engineers and employees who previously worked at the military base disregard this as fiction. 

Is the Truth Out?

While nobody can go beyond the dusty road that leads to Area 51, somehow, the public has a glimpse of what’s going on in this secret military base. At least the government finally approved its existence, and that means a lot to the public.

There’s still much that goes on in Area 51, even though the “unidentified flying objects” are no longer spotted above it. The strange lights you see moving up and down in the sky when you visit surrounding areas are secret planes transporting workers to the base.

While the activities that take place in Area 51 are still not quite open to the public, it’s believed that the military develops high-end aircraft and weapons from the base. 

It’s important to note that there’s a law protecting the military base from any kind of investigation. According to the McCarran Internal Security Act of 1951, anyone trespassing the area should be killed.

Efforts to Explore Area 51

The mysteries surrounding the existence of Area 51 have drawn tourists from different parts of the world who hope to visit the base to meet the aliens they’ve heard about.

Unfortunately, no one is allowed to go beyond the gates. You can only drive up to the front and back gates. Beyond that, there’s an open fire.

In 2019, Matty Roberts, a student from California, invited people via a Facebook post to storm the base and bypass the guards as a group. More than three million people promised to take part in the event despite knowing Area 51 is a no-go-zone.

On the day, at least 75 people gathered at the front gate of Area 51. This was a big disappointment, considering the anticipation surrounding the event. Nobody even tried to push their way into the facility. It’s as if they were only there to visit like any other tourist.

Two people from the group, a man and woman, were arrested for unknown reasons, but the rest went back home unharmed. Of course, many were disappointed, but who would dare to face the US Air Force?


In a nutshell, here’s what you need to know about Area 51:

  • It exists.
  • The government approved its existence.
  • There are no aliens in the area.
  • It’s a secret military base for the US Air Force.
  • Nobody is allowed to go past the gates.
  • We have people working at the base.
  • The area was initially used by the US Air Force to test aircraft.
  • The area is protected from any kind of investigation by the government.

Owing to the secrecy surrounding Area 51, people have come up with several myths to explain what goes on in the secret military base. In real sense, nobody has had the chance to explore the place, and some rumors may not be valid. All you need to know is that it’s a real place and a training base for the US Air Force. What goes on there is still a secret and will forever remain hidden from the public. 

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