Area 51 is a site with some of the most famous conspiracy theories surrounding it. For nearly 60 years, the U.S government denied its existence, further intensifying its mystery and solidifying its place in mainstream culture as an epicenter of intrigue. From alien sightings by people who “done seen it with their own two eyes” to Hollywood folklore, we have only ever been able to speculate about the truth of what really goes on inside this military installation.
As of late, the mysterious military site has become the subject of much debate, the aptly named Storm Area 51, They Cant Stop All Of Us Facebook group has garnered almost 2 million curious participants who intend to go 'see them aliens.' Responding to the event, AirForce spokesperson Laura McAndrews said: “[Area 51] is an open training range for the US Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces.”
To break some age-old myths surrounding Area 51, here are some lesser-known details that may well have you questioning everything..
Area 51 didn’t officially exist until August 2013. This was only after a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request forced the CIA to declassify related documents. Despite this confirmation however, the US Air Force told media outlets that “any attempt to illegally access the area is highly discouraged.”
[caption id="attachment_2079" align="alignnone" width="687"] Source: Yahoo News[/caption]
And yet, the area has no fences surrounding it, at all.
The Need to Investigate
Indeed, after an increase in UFO sightings in 1952, the CIA concluded that “there is a remote possibility that they may be interplanetary aircraft,” and that it was necessary to investigate each sighting. The U.S. government actually established a panel of experts to investigate the phenomena. Known as Project Blue Book, it was led by physicists, an astronomer and a rocket engineer. Parts of their findings were kept classified until the late 1970s, further fueling rumors of a government cover-up.
[caption id="attachment_2089" align="alignnone" width="266"] Source: Britannica.com Autographed front cover of Kenneth Arnold's The Flying Saucer as I Saw It (1950)[/caption]
Just Ask For Janet
The only way employees are transported to the facility is by unmarked planes from a restricted terminal. The airline is known as Janet and is allegedly an acronym for Just Another Non-Existent Terminal. Janet flights depart from McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. The planes do not appear on departure boards and no civilians are able to get near the terminal which is protected by armed guards.
[caption id="attachment_2085" align="alignnone" width="582"] Source: fightersweep.com[/caption]
Reports From The Inside
In 1989, a former Area 51 employee name Robert Lazar claimed that he had worked on extraterrestrial technology or in his words “reversed engineered alien spacecraft”. Lazar’s first interview was with investigative reporter George Knapp. His face was hidden and he went by the pseudonym of Dennis. He reported that there were “…nine flying saucers or flying disks that were out there, of extraterrestrial origin…being test flown.”
[caption id="attachment_2088" align="alignnone" width="576"] Source: youtube.com[/caption]
In 2017, the Pentagon released a video of an “unknown object” encountered by two Navy fighter jets. It had originally come from the Defense Department’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program.
[caption id="attachment_2090" align="alignnone" width="590"] Source: nytimes.com[/caption]
Despite this lawsuit, the government petitioned the judge to prohibit the disclosure of classified documents or examination of “secret witnesses.”
They claimed this would “threaten national security.”
[caption id="attachment_2091" align="alignnone" width="438"] Source: wikimedia.org[/caption]
Area 51 & Pop Culture
Area 51 has become so notorious that it has even seeped into pop culture. Movies like Independence Day, Zero Dark Thirty, Indiana Jones and even a straight to VHS Scooby Doo cartoon all make mention of Area 51, fueling the imaginations of moviegoers and speculators alike.