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Declassified U-2 Files Reveal Area 51 UFO Truths Skeptics Have Always Known

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Area 51. The phrase is synonymous with aliens, UFOs and conspiracy theories galore.

The top-secret military base, which the government denied existed until recently, has been the focal point of a plethora of conspiracy theories involving the government’s retro-engineering of UFO spacecraft.

The conspiracy theories range from ideas that the government not only has alien technology at Area 51 to being home to living aliens or housing the bodies of actual deceased aliens.

However, skeptics dismiss the idea of UFOs and alien beings as nothing more than the products of an overactive imagination. They contend that Area 51 is in fact real, but it is not the home to aliens (dead or alive) or alien technology. Skeptics state that the top-secret military base is a research and development site for experimental military aircraft designed by the U.S. Government. It appears that recently declassified documents may support the skeptics.




Declassified Area 51 Documents

On August 15, 2013, The National Security Archive published a series of declassified CIA documents that they obtained through a FOIA request. The request resulted in several declassified documents, which were much less redacted compared to documents of the past that outline Area 51’s involvement in two of the country’s most top secret reconnaissance programs: U-2 and OXCART.

Both of the projects were the research of high altitude jet planes for reconnaissance. The U-2 was a single-engine aircraft that provided day and night all-weather intelligence gathering from 70,000 ft. Project OXCART included the twin-engine A-12, which was a single seat that reached about 80,000 ft. and speeds of mach 3.0. The A-12 was later developed into the SR-71 Blackbird. Both of these projects were contracted out to Lockheed.

area 51 aerial view

Is There New Information in the Documents?

Though much of this information is already widely known, the latest release provides much more detail; including numerous references to Area 51. There are also several images such as a CIA map of Groom Lake, the testing grounds adjacent to Area 51. One such reference discusses the initial exploration of Groom Lake.

“They spotted what appeared to be an airstrip by a salt flat known as Groom Lake, near the northeast corner of the Atomic Energy Commission’s (AEC) Nevada Proving Ground. After debating about landing on the old airstrip, LeVier set the plane down on the lakebed, and all four walked over to examine the strip. The facility had been used during World War II as an aerial gunnery range for Army Air Corps pilots.” (2)

The document also describes how the top secret base received its now famous name, “Lewis Strauss readily agreed, and President Eisenhower also approved the addition of this strip of wasteland, known by its map designation as Area 51, to the Nevada Test Site.” (2)

The documents also provide names of test pilots, missions, projects and even some implementation of the aircraft across Asia. However, the document does not state anything about aliens or retro-engineering alien technology. However, it is recognized that the testing of the U-2 and the A-12 along with other experimental aircraft did lead to an increase of reports about UFO sightings.

According to Stars and Stripes, Project Blue Book states, “High altitude testing of the U-2 soon led to an unexpected side effect – a tremendous increase in reports of unidentified flying objects (UFOs).” (3)

UFOs notwithstanding, the recently published declassified documents puts one more feather in the cap of skeptics. It is entirely plausible that testing of experimental aircraft would give rise to more UFO sightings.

Furthermore, it is more plausible that the sightings are of experimental aircraft that originated here on earth instead of a craft that traveled across the cosmos. Nevertheless, the recently released documents will not quell the believers and conspiracy theorists. Because, let’s face it. It’s not like the CIA has not lied to the American people before, right?


References & Image Credits:
(1) GWU
(2) The Atlantic Wire
(3) Stripes.com
(4) TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³ via photopin cc
(5) Universe Today

Originally published on TopSecretWriters.com

  • James Carlson

    In a CIA document discussing the original U-2 program, much of which was approved for public release 07/08/2004, the following paragraphs are notable [see: http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq29-2.htm ; from Gregory W. Pendlow and Donald E. Welzenbach. The CIA and the U-2 Program, 1954-1974. Central Intelligence Agency, 1998, pp. 72-73].

    “High-altitude testing of the U-2 soon led to an unexpected side effect — a tremendous increase in reports of unidentified flying objects (UFOs). In the mid1950s, most commercial airliners flew at altitudes between 10,000 and 20,000 feet and military aircraft like the B-47s operated at altitudes below 40,000 feet. Consequently, once U-2s started flying at altitudes above 60,000 feet, air- traffic controllers began receiving increasing numbers of UFO reports.

    “Such reports were most prevalent in the early evening hours from pilots of airliners flying from east to west. When the sun dropped below the horizon of an airliner flying at 20,000 feet, the plane was in darkness. But, if a U-2 was airborne in the vicinity of the airliner at the same time, its horizon from an altitude of 60,000 feet was considerably more distant, and, being so high in the sky, its silver wings would catch and reflect the rays of the sun and appear to the airliner pilot, 40,000 feet below, to be fiery objects. Even during daylight hours, the silver bodies of the high- flying U-2s could catch the sun and cause reflections or glints that could be seen at lower altitudes and even on the ground. At this time, no one believed manned flight was possible above 60,000 feet, so no one expected to see an object so high in the sky.

    “Not only did the airline pilots report their sightings to air-traffic controllers, but they and ground- based observers also wrote letters to the Air Force unit at Wright Air Development Command in Dayton charged with investigating such phenomena. This, in turn, led to the Air Force’s Operation BLUE BOOK. Based at Wright-Patterson, the operation collected all reports of UFO sightings. Air Force investigators then attempted to explain such sightings by linking them to natural phenomena. BLUE BOOK investigators regularly called on the [Central Intelligence] Agency’s Project staff in Washington to check reported UFO sightings against U-2 flight logs. This enable the investigators to eliminate the majority of the UFO reports, although they could not reveal to the letter writers the true cause of the UFO sightings. U-2 and later OXCART flights [The A-12 OXCART was developed by the Central Intelligence Agency as a successor aircraft to the U-2. OXCART saw little operational use before the program was canceled in 1968 after the US Air Force deployed a fleet of similar aircraft, a military variant of the A-12 called the SR-71] accounted for more than one-half of all UFO reports during the late 1950s and most of the 1960s.”

    Over one-half of all UFO reports during that period is a pretty substantial number, so I expect there are a lot of folks out there who will just refuse to believe it, labeling it all as more “disinformation” while ignoring the fact that these documents and those discussing the matter in more focused terms were highly classified for such a long time, that they would have been a pretty inefficient type of disinformation to rely on. After all, isn’t high distribution of the materials pretty much a requirement for CIA strategies of that sort? Why initiate a disinformation campaign that’s only going to be directed at a dozen people? Perhaps that’s an under-exaggeration, but you see my point. Disinformation is basically useless if it’s classified.

    The following chapter of the same document asserts that Eisenhower originally wanted all of the U-2 pilots to be non-citizens of the United States so that any denial of responsibility in the case of a downed flight would be easier for the CIA to affirm and, therefore, easier fot he Soviet Union to accept as valid. Given that, I can’t help but wonder how long it will take before someone insists that the U-2 overflights were definitely to blame for so many of these UFO reports, but we can’t use that data to wash the hands of the CIA and the national UFO cover-up apparatus, because the pilots were still aliens. And not the south-of-the-border kind.

  • Conspiracy Theorists are always quick to point to the disinformation angle when documents are presented that refute their claims. They also tend to lean towards the whole, “lack of proof is proof itself” model of evidence.

    The Alien pilot is a pretty good claim to expect from theorists. I didn’t really think of that one. Similarly, with the presentation of these recent, less redacted, documents, I fully expect most UFOers to really work the “retro-engineering” angle, which claims that technologically advanced planes, such as the U-2 and the SR-71, was the result of alien technology that was obtained from a crash, a landing, etc.

    Take that theory, then pepper in the disinformation and lack-of-proof-is-proof techniques, and the theorists will still hang on to the alien influence at Area 51.

    That is the beauty of unverifiable theories. The theorists can interpret it any way they chose and modify it to fit their needs; especially when evidence is provided that proves the initial theory wrong.

  • Conspiracy Theorists are always quick to point to the disinformation angle when documents are presented that refute their claims. They also tend to lean towards the whole, “lack of proof is proof itself” model of evidence.

    The Alien pilot is a pretty good claim to expect from theorists. I didn’t really think of that one. Similarly, with the presentation of these recent, less redacted, documents, I fully expect most UFOers to really work the “retro-engineering” angle, which claims that technologically advanced planes, such as the U-2 and the SR-71, was the result of alien technology that was obtained from a crash, a landing, etc.

    Take that theory, then pepper in the disinformation and lack-of-proof-is-proof techniques, and the theorists will still hang on to the alien influence at Area 51.

    That is the beauty of unverifiable theories. The theorists can interpret it any way they chose and modify it to fit their needs; especially when evidence is provided that proves the initial theory wrong.

  • Maggie Murphy

    The truth is, if there were aliens at Area 51, would the military really de-classify THAT information? I doubt it. As it stands, few of us can testify to what the real truth is about area 51, so unless we have been there and have proof, the jury is still out and the UFO possibility is still very much in the running. There is so much ‘unexplained’ that we cannot just discount what does not fit in with our belief system or logic. UK have de-classified many of their UFO files and many remain unexplained mysteries which baffle scientists and fuel the fire in the UFO community. If there wasn’t something to hide, I would imagine that the USA would follow suit. But to date, the UFO files remain classified. Hmm.

  • Maggie Murphy

    The truth is, if there were aliens at Area 51, would the military really de-classify THAT information? I doubt it. As it stands, few of us can testify to what the real truth is about area 51, so unless we have been there and have proof, the jury is still out and the UFO possibility is still very much in the running. There is so much ‘unexplained’ that we cannot just discount what does not fit in with our belief system or logic. UK have de-classified many of their UFO files and many remain unexplained mysteries which baffle scientists and fuel the fire in the UFO community. If there wasn’t something to hide, I would imagine that the USA would follow suit. But to date, the UFO files remain classified. Hmm.

  • Hi Maggie, thanks for the comment. Though you are right in that most governments, if not all, are anything but totally honest and transparent, the liklihood of aliens at Area 51 is pretty slim. Again, even though I argee with you in that no one can know for sure until proof of that fact is revealed, the declassified documents recently released is just on more nail in the coffin of this conspiracy theory. The idea of the U-2 and the SR-71 being misidentified is much more plausible. Does the U-2 and the SR-71 explain every UFO sighting? Of course not. However, it does seem that many of these sightings have very Earthly explanations; such has Project Loon that is discussed here: http://www.topsecretwriters.com/2013/09/google-project-loon-triggered-the-2012-kentucky-ufo-sightings/
    There is no doubt that the debate will rage on. However, documents such as the ones discussed here provide a little more evidence in favor of the Skeptics and not the Ufologists.

  • Jason

    I don’t think this changes anything on any substantive level. It doesn’t put any feathers in anyone’s cap. These declassified documents don’t break any new ground. All of this information was out there in the public domain already. Even Ufologists don’t deny that Area 51 has had a legitimate top secret military purpose. That was never in dispute. So for the government to release these documents that are a whole lot of nothing we didn’t already know doesn’t really move the discourse one way or the other. The U-2 and Project Oxcart have long been known to have been flown out of Area 51. They haven’t been secret in decades. If these declassified documents were disclosing some of the extraordinary aircraft in and around Area 51 that people have seen over the years that defy any known capabilities of modern avionics, then that would be worth something. Skeptics love when their beliefs are validated by the very people/organizations that conspiracy theorists claim are allegedly keeping the secrets.

  • Actually Jason, you are not entirely correct on your claims that “All of this information was out there in the public domain already” because even though many of these docs were previously released, this recent release removed much of the redaction that was present in previously releases. This less redacted chronicle of the top secret activities at Area 51 goes as far as to provide names of “pilots, codenames and cryptonyms, locations, funding and cover arrangements, electronic countermeasures equipment, organization, cooperation with foreign governments, and operations, particularly in Asia. In addition, the release also contains newly declassified on one manned and two unmanned aerial reconnaissance efforts.”(1) Prior to the latest release, this information was not in the public domain.

    You also state, “If these declassified documents were disclosing some of the extraordinary aircraft in and around Area 51 that people have seen over the years that defy any known capabilities of modern avionics, then that would be worth something.” Of course that would have been something, but the lack of such information does not make this release any less important. The release provides insight into the main focus of Area 51, including many of the key players and locations involved. It provides more evidence that Area 51 was mainly a testing facility for these top secret projects and had nothing to do with UFOs.

    Finally, in regards to your statement, “Skeptics love when their beliefs are validated by the very people/organizations that conspiracy theorists claim are allegedly keeping the secrets.” I can argue that conspiracy theorists love when their beliefs are “validated” by the very people/organizations that they claim are allegedly keeping the secrets. Meaning that conspiracy theorists never trust any information that officials produce; unless that information supports their idea.

  • Jason

    Dennis, when I say “all of this information is in the public domain”, I didn’t mean literally every specific detail, but more so the information that’s being held up as explanations for possible UFO sightings. Maybe the better term would be it was public knowledge to those that are interested in goings on at Area 51 that the info in the documents was what Area 51 was largely used for. I don’t think anybody really cares about pilot names and funding and bureaucracy. That’s not useful information for the topic at hand. Are there or are there not UFOs, that’s what Ufologists care about.

    “The release provides insight into the main focus of Area 51,” but again, that’s not in dispute. Tell us something we don’t know. All this release does is tell us they did/do things we already knew or at minimum, suspected they did. And by “we”, I mean the measured, rational middle ground, not the fringe extremes that think all Area 51 is is a UFO base with aliens running wild like kids at recess. Skeptics focus too much on the extremes, IMO.

    Lastly, I’ll reiterate that there’s nothing to trust in this information because it doesn’t say anything particularly noteworthy.

  • Jason, I believe we will have to agree to disagree.Your comment, ” I’ll reiterate that there’s nothing to trust in this information because it doesn’t say anything particularly noteworthy” is wrong. There many noteworthy items in the release, such information on KWEXTRA-00, KWGLITTER-00, OARFISH, HTNAMABLE, KWCORK, MUDLARK, HBJARGON, STPOLLY, AQUILINE and AXILLARY. These newly declassified documents point out the global usage of the U-2; additionally, they provide details on the actual building and testing of the aircraft. Furthermore, it also outlines the flight of two unmanned aircraft in the cases of AQUILINE and AXILLARY.

    This release also puts a couple more nails in the coffins of theories that UFOs are at Area 51 or retro-engineering UFOs of any sort. You see, you state, I don’t think anybody really cares about pilot names and funding and bureaucracy.” However, the serious researchers do and should because it is through the bureaucracy that you can actually trace the origins of these aircrafts. Its the old adage, “Follow the money.” The bureaucracy is the yellow brick road that brings you to the pilots, the test pilots, the technicians, the mechanics, the developers, the researchers, and finally the idea of what it will take to solve a particular problem.

    You do not see anything of value in this release because it has not been sensationalized by the mainstream media and spoon-fed to you. However, if you get down to the nuts and bolts, and read the items released you would see that it does put a feather in the caps of skeptics in that it provides more evidence to support the claims of skeptics that there are no UFOs at Area 51.

“The thing about the truth is, not a lot of people can handle it.” -Conor McGregor

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