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.
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?