No aliens in Area 51


SR-71 Blackbird spyplane refueling from a mid-air KC-135 strato-tanker. You’d need a lot of space in the middle of nowhere to test stuff like this and go unnoticed.


What X-phile wouldn’t have wanted it to be true? A massive government plot to conceal hard proof of extraterrestrials, including advanced alien technology and by some accounts even the preserved bodies of same. Where grays meant something far less mundane than Civil War reenactment uniforms. Alas, a new a release does not confirm Agent Mulder’s suspicions.

But it sounds like there were some real cool things going on in Area 51:

NBC News — The authors of the CIA history, Gregory Pedlow and Donald Welzenbach, said the site was nicknamed “Paradise Ranch,” or simply the Ranch, to make it sound more attractive to the test project’s workers. The first U-2 test flight took place at Area 51 on Aug. 4, 1955, and over the years that followed, the site was used for training U-2 pilots.

The Groom Lake facility was also used for development of the U-2 spy plane’s successors, including the Lockheed A-12 Oxcart and the D-21 Tagboard. Later on, Area 51 served as a test site for the F-117 stealth fighter. To this day, the area surrounding the facility has been closely guarded, and the airspace is off-limits to civilian air traffic.

Years ago I knew a retired engineer who worked on Lockheed black projects living in Florida. He was getting up in his years and suffering the early effects of Alzheimer’s. One night he went off about some alien conspiracy shit that flashed across the TV and quipped something about Area 51 being a test region for recon aircraft and cruise missiles once upon a time, and how it wasn’t even very active any longer because it had become too infamous. He said they probably never recovered any real human bodies to base the nonsense on, but if if civvies had found anything like that, it might have been the .mil equivalent of crash test dummies in high altitude balloons or placed on the ground as assessment targets.

I have no idea if he ever worked on that stuff or worked there on anything. But I went and poked around on the neolithic 90s version of the Internet afterward and his musings weren’t classified. Or at least there was plenty of speculation that that is exactly what happened at Area 51 at one time.

It makes sense: you’d want an area in the middle of nowhere, with low or no population density, and it would need to be pretty big to accommodate large, high altitude, high speed manned or unmanned aircraft, plus ground arrays, ground dummy targets and check points, tracking gear, all without being easily seen by nosy neighbors or cold war spies. And it might as well be built on a previously existing facility that had airstrips. Ergo the Indian Springs Auxiliary Field at Groom Lake in Nevada which began operation in 1942.

I always thought it odd the White House couldn’t keep a pornographic cigar used by a college intern secret for a few months but somehow managed to keep the lid on the most explosive news in the history of mankind for decades. Well,. sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes a secret cold war facility really is just a secret cold war facility.


  1. unbound says

    Actually have a relative that toured the facility long ago (military reserves). He mentioned that they even have a full sized stuffed alien (fairly cheesy from the description) that they put in the seat of the aircraft they are testing every now and then in the off chance that someone would get a photo.

  2. AsqJames says

    “sometimes a secret cold war facility really is just a secret cold war facility”

    That immediately made me think of this.

    (In case I foul up the tags, it’s a picture of a road sign pointing the way to the “Secret Nuclear Bunker”.)

  3. otranreg says

    @2 AsqJames

    Yeah, it’s a museum in Essex. Used to be a really secret bunker until the early nineties.

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