Area 51 (officially known as Air Force Flight Test Center, Detachment 3 and also known as Dreamland, Watertown Strip, Paradise Ranch, The Box, Groom Lake, Neverland, and other names) is a remote tract of land in the southwestern portion of Lincoln County in southern Nevada, located at 37°14′20″N 115°48′58″W / 37.239, -115.816, at the southern edge of a large dry salt flat called Groom Lake. It lies within the Nevada Test and Training Range and is owned by the United States Department of Defense and the United States Air Force. Area 51 contains an airfield whose primary purpose is believed to be the operation and analysis of enemy aircraft and weapons systems, and secret development and testing of new military aircraft. It is also believed that a number of Soviet aircraft obtained by the United States through various means are kept at Area 51 for study. Area 51 is the frequent subject of UFO conspiracy theories.
Its secretive nature and undoubted connection to classified aircraft research, together with reports of unusual phenomena, have led Area 51 to become a focus of modern UFO and conspiracy theory. Some of the unconventional activities claimed to be underway at Area 51 include:
The storage, examination, and reverse engineering of crashed alien spacecraft (including material supposedly recovered at Roswell), the study of their occupants (living and dead), and the manufacture of aircraft based on alien technology.
Meetings or joint undertakings with extraterrestrials.
The development of exotic energy weapons (for SDI applications or otherwise) or means of weather control.
The development of time travel technology.
Activities related to a supposed shadowy one world government.
Many of the hypotheses concern underground facilities at Groom or at nearby Papoose Lake, and include claims of a transcontinental underground railroad system, a disappearing airstrip (nicknamed the "Cheshire Airstrip", after Lewis Carroll's Cheshire cat) which briefly appears when water is sprayed onto its camouflaged asphalt, and engineering based on alien technology. In 1989, Bob Lazar claimed that he had worked at a facility at Papoose Lake (which he called S-4) on such a U.S. Government flying saucer.
One major hypothesis is that Area 51 is a place which simulates the environment of the moon. In 2000-2001, Fox Television broadcast a show about Apollo moon landing hoax accusations, in which it was suggested that the whole moon landing in 1969 was a hoax and was filmed in parts of Area 51.
Others, however, claim that during the mid 1990s, the most secret work previously done at Groom was quietly moved to other facilities, including Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, and that the continued secrecy around Groom is largely a successful attempt at misdirection.
In July 1996, a man named "Victor" announced on Art Bell's Coast to Coast AM radio show that he had a videotape of an alien interrogation which had taken place in Area 51. He claimed that he had made a copy of the tape during a scheduled transfer of analogue videotape files on the base into digital form, and had then smuggled the copy out of Area 51. The video appears to show the head of an alien creature in a dark interrogation room, possibly using telepathy to communicate with military personnel and scientists.The footage was eventually included in a video documentary entitled Area 51: The Alien Interview. ( I'm sorry, even if this tape is fake it still freaked me out!)
technorati tags: Area 51,UFO,extraterrestrials,alien
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