Area 51

Audrey Whalen, Reporter

For decades, Americans have been told Area 51 did not really exist and that the U.S. government had no official interest in aliens or UFOs. Statements to the contrary, official sounding people cautioned, were probably the musings of people in tinfoil hats.

In 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower “approved the addition of this strip of wasteland, known by its map designation as Area 51, to the Nevada Test Site,” according to a CIA history of a spy plane declassified in 2013. The area was near the Atomic Energy Commission’s vast, desolate proving grounds and was used to test the high-altitude U-2 reconnaissance plane.

A parade of top-secret aircraft was tested in the area, according to Reuters, including the A-12 aircraft, a spy plane that flew faster than the speed of sound, and the angular F-117 stealth ground-attack jet.

But Area 51 quickly became a wire frame for not-quite-verifiable musings about alien life, secret technology and supernatural behavior. Gaping holes in out-there theories had an easy explanation: the government is working diligently to keep the real story under wraps.

The government, the theories go, experimented on the aliens and tried to harness the technology in their ship to manufacture interstellar spacecraft and produce powerful energy weapons. Lab-coated Area 51 scientists also were said to be mulling ways to manipulate or weaponize the weather, travel through time and teleport.

For decades, people reported seeing strange lights in the desert around Area 51, presumably alien aircraft taking off or being tested at the government facility. The crowd who believed something wasn’t quite right at Area 51 was buoyed by a lawsuit filed by workers at the facility. They reported rashes, respiratory ailments and even deaths related to their jobs.

The government hiding things from the American people is nothing new, but when will they tell us what is really behind Area 51? WIll they let us know that aliens have been in contact? Or is this secrete going to die with the commanding officers?