By Dennis BalthaserI know for a fact that the security at Area 51 is alive and well, since I just returned from there, and experienced it first-hand.
In my many years of doing this research, I have always tried to present information that was verifiable and confirmable, when possible. That hasn’t always been an easy task, considering the amount of disinformation being spread around, particularly with a lot of that information being presented on the Internet.
When doing lectures or writing editorials about a particular subject, I find it helps one’s credibility if you have first-hand knowledge of the subject. It’s kind of like the 2000+ web sites on the Internet about the Roswell Incident. When you do some checking, most of those people that have Roswell Incident web sites have never been to Roswell or interviewed a witness related to it, but claim to be authorities on the subject. From now on when someone asks, “have you ever been to Area 51?”---I can say, “Yes I have---at least to the entrances to the base”.
I have been researching Area 51 for several years, working closely with Chuck Clark, who I consider the predominant person with knowledge about Area 51.
Last year, Ike Bishop, who arranges the annual Rachel Nevada UFO Conference, (next to Area 51), contacted me about possibly being a speaker at this years conference, and knowing it would be a financial loss, due to the distance, time and expenses, I gladly agreed to be part of the conference, for the simple fact that I would have an opportunity to see first hand what all the “hype” was about related to the secret base in Nevada. I was not in the least disappointed. The conference lasted 3 days in May 2006, and I’ll never regret the cost due to the first hand knowledge I obtained about the security, at least at the entrances to the base.
For years I have read and heard reports about the intense security involved at Area 51, but to actually be there and see it working doesn’t compare with what I’ve read or heard. It’s real and it’s serious.
Stop and think for a minute that the base has been in existence since 1955 when the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) opened it to test the U-2 spy plane in secrecy. Many of the aircraft we have in our military arsenal since then that were developed in secrecy, have been test flown there (and several we don’t yet know about). During those 51 years that the base has been in existence, security to my knowledge has not been seriously breached, and remains off limits to anyone not authorized to enter.
So why is it that we can prevent anyone from going past security at Area 51, but cannot control our own United States borders? Perhaps our borders need a few signs like are present at Area 51, that state in no uncertain terms “The Use of Deadly Force is Authorized” , and apparently mean it. Signs also list the penalties for violating the warnings, of either six-months imprisonment and a $1000.00 fine, or one-year imprisonment and a $5000.00 fine based on two separate Federal Internal Security Act Regulations. The guards (Cammo dudes as their sometimes known) are also a positive deterrent, and make their presence obviously known to anyone approaching the entrances to the base, which to me indicated that these people are serious about enforcing security.
The main entrance to Area 51 is down a 13 mile well maintained dirt and gravel road that has no signs present on Nevada 375 (the Extraterrestrial Highway) between Ash Springs and Rachel, to indicate anything is there. Driving down the road toward the base entrance, I expected to see the guards in a gray pickup or white Jeep come up over a hill to let me know we were approaching the entrance.
Much to my surprise, when I drove around a corner and saw the warning signs, I also saw a gray pickup truck with two occupants parked on a hill just up from the signs, watching me approach with binoculars fixed on me. They were waiting for me as I assume a sensor had warned them someone was approaching. The guardhouse is about a quarter mile beyond the signs (out of view from the dirt road), so they have time to get in their vehicle, park on the hill and be your welcoming committee. The main entrance where the warning signs are located has no gate of any kind, so if you go beyond the signs you are on restricted land, and the consequences are obvious. On the hills surrounding this entrance solar powered cameras and listening devices are evident. There is no fence ---only orange colored plastic boundary markers located every several yards to indicate where the boundary is.
Having seen pictures of this scenario many times in the past, it was quite an experience for me to actually be standing there by the signs and boundary markers, and realizing that this is all too real. You can’t help but wonder what all transpires on or under the base that we don’t know about, to require such high security?
After my second lecture on our last day in Rachel, Chuck Clark asked me if I wanted to drive out to the back gate entrance to the base. Knowing very little about the back gate entrance, I jumped at the opportunity to go. The back gate is a little closer to Rachel than the main gate and appears to have higher security visible than the main gate. Apparently most deliveries to the base enter through the back gate.
Once again after driving on a well-maintained, un-marked dirt road, you see the all to familiar warning signs. At this entrance however you are also greeted by two swing-down gates with stop signs attached, a guardhouse that has all the windows darkened so you can’t see in, and a surveillance camera and other equipment.
This entrance has a ranch type barbed wire fence showing the boundary line in each direction from the gates. While at this entrance I walked along the fence line in order to get a better view of the Russian Radar equipment set up in the distance. The guard(s) in the guard house were keeping tabs on my activities along the fence with the camera that is mounted about 25 feet atop a metal tower, and whenever I moved along the boundary, the camera followed me.
After being at the entrance for several minutes, we soon noticed something in the distance on the road inside the gates, coming towards us, and it turned out to be another security guard, in a white Jeep. He stopped about a quarter mile from us and observed us with binoculars, as had been done at the main entrance two days ago.
Since we were apparently not a threat to him, he shortly thereafter drove up to the guardhouse, getting out of the vehicle while trying to stay out of view of our cameras. When he departed he seemed upset that he had left the passenger door open on the Jeep, and rather than come around the vehicle to close it where we would have a good photo opportunity of him, he backed the Jeep up, hit the brakes and tried to close the door. Unfortunately for him, it didn’t work, so he leaned over the seat out of our view and pulled the door shut before taking off toward the base.
We departed the back entrance, returning to Rachel, satisfied that whatever takes place at Area 51 is well protected by warning signs that are extremely serious in their warnings, surveillance equipment that works well, and guards that have what appears to be a boring job unless someone like us shows up.
I appreciate the hospitality of Chuck Clark, and know that my lectures and editorials about Area 51 will be different in the future having “been there ---and done that”.
* All photographs Copyright © Balthaser, 2006
See Also: A Tribute to Walter Haut