Sunday, October 30, 2005

Area 51 — America’s Best-Known Secret Military Base

Area 51
What we know — and suspect

By Lisa Gutierrez
The Kansas City Star

     Because secrecy surrounds its very existence, not much can be said with certainty about Area 51 — often called America’s best-known secret military base.

     Conspiracy theories abound. But here’s what the online encyclopedia has to say:

     Part of the Nellis Air Force Range, Area 51 is owned by the U.S. government and takes up about 60 square miles in Lincoln County, Nev. It shares a border with the Yucca Flats region of the Nevada Test Site, where the government began conducting nuclear weapon tests in 1951.

     The name “Area 51,” which the government has never publicly acknowledged, supposedly came from a military designation on a map.

     An air field at Area 51 allegedly is used for the secret development and testing of new military aircraft. UFO followers believe Area 51 is where the government houses alien aircraft — and aliens — recovered from an infamous Roswell, N.M., incident in 1947, when some believe a spaceship crashed to Earth.

     Every weekday, residents of Las Vegas can watch unmarked Boeing 737-200s leave McCarran International Airport. Published reports suggest at least 500 people leave the airport on these planes. Conspiracy theorists believe the planes come and go from Area 51.

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