What is hidden in Area-51?

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For many years now there has been suspicion about what really goes on in the remote parts of the Nevada desert. A place where man has not sown his own roots, one of the remotest parts of United States, a country itself so full of people that it is surprising that such a large area of land can be used to hide almost anything from the public view.

What is Area-51 and where is it?

Area-51, is the supposed official name for a military testing range in the Nevada Desert. It lies north of Las Vegas, and is centred approximately on 37'N 116'W. The area is curtained off by a 'no-fly zone', similar to that imposed in Iraq by the UN. Outwardly the reason behind the no-fly zone is the Tonopah live firing range, used by the USAF - indeed there is a military air base called Tonopah Test Range located within the restricted area - though aircraft using the facility are most likely to be based at nearby Nellis AFB.

Curiously, there is also a civilian airfield at Pahute Mesa in the southern part of Area-51 though I suspect that this may be Federal operated as NOAA aviation maps of the area indicate that there is something unusual about the field.

We have established that Area-51 is a military range, so what's unusual about that? It would seem that the military is not just testing weapons at the range - the popular theory is that this is where they keep UFOs and/or secret 'black' aircraft.

Why do we think there's something special about the area?

That the military would try to stop the public wandering across a live firing range is accepted. Normally this is achieved by fencing the entire area off, and this does have the desired effect. In the case of Area-51 this is not the only deterrent.

What intrigues me the most is the level of protection afforded to a so-called firing range - in other places it is possible to walk onto a firing range unhindered, sometimes even when live firing is taking place (not a clever thing to do!), but not at Area-51.

Area-51 is fenced off, like any other range would be. The perimeter fence is watched by hundreds of closed circuit television camera - unlike any other range. Signs near the fence warn would-be trespassers to keep out. They inform the reader that it is an offence to enter the area, and that the use of deadly force is authorised to prevent intruders. This is most unusual for a firing range. Someone is going to a lot of trouble to keep people out.

The roads around the area are incessantly patrolled by men in white Chevrolet trucks. The only clue as to the operators of the vehicles are the Government plates which adorn them - other than those they are unmarked. The men manning the trucks also appear to be heavily armed, and they wear a black uniform devoid of insignia.

The public roads in the area of the range, though often some miles away, are monitored by a network of movement sensors. These sensors lie by the side of the road and transmit occurrences of vibration on the road. The antennae for these sensors is usually hidden in nearby bushes. It is said that the Air Force planted these sensors illegally, as they are on public land. The Air Force has no right to know if the public are using these roads. However, the Air Force are reputed to be in negotiations with the State Government to allow them to keep these devices on public land.

Does this sound like a straightforward firing range to you?

What is inside it?

Mostly we don't know for sure, as virtually no-one has ever been inside, except for people who work there. We do know that there is a large air base which does not appear on any map. Some photographs do exist of the airfield, mostly taken from vantage points in the surrounding hills by intrepid explorers risking their lives to solve the mystery. An example of the photos available can be found on the Ufomind web server.

This air base is reputedly the centre of activity for UFO research and also for super-secret aircraft, known as 'black' aircraft. I'll discuss these separately:


Given that UFO craft have been recovered after crashes (see Roswell information), these would need to be taken somewhere for examination. Certainly back in the 50's and 60's the most likely place for this was Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio. Since the 60's Area-51 seems to have been the centre of attention, probably due to the heavy-handed security measures in force there.

It is said that crashed craft are examined here and that the Government is trying to replicate the technology used in building those craft, or is trying to restore craft to flight status.

Black Aircraft

Even if the skeptic can disallow UFOs, there is no doubt whatsoever about the existence of Black aircraft. For years the military has tried to keep it's greatest weapons secret and for the most part it's quite successful at doing this. The aim of the game is to use your weapons for as long as possible, and keep their existence hidden from view of your enemy and the public. Certainly during the Cold War this strategy was of vital importance to NATO. These days, it's not so clear who the enemy is.

Lockheed F-117A Stealth Fighter

Aircraft such as the F-117A Stealth Fighter and B-2 Stealth Bomber existed for years before they were publicly announced. Indeed the public was aware of their existence years before the military admitted it. There was much speculation about the Stealth Fighter in the latter half of the 1980's which even lead to plastic model kits of the 'F-19 Stealth Fighter' coming to market.

Of course, when questioned about the F-19, which was the most likely designation as it follows the F/A-18 Hornet, the Air Force and the Government denied any such aircraft existed. The denial was partly a play on words, in that the F-19 didn't exist, but the Stealth Fighter, which was the cause of public interest, definitely did - but under the F-117A designation.

There is considerable speculation that the Government changed the designation mid-way through the project from F-19 to F-117A. Strangely the F-117A designator seems to have come from nowhere, there being no F-112, F-113, F-114, F-115 or F-116 - that we know about anyway.

Quite a commotion was caused in 1988 when an aircraft from the 4450th TFW (Tactical Fighter Wing) crashed on publicly accessible land. The aircraft was an F-117A, but at the time this was denied. The crash scene was cordoned off and the whole affair was hushed-up.

The existence of the Stealth Fighter was finally admitted by the USAF in 1990 almost without any fanfare - they had a bigger secret to keep.

Northrop B-2 Stealth Bomber

The B-2 is one of the strangest aircraft man has ever created. It's very presence is eerie and it seems to slice silently through the air. Only when it passes overhead does one notice the strange engine noise - it's a rumble, rather than the roar we have become used to with military aircraft.

A photograph I recall seeing in the early 1990's, published I believe in a British weekly collectors magazine called 'Warplane' showed a grey, rather than black, B-2 on a runway, with a standard high-vis USAF 'tail-code' painted on the fuselage behind the air-intakes. The picture was published shortly after the aircraft was publicly announced, with fanfare this time. What struck me as strange about the picture was the details in the tail-code.

A standard USAF tail-code denotes the home air base of the aircraft, it's serial number and it's fiscal year of procurement. A standard tail-code would look something like:

lakenheath.gif (2810 bytes)

This tail-code actually belongs to a USAF F-15E Strike Eagle, the attack version of the F-15 fighter aircraft. This F-15E was procured by the Air Force in 1992 (AF 92) and the last three digits of the serial number are 0605.  The 'LN' is the designator of the aircraft's home base, in this case RAF Lakenheath in the United Kingdom.

The photo of the B-2 resembled:

nellis.gif (2808 bytes)

I cannot be sure that NE (Nellis AFB) or 001 (serial number) are actually correct, but I am convinced that the fiscal year of procurement was 1984. Yes, that's right 1984! What were the USAF doing with a B-2 in 1984? The Air Force publicly announced the B-2 in 1992, eight years later.

02 May 2000
Following  years of silence about this aircraft, the USAF recently mentioned in a throw-away comment, that some aircraft were given codes relating to the fiscal year of funding rather than procurement (actually made).  A tacit response to this web-site?

I do not know when the photograph was taken, but from the grey paint scheme and the high-vis markings I would take a guess that it was in the mid 1980's. In the late '80's the USAF adopted low-vis markings on almost all aircraft and repainted most aircraft in either 'Europe One', 'Desert One', or a low-vis scheme appropriate to the aircraft's mission - in the case of the B-2, black or very dark grey.

Did I imagine this photograph? Unfortunately, the photograph was inset on a poster, which I did not keep and I have, despite all efforts, been unable to locate it. Nor have I ever seen this picture published since. Was this photograph unintentionally released into the public domain? Unless the photograph can be found I can never be sure.

Has it moved?

There has been much rumour lately that because of either the publicity surrounding Area-51 and the Nevada desert, that the work which did take place there has been moved to a different and less public location.  This location is reputed to be 'near' Salt Lake City, Utah - inside yet another large cordoned off military area.

September 2000
A source, with appropriate connections, has revealed exclusively to The Big Brother and Conspiracy Theory Reference that Groom Dry Lake is  used by so-called 'Black project' aircraft.

This source confirms that both the F-117A and B-2 were operational many years before any word of their existence reached the public.

The first F-117A crash occurred in the late 1970's, much to the consternation of the top brass at the time.  The operation to retrieve the wreckage of the airframe was shrouded in secrecy and is not widely documented or known about.

The source categorically states that several new aircraft types operate from the base and that several others are in development there.

There is nothing 'alien' about the technology used, but it is on the absolute cutting-edge of several technologies, often surpassing conventionally held limitations by the use of innovative and new techniques and materials, the existence of which is often unknown to popular science.

A real picture or more disinformation?  You decide. 



Vendemen - 27 December 1998
Updated 09 September 2000