by Dave Cosnette and Andy
This enigmatic air-base has become a
pivotal piece in the UFO jigsaw. Area 51 is located in Nevada,
taking up the kind of acreage that a small country would be proud
of, and in fact is the size of Switzerland. Until recently,
according to official U.S. statements, it didn’t actually exist.
Unofficially it is an operational testing range for the cutting edge
technological developments of America’s armed forces. The facilities
centered around the Groom Lake area are amongst the most secretive
in the world, requiring a level of security so remarkable that Area
51 has become a modern day myth in its own right.
Access to the base is by authorized personnel only, via a daily
shuttle where at least 500 people arrive at the guarded terminal
owned by EG&G on the northwest side of McCarran Airport in Las
Vegas, Nevada. Here they board one of a small fleet of unmarked
Boeing 737-200s. Using three digit numbers prefixed by the word
"Janet" as their call signs, the 73s fly off North every half hour.
There is no perimeter fence, just a vast mileage of desert in all
directions inaccessible to the public.
This ‘no man’s land’ around Groom Lake is patrolled constantly by
infamous camouflaged guards, (nicknamed cammo dudes) who travel in
Cherokee Jeeps to monitor the borders and stop any unwanted visitors
getting inside of the base. They are supported by electronic
surveillance systems, including motion sensors and other monitoring
equipment that is said to have the ability to pick up human sweat.
Military units and air support are also present. Warning signs on
the edge of Area 51 tell of heavy penalties for intruders, including
the authorization for the deadly use of force.
No one denies that the U.S. Government aims to keep this site secure
at all costs. No one gets in. Period. Recently, some very good
aerial satellite images of the area have been available through
Google Earth (far below images), which is an amazing 3D map of Earth that has most
areas mapped down to a resolution of just a few thousand feet. Most
of the pictures on this page in fact were
from the program because they are the most up-to-date satellite
imagery taken of the base.
We highly recommend you to download the
program because it can show you the vast area of the base in great
It is known that a huge hangar is housed within one of the
mountains, the doors of which are closed when satellites pass
overhead. The astronaut Gordon Cooper recently disclosed that the
reason why film taken by him, whilst orbiting in Gemini 5, was
confiscated was because he had been inadvertently travelling over
Area 51 at the time.
The base boasts one of the world’s
longest runways, although the need for this is not clear unless
landings from sub-orbital vehicles are necessitated. None of this is
visible to the public, as the surrounding vantage points in nearby
mountains have been bought up and included within the perimeter of
the vast site. So, given the total paranoia surrounding its
activities, what exactly goes on here?
According to Bob Lazar, a free-lance physicist and engineer, its
activities include reverse-engineering extra-terrestrial craft! He
first came forward with these claims in March 1989, when appearing
on George Knapp’s news programme on Channel 8, based in Las Vegas.
He described his brief time at a facility known as S-4, where he
worked on back-engineering exotic craft built to accommodate small
Although his credibility has since been
questioned by many, notably the nuclear physicist Stanton Friedman,
supporting evidence indicates that Lazar did indeed work at S-4, as
well as other scientific establishments who initially denied all
knowledge of him. It seems that somebody within the Government
wanted to remove all evidence of Lazar working at the base, but his
name can be found in one of the on-site phone books which dates back
to the time that Lazar said he was working there.
His academic credentials remain in
doubt, although his scientific knowledge is undeniable. It seems
that his free-lance working pattern makes him a lower security risk
to places like Area 51, simply because he is so difficult to
authenticate as a scientist.
Other individuals have since come forward to corroborate a lot of
what Lazar claims, although, most of them choose to remain
anonymous. As a result, Area 51 is now an intrinsic part of UFO
folklore and has done much to support the extra-terrestrial
hypothesis. One thing is for sure, many bizarre, seemingly exotic
craft have been witnessed, photographed and filmed in the immediate
area. The question is, are they the result of extraterrestrial
technology or simply our own independent development?
Skeptics point to the emergence of stealth aircraft as a possible
example of why Area 51 exists. Although they first saw action during
the Gulf War, Lockheed Martin had been secretly developing the
technology at “Skunkworks” for many years. The assumption, then, is
that the more advanced, exotic vehicles will emerge in the near
future when required by the next military enterprise.
The problem with this stance is that
these vehicles have been witnessed for many, many years and have
never been seen to be used. Their advanced capabilities would
certainly be of immeasurable benefit to Allied armed forces, but
they remain closeted away.
This fuels speculation that the craft are indeed recovered UFOs, or
at least our best efforts at emulating the alien technology. After
all, the billions of dollars clearly spent on these black projects
must produce pragmatic hardware, so their obvious absence from the
theatres of war can only be attributed to their sensitive, indeed
To use these craft is to admit to their
existence, is to admit to the Big Secret. So the whole house of
cards is at stake. Even worse, The American public would then
realize that billions of their tax-dollars have been covertly spent
reverse-engineering UFOs, with no material benefit to themselves.
Colonel Corso would then have claimed that the use of alien
technology was indeed seeded into American industry over several
decades, but surely this can only be the tip of the ice-berg.
Consider the potential uses of advanced propulsion, anti-gravity and
alternative energy sources inevitably involved in alien technology.
How would the voters react if they were aware that the U.S.
Government and military has had access to this potential technology
for decades, especially considering the damage to our planet
inflicted by the misuse of our current energy resources?
The potential ramifications of this
discovery are enormous. What President in their right mind would let
the cat out of this bag?
Some of the best aerial photographs of
Area 51 were taken by the Ikonos satellite, which was launched in
September 1999,and the resulting high-definition pictures were
released to the
Federation of American Scientists (FAS) who
commissioned the images.
The images offered by the Denver-based
company Space Imaging are able to resolve objects down to one meter
across, and the satellite’s digital camera can be pointed anywhere
on the surface of the Earth.
The company offers mass-produced space
images for as little as $10, but will also provide images of targets
commissioned by private individuals or organizations for several
hundred dollars. Many of the images on this page were released in
Ikonos was launched as a $700m venture by Lockheed Martin and
Rayathon. The company counts the US Government as one of its
clients. The inclusion of Lockheed Martin as one of the founding
organizations is ironic, considering its involvement in sensitive
defense contracts in cutting edge aerospace technology. It is also
widely understood that Area 51 closes down its operations whenever
it is flown over by satellites, but the images will nevertheless be
of tremendous interest to all UFO buffs.
The FAS campaigns against government
secrecy, and have included Area 51 amongst a list of other military
installations in North Korea, Iran, Pakistan and India. Their aim is
to provide evidence of the spread of sophisticated weaponry around
Through The Ages
New Imagery of Area 51 was
released on 17 April 2000. The Aerial Images were acquired by
Russia's Space Information KVR-1000 satellite system. We have
reproduced them here so you can compare how this site has enlarged
over the past few years.
One of the most obvious changes from 1968 to 1998 is the
construction of a new 11,960 foot runway replacing the older 12,400
foot runway 32 Left to the west. Runway 32 Right. The Southern end
of Runway 32R is blackened with about twice the tire skid marks than
at the north end of the runway suggesting that the prevailing winds
are from the north throughout most of the year. It is not clear how
far on to the dry lake the Runway 32 Right overrun extends.
south end of 32R there are six final flight check spaces on the
runway apron. At each end of the runway there is a runway barrier
net and arresting cable
USGS Aerial imagery
1998 - SPIN-2 2-meter
2000 - IKONOS 1-meter
The four large hangars at the north of the base, present in the 1968
image, have evidently been enlarged by the time of the 1998 image.
In addition, the housing complex for base personnel -- the large
array of smaller buildings to the south of the hangars, has been
entirely rebuilt between 1968 and 1998, with the additional of new
A B-52 aircraft is visible in the 1968
image. No aircraft are visible in the 1998 image or the 2000 scene.
1968 - USGS Aerial imagery
1998 - SPIN-2 2-meter
2000 - IKONOS 1-meter
South Base Hangars
Perhaps the most significant expansion in operational capabilities
is noted in the southern part of the base. The half dozen hangars
present in the 1968 image are all evident in the 1998 image, but the
total number of hangars in this area has doubled during the
intervening three decades.
The most noteworthy addition is the
hangar with the high peaked roof visible in the top of the 1998
1968 - USGS Aerial imagery
1998 - SPIN-2 2-meter
2000 - IKONOS 1-meter
Tank Farm - South Base
The tank farm visible in the
1968 image, consisting of seven large storage tanks and three
smaller tanks, remains visible in the 1998 image. The wide
separation of the larger tanks is suggestive of fuel for aircraft.
The 1988 imagery shows a large asphalt
plant, that was used to construct the new 11,960 foot runway.
1968 - USGS Aerial imagery
1998 - SPIN-2 2-meter
2000 - IKONOS 1-meter
New Construction - South Base
Ikonos imagery has revealed
that this 32 acre facility is a small weapons storage area with
three small igloos and two larger igloos.
1968 - USGS Aerial imagery
1998 - SPIN-2 2-meter
2000 - IKONOS 1-meter
Area 51: Up
Close And Personal
San Francisco Bay Guardian
News May 4-10, 2005
Spying on the Government
A UC Berkeley geographer maps
the secret military bases of the American West – where billions
of dollars disappear into creepy clandestine projects
by A. C. Thompson
IT STARTED WITH an e-mail inviting me to join an expedition to
Area 51, the secret military site in the Nevada backcountry.
"Let me be clear about this,"
wrote Trevor Paglen, the 30-year-old geographer leading the
trek. "The trip will not be easy. It might not even be that
fun, depending on your attitude, how well-prepared you are,
and what you consider fun. The weather is unpredictable – it
could be really hot or really cold, or (most likely)
both.... If you are not in reasonable shape, or are without
proper equipment, you will die. Seriously."
Despite the less-than-inviting
invitation, I was intrigued. For five decades Area 51 has been
the military's heart of darkness, the core of its "black world"
of classified research and development, a place that appears on
no maps, and, officially, has no name. The U.S. government will
divulge nothing about the site, except that it's an "operating
location" overseen by the U.S. Air Force. Everything else –
including the most seemingly mundane facts – is classified in
the name of national security.
The territory in question sits deep
in a colossal, small country-size, 3.1 million acre Air Force
base northwest of Las Vegas. Built on Groom Lake, a dry lake
bed, Area 51 is bisected by a 27,000-foot runway, studded with
massive hangars and communications towers (which look something
like offshore oil rigs topped by giant scoops of vanilla ice
cream), and patrolled by a platoon of camouflage-clad private
security personnel with orders to kill intruders.
Despite the government's omerta-like code of silence, aerospace
experts have concluded the isolated, mountain-ringed rectangle
of desert served as an incubator for some key cold war
machinery, aircraft like the U-2 spy plane and the black-winged,
radar-deceiving F-117A stealth fighter.
UFO-heads, of course, have other ideas. For them, Area 51 is the
focus of fevered, conspiratorial speculation, a remote and
incredibly well-guarded location where the government has hidden
a fleet of alien spacecraft. According to this line of thinking,
the mysterious lights sometimes spotted blipping across the
night sky over Nevada are hot rods from another planet.
After doing a little reading on the place, I knew I had to see
it for myself.
Paglen is steeped in the lore surrounding Area 51, the twin
currents of secrecy and weirdness that swirl around the place
like powdery desert dust. Clandestine military installations are
the subject of his doctoral dissertation in geography at UC
Berkeley, an endeavor that's propelled him across the American
West, mapping the archipelago of bases that dot the landscape.
"The whole thing is about getting people to see the world around
them differently," Paglen says. "The amount of land devoted to
this stuff is gigantic."
To Paglen, a good-humoured Air Force brat with a Woody
Woodpecker-ish laugh, Area 51 is many things. It's a pop-culture
trope, served up by the X-Files and the 1996 flick Independence
Day. A testament to the supremacy over American life of the
Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency and their corporate
pals. A fount of disinformation.
One tactic used to shroud zones
like Area 51, he argues,
"is to make those places very
visible in the wrong way – all the UFO stuff at Area 51, for
example. Area 51 is far from secret. It's a cliché. But the
fact that it's a cliché also hides it."
Declassified CIA documents,
notes, suggest Langley fomented UFO rumours during the 1950s and
'60s as a way to deflect attention from the very real flights of
experimental aircraft, including the U-2 and A-12 Blackbird spy
I met Paglen about 10 years ago when
we were both hanging out at East Bay punk gigs. He's still got a
punkish edge, favouring dark jeans and cowboy boots and
punctuating many of his comments with slang and obscenities. All
this camouflages, to some degree, his eclectic braininess:
Before pursuing geography, Paglen earned degrees in religious
studies (with a minor in musical composition) and art.
read this, the Lab, a San Francisco gallery, is displaying Paglen's solo show "Recording Carceral Landscapes," a chilling
commentary on California's leviathan prison system.
In addition to his academic explorations, Paglen also gives
informal tours of classified America, journeying to places like,
the Tejon Ranch Radar Cross Section range (where Northrop tests
the headquarters of Science
Applications International Corp. (the no-profile defense
contractor tapped to set up a TV propaganda network in Iraq)
the San Diego docks that are home to the Sea Shadow (a
classified Naval watercraft)
the Classic Bullseye listening
station (a heavily guarded collection of National Security
Agency eavesdropping equipment)
He's posted graphics, reports,
and pics from all these expeditions on his Web site,
In mid-March I spent three days probing the dark side with
Paglen and a crew of 10 other sightseers.
"Uh, guys, we need to be up
there," Paglen says, gesturing to the snow-encrusted peak
looming above us, "and we're heading downhill."
We're somewhere near the base of
Tikaboo Peak, a treacherous 8,000-foot-tall pile of prehistoric
rock stippled with scrubby trees. To get to Tikaboo, the vantage
point closest to Area 51, we've driven about 120 miles north
from Vegas, following a dirt road through the desolate yet
gorgeous Nevada wilds, surrounded by an ocean of scrubby
vegetation and grainy, sunburned soil.
So far, getting up the mountain has been quite a task – on top
of our, ahem, navigational issues, one member of our crew has
already vanished (apparently he took off to take a dump), and
we've lost any trace of the trail we're supposed to be
following. The conditions on this frigid afternoon aren't
especially favourable, either. The temperature is dropping
rapidly, daylight is dwindling, and three-foot-deep swatches of
snow speckle the mountain.
I've managed to pull a Homer Simpson move, leaving my heavy,
waterproof coat back in San Francisco. Plus, I'm wearing DC
skate shoes, which are already soaked thanks to the snow.
"Have you ever seen any people
out here?" one of the expeditioners asks Paglen. "Only once,
and it was really crazy," replies Paglen, a charming
character with an expansive sense of humour. "We ran into
this group of cops from Waco, Texas. They had all these
telescopes and high-tech gadgetry."
Cops from Waco, the nexus of myriad
conspiracy theories springing from the carnage-laden Branch
Davidian debacle, descending on Area 51, the hub of UFO
conspiracy theories? Yeah, that's a tad weird.
We tromp on, and by 5:01 p.m. we hit our first stopping point, a
peak several hundred feet below the summit. Robby Herbst, the
guy who disappeared to make like a bear in the woods, has
resurfaced. He's weary from the ascent. "I'm ready for the
aliens to take me," says Herbst, an itinerant art professor from
Los Angeles, clad in an amazing pair of '70s-era striped jeans.
From here the trek gets totally Lord of the Rings, as we
traverse an exposed ridgeline punctuated with boulders and begin
a steep ascent. At this elevation we're encircled by sky, not
trudging beneath it.
After a two-hour scramble up the
mountain, we hit the summit with the sun hanging low and look
out over a vast plain lined by a few unpaved roads. Dust billows
up from one of the roads. Paglen figures it's a government van
ferrying Area 51 workers around the base.
Unfortunately, we can't see much more. Our view of Area 51 –
which would've been limited anyway – is further obscured by
charcoal-coloured clouds pregnant with rain and a thick layer of
floating dust. "Can the government make haze?" jokes one guy who
flew out from Chicago for the trip.
Paglen has lugged a powerful telescope up with him, so we take
turns peering through it, able to make out a handful of
structures on a mountainside about 25 miles away. He snaps a
digital camera onto the scope and shoots some photos.
The whole deal is fairly anticlimactic; we drove hundreds of
miles and dragged ourselves up a fucking mountain, only to be
thwarted by Mom Nature? Shit.
Until 1995 you could get substantially closer to Area 51 by
ascending White Sides Mountain or Freedom Ridge. Then UFO freaks
and stealth-plane watchers began circulating detailed photos of
hangars, fuel tanks, runways, and radio towers they'd shot from
the two mountains, and the Air Force decided to annex more
acreage around Area 51, pushing tourists like ourselves further
away. From our perch atop Tikaboo, Paglen dives into the history
of Area 51, a locale lacking an official name but endowed with
an abundance of enigmatic nicknames including Dreamland, the
Dark Side of the Moon, the Box, the Container, and the Ranch.
By any name, the site is testimony to the cozy relationship
between the U.S. government and its corporate contractors.
"It was originally called the
Ranch, and it was started by Lockheed in 1955 because they
were developing the U-2 spy plane," Paglen says. "Francis
Gary Powers" – the ill-fated pilot shot down by the Soviets
in 1960 – "trained here to fly the U-2."
Lockheed (now Lockheed Martin) had
been blueprinting and building new planes at the Skunk Works,
the company's covert Burbank R&D lab, and testing the
experimental craft at Edwards Air Force Base, in the Mojave
Desert near Palmdale. But the U-2, a joint project of the CIA
and the Air Force, demanded a more private proving ground. The
vehicle was an international incident waiting to happen: a
camera-equipped aircraft capable of going to the upper regions
of the stratosphere (up to 74,000 feet) and bringing home
snapshots of the evil empire.
From the start, everything was cloak-and-dagger. The Agency
bankrolled the base by writing $1 million in checks to Skunk
Works director Kelly Johnson and mailing them to his Encino
home. Johnson in turn made sure Lockheed's fingerprints wouldn't
be on the project by creating a phony front company, C and J
Engineering, which hired builders who erected the basic Area 51
infrastructure in a matter of months.
The next radar-eluding craft
developed at Area 51, Paglen explains, owed its existence to a
set of 1870s-vintage physics formulas. Those formulas, devised
by Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell and known simply as
Maxwell's equations, predict how a surface will reflect
In the 1970s they became the basis for the F-117A stealth
fighter when Lockheed engineers used state-of-the-art computers
to tweak and extrapolate the equations, hunting for shapes that
would scatter and diffuse radar waves. The result was a chunky,
flat-angled, Star Wars-esque vehicle, weighing 52,500 pounds
(loaded) and measuring nearly 63 feet from nose to tail. It had
the "radar signature" of a small bird.
"The stealth fighter became the most secret project
since the Manhattan Project. Ronald Reagan was particularly
interested in magic-bullet technology" like stealth planes and
Star Wars missile defence.
In Paglen's estimation, the historic road to
Area 51 goes
through the labs of Los Alamos, N.M., where J. Robert
Oppenheimer and company begat the A-bomb. The Manhattan Project, Paglen writes in an essay for a forthcoming book, was the,
multi-billion dollar [military research] effort.... The
Manhattan Project had to manage the thousands of people
working on the weapon at any given moment, while restricting
the knowledge of the project's true purpose to a very small
number of people."
The strategies devised in New Mexico
were transplanted to Area 51 and further refined, he says. In
some ways the connection between Oppenheimer and Area 51 is even
more direct: Area 51 abuts the Nevada Test Site, where, between
1945 and 1992, the government detonated 1,021 nuclear weapons,
sprinkling radiation across a vast swath of the Southwest.
Enough about the past. What the hell is going on out here now?
Even the experts have few clues.
John Pike directs
GlobalSecurity.org, a Beltway think tank, and
has been scrutinizing the Pentagon for 25 years. He says that
during the Reagan years, analysts could figure out – in broad
terms – what the key classified projects were, despite all the
"Twenty years ago, when there
was a big increase in classified spending, we pretty much
knew what the programs were," Pike says. "We knew there was
a stealth fighter. We knew there was a stealth bomber."
In 1990, he notes, a New York Times
reporter was able to pen a 273-page book on the "black budget,"
the money funneled into clandestine military and spy programs
with little congressional oversight.
These days, Pike admits, he's baffled. The military is far more
successful at keeping things under wraps. Whatever is going on
at Area 51 and similar spots is truly a mystery at this
"It's certainly a testament to
Rummy's ability to keep a secret – that they've been able to
spend this money without anybody noticing," Pike says.
And they're spending plenty. The
black budget is blimping out to new dimensions. Estimates by the
Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments
non-partisan Washington, D.C., think tank, put the total
spending for classified weapons programs at $26.9 billion for
2005; for 2006 the Department of Defense has asked for $28
That's up from a comparatively paltry $11.7 billion a decade
Pike figures a chunk of the increase can be attributed to
surging spending on hardware for the intelligence agencies. "You
can probably explain half of that from growth in the
intelligence budget," he contends, explaining that spook outfits
like the CIA and the National Reconnaissance Organization
disguise their spending by sticking it in the Air Force's
And at least some of the loot is going into Area 51. Pike was
one of the first people to post overhead satellite photos of
Area 51 on the Web, paying a Russian company for pics of the
territory shot in 1998 and 2000 and comparing them to some rare
1968 pics taken by the U.S. Geological Survey. (Apparently, all
images captured by U.S. satellites after 1972 have been deleted
from the National Archives.)
From looking at the photos, it's
obvious there's been massive expansion at the site, with new
runways and a gaggle of new buildings doubling the size of the
At the Federation of American
Scientists, Steven Aftergood has a couple of ideas about what
kind of toys the government is blowing our money on.
burning up lots of money, you have to be building hardware, and
if it's space-based, that's a plus," he says sarcastically.
He points to the outburst of West Virginia senator
Rockefeller, who in late 2004 publicly shredded an unnamed
covert R&D effort, describing it as "totally unjustified and
very wasteful and dangerous to national security." Intelligence
analysts quickly connected the dots, theorizing that Rockefeller
was pissed about a stealth spy satellite project, an
eavesdropping device that, like the F-117A, can avoid detection.
"I think it was mainly supposed
to be stealthy in regards to radiation and ground-based
detection," says Aftergood, director of the FAS's Project on
An earlier project, code-named
MISTY, apparently relied on a shield that would "make it
difficult or impossible for hostile enemy forces to damage or
destroy satellites in orbit." Analysts uncovered that language
when the Defense Department stupidly decided to patent the
invention in 1994.
In this time of ballooning black budgets, Aftergood says, "first
and foremost" we need Congress to watchdog the spooks and
"I think there are legitimate reasons to classify
advanced military research. But if they classify it, they need
to receive more, not less, scrutiny, even if it's behind closed
Herbst, the art professor, has a burning question for Paglen.
"What's up with the alien shit,
man? C'mon, give it up."
Paglen responds, "In 1989 this guy named
Bob Lazar came out
and said he'd been working at Area 51 reverse-engineering
alien spacecraft. And this story became incredibly popular."
After giving interviews to local TV
and radio in Vegas, in which he claimed to have wrenched on
flying saucers stashed near Area 51, Lazar became something of a
guru to UFO believers. There was just one problem. His yarn was
demonstrably bogus. Lazar wasn't, as he alleged, a physicist.
And there were no records of him attending the schools he
claimed to have graduated from, Caltech and MIT. Lazar couldn't
even keep himself out of trouble with the Vegas cops, who busted
him in 1990 for his role in a prostitution ring.
Darkness drops on the mountain. In the distance, down at Area
51, a grid of lights becomes visible. At this point, everyone's
ready to go. Unfortunately, most of us have forgotten to bring
flashlights, me included. And as the temp has declined, the
slushy snow we waded through on the way up has hardened,
becoming slick and icy. Getting down isn't gonna be fun.
Twenty minutes into the descent, I'm sliding uncontrollably on
my ass down a giant sheet of snow, already bruised from
stumbling – "cartwheeling" is more accurate – over rocks and
boulders I can't see. I'll be happy if I get out of here without
snapping a bone.
After a cryogenically cold night, I stagger from my tent,
filthy, sore, and sleep-deprived, but, for some reason, excited
to forge ahead. Our first stop is the "front door" of Area 51,
located on the unmarked stretch of dirt road we spied last night
from Tikaboo. We blast down the road at 60 mph in a convoy of a
behemoth Dodge Ram pickup and two SUVs. In front of us the
mountains look like giant chunks of coal.
Paglen tells us sensors are buried in the road. On a knoll to
our right, a security guard sits in a white truck. He doesn't
move or approach us, but it looks like he's surveilling us
Area 51 isn't surrounded by a tall, electrified razor
wire-topped fence or any other visible barrier. The front door
consists merely of an agglomeration of signs posted on either
side of the road. The signs, however, are pretty distinctive.
One screams in capital letters, "PHOTOGRAPHY OF THIS AREA IS
Another notes, "Use of deadly force authorized."
We head toward the Little A'Le'Inn, a restaurant-shrine to
extraterrestrial visitors, located in the nearby town of Rachel
(population 65), a huddle of small houses and trailers. Lunch is
greasy but good. Two men, obviously tourists, walk through the
door. One is wearing a black T-shirt with a Day-Glo image of a
bug-eyed, big-headed alien. The guy has a shaved head and an
outsize cranium. He looks a little like an alien himself.
At 9:25 the next morning we lay eyes
on the Tonopah Test Range, a second classified installation just
down the road from Area 51. Standing atop a butte, I press my
eye to Paglen's telescope, focused on a collection of structures
jutting up from the plain below, probably 20 miles away. There
in the eyepiece are a phalanx of beige-colored aircraft hangars.
I can see their sliding doors and get a sense of their enormity.
I feel like Indiana Jones.
Paglen goes into tour guide mode. Tonopah, he says, was
originally built to "test nuclear triggering devices and
delivery devices, any sort of vehicle that would deliver a
nuclear payload." When the stealth fighter went operational,
Tonopah became the home base for the planes, which retailed at
$43 million apiece.
"All of those structures you see
were created for the stealth fighters. They flew from here
to Panama to drop the first bombs in 1989."
In recent years the stealthies have
relocated to New Mexico, but Tonopah remains active, and Paglen
speculates the Air Force and intelligence services may be
perfecting remote-controlled UAVs, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles,
updates of the Predator drones currently plying the skies of the
By zooming in on the most exotic zip codes in Pentagonlandia,
Paglen runs the risk of overlooking the wider forces at work,
the political dynamics fattening the war machine and starving
the schools. A month after our return from Nevada, I ask him
about this as we cruise 580 in his battered '91 Acura, headed
toward Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
"I think you're right," he
replies. "And that's the trick with this project: to use the
places to represent this bigger picture."
Signposts of the garrison state are
everywhere, Paglen continues, noting that his office at UC
Berkeley is housed in McCone Hall, named after John McCone, a
hawk who, during the '50s and '60s, served as undersecretary of
the Air Force, chair of the Atomic Energy Commission (the agency
chiefly responsible for nuke blasts at the Nevada Test Site),
and director of the CIA. "A lot of this stuff is invisible in
our daily lives."
Lawrence Livermore is one of those invisible places. While the
53-year-old lab is owned by the Department of Energy and run by
the University of California, its primary mission is to build
and maintain terrible things that kill people in terrible ways.
Here we are, neck-deep in blue-state America, in the über-progressive
Bay Area, and aside from a handful of gadflies, nobody gives the Strangelovian bunch at the lab much grief.
You can thank the lab's crafty 22-employee P.R. team for that.
They generate a constant stream of press releases about the
lab's marginal civilian science effort – researchers who "detect
mysterious neutrinos" and explore "diverse ecosystems."
Meanwhile, the press flacks don't say a hell of a lot about the
arms programs that provide 80 percent of the lab's budget.
Paglen and I pull up at the lab's Discovery Center, a
mini-museum with Smithsonian-quality exhibits, which turns to
out to be pretty revealing. The prefab brown-and-beige building
is stuffed with creepy-ass displays proudly boasting about the
facility's starring role in the creation of at least 14 nuclear
missiles and bombs, including the charming and obviously Gandhi-esque
W87 "Peacekeeper" intercontinental ballistic missile. In the
middle of the center is a Death Star-looking mock-up of the
lab's National Ignition Facility, a $5 billion laser-equipped
At the moment, federal budget documents show, the lab is also
seeking $4 million for a bunker-busting bomb known as the Robust
Nuclear Earth Penetrator.
"This is a big deal," says
Marylia Kelley, director of Tri-Valley CARES, an antinuke
group. "The Bush administration is explicitly requesting
money to go ahead with a new nuclear weapon. It's
irresponsible and enormously provocative."
Paglen and I drive off the grounds
of the lab, and as the complex recedes from view, our talk turns
to topics other than bullets, bombs, missiles, and warplanes. We
relish the sun-laden spring afternoon.
As we drive, the old X-Files mantra comes to my mind: The truth
is out there. Some of that truth is locked away, far, far out of
public view, at Area 51 and Tonopah. And some of it's right out
in the open, just a few miles down the road at Lawrence
Livermore, where, in the middle of a placid suburb, lab
coat-wearing men and women spend their lives devising
Have a nice day.
Area 51 Insider
Everyone has a theory to what the US military are keeping under
wraps at Area 51, but few can claim to have gained first hand
knowledge from the inside. One such person is Edgar Fouche, who,
during his 25 years of service with the US Air Force and Department
Of Defense, was stationed at top-secret sites such as Groom Lake Air
Base, the Nellis Test Range and the Nevada Test Site.
Fouche has worked in areas such as
intelligence, electronics and communications as well as a whole
range of other black projects.
Fouche claims that he was working at
Nellis Air Force Base in 1979 when he was told of a reassignment. He
and 30 others boarded a blue bus with blacked out windows. Two
guards armed with M16 rifles told them not to speak unless spoken
to. When they got off the bus he realized he was at the Groom Lake
facility. He says conditions were rather oppressive. He was issued
heavy glasses, like welders' goggles, which had thick lenses that
prevented him seeing further than 10 meters ahead, as well as
blocking peripheral vision.
Security was so tight that he could not go anywhere, not even to the
bathroom, without an armed guard at his side. A key card and code
was needed for every door in the facility, in fact he finds it very
hard when so-called former employees of Area 51 claim to have
'stumbled into a hanger full of UFOs'
During the years 1967-1974, he was stationed or worked at many
Tactical Air Command, Air Training Command, and Pacific Air Command
Air Forces bases. During the Vietnam conflict, he was assigned to
special projects at Kadena AFB Okinawa; Udorn AFB Thailand; Ben Hoi
AFB Vietnam, and spent anywhere from a day to a month at many other
South East Asian military bases.
With his training and experiences with intelligence equipment,
special electronics, black programs, and cryptological areas, he
received other government opportunities. He filled positions as
Major Command Liaison, Headquarters manager, and DoD factory
representative for TAC, SAC, ATC, and PACAF following the Vietnam
war. Later in his career, as a manager of defence contractors, he
dealt with classified "black" programs developing state-of-the-art
Electronics, Avionics, and Automatic Test Equipment.
Other research and development programs
he worked on as far back as the 70s which are still classified Top
Secret. He received over 4,000 hours of technical training from the
military and government, of which about half was classified
He has found out from sources that an area called the Defense
Advanced Research Centre (DARC) exists at Papoose Lake. DARC was
apparently built in the early 1980s with Strategic Defense
Initiative money. It is 10 storeys underground, and is the control
centre for what is called 'Foreign Artifacts', meaning alien
Research into crashed or recovered alien technology,
back-engineering and the analysis of Extraterrestrial Biological
Entities (EBEs) allegedly take place at DARC.
Fouche has recently written a book called 'Alien Rapture - The
co-author Brad Steiger. Brad is the author of 143 published works
including the Best Seller Project Bluebook. Fouche's first job was
as a machinist, making bombs for the USAF at R. G. Le Tourneau
Industries in Longview, Texas. For the next 25 years he would be
involved with the Department of Defense in one way or another. After
being drafted into the Vietnam conflict, he initially went through a
year of electronics, communications, intelligence, and cryptological
He wrote 'Alien Rapture - The Chosen' during 1994 and 95, after a
trip to California, New Mexico, and Nevada. He undertook this trip
to do research for the book, which included a meeting with five
close friends who had agreed to release confidential information,
and discuss their closely guarded personal experiences.
Fouche also interviewed other contacts
who had worked classified programs or flown classified military
aircraft to gather information about UFO sightings and contact. The
five friends who had remained close following the Vietnam War, met
in the spring of 1990 in Las Vegas
The First friend, Jerald, was a
former National Security Agency TREAT Team member. TREAT stands
for Tactical Reconnaissance Engineering Assessment Team. He
worked for the Department of Energy as a National Security
Investigator. That was his cover, but he really worked for the
His job required him to ‘watch
employees’ with Top Secret and "Q" clearances at the Nevada Test
Site and the Nellis Range which includes Area 51. Area 51 is
where the most classified aerospace testing in the world takes
place. The base is also know as Groom Lake Air Base, Watertown,
the Ranch, or Dream-Land. He was found dead of a heart attack a
year after their last meeting.
The Second friend, Sal, was a person
who had worked directly for the NSA with Electronic Intelligence
(E lent) and became a Defense Contractor after his retirement.
The Third friend, Doc, was a former
SR-71 spy plane pilot and a USAF test pilot at Edwards Air Force
The Fourth friend, Dale, was in the
services with Fouche during the Vietnam conflict, and had known
him since the early 70s.
The Fifth friend, Bud, was a DoD
Contractor and Electronics Engineer. He had worked on Top Secret
development programs dealing with Electronic Counter Measures,
Radar Homing and Warning, ECM Jammers, and Infrared Receivers.
He retired as a Program Manager and later died of a brain tumour
within 30 days after his symptoms appeared.
Fouche also received input from four
other SR-71 pilots, two U-2 pilots, a TR-1 pilot, and about two
dozen bomber and fighter jocks. He got the picture of the TR-3B (see
picture below) from a person in this latter group.
At the time, he had no intention of writing about programs he was
involved with due to the Secrecy Act and classification documents he
had signed. However, it bothered each of them that they'd had
experiences with unusual phenomena, extremely advanced technology,
and witnessed Unidentified Aerial Contact, that had not been
They agreed to get together again the
next year with the understanding that Fouche would contact each of
them to set up the meeting. In the meantime, each member of the
group, including Fouche, was to write down as much information as he
could remember about unusual phenomena and personal sightings.
Many of the things the group revealed to Fouche were startling, and
he used this information to piece together the book 'Alien Rapture -
The SR-71 And
The SR-71 was designed as a spy plane for the CIA in the 60s and
designated the A-12. The Mach 3 plus aircraft first flew in 1962,
taking off from Groom AFB in Area 51. Later, once the Air Force
operated it as a reconnaissance plane, it was designated the SR-71
Fouche's friend, Chuck, a SR-71 pilot, related to him about an
in-flight incident he had in the 1970s. He was returning from a
flight, and, while at an altitude of 74,000 feet and at the speed of
almost Mach 3, (3 times the speed of sound) he noticed something
flickering in his peripheral vision. Hovering over his left wing tip
was a ball of dense plasma-like light. It was so bright, that when
he stared at it for more than a few seconds, his eyes hurt.
Chuck tried to use his UHF, HF, and VHF communications sets to no
avail. There was nothing but static. Repeatedly glancing briefly at
the ball of light, he watched in amazement as it moved effortlessly
about his aircraft. At one point the light positioned itself a few
feet in front of the large spiked cone at the air Intake Inlet. The
enormous amount of air rushing into the engines should have sucked
in, and shredded almost anything in its path, but the light orb was
The light, he noted, acted in a curious manner, if something
inanimate could act at all. It moved from time to time to other
parts of the vehicle, staying with him until his approach to Beale
AFB in California. He was in sight of the Air Base when the light
swung away from his aircraft in a wide arch with ever increasing
Of course, after reading his incident report, his Operations
Commander told him not to ever speak about his experience. When
Chuck related the story to Fouche, he said he was absolutely
convinced that the ball of light was controlled by some form of
intelligence. Fouche gathered about two dozen stories from pilots of
similar in flight incidents with UFOs and plasma balls.
Fouche claims that he has seen inside information on some of
America's most closely-guarded technological secrets, such as the
super-secret SR-71 and SR-75 spy planes and the incredible UFO-like
TR-3B or 'Flying Triangle'.
According to Fouche, the development of
the TR-3B began in 1982 and was part of 'Project Aurora'. The aim of
'Aurora' is to build and test advanced aerospace vehicles including
the TR-3B, the triangular-shaped nuclear-powered aerospace platform.
Apparently around 35% of the US Government's SDI (Strategic
Initiative) funds have been siphoned off to help finance it.
The TR-3B is the most exotic aerospace program in existence. 'TR'
stands for tactical reconnaissance, which means the craft is
designed to get to the target and stay there as long as is necessary
in order to send back information. It is powered by a nuclear
reactor and can operate for a long time without refuelling.
This also allows it to hover silently
for long periods. Located in the centre of the triangle is the
circular crew compartment and surrounding this is a plasma filled
accelerator ring called a Magnetic Field Disrupter (MFD). This
generates a magnetic vortex which effectively neutralizes the
effects of gravity on mass. The MFD also makes the craft
considerably lighter, which means it can out manoeuvre any other
Reduced mass means the craft can fly at Mach 9 speeds vertically and
horizontally. The MFD doesn't actually power the craft, it just
reduces the mass. The propulsion system consists of three multimode
thrusters mounted on each corner of the triangle and gases are used
as a propellant. A source who worked on the TR-3B said their goal
was to put a third propulsion system on board so you could routinely
reach the Moon or Mars.
He explained that it may be possible to modify the MFD technology so
that it not only reduces mass, but also creates a force that repels
gravity. Therefore this would be a true anti-gravity system, which
is believed to be in use by UFOs.
Fouche was considered an Air Force expert with classified
electronics countermeasures test equipment, cryptological equipment
owned by the National Security Agency, and Automatic Test Equipment.
He worked with many of the leading military aircraft and electronics
manufacturers in the US. Fouche participated as a key member in
design, development, production, and Flight-Operational-Test and
Evaluation in classified Aircraft development programs,
state-of-the-art avionics, including electronic countermeasures,
satellite communications, cryptological and support equipment.
Ed Fouche claims that Area 51's Groom Lake facility has the massive
6km-long runway, which makes it the longest in the world, for the
landing of the CIA's latest super-hitech spy plane: the SR-75.
This hypersonic strategic reconnaissance (SR) aircraft is dubbed
'The Penetrator'. It is allegedly capable of positioning itself
in the world within 3 HOURS!!! and can fly at an altitude of 13,000
meters, exceeding Mach 7 speeds of 4,500 kmph.
When the US military retired the SR-71
Blackbird back in 1990, it was stated that the aircraft would not be
replaced because satellites would now do the job of spying. However,
Fouche claims that the SR-75 has been designed to help the CIA/NSA
satellites in orbit.
The SR-75 reportedly acts as a mothership from which the unmanned
SR-74, or 'Scramp' is launched. The 'Scramp' is operated by remote
control and is used to place small satellites in orbit and is said
to be able to reach orbital altitudes of 151 kilometers and attain
speeds of Mach 15, or just under 10,000 kmph.
The plane is so top secret that we could
only find an artists impression to illustrate what it looks like. To
our knowledge, no publicly available picture exists of this highly
top secret plane.
That Helped America Win The Cold War Lie Buried At Area 51
Sunday, March 25, 2001
Las Vegas Review-Journal
by KEITH ROGERS
As big as football fields and deep enough to bury airplanes, the
graves at Groom Lake lie scattered around the government's
secret installation, 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
There are no headstones or markers to denote the final resting
place for such high-tech aircraft as the predecessors to the
F-117A Nighthawk stealth fighter jet and the SR-71 Blackbird spy
But people who worked there and researchers who track aviation
history and the government's so-called "black budget" programs
say some planes that crashed and other experiments that failed
were hauled to the bottom of 40-foot-deep holes and covered
overnight with mounds of dirt.
One former Groom Lake worker, who spoke on condition of
anonymity, said he watched while an earthmover spent a day in
1982 scraping out a burial site.
It was a massive excavation, he said. "They didn't dig that hole
and put Martians or moon men in it."
He said the wreckage of a classified plane that was buried on
the base was for months in what's called the "Scoot-N-Hide," a
shed off a taxiway where secret planes are kept out of view of
"They put it on a flatbed truck and put it in a hangar. Then one
day they scraped it off the flatbed into the hole and buried
it," he said. "They attached a cable to the aircraft and just
pulled it off. The thing was shattered like an egg."
According to aviation writer and historian Peter Merlin -- who
has obtained declassified flight documents and interviewed
personnel involved with Groom Lake programs spanning a period
since 1955 -- more than a dozen aircraft are buried around the
installation. Combined, the craft were worth at least $600
million and might be valued as much as $1 billion.
This practice of disposing secret, high-tech equipment continues
today, he said. "We have no reason to believe it has stopped."
Because it is cloaked in secrecy by a presidential order, Air
Force officials will not discuss what it acknowledges only as
"the operating location near Groom Lake," which is widely known
as Area 51, a 38,400-acre swath of desert along the dry lake
Merlin said the equipment that now lies 40 feet beneath the
surface represents cutting-edge technology that in its time kept
the U.S. military and the nation's intelligence community ahead
of foreign adversaries.
For example, three generations of high-flying spy planes --
U-2s, A-12s, and SR-71s -- have been demonstrated at Groom Lake,
each becoming progressively superior to foreign forces. "Nobody
ever shot down an A-12," he noted.
Even former Soviet bloc aircraft, such as the 1970s-vintage
MiG-23, have been obtained by the U.S. intelligence community
and tested at Groom Lake to see how U.S. planes and radar stack
up against it, said Merlin, who writes for several aeronautical
trade publications, including a newspaper for the NASA Dryden
Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base.
The 1982 burial site described by the former Groom Lake worker
was near a gravel-pit road and system of trenches where secret
documents and materials including drums of toxic coatings for
stealth fighter jets were routinely burned for years. A lawsuit
by former base workers alleged they had developed illnesses from
toxic fumes, but the Air Force has declined to release documents
regarding the disposal practice, citing national security
John Pike, director of
Washington, D.C.-area defense-policy organization, said "the
notion that the Air Force is burying its mistakes at Groom Lake
makes sense." It is patrolled by helicopters carrying
door-gunners manning machine guns.
The Groom Lake graveyard, according to Merlin, includes:
Several 1960s-vintage A-12s,
predecessors of the fast, high-flying SR-71 Blackbird spy
Four U2s from the 1950s.
An F-101 chase plane that
crashed in 1965.
Two Have Blue airframes that
were used to demonstrate technology for the F-117A.
Wreckage of a MiG-23 that
crashed in 1984.
Merlin and three other sources who
worked at the base said base officials wanted to retrieve one of
the Have Blue airframes buried somewhere near the Groom Lake
installation but were unable to find it.
He said there was a plan to bury a unique surveillance aircraft,
Tacit Blue -- a white plane equipped with sensors and radar that
could survive flying close to war zones -- but it was rescued
and placed in the U.S. Air Force Museum in Ohio instead. Tacit
Blue was tested at Groom Lake from 1982 to 1985, he said.
Not all once-secret planes from Groom Lake that crashed have
been buried there, including the first production F-117A, tail
No. 785, according to Merlin and others who worked at the base
at the time.
On April 20, 1982, Lockheed test pilot Robert Riedenauer was at
the controls of that plane when it cartwheeled wing over wing
attempting to take off from a Groom Lake runway.
To this day neither Riedenauer nor Air Force officials can say
where the ill-fated takeoff occurred -- but other sources who
worked at the base as well as Merlin say that crash was indeed
at the Groom Lake installation.
While Riedenauer can't talk about the crash location he spoke
openly about how he escaped death that day, when mis-wired
controls caused the craft to go down instead of up.
"I had four seconds to think
about it," Riedenauer explained in an interview about his
ride aboard the jet.
He said he spent the first two
seconds trying to get the craft under control.
"The third was reaching for
handles to bail out, and the fourth was I realized the
aircraft was inverted so it didn't make sense to bail out,
so I started shutting down the engine and throttle."
Rescuers managed to save Riedenauer
from a fire that flared up. They spent 20 minutes cutting him
out of the cockpit. He would spend months in the hospital.
The wings of the $46 million plane were shattered. The plane was
to have been the first of 59 stealth F-117As delivered to the
Much of it, however, was salvaged and spared from burial,
according to Merlin.
The damaged aircraft was returned to Palmdale, Calif., where it
now sits on a pylon on display. The first preproduction F-117s
have also been converted to displays. One of them, tail No. 780
is at Freedom Park at Nellis Air Force Base.
Bob Pepper, a spokesman for the F-117A stealth fighter jet unit
at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, said the policy for
disposing of wrecked stealths is to store them temporarily at
Holloman and then to follow the procedure for disposing other
The current procedure for disposing of Air Force planes
developed from unclassified technology, according to Pike, is to
take them to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base near Tucson, Ariz.,
where they are kept for parts, chopped up and melted down to
recycle their aluminium and other metals.
"A stealth composite airplane is
not the sort of thing that can be melted down to make pots
and pans. You would want to dispose of them so they don't
come back to haunt you," he said, explaining that the
government's intention is to keep secret materials and
components in a secure location so they can't be obtained by
One former base worker described the
1984 crash of a MiG-23 that ultimately ended up in the Groom
"I saw that thing explode," he
said. "I was looking up at the sky. I thought, `God, these
guys are going fast.'
"Then it was just like it disappeared. The plane came apart.
The wings came off it and he punched out," he said,
referring to the pilot's fatal bail-out.
Receives Anonymous 162,000 Dollar Cheque
Tuesday, September 12, 2000
Las Vegas Review-Journal
County collects on Groom Lake taxes
by KEITH ROGERS
The cheque for $162,000 came from nowhere. It represents taxes
paid by an unknown contractor doing God-knows-what in the middle
of nowhere. But the mystery doesn't bother Lincoln County
District Attorney Phil Dunleavy.
"The only thing that matters is
the cash," he said.
Lincoln County officials gladly
accepted the money as part of a tax settlement with contractors
working at a top-secret facility the Air Force will describe
only as "an operating location near Groom dry lake."
Former workers at the 38,400-acre Groom Lake installation, most
of which sits in Lincoln County, have said it is used to test
high-tech U.S. aircraft. The workers have charged that coatings
for radar-evading stealth fighter jets were burned in open
trenches near the dry lake, 90 miles north of Las Vegas.
Dunleavy said Monday he is not at liberty to explain the details
of an agreement between the county and an unidentified party
over the "use tax," which is similar to a property tax and is
charged to contractors that operate on government land.
He did acknowledge that negotiations took place and that the tax
payment covered the period June 1999 to June 2001. "This is a
very poor county, and this is a lot of money for this county,"
said Dunleavy, who noted Lincoln County is home to about 4,100
"You're going to have to trust
Uncle Sam," he said.
County Treasurer Kathy Hiatt
confirmed that the cheque, made out to "Lincoln County
Treasurer," has been deposited at the Bank of America in Pioche.
A copy of the cheque - No. 45484, in the amount of $162,065.48 -
is dated August 7th and was printed by the Northern Trust Co. in
Chicago. It has a vendor number - L00001 - but the name of the
party paying the check has been left blank.
Hiatt said the "authorizing signature" is by someone whose name
appears to be "William F. Neet," and below is the signature of
someone named "Dean A."
Lincoln County commissioners accepted the cheque at a meeting in
August, Hiatt said. County Assessor Bill Lloyd confirmed that
the check was for taxes at the Groom Lake installation, commonly
known as Area 51. He said the secrecy makes it impossible for
county officials to verify whether the contractors are paying
their fair share.
"It's such a secret place we
can't go out there and get the stuff ourselves," Lloyd said.
"We just assess them on what they give us, what they figured
it's worth ... and then we tax them on it. We just have to
take their word."
An Air Force spokeswoman at the
Pentagon, who was asked about the mysterious check, said last
week she was unable to trace it back to Air Force offices in
Washington or at the Nellis base near Las Vegas.
"It's just highly unusual that
the Air Force would issue a check out of a Chicago bank,"
said the spokeswoman, Capt. Almarah Belk. "It should have a
U.S. Treasury seal, if it was an Air Force check," she said.
At the Aug. 21 Lincoln County
Commission meeting, Dunleavy told commissioners the secret tax
agreement stemmed from a 1997 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that
found Nevada's use-tax law unconstitutional because it taxed the
federal government, not the private contractors who operate at
government facilities. Because of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling,
the Air Force did not owe Lincoln County taxes from 1972 to
1993. In the meantime, Nevada legislators rewrote the tax law to
allow counties to tax federal contractors.
According to minutes of the commission meeting, the county
struck a deal under which the Air Force would not seek
reimbursement for some $664,000 it paid to Lincoln County in
taxes from 1972 to 1993. In return, the county would not dock
Area 51 contractors for $667,000 in back taxes covering 1994 to
1999. The Air Force agreed that its contractors would pay taxes
to Lincoln County on a regular basis.
The Air Force has never publicly acknowledged the existence of a
"base" near Groom Lake. But on Oct. 26, 1994, after former
workers had sued the Air Force claiming they were exposed to
toxic fumes from hazardous waste burned in open pits at the
installation, the Air Force issued a statement that has become
its boilerplate answer to questions about the installation.
"There are a variety of
activities, some of which are classified, throughout what is
often called the Air Force's Nellis Range Complex," the
statement said. "The range is used for the testing of
technologies and systems and training for operations
critical to the effectiveness of U.S. military forces and
the security of the United States".
"There is an operating location near Groom dry lake. Some
specific activities and operations conducted on the Nellis
Range, both past and present, remain classified and cannot
be discussed," according to the Air Force statement.
Strange Things In The
During our recent update of this page we came across a great program
called 'Google Earth' which has some amazing satellite imagery of
the entire World, including this top secret base. On closer
inspection of the immediate area surrounding the base, which
includes the Tanopah test range and Nellis Air Force base, we
noticed some very odd anomalies deep in the Nevada desert and
off-limits to non military personnel.
The star-shaped anomaly (37.24.00.44 N
by 116.52.05.16 W) is situated just north of the Tonicha Peak base.
Tonicha Peak is an Electronic Combat Range (ECR). We would like to
hear from anybody who has an idea what this is? Some people think
that it is a target for military practice or missile silo?
The triangle to the right is another strange object deep in the
Nevada desert (220.127.116.11 N by 18.104.22.168' W). There are actually
3 of these in the area, each marked with the number 1, 2 or 3 at the
top of the triangle.