scorecardresearch

What Is Area 51?

Jamie Hayes

Some of you already know what area 51 is. It’s a secret base where the US government performs dark experiments on alien lifeforms and spacecraft. Duh. But I’m willing to bet that some of you have some doubts about that fact. This article is for you guys. So let’s storm the gates and figure out what actually goes on out there in the desert.


What Is Area 51?

Dreamland

To start with, where exactly are we talking about? The base we know as Area 51 is a little over an hour’s drive north of Las Vegas in the Nevada desert. The site’s official name is “Homey Airport” or “Groom Lake,” after the dried-up lakebed it sits alongside. Some other nicknames include “Dreamland” or “Paradise Ranch,” but for the purposes of this article, we’re going to keep calling it Area 51.

I Like Ike

Though the government used to test nuclear weapons at the site, the military base at Groom Lake got its start in the 1950s. The Cold War was raging, and President Eisenhower wanted to know what the Soviets were cooking up over in Russia. Since the Reds started intercepting planes entering their airspace, a new kind of aircraft was necessary.

Ike asked military officials to find the perfect place to build a top-secret base for designing surveillance aircraft. They decided on Groom Lake. Not only was it extremely isolated, but the area’s history of nuclear explosions meant not too many people would be poking around.

U Testing U-2s Too?

The goal was to build and test a plane that could fly so high and so fast that the Soviets couldn’t shoot it down. It also had to carry hundreds of pounds of cameras, obviously, to see how far ahead/behind the US was in the arms race. The result was the U-2, at the time the most advanced surveillance aircraft in the world.

Now, the U-2 wasn’t perfect (the Soviets managed to shoot one down in 1960). Yet, it eventually led to the creation of the SR-71 Blackbird, the aircraft that is still to this day is the fastest and highest-flying plane ever built.

Yeah, Sure, Aliens, That’s It…

But back to Area 51. In case it hasn’t already become obvious—it’s not too surprising that the site started to become known for UFO sightings. After all, the government was building and testing top-secret aircraft like the world had never seen before out there in the desert. In fact, the CIA actively promoted the idea that alien spacecraft might be flying around Area 51. Better to have people chasing E.T. than trying to steal military secrets.

Area 51 is still fully functioning, and top-secret work still gets done out there in the Nevada desert. Unfortunately, that means I can’t tell you what they’re up to now. The best I can do is say that most people generally agree the military still uses the site to design and test advanced technologies.

But who knows, maybe it’s been aliens all this time…or maybe that’s just what they WANT us to think.

Sources: 1, 2, 3


Factinate Featured Logo Featured Article
My mom never told me how her best friend died. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery.
The Truth Always Comes Out: Dark Family Secrets Exposed The Truth Always Comes Out: Dark Family Secrets Exposed
Factinate Featured Logo Featured Article
Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.
Entrancing Facts About Madame de Pompadour, France's Most Powerful Mistress Entrancing Facts About Madame de Pompadour, France's Most Powerful Mistress
Factinate Featured Logo Featured Article
I tried to get my ex-wife served with divorce papers. I knew that she was going to take it badly, but I had no idea about the insane lengths she would go to just to get revenge and mess with my life.
These People Got Revenge In The Most Ingenious Ways These People Got Revenge In The Most Ingenious Ways
Factinate Featured Logo Featured Article
Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but few people know her even darker history.
Tragic Facts About Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s First Wife Tragic Facts About Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s First Wife


Dear reader,

Want to tell us to write facts on a topic? We’re always looking for your input! Please reach out to us to let us know what you’re interested in reading. Your suggestions can be as general or specific as you like, from “Life” to “Compact Cars and Trucks” to “A Subspecies of Capybara Called Hydrochoerus Isthmius.” We’ll get our writers on it because we want to create articles on the topics you’re interested in. Please submit feedback to contribute@factinate.com. Thanks for your time!

Do you question the accuracy of a fact you just read? At Factinate, we’re dedicated to getting things right. Our credibility is the turbo-charged engine of our success. We want our readers to trust us. Our editors are instructed to fact check thoroughly, including finding at least three references for each fact. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes miss the mark. When we do, we depend on our loyal, helpful readers to point out how we can do better. Please let us know if a fact we’ve published is inaccurate (or even if you just suspect it’s inaccurate) by reaching out to us at contribute@factinate.com. Thanks for your help!

Warmest regards,

The Factinate team