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What Do You Know About Area 51?

Where and What is Area 51?

Area 51 warning sign

“Never its mysteries are exposed.” Edgar Allen Poe

 The line above is from Edgar Allen Poe’s poem Dreamland, which is also a name for Area 51. Though this air force base in the Nevada desert was created in the early 1950s the government didn’t officially confirm its existence until 2013. It is also called Groom Lake after the dry lakebed of parched clay within Area 51. A movie titled Groom Lake was produced in 2002 and directed by William Shatner. Shatner plays Commander Gossner, who in the film operates top secret missions involving extraterrestrials. Another nickname for it is Paradise Ranch, though officially it’s called either Homey Airport, ICAO code KXTA, or Groom Lake.

Not only does it go by numerous mysterious names, but Area 51 is also so secretive people who work in different departments there aren’t allowed to talk to each other about their projects or missions. Historically, top-secret experimental aircraft and weapon systems were developed at Area 51. And, over the years the CIA, the U.S. Air Force, and Lockheed Martin Aerospace Company have conducted test flights of experimental aircraft there. Presently, the US government won’t acknowledge the primary purpose of Area 51.

Whatever is happening over there, Area 51 is still active and top secret. In October 2015 after a family turned down a government buy-out they felt was extremely low, land they’d held in the family since the 1870s, which contained an old mine and the graveyard of their relatives who’d worked it, was signed away by a Federal Judge, giving it all to the United States Air Force so they could expand Area 51. The judge based his decision on security and safety concerns connected with training and testing since that land overlooked Area 51.

Then, in September 2017, an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, an accomplished pilot and aerospace engineer died under mysterious circumstances when his “classified” aircraft crashed. The Pentagon wouldn’t identify the aircraft, which is unusual.

The nearest town to Area 51 is Rachel which lays along State Route 375—officially designated the Extraterrestrial Highway by Nevada in 1996. Rachel has a population of 98 people, but no space aliens as far as anyone knows. The only business in the whole town is the Little A’Le’Inn Restaurant and Bar where earthlings are welcome to chat about the latest Area 51 sightings while enjoying an Alien Burger. 

The “ID4” monument in front of Little A’Le’Inn is from the producers of Independence Day. The bronze plaque on it states, “On the eighteenth day of April, A.D. 1996, Twentieth Century Fox hereby dedicates this time capsule and beacon for visitors from distant stars, to the State of Nevada and the ‘Extra-terrestrial Highway.’ This time capsule will serve as a beacon, to be opened in the year A.D. 2050, by which time interplanetary travelers shall be regular guests of our planet Earth.” It’s signed by Governor Bob Miller of the State of Nevada, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and the filmmakers and cast of Independence Day. 

Plus, Gentlemen of Verona, a Belgian garage rock band, wrote and perform a song called Rachel, which they dedicated to the small Nevada town.

So that answers where area 51 is. As to what is going on there, well, only a few people actually know…and they’re not talking.

While my characters in Project Enterprise talk about Area 51 and talk about being there, I have not (yet) set any scenes there. I will admit to being fascinated with Area 51 and I haven’t given up on doing a story there. As long as the Men in Black don’t show up and stop me!

Perilously yours,

Pauline

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