Few people know what's happening inside the US military testing centre 'Area 51' as the facility is a mystery for the outside world. Though the centre was active since 1955, the US administration acknowledged the presence of 'Area 51' only in 2013.
An unpaved byroad from the state highway 375, which connects to Nevada, will take one to the interiors of the barren land. This pathway, which the motorists normally avoid, will lead you to the entrance of the queer 'Area 51', which refers to a map location. The vast parched land is riddled with scrubs and boulders.
The region doesn’t have mobile or GPS connectivity and one has to travel a long distance to reach a petrol pump. And don’t expect signboards about 'Area 51'. A person travelling through this stretch should be equipped with physical maps and should have adequate reserves of food and water. But a commoner’s journey to 'Area 51' will end at the signboard at the entrance as trespassers will have to face punitive action from the military. The local residents will vouch for the fact that no one can enter the facility by bypassing the surveillance camera.
Lunar expedition and flying saucers
Many people still believe that man has never set foot on the moon’s surface. Their contention is that man’s landing on the moon was shot in make-believe set in ‘Area 51’ and the US gave wide coverage for these photographs. Another story that is doing the rounds is that the US Army has accommodated aliens at its facility in ‘Area 51’. It is also widely believed that the US has stored aliens and flying saucers, which reached Earth, at this mysterious centre.
According to a documentary aired by the National Geographic channel, one-third of Americans, close to 8 crore people, think that the flying saucers exist.
Hillary Clinton in her presidential campaign tried to cash in on the popularity of ‘Area 51’. One of her election promises was that she would bring to the public domain the documents relating to the research on aliens at ‘Area 51’. The mystery surrounding the testing centre continues as Hillary was not elected as the US President.
Secret centre of spy planes
'Area 51' was a testing facility for reconnaissance aircraft during the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union. Then US President Dwight D Eisenhower gave the nod to manufacture spy planes that could fly at a high altitude in 1954. The test flights of U2 aircraft, the mainstay of spy planes in the US, were conducted at this facility. The tests were listed in the documents released by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 1992.
The maximum altitude of the aircraft was between 10,000ft and 20,000ft in the 1950s and presently the normal planes can fly at a height of close to 45,000ft. But U2 aircraft can touch an altitude of 60,000ft while spying on enemy territory. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union had shot down a U2 plane with a missile. After this incident, the US developed A12 planes that couldn’t be easily detected on radars. These aircraft were also tested at ‘Area 51’. The A12 aircraft, which can travel at a speed of 3,450 km per hour, can cover the North American continent in 70 minutes. The plane can also operate at an altitude of 90,000ft. It may be noted that people mistook the test flights of U2 and A12 aircraft as flying saucers.
The US administration always added fuel to fan the secrecy surrounding 'Area 51'. The CIA officially acknowledged the presence of ‘Area 51’, which was started in 1955, only in 2013. It was US President Barack Obama who publicly made a statement about this secret centre. Google Earth and satellites have captured pictures of ‘Area 51’ from the sky.
It is also believed that cardboard buildings were built at the facility to baffle the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
Scope for tourism
According to the 2010 census records, only 54 people are residing at Rachel, a place near ‘Area 51’, in Nevada. The state highway 375, which is adjacent to the facility, is popularly known as the ‘extraterrestrial highway’. The main commercial point of Rachel is the A'LeInn' bar. A brothel by the name of Alien Cathouse is functioning on the east side of ‘Area 51’. The brothel is touted as the only one in the world that is based on the theme of aliens.
‘Storm Area 51’
The campaign, ‘Storm Area 51’, which was launched on social media in a bid to lift the veil on the facility, received stupendous support from the public. Matty Roberts launched the ‘Storm Area 51’ campaign on July 27, 2019 and that triggered a series of events.
It was mentioned that a march will be taken out to ‘Area 51’ on September 30 at 3am. More than 15 lakh people extended their support on social media. Meanwhile, the military spokesperson said that those trying to reach the secluded facility would be blocked.
To counter this statement, Matty Roberts came up with a slogan 'They can’t stop all of us' but later dismissed the campaign as a joke. Nevertheless, nearly 150 people reached 'Area 51' on September 30 but none of them could enter the facility.
There is no doubt whatsoever that 'Area 51' is a secret military centre of the US, but not many people know the current activities of the facility. Today’s secret files relating to ‘Area 51’ may be released decades later by the CIA, then only the outside world will know what’s happening at the centre right now. And the US administration is steadfast in maintaining the secrecy surrounding 'Area 51' in Nevada.