Conspiracy theorists everywhere are having a party right now, shouting and throwing their tinfoil hats to the sky in celebration: a recently declassified CIA report acknowledges Area 51 is, in fact, an official thing.
Want to know more about one of the most mysterious locales in the United States? Head under the cut!
A recent NSA report (about tests of an experimental Cold War-era plane, the U-2), mentions the base by name and gives us some insight into how it was established, and why that tiny plot in the middle of the Nevada desert, of all places. From the report:
On 12 April 1955, Richard Bissell and Col. Osmund Ritland (the senior Air Force officer on the project staff) flew over Nevada with Kelly Johnson on a small Beechcraft plane piloted by Lockheed’s chief test pilot, Tony LeVier. They spotted what appeared to be an airstrip by a salt flat known as Groom Lake, near the northeast corner of the Atomic Energy Commission’s (AEC) Nevada Proving Ground.
“Area 51″ refers to the part of the map the land is located in, but apparently the base was also called by the unassuming name
Desert Bluffs “Paradise Ranch”:
The outlines of Area 51 are shown on current unclassified maps as a small rectangular area adjoining the northeast corner of the much larger Nevada Test Site. To make the new facility in the middle of nowhere sound more attractive to his workers, Kelly Johnson called it the Paradise Ranch, which was soon shortened to the Ranch.
The “top-secret” government base can already be seen from Google Maps, but the government itself has never admitted to the base’s existence until now. Rumors of alien remains, UFOs, and other covert tests from a vague-yet-menacing government agency have flown since the base’s inception in 1955, but now that we have some more details there will most likely be a flood of government files declassified that relate to Area 51, and which couldn’t be released until the base itself was confirmed to exist.
For such an icon of American culture to only be admitted now, after fifty years, is pretty amazing. We can only wonder what we’ll find out about the inner machinations of the mysterious base next. The truth is out there.