When it comes to Area 51, facts about the secret military base are hard to come by. Many theories as to the true nature of Area 51 exist, but government silence and a classified seal make it nearly impossible to prove or disprove what really goes on in this highly secretive military installation.
Currently, the official name of Area 51 is Air Force Flight Test Center, Detachment 3 (AFFTC Det.3). It has, however, accumulated several nicknames over the years including Groom Lake, Dreamland, Paradise Ranch, and Watertown.
Area 51 is situated in the southern part of Nevada--approximately 83 miles northwest of Las Vegas. The Nellis Air Force Base surrounds Area 51 from the northwestern side all the way around to the south, leaving the Nevada Test Site to share only the southwestern border.
The only place to catch a glimpse of Area 51 is from Tikaboo Peak, just over 25 miles from the top-secret facility. Hiking to Tikaboo Peak is no easy task, though. Expect a 1 1/2 hour trek from the dirt road at the Peak's base all the way to the top--and don't forget to bring your binoculars.
Although many people believe that Area 51 is a top-secret research facility that actually houses alien aircrafts and possibly even some real alien test subjects, those theories and rumors have never been proven or debunked. What we do know as fact is that Area 51 was originally a training and practice site for soldiers during World War II. Abandoned after the war, the site wasn't used again until 1955. It was then supposedly selected as a military aircraft development and testing site, and continues to be that to this day. Area 51 is where several spy planes including U-2, SR-71, and YF-12A, as well as some weapon systems, were both developed and tested.
The mystery that surrounds Area 51 has been made even more famous by the big screen. It has been either depicted or referenced in several movies and televisions shows, including Independence Day, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The X-Files, and Seven Days--just to name a few.
The U.S. government remains tight-lipped when it comes to Area 51, and until recent years--its very existence was simply not acknowledged. Security around Area 51 is virtually unbreakable, and very few have seen what really goes on inside its walls.
Many reported UFO sightings turned out to be military aircrafts originating from none other than Area 51. Reports, however, do exist that have not been able to be explained away by government officials. These unexplainable sightings continue to fuel the suspicions that have always surrounded Area 51.
Guest post from Payton Price. Payton writes for TermLifeInsurance.org.
Picture Credit Exclusive Area 51 Pictures: Secret Plane Crash Revealed National Geographic
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