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Area 51: Wrapping Things Up

Over the course of the last couple of weeks, I’ve posted a number of article here at Mysterious Universe on Area 51. Now, it’s time to wrap things up with what we know and what we might think we know about the tales of the base. It has, for sure, been a winding and twisting story. And a highly conspiratorial one, too. It’s also a story filled with facts that may well be fiction, and tales that sound like fiction, but which just might be filled with incredible truths. Add to all of that, cloak-and-dagger characters who prefer to stay in the shadows, but who claim to know a great deal and occasionally reveal it, disinformation experts, counterintelligence personnel, and a host of figures who suggest that there really might be an extraterrestrial presence at Area 51, and what we have is a story that truly boggles the mind. Perhaps those in charge of Area 51 want our minds boggled. After all, a state of confusion might be the perfect way to keep people away from the truth and have them focused on conspiracies that may not actually be real. Let’s take a look at what we know for sure.

It is a fact that the origins of what eventually became Area 51 date back to the early years of the Second World War. The Nevada Test and Training Range soon came to fruition and planted the seeds for what would come in the mid-1950s: Area 51. Highly advanced aircraft, such as the U-2, the SR-71 Blackbird, the Stealth Fighter and the Stealth Bomber were all secretly test-flown from Area 51. Probably the near-legendary Aurora, too. In that sense, many might say, there is no doubt that Area 51 has a valid reason for keeping just about everything under wraps. Indeed, considering the fact that those aforementioned aircraft were being built, tested, and flown when the Cold War was still in place and the Soviet Union had still yet to fall, one can easily see why measures would be taken to ensure that the U.S. Government’s most advanced aircraft would be subject to incredible secrecy. But, is there just too much secrecy for a squadron or several of radical, futuristic aircraft? That depends on who’s version of the “facts” believe.

Air Force U-2

As we have seen, there is one thing – more than any other – that sets Area 51 apart from just about every other military or government facility in the United States: it’s the sheer extent of the government’s determination to make sure that absolutely nothing gets out of Area 51 and no one gets in. Of course, and particularly so in today’s climate of uncertainty and threats of nuclear attacks, everyone needs to be vigilant. And that includes everyone who works at Area 51, too. They are, when all is said and done, just like us, regular people with lives and families. The big difference, though, is that they know the reasons for so much secrecy and we don’t.

It would be hard – in fact, impossible – to find a military installation in the United States that protects its secrets to a greater degree than Area 51. People have been forced to leave their homes and their land – solely due to U.S. Government concerns and worries that those same people just might see something they shouldn’t see. Those who stray too close to portions of the Nevada desert that the staff of Area 51 would prefer to keep under wraps risk large fines, imprisonment and even death, and all in the name of national security. Aircraft are banned from flying close to or over Area 51. They can even be shot down out of the sky, if circumstances dictate and warrant such drastic action. When, in 1974, NASA’s astronauts on-board Skylab took an aerial photo of the base, all hell broke loose in the defense- and intelligence-based communities of the United States. The CIA and the Department of Defense quickly got involved. Major concerns were expressed about how on Earth (or, in this case, off it) such a thing could have happened. Secret files were created, most of which have never publicly surfaced. Motion-detector equipment peppers the landscape. Cameras are everywhere. Guards patrol the local roads for any perceived suspicious characters. Night-vision technology ensures that no-one can penetrate the base in the early hours of the morning.

The government practically refuses to acknowledge not just the existence of Area 51, but even its name. That same government refused to offer help on the 1996 movie Independence Day, and all because a substantial portion of the movie revolved around Area 51 and the 1947 incident at Roswell, New Mexico. All of the above is astonishing. No facility in the United States comes even close to the level of secrecy and paranoia that surrounds Area 51. Which brings up an important question: is all of this overwhelming secrecy just in place to protect next-generation after next-generation of aircraft? Or, are the rumors and the whispers true? You know the ones, of course:  the claims that deeply hidden at Area 51 are the remains of the Roswell wreckage, recovered flying saucers, and alien corpses. Maybe, even living aliens are at the base, too.

Regardless of where you, me and everyone else stands on the matter of what goes on at Area 51, there can be no doubt that it is the UFO-driven rumors and revelations which attract so much attention. Certainly, there’s no doubt that it was Bob Lazar who, in the late 1980s, set the wheels in motion for the controversy to begin and for the media and the public to sit up and take notice. And, as we have seen, accounts relative to aliens and UFOs – all in relation to area 51 – abound, and have done so for decades. The so-called “alien interview” footage led many to believe that living aliens are housed somewhere at Area 51. It is, however, garbage. Boyd Bushman told incredible stories of alien life and Area 51 connections. Likely it too was garbage – or disinformation. But, it was Bob Lazar – more than anyone else – who defined the beliefs and suspicions, and who still defines those beliefs and suspicions.

We should note, though, that there are certain threads running through the tales of UFOs at Area 51 that should make us cautious of what we are told. Let’s not forget that Lazar told of how his mind may have been messed with – possibly using updated MK-Ultra-type technologies. Certain portions of his memories were wiped clean. He felt that his very brief glimpse of a small creature at S-4 may have been a staged event; an event designed to make him think that live extraterrestrials were hidden at the base, when they may not have been.

There can be no doubt that the alien angle of the history of Area 51 excites many. Maybe that’s what the government is counting on. After all, not even the power of all the military-, defense-, and intelligence-based agencies in the United States can prevent a few leaks of classified information. So, perhaps to keep eager Ufologists away from stumbling on legitimate covert programs concerned with new aircraft designs, next-generation weapons-systems, mind-control techniques and more of a down to earth nature, they swamp those same Ufologists with enticing tales of extraterrestrial conspiracies and interviews with a sickly creature from another world (that never was).

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Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.
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