AREA 51 INSTALLATION: GROOM LAKE, NEVADA
Groom Lake, also known as Area 51, an installation so secret, the government agencies and contractors that have connections there, deny its
Every weekday morning, at least 500 people arrive at the guarded terminal owned by EG&G on the northwest side of McCarran Airport in Las Vegas,
Nevada. Here they board one of a small fleet of unmarked Boeing 737-200s. Using three digit numbers prefixed by the word "Janet" as their call
signs, the 737s fly north every half-hour. Their destination is Groom Lake.
By late 1955, the facility had been completed for flight testing of Lockheed's U-2 spy plane. Since that time, Groom Lake has undergone vast
expansion, catering to the needs of testing the most advanced aircraft projects in the world. Forty-four years after it was created, Groom Lake has
hosted flight testing of the aforementioned Lockheed U-2, the SR-71 Blackbird, the F-117 Stealth Fighter, Northrop's B-2 Stealth Bomber, the
mysterious Aurora Project and possibly even alien spacecraft.
Tony LeVier, Lockheed's test pilot assigned to test-fly the U-2 spy plane, claims the credit for recognizing Groom Dry Lake as a suitable test site.
The CIA gave U-2 designer Kelly Johnson the task of choosing and building a secure test site. In March 1955, Johnson sent LeVier and Skunk Works
foreman Dorsey Kammerer to visit potential test sites in the deserts of Southern California, Nevada, and Arizona. After two weeks, LeVier presented
Johnson with his impressions, and Johnson chose Groom Lake.
Since its construction, the Groom Lake facility has been known by many names. Kelly Johnson named the place "Paradise Ranch." When his flight test
team arrived in July 1955, they simply called it "The Ranch." In fact, the secret base was formally named "Watertown Strip," after the town in
upstate New York where CIA director Allen Dulles was born. In June 1958, it was officially designated "Area 51" by the Atomic Energy Commission
(AEC). The adjacent AEC proving grounds became known as the Nevada Test Site and divided into such numbered areas. The base is now known worldwide as
"Area 51" (thanks to numerous mentions in Hollywood shows and movies), though officially this designation was dropped in the 1970s.
By 1970, the USAF Systems Command took over the operation of Groom Lake. At this time, the U-2 and YF-12A/SR-71 spy planes had both been tested and in
service on reconnaissance missions. Unmanned high-speed drones were also being tested, including the Model 147 Lightning Bug, Model 154 Firefly, and
D-21 Tagboard. In 1967, the United States acquired its first Soviet MiG-21 and US efforts to acquire Soviet weapons technology expanded.
In 1975, the Red Flag series of realistic air warfare exercises started at Nellis AFB, using large portions of the ranges surrounding Groom Lake. The
box of airspace surrounding Groom Lake was strictly off-limits to Red Flag aircrews. It became known as "Red Square". Later, it acquired the
semi-official title of "Dreamland" as a series of new exotic aerospace projects evolved in the late 1970s. These included the "Have Blue" and
"Tacit Blue" stealth technology demonstrators. The testing of these aircraft brought extreme security measures at Groom Lake.
The Groom Lake base was considerably expanded in the 1980s. The main runway (14/32) was extended to the south, and then a huge northerly extension
built out onto Groom Dry Lake, today having a length of 27,000 feet. A smaller parallel runway was built in the early 1990s. Semi-recessed "scoot and
hide" shelters were built on the main taxiway so that secret aircraft could be more easily hidden from spying satellites overhead. New radar’s,
satellite telemetry and other communications facilities were installed, and extra warehouse and assembly areas constructed. The base housing area was
completely rebuilt, accommodating up to 2,000 people and an extensive recreational facility provided. Today, Groom Lake seems to be administered by
Detachment 3 of the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB.
Perimeter security was also increased. Until 1984, it was easy to view the base from Bald Mountain and other hills in the Groom Range to the north of
the lakebed. The USAF then extended the Nellis range military reservation to cut off the view...or so they thought! Two hillsides to the south of the
Groom Range still offered a view of the base from 12 miles away. White Sides Peak and Freedom Ridge were annexed by authorities in 1995.
Clearly marked but not actually fenced, the entire boundary of the base is patrolled by an anonymous security force equipped with high-tech
surveillance gear. Remote electronic sensors detect movement along known dirt tracks and roads leading towards the installation. It has been thought
for quite a while now that the surveillance equipment is so advanced that certain sensory equipment has the ability to smell a person coming near the
boundary, and distinguish him/her from other animals nearby. The ground patrols, often called "Camo Dudes", are assisted by FLIR-equipped Sikorsky
MH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters.
The following USGS 7.5 minute quadrangles cover Groom Lake and the surrounding areas, Castle Spring Quadrangle, Groom Range NE, Groom Range SE, Groom
Range SW, Groom Mine, and Groom Mine NW. In looking at the terrain features, the Lake is about 4444 feet above sea level. It’s fairly flat with the
north side at about 4444 feet, the west northwest side at 4439, and the east side at 4444 feet. That accounts for a five-foot drop over its entire
length. The dry lake measures three miles at its widest east-west point and about four miles at its north - south point
The majority of the lake (80%) is in a restricted access box labeled Nevada Test Center. The northern 20%, where the base is located, is in the Nellis
range. The lake itself is called "Groom Lake" on the maps. Groom Peak at 5714 feet is not much higher than the range itself. The highest point in
the area is at 6200 feet.
North-northwest is a small mountain peak that is 1/4 mile from the lakebed. It is about half mile long and peaks at about 4728, about 340 feet above
the lake. The rest of the range to the north gradually slopes up over about 1.5 miles north and begins getting steep. Multiple dirt roads (six)
intersect the lake; however, there is no road around its circumference. Located north-northeast about three to four miles, there is a large
concentration of mines in a valley in the Groom Range. The labeled mines include "Black Metal Mine," and "Groom Mine" and about five sites listed
Since the Tacit Blue flights ended in 1985, only two further Black Projects that were presumably test flown from the secret base, have since been
officially acknowledged. These were both stealth air-launched missiles: the Lockheed Advanced Cruise Missile (ACM), canceled in 1992 and the Northrop
Tri-Service Stand-Off Attack Missile, canceled in 1994. Therefore, what activities are taking place at Area 51.
In 1989, a man named Bob Lazar appeared on a Las Vegas television station and claimed that he had been employed at Area 51 for the purpose of
"reverse engineering" alien flying saucers. He alleged that nine of these disc-shaped craft were flown from a highly secure facility named "S-4"
at Papoose Lake, 10 miles southwest of Groom Lake.
Lazar's story has been widely criticized and a more credible connection to disc-shaped objects is that they are platforms for anti-gravity propulsion
systems being tested at Groom Lake. Such technology would represent an unprecedented leap worthy of the most extreme secrecy. As would an operational
hypersonic spy plane with a newly designed propulsion system, such as Pulse Detonation Wave Engines or hydrogen-powered scramjets.
Testing and Projects
There is much circumstantial evidence to link Groom Lake with (at the very least) experimental high-Mach vehicles. It has even been claimed that new
mother/daughter combination like the A-12/D-21 has been flown, known as The Super Valkyrie. Evidence from base-watchers and elsewhere also suggests
other top-secret, Special Access Programs that have been conducted at Groom Lake in recent years:
High Altitude Stealth Reconnaissance
Large subsonic long-endurance vehicle jointly developed by Lockheed and Boeing to replace the SR-71's ability to over fly denied territory at will.
Based on the Skunk Works failed bid for the Advanced Tactical Bomber (ATB) - the B-2, it was canceled in 1992 after at least $300 million had been
spent, and replaced by the Tier 3 Minus UAV (Lockheed's Darkstar).
Covert Assault Transport
Probably a delta configuration with advanced V/STOL capabilities but with very low noise as well as radar signature. It was probably cancelled in 1993
in favour of further Bell/Boeing V-22 Osprey development.
Different designs with emphasis on low blade and transmission noise, also exploring new technology to reduce blade and efflux signature. (Sikorsky's
new attack helicopter, the successor to the Apache - the Comanche, incorporates stealth technology, but this is being tested elsewhere.)
Cloaking technology in the form of electrochromatic panels mounted to aircraft have been revealed as being tested at the Area 51 installation.
Recently a new theory has risen which could explain the glowing objects seen above the Groom Lake installation. Researcher Tom Mahood has proposed
that the objects moving at incredible speeds with sudden directional changes, emitting an unusual glow, could in fact be the result of experimental
proton beam systems.
Image on Google Earth
Google Earth (or Google Maps) allows clear satellite imaging of the facility. The image shows fully the hangers, bunkers, waste pits, Janets, two of
three black helicopters, the runways, and what looks like it could be a mine or underground bunker.
Four Corners is a base located in the central Nevada desert, north of the better known Area 51. The Four Corners base is related to the story of
Raechel, the alien-human hybrid.
Alien Camp For The Tall Whites At Area 51 (YouTube) - radio interview with Charles Hall (part 1 of 6)
- online video, added June 24, 2007
ws: Area 51 UFO Myths Debunked by Insiders
News: Road to Area 51
Relevant discussion threads on AboveTopSecret.com
Aeronautical map of the Groom Lake/Area 51 region
Area 51: Groom Lake, Nevada
Area 51 and the Pentagon
Comparison of Area 51 Installation from 1968 and 1998
Indiana Jones 4 to be filmed around Area 51
New Top Secret Construction at Area 51
Nothing Strange is Going On in Area 51
The Real History of Area 51 presented by the Roadrunners (former employees at Area
Triangle in the Nevada desert...what is it?
Trip to Area 51