posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 09:46 AM
I'm not sure why this is even a discussion. The history and status of Area 51 are well known. The National Classified Test Facility has been and
continues to be a test site for aircraft, radar, and related weapons systems. The three primary areas of research at Groom Lake involve technology
demonstration (HAVE BLUE, TACIT BLUE, Bird of Prey, etc.), aircraft survivability (low observables, or stealth, and radar cross-section measurement),
and evaluation of foreign aircraft and radar technology. The base is operated as a test wing of the Air Force Test Center, and supports testing by
joint services (USAF, Navy, Army, etc.) and other government agencies.
Its remote location and high-level security makes it ideal for classified test operations. Security vulnerabilities such as the view from nearby
hilltops and the potential for space-based overhead reconnaissance were recognized as early as 1961. Because satellite overhead times are easy to
predict, assets can be moved indoors to prevent exposure. Unauthorized observation from nearby hills and mountains was more problematic. The
government responded to this threat by seizing public land including most of the Groom Mountains 1984) and a few small hills (1995). The second land
grab resulted from increased tourism in the early 1990s by people looking for "flying saucers." For a while, there were visitors occupying the hills
24 hours a day, seven days a week. As a result, ground and flight operations had to be postponed, costing the Air Force (and by extension, the
taxpayer) millions of dollars.
The base is as active today as it has ever been. Satellite imagery taken over the past decade clearly shows a growth trend. New facilities are being
built and old ones improved as necessary. Large numbers of military and contract employees are shuttled in and out throughout the week. The operation
has not moved anywhere. Stories to the contrary have proved false.
Declassified documents, photos, interviews with former workers, and other material provide insight into the nature of the Groom Lake facility and
activities that take place there. There is absolutely no evidence of extraterrestrial technology, subterranean facilities, or any of the other wacky
stuff so popular in the conspiracy theories. That doesn't make Area 51 any less fascinating to aerospace historians and aviation technology
enthusiasts. The truth is far more interesting than the fiction.