posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 06:23 PM
I don't think anybody was being secretive about the site location choices.LeVier only said that he looked at sites all over the Southwest, and
eventually picked Groom Lake because it was the best location. Kelly Johnson provided additional details in his personal log, but he often left out a
lot of significant events (for example, he made no mention of his one and only flight in the A-12T).
In April 1955, Johnson wrote that he, LeVier, and and Ozzie Ritland "flew all over Nevada looking for base sites." He further noted that "G.
Greenaway had come out in March and we had shown him our various sites off of the government reservation." The sole log entry for March 1955 made no
reference to Greenaway's visit, but the April entry indicates that he thought "security was not sufficient at the best site." That was presumably
Johnson's "Site One."
An entry at the end of April says, "Base location has been decided as Site II, for which they will accept my proposed name of Paradise Ranch."
In May 1955, Johnson complained about base construction costs. "Costs now up to $832,000...Site One came to $450,000 on same deal, but was not as
good or secure. We had Site One base all designed ready to go."
I'm not sure why he never gave the name of the lakebed. Of course, he never names Groom Lake either, referring to it only as Site II (or later, in
1962, as Area 51). LeVier was likely not too involved in the construction aspects, and probably only remembered Site One as one of the myriad other
choices that were rejected.
I favor Mud Lake near Tonopah as the most likely candidate for Site One. It is in a secluded location adjacent to the Nellis ranges and it is nearly
round, providing pilots with the opportunity to takeoff and land in any direction with as much as five miles of useful runway. Unfortunately, from a
security standpoint, aircraft operating from Mud Lake would be visible from the towns of Goldfield and Tonopah, as well as from several highways.