posted on Jun, 27 2003 @ 04:46 PM
Man says authorities were searching for photos, data about classified military base
By KEITH ROGERS
FBI agents and other law enforcement officials raided a Rachel man's rented trailer home Thursday while he was out of state, searching for what he
said were photographs and data stored in his computers about the classified military installation known as Area 51.
"Area 51. That's what it's for," said the man, Chuck Clark, when asked by telephone about the search warrant that he found Friday on a table
inside the trailer in the rural Lincoln County community, 100 miles north of Las Vegas.
"They timed this very nicely while I was in Denver with a TV crew," said Clark, 57, author of the "Area 51 & S-4 Handbook."
Clark said he thinks the search warrant was triggered by his research into motion-detection sensors that are buried on public land along trails miles
away from the restricted area around the classified installation near the dry lake bed of Groom Lake, 90 miles north of Las Vegas.
Clark and other Area 51 buffs think the sensors are linked by radio signals to an automatic alarm network that alerts the installation's security
personnel about possible intruders.
"I dug them up, photographed them, recorded their GPS and put them back," he said, referring to Global Positioning System coordinates.
"I resent the fact they put them on public land. All I did is document them ... to make an issue of putting them outside of restricted land," Clark
said. He described himself as a semi-retired photographer and writer who has spent 10 years researching Area 51.
Clark said the search warrant was issued by U.S. Magistrate Judge Lawrence Leavitt and that the agents who executed it left a four-page inventory of
items seized. An FBI spokesman in Las Vegas, Jim Stern, confirmed that a sealed search warrant had been executed on Clark's residence Thursday.
The FBI agents were accompanied by other law enforcement authorities who were part of a task force, but Stern declined to confirm the nature of the
There were no arrests, Stern said, noting, "This is an ongoing investigation of Clark."
He said items were taken from Clark's residence but declined to give details about what prompted the investigation. He also would not comment on the
scope of the search warrant or say what was seized.
"That area is of a concern just by virtue of location," Stern said, referring to the general vicinity of Rachel.
An annual presidential directive issued by President Bush and former President Clinton keeps government information about the Groom Lake installation
Clinton, in 1995, became the first president to sign the annual exemption, which stemmed from lawsuits brought by widows of two men who claimed that
their husbands died from exposure to hazardous and toxic materials while they worked at the installation.
Government officials will not say what activities are conducted there but the Groom Lake facility has been widely reported to be where high-tech U.S.
aircraft are tested against foreign radar systems and planes. S-4 is located near the southern edge of Area 51.