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Thirteen Facts About The Top Secret Area 51 Military Base

Area 51 has been all over the news this week, thanks to a viral Facebook event where over a million internet trolls and curiosity seekers have promised to invade the mysterious government compound.

How much do you know about Area 51? Below are some interesting facts about the infamous site.

1. The Name

The name is less original than you would expect. Area 51 got its name because it was the 51st area of the Atomic Energy Commission’s Nevada Proving Ground (AECNPG).


2. Nuclear Weapons Facility 

It has been reported that the site has been used for nuclear weapons testing on hundreds of occasions and is a part of the Nevada National Security Site.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

3. The Roswell Connection

The legendary UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947, was later explained by the US government as a weather balloon crash. However, whatever did crash to the ground that night was quickly recovered and transported to Area 51.

Roswell Incident is first reported, July 8, 1947

4. Robert Lazar

Since 1980, a former employee of the site named Robert Lazar has been attempting to blow the whistle on the evidence of aliens at the base, but he was largely ridiculed and ignored until the release of his recent Netflix documentary.

Photo Credit: Youtube

5. No Visitors Allowed

Area 51 is strictly off-limits to visitors. No one is even allowed within the parameter of the site.

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Area 51 (Groom Lake, Dreamland) File Photo near Rachel, Nevada (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)

6. Restricted Airspace

The airspace above the region is heavily controlled and restricted by the US airforce, who also stages military operations at the base. In fact, there is a heavily restricted area at the site called “The Nevada Test and Training Range,” which is used for testing top secret and experimental military aircraft, including high tech spy planes.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

7. Nearby Town

The nearby town of Rachel is a very small town with less than 100 people, and no gas station.

8. Trespassing Penalties

Anyone attempting to enter the base could face a potential 1 year prison sentence, or a fine exceeding $5000.

Photo: NBC News

9. Area 6

Area 6 is a strange nearby site, which according to Google Earth, has a strange landing strip that is nearly a mile long. The Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security says that Area 6 is mostly used for military testing.

Google earth

10. Soviet Aircraft

During the Cold War, it was rumored that Area 51 housed aircraft that was captured from enemy forces, like the Soviets.

George Washington University’s National Security Archive.

11.  F-117 Nighthawk Tested at Area 51

In declassified documents from CIA, it was revealed that the F-117 Nighthawk is tested at Area 51.


12. Executive Immunity

While in office, former President Bill Clinton granted the base executive immunity, which oddly enough, protects the site from being investigated.

13. CIA Documents

The military has remained mostly silent on the issue of Area 51 over the years, despite the many popular claims about the things that happen there. However, in 2013, a declassified report from the CIA publicly acknowledged the base for the first time in print and revealed some of the testing that allegedly took place there. Much of the information in the report was heavily redacted, but the agency did admit that they were working on spy planes there, including the famous cold-war era U-2.

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CIA releases 13m pages of declassified documents online


Written By

David Cohen is a long-time independent journalist and expert in geopolitics, technology and finance. Cohen began his career as an activist, and then began writing articles as a freelancer for numerous websites. Cohen is a native of Brooklyn, New York and a graduate of Cornell University.

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