What Exactly is area-51?

In the middle of the barren Nevada desert, lies one of the world’s most secretive places. This place, also known as Area 51, is a United States Air Force base. Due to its secrecy, several conspiracy theories surround the region. In this article, we will look at Area 51 in more detail along with some wild, but popular conspiracy theories.

What is Area 51?


The common name for the United States Air Force base in Las Vegas is Area 51. It is located 85 miles or 135 kilometres north of Las Vegas in Groom Lake, a dry lake bed in the Nevada Desert. Near it are two other restricted military zones: the Nevada Test Site, where US nuclear weapons were tested in the 1900s, and the Nevada Test and Training Area.

According to the US military, Area 51 is a flexible and multidimensional base to perform testing, strategy development, and advanced training. The entire range encompasses about 2.9 million acres of land and has runways as long as 12,000 feet.  It was originally known as “Paradise Ranch” in order to make the facility appear more appealing to individuals who work there, however, the name was shortened to “the Ranch”. In fact, other names for the area include “Watertown” and “Dreamland”. Area 51 receives its name from its geographical location. You can see warning signs, electronic surveillance, and armed guards outside the region to keep the general people at bay. Furthermore, the government forbids people from flying above the military base, even though the facility is visible in satellite images. 

Why was it constructed?

During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union established Area 51 as a testing and development site for aircrafts, notably the U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird surveillance planes. However, even though it first opened in 1955, the CIA only formally recognized its existence in August 2013. In fact, President Obama became the first US president to publicly reference the base, four months after the CIA’s disclosure.

What’s going on these days?

Despite the lack of public information, people believe that the US military continues to employ Area 51 to build and test cutting-edge aircraft technology. Around 1,500 people work on the base, with many travelling via charter planes from Las Vegas.

Why do conspiracy theories surround Area 51?

Area 51 has fueled conspiracy theorists for decades, well before the time the US government formally acknowledged it. Moreover, it is one of the most enigmatic and secretive bases, which contributes to the public curiosity about the region. The crazy theories did not begin till 1989 when a guy called Bob Lazar claimed that he had worked at the air force base to reverse engineer a wrecked alien spaceship.

Experts believe that the allegations are similar to every other conspiracy theory in history. According to psychologist Karen Douglas of the University of Kent in England, nearly all conspiracy theories satisfy three basic needs. Firstly, they provide understanding and certainty. Second, they create a sense of control and security, and lastly, they improve a believer’s self-image. With Area 51, all three requirements are met. 

Furthermore, humans, on the whole, can’t stand nagging ambiguity. Therefore any explanation to a riddle, no matter how crazy, is preferable to none at all. As a result, there is a better sense of security and knowing. Alas, the theories behind the region might be just that, theories. It came from the vivid imagination of the people coupled with science fiction trying to masquerade as reality. 

How Area 51 became the centre of alien conspiracy theories!

1. Area 51 reverse engineers extraterrestrial spaceships

As mentioned previously, Bob Lazar, a claimed whistleblower and divisive figure in the scientific community claims to have worked at S-4, a secret military station to the south of Area 51. Lazar claims to have seen flying saucers powered by Element 115 years before its discovery. According to media sources, Lazar alleges that the US government is tracking and monitoring him even 30 years after exposing the military base to the world. “Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers,” a Netflix documentary released in 2018, was about him.

2. The government carried a wrecked alien ship to Roswell

Alien spaceship

The 1947 crash of a disc-shaped aircraft at Roswell sparked widespread UFO conjecture. A lot of theories have circulated concerning the disc, which is characterised as a Russian spy plane in the new book “AREA 51: An Uncensored History”.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/o1RS7D_szJo?feature=oembedRosewell’s Bizarre UFO Crash

 3. An alien autopsy occurred on the base

Alien Autopsy

Conspiracy theorists also think that when the alleged extraterrestrial spaceship crashed in Roswell in 1947, the government transported the lifeless remains of the aliens aboard to dissect them. In fact, in the mid-1990s the TV showed a hazy black-and-white tape allegedly showing a team of scientists and physicians cutting open one of the entities. However, this film proved to be a fabrication after the creators admitted to faking the autopsy.

4. It holds extraterrestrials captive.

Conspiracy theorists believe that the base holds extraterrestrials captive alongside the alien spaceships that crash-landed. Lazar stated in the 2018 Netflix Area 51 documentary that he was walking down a corridor at S-4 when he observed a little, grey alien between two men in lab coats via a small glass.

5. The government controls the weather from Area 51.

Another prevalent conspiracy theory is that the government has set up businesses at the base to manipulate the weather. Although the government has funded research initiatives in the past to manipulate clouds and weather, according to a National Science Foundation study, there is no indication that this research took place at the military base.

6. Area 51 houses the government’s enigmatic black helicopters.

At the base, the government has tested secret aircraft, notably the Cold War espionage jet, the SR-71 Blackbird. Conspiracy theorists, on the other hand, think the military installation is also home to the government’s black helicopters. Black helicopters, which initially emerged in news stories in the 1970s, were associated with cow mutilation, harmful chemical releases over various communities, and other alleged US government actions.

Where can you clearly see Area 51 from?

It is very hard to get access to the military base. The top-secret military outpost is located in the Nevada desert, in a dried-up lakebed surrounded by mountains. Thus,  you can see what’s going on inside the base from one of the mountains, Tikaboo Peak after a mile-long hike to the summit. 

Final Thoughts

Area 51 is a top-secret United States Military Air Force base that was originally constructed to test air crafts. This article talks about the various conspiracy theories that surround the region, in detail. Hence, the question is, do you think aliens or alien space crafts are actually held captive in Area 51?

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