Area 51 itself is an
area the size of Switzerland within the United States complete with an airport,
buildings and roads, but an area that until 1994 did not officially exist. The
features referred to above did not appear on any map, nor could the traveller
check it out for themselves as trespassers have been known to have been
handcuffed, put in leg-irons and fined thousands of US dollars. Even the
‘welcome’ sign (right), some 13 miles from the actual base, warns trespassers
that the use of "deadly force is authorised."
Situated 80 miles outside Las Vegas, Area 51 is part of the
Nellis Air Force Base. It was set up in 1954 by President Truman as a top secret
location installation for the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation to develop spyplanes
for the CIA and test other new generation post war aircraft. The base has a
26-mile exclusion zone around it.
The area has become synonymous with the alien phenomena, even
appearing in the 1996 film ‘Independence Day’. In 1996 the Pentagon released an official statement in
an attempt to quieten down speculation about the area: "There are a variety of
activities some of which are classified throughout what is often called the
Airforce’s Dulles Range Complex. The range is used for the testing of
technologies and systems and training for operations critical to the
effectiveness of US military forces and security of the United States. There is
an operating location near Groom Dry Lake. Some specific activities and
operations conducted on the Dulles range both past and present remain classified
and cannot be discussed (15)." But others wanted them to be discussed.
pictures of the area show only a few
buildings, yet over twelve planeloads of workers arrive and leave there everyday
from nearby McCarran Air Force Base, Las Vegas. There is simply no where
above the ground to house these hundreds of workers; suggesting that much of the
activity at Groom Lake takes place underground.
Secrecy surrounding military establishments is only to be expected, but what
makes Area 51 so famous, is the nature of the secret.
For according to scientist Lazar, who worked there in the late 1980s, Area 51 is
home to nine alien spacecraft and the bodies of dead which are maintained in the
tanks pictured at the back of this still from a security video.
Lasar was a contract scientist who worked at the base for five
months from December 1988. In May 1989 he went on US network television and
alleged that the US government was investigating nine flying disks and was
trying to back-engineer alien technology.
It could be argued that the facility
is not particularly secret when photographs can easily be taken of it, such as
the one (right) taken from Freedom Ridge.
However following publication of such photographs, the US Government acquired
all of the surrounding land. There is now no unrestricted view of the facility.
Within days Lazar making his allegations, attempts were made on his life that he
survived even though the allegations were made ‘undercover’.
Not surprisingly all manner of claims and counterclaims
have been made about Lazar and the credibility and authenticity of his
allegations. Some claim that Lazar was recruited, made witness to UFO
technology, allowed to release information, and then become subject of an
official denial with most of his background erased from history (and certainly
the part about his ever having worked on the base.)
Unfortunately for the US
authorities, they overlooked the fact that Lazar’s employer – the US Department
of Naval Intelligence - was detailed on his payslips indicating that he
did work at the base as claimed (16).
original allegations were made ‘under-cover’ however the attempts on his life
persuaded him to reveal his true identity, believing that if the death threats
were a government ploy, it would be unlikely that they would attempt to kill
him again once his identity was in the public domain. Indeed he didn’t
die, but lost his second wife and was arrested in April 1990 for his business
involvement in a Las Angeles brothel. Despite his somewhat dubious background
and credentials there is, in fact, substantial evidence to support his
In 1994 a witness
came forward who had worked with Otto Krause, another German scientist who had
entered the US under Operation Paperclip and who was based at the nuclear test
site in Nevada during 1961 and 1964. This witness stated
"We got talking one night at a card game and I was telling Otto about growing up
in Farmington and seeing those UFOs when I was a kid … and he laughed and said
‘Yeah’, that he was at White Sands at that time. He had been assigned down there … Otto said
that one had crashed in Roswell and one had crashed at Aztec. He said
they were both brought to White Sands and put in a hanger there...