Page 11 - The 'X' Chronicles Newspaper - August 2019
P. 11

The Real Story Behind the Myth of Area 51                                                                                      11

          The Real Story Behind the                       three decades.                                 by commercial airline pilots who had never seen
                                                                 "And there sure is still a lot going on  an aircraft fly at such high altitudes as the U-2.
                   Myth of Area 51                        there."                                        Whereas today's airliners can soar as high as

                                                          The Origins of a Mystery                       45,000 feet, in the mid-1950s airlines flew at
                                                                                                         altitudes between 10,000 and 20,000 feet.
           There are no aliens at America's                                                              Known military aircraft could get to 40,000 feet,
                                                          The beginning of Area 51 is directly related to  and some believed manned flight couldn't go
           most famous top-secret military                the development of the U-2 reconnaissance      any higher than that. The U-2, flying at altitudes
           base, but what is there is just as             aircraft. After World War II, the Soviet Union  in excess of 60,000 feet, would've looked
                         interesting.                     lowered the Iron Curtain around themselves and  completely alien.
                                                          the rest of the Eastern bloc, creating a near         Naturally, Air Force officials knew the
                                                          intelligence blackout to the rest of the world.  majority of these unexplained sightings were U-
                          By Matt Blitz
                                                          When the Soviets backed North Korea's          2 tests, but they were not allowed to reveal these
                                                          invasion of South Korea in June 1950, it       details to the public. So, "natural phenomena" or
          In the middle of the barren Nevada desert,
                                                          became increasingly clear that the Kremlin     "high-altitude weather research" became go-to
          there's a dusty unmarked road that leads to the
                                                          would aggressively expand its influence.       explanations for UFO sightings, including in
          front gate of  Area 51. It's protected by little
                                                          America worried about the USSR's technology,   1960 when Gary Powers' U-2 was shot down
          more than a chain link fence, a boom gate, and
                                                          intentions, and ability to launch a surprise   over Russia.
          intimidating trespassing signs. One would think
                                                          attack—only a decade removed from the                 What's also interesting about the most
          that  America's much mythicized top secret
                                                          Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.               recent 2013 report is that it confirms Area 51's
          military base would be under closer guard, but
                                                                 `In the early 1950s, U.S. Navy and Air  existence.  While the 1998 version does have
          make no mistake. They are watching.
                                                          Force sent low-flying aircraft on reconnaissance  significant redactions when referencing the
                 Beyond the gate, cameras see every
                                                          missions over the USSR, but they were at       name and location of the U-2 test site, the nearly
          angle. On the distant hilltop, there's a white
                                                          constant risk of being shot down. In November  un-redacted version from 2013 reveals much
          pickup truck with a tinted windshield peering
                                                          1954, President Eisenhower approved the secret  more, including multiple references to Area 51,
          down on everything below. Locals says the base
                                                          development of a high-altitude reconnaissance  Groom Lake, and even a map of the area.
          knows every desert tortoise and jackrabbit that
                                                          aircraft called the U-2 program. One of the first
          hops the fence. Others claim there are
                                                          orders of business was to track down a remote,  “This Is Earth Technology”
          embedded sensors in the approaching road.
                                                          covert location for training and testing.  They
                 What exactly goes on inside of Area 51
                                                          found it in the southern Nevada desert near a  U-2 operations halted in the late 1950s, but other
          has led to decades of wild speculation.  There
                                                          salt flat known as Groom Lake, which had once
          are, of course, the alien conspiracies that                                                    top secret military aircrafts continued tests at
                                                          been a World War II aerial gunnery range for
          galactic visitors are tucked away somewhere                                                    Area 51. Over the years, the A-12 and numerous
                                                          Army Air Corps pilots.
          inside. One of the more colorful rumors insists                                                stealth aircrafts like Bird of Prey, F-117A, and
                                                                 Known by its map designation as Area
          the infamous 1947 Roswell crash was actually a                                                 TACIT BLUE have all been developed and
                                                          51, this middle-of-nowhere site became a new
          Soviet aircraft piloted by mutated midgets and                                                 tested in the Nevada desert. More declassified
                                                          top-secret military base. To convince workers to
          the wreckage remains on the grounds of Area                                                    documents reveal  Area 51's role in "Project
                                                          come, Kelly Johnson, one of the leading
          51. Some even believe that the U.S. government                                                 Have Doughnut," a 1970s attempt to study
                                                          engineers of the U-2 project, gave it a more   covertly obtained Soviet MiGs.
          filmed the 1969 moon landing in one of the
                                                          enticing name: Paradise Ranch.
          base's hangars.
                 For all the myths and legends, what's
                                                          Making A Myth
          true is that Area 51 is real and still very active.                                                                   (Continued on Page 12)
          There may not be aliens or a moon landing
          movie set inside those fences, but something is  U-2 testing began in July 1955, and
          going on and only a select few are privy to     immediately reports came flooding in about
          what's happening further down that closely-     unidentified flying object sightings. If you read
                                                          the details in a 1992 CIA report that was
          monitored wind-swept Nevada road. "The
                                                          declassified with redactions in 1998 (and
          forbidden aspect of  Area 51 is what makes
                                                          subsequently released nearly in full in 2013), it's
          people want to know what's there," says
                                                          easy to see why.
          aerospace historian and author Peter Merlin
                                                                 Many of these sightings were observed
          who's been researching Area 51 for more than
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