Area 51 has finally been mapped by the government and released to the public after decades of denial made it fodder for Hollywood films and science fiction novels.
The top secret site in Nevada has been steeped in mystery over the years, but the site was kept top-secret until the George Washington University National Security Archive obtained a CIA history of the U-2 spy plane program through a Freedom of Information Act request.
UFO rumors and Hollywood films such as ‘District 9’ and ‘Independence Day’ have sprung up after the government refused to admit the existence of the site.
“The reason the government decided today to announce that there was an Area 51 is that they realized at long last the absurdity of denying that the area really exists,” said Area 51 researcher and Fordham University professor Paul Levinson. “It’s a physical area . . . I know people who have seen it, they haven’t seen aliens, but they’ve seen it.”
Area 51 sits some 90 miles north of Las Vegas in Central Nevada.
“No one doubted that it was real,” Levinson said. “The question is, what goes on there?”
The declassified information reveals that Area 51 was created as a testing area for the U-2 spy plane, that was used during the Cold War era. The U-2s were able to fly at 60,000 feet above the ground, much higher than any other craft at the time.
“High-altitude testing of the U-2 soon led to an unexpected side effect — a tremendous increase in reports of unidentified flying objects (UFOs),” according to the report.
While the FOIA report gives revealing insight into Area 51’s use during that era, it mentions nothing about what has been happening behind those fences after 1974.