CIA Finally Admits Existence of Area 51
In 2005, Jeffrey T. Richelson, a senior fellow at the National Security Archives, used the Freedom of Information Act to request information on U2 spy planes and other forms of covert aerial surveillance. A mere eight years later he received a slightly redacted version of the history of two surveillance programs: U2 and OXCART. The technology for both of these programs was designed and tested at Area 51.
Area 51 is officially an airport located next to Groom Lake, approximately 80 miles from Las Vegas. It began as a gunnery range during World War II, and quickly evolved into a super-secret airfield in the early years of the Cold War. The area, however, gained most of its notoriety because of its rumored relationship with UFOs and other extraterrestrial knowledge. While many top secret UFO sites around the world, Area 51 is by far the most famous.
Some people seem to think that the CIA’s release of declassified documents regarding U2 and OXCART indicate that they’re willing to come clean about the secrets locked up in Area 51 for so long. These documents speak of advanced technology and Cold War tensions, but they make no mention of aliens, spacecraft, or the reverse engineering that some many seem to think took place at the base.
Many online news sources have expressed a tongue-in-cheek remorse over the absence of extraterrestrial life forms in the declassified documents. Yahoo! News broke the story with the headline “CIA Acknowledges Area 51-But Not UFOS or Aliens.” CNN was downright apologetic to the conspiracy community: “Area 51 Is Real, But Sorry, No Aliens.”
For true ufologists, however, the information excluded from the CIA’s documents is just as telling as what was included. After all, Richelson’s request wasn’t specifically for information on Area 51; he was researching aerial surveillance programs that just happened to be tested there. It is still entirely possible that extraterrestrial programs were being run simultaneously and their existence has yet to be made public.
Audrey Hewins, a woman who runs a support group for those who have been contacted by extraterrestrials, thinks that this round of declassification is just a way for the CIA to test the waters before admitting to more out-of-this-world programs. She told ABC News, “I’m thinking that they’re probably testing the water now to see how mad people get about the big lie and cover-up.”
Regardless of how much the CIA did or did not reveal in their documents regarding U2 and OXCART, the fact that they publicly acknowledged Area 51 is still groundbreaking. As late as 1994, when a group of civilian employees at the base filed a federal lawsuit claiming they were being exposed to toxic chemicals while working at Area 51, the White House, Pentagon, and Supreme Court all categorically denied the existence of the base.
At least now, the CIA had admitted Area 51 exists and that some secret projects were carried out there. What else they’re willing to admit in the future remains to be seen.
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