News / USA

US Acknowledges Location of Secretive Test Site, but Not Aliens

An April 18, 1996 file phoso shows a Nevada Governor Bob Miller (C), presiding over the unveiling of a new road sign for Nevada State Highway 375, the site for many UFO sightings, in  Rachel, north of Las Vegas.
An April 18, 1996 file phoso shows a Nevada Governor Bob Miller (C), presiding over the unveiling of a new road sign for Nevada State Highway 375, the site for many UFO sightings, in Rachel, north of Las Vegas.
VOA News
The U.S. for the first time is acknowledging the location of a secretive aerial surveillance test site that conspiracy theorists have long claimed might be the home for extraterrestrials who have invaded the country.

In declassified documents disclosed this week, the Central Intelligence Agency showed a map of the remote Area 51 site in the western state of Nevada, about 130 kilometers northwest of the well-known gambling mecca of Las Vegas.

The CIA's declassified map of Groom Lake/Area 51.The CIA's declassified map of Groom Lake/Area 51.
x
The CIA's declassified map of Groom Lake/Area 51.
The CIA's declassified map of Groom Lake/Area 51.
The CIA said it used the nearly 1,500-square-kilometer site from 1954-1974 as testing grounds for the government's U-2 and Oxcart aerial surveillance programs. The U.S. deployed U-2 planes, flying at an altitude of 18 kilometers, around the world at the height of the Cold War, including over the Soviet Union.

The CIA document released by the National Security Archive at George Washington University in Washington traced the history of the aircraft testing. It made no mention of  the facility's role since 1974, although the government is believed to be using it for testing intelligence tools and weapons.

The report said the high-altitude U-2 tests led to an unexpected side effect - a huge increase in reports of unidentified flying objects. At the time, government officials attributed the UFO sightings to natural phenomena.

But conspiracy theorists in the U.S. have long remained skeptical of governmental pronouncements about the site. Tales of alien landings, time travel and meetings with extraterrestrials and other exotic theories about Area 51 have for years played a role in popular American movies, fostering even more curiosity about the site.

The U-2 played a prominent role in one of the Cold War's most celebrated incidents, when the Soviets shot down American spy pilot Gary Powers in 1960. He was convicted of espionage against the Soviet Union, but eventually returned to the U.S. in an exchange of spy prisoners between the two countries.  

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

You May Like

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid