From the very first moment it became operational, the military base most of us know as “Area 51” has been associated with aliens and UFOs. Rumors and conspiracy theories have floated around for decades. For this reason, separating fact from myth isn’t the easiest thing to do when thinking of Area 51.
The American government didn’t even publicly acknowledge its existence until recently. This makes the whole area even more mysterious. Many people believe that the government has hidden evidence of alien visitors. However, no one knows for sure what is going on in Area 51.
With today’s list of the 25 Most Bizarre Area 51 Stories and Facts we will try to enlighten you about one of America’s most secretive locations. Like Fox Mulder from the X-Files would say, the truth is out there.
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Homey Airport or Groom Lake?
Everyone has heard crazy stories and conspiracy theories about “Area 51” but have you ever heard of Groom Lake? Or Homey Airport? No? We didn’t think so.
In reality, the facility we all know as Area 51 is officially called Homey Airport (KXTA) or Groom Lake, named after the salt flat situated next to its airfield.
Why Area 51?
The origin of the name “Area 51” is unclear. It’s speculated that the nickname derived from an Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) numbering grid. Although Area 51 is not part of this system, it’s adjacent to Area 15.
Another theory suggests that 51 was used because it was unlikely that the AEC would use the number.
Regardless, the CIA has claimed before that the name Area 51 comes from its map designation. It was also previously known as “Paradise Ranch” … probably to make the facility sound more attractive to those who would be working there.
How It All Started
Area 51 gained fame overnight back in July 1947, when the Roswell Daily Record’s front-page headline announced, “RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch in Roswell Region.”
The US military claimed that the unidentified crashing object was just a weather balloon. Conspiracy theorists weren’t convinced, though. They suggested that it was an alien spacecraft that was then taken from the Roswell ranch property to Area 51 for further examination and experimentation.
Area 51 Goes Viral
Despite the headline-making balloon crash in 1947, the area wouldn’t become widely known for another forty years.
Conspiracy theories gained support in the late 1980s when a man alleging to have worked at the installation claimed that the government was examining recovered alien spacecraft.