U.S. Government Releases Documents, Photos of Area 51
August 16, 2013 12:15 PM
New revelations come from the declassified document, but nothing about aliens (unfortunately)
If you grew up watching "The Twilight Zone" or "The X-Files" and wished you'd one day hear confirmation of the existence of aliens, that day is not today.
The U.S. government has released a declassified report admitting that
(a remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base) was really a place, and even sharing details of what it was used for in the early days. But if you're hoping for confessions about aliens, there isn't one mention of extraterrestrial beings (although there are redacted parts of the documents).
The report, titled "Central Intelligence Agency and Overhead Reconnaissance: The U-2 and Oxcart Programs, 1954-1974," is over 400 pages long and details the operations of Area 51 in Nevada. It also provides maps and pictures.
According to the report, Area 51 was a testing facility for U-2 planes when it officially opened for business in 1955. The report said that the U-2 planes flew at an altiitude of 60,000 feet, which was higher than any other plane at the time.
The report noted that test flights of the U-2 planes and the OXCART aircraft (which was Lockheed's A-12 reconnaissance aircraft for the CIA in the early 60s) accounted for over half of the UFO reports in the 1950s and 1960s.
Some other interesting nuggets from the report include the fact that Lockheed employees had to be secretly transported from Burbank to Area 51 as U-2 airframe deliveries increased (as to not cause suspicion). Personnel would fly to Area 51 early Monday morning and return them to Burbank Friday evening.
There were also three fatal crashes concerning U-2 planes in 1956.
Area 51 also had a name change in order to sound more attractive to workers. It was re-branded "Paradise Ranch" or just "the Ranch" instead of a middle-of-nowhere-sounding facility called Area 51.
Furthermore, the documents detailed British participation in the U-2 program (as a way of confusing Soviets and spreading the risk of failure); use of U-2 operations in India between 1962 and 1967 due to the Sino-Indian war in 1962; first mention of the Groom Lake site; U.S.-sponsored Chinese Nationalist U-2 operations, and a bit about the May 1, 1960 flight of Francis Gary Powers, who left from an airfield in Peshawar, Pakistan and was shot down by a Soviet surface-to-air missile.
The Atlantic Wire
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