The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has finally acknowledged Area 51 exists.
The official Wikipedia page was updated on August 20.
For years, the US government resolutely denied there was a secret military testing base at Groom Lake, Nevada, an outlying detachment of Edwards Air Force Base.
Also known as Groom Lake, Homey Airport, and other titles, the CIA’s official designated name of Area 51 is the “Nevada Test and Training Range.”
Located 150 miles north by car from Las Vegas, in a vast expanse of desert, mountain and space, the nearest town of Rachel is nine miles away and boasts a total population of 57.
Now, thanks to the eight year effort of Jeffrey Richelson, a senior fellow with the National Security Archive at George Washington University, the CIA released a redacted report last week containing a history of two Cold War spy-plane programs (U-2) that reveals it underwent testing at Area 51.
Previously dismissed as the idea dreamed up by crazed conspiracists, sci-fi geeks, and latterly, fandoms of once popular TV shows and movies like Roswell, The X Files, Paul, and Independence Day, the CIA reports refers to the location where the installation is sited as a “strip of wasteland.”
So, the truth is no longer “out there.” But is it in the report?
That depends of what and who you believe.
Richelson says accessing “The Central Intelligence Agency and Overhead Reconnaissance: The U-2 and Oxcart Programs, 1954-1974″ report wasn’t about trying to prove Area 51’s existence.
“That was sort of a bonus,” he told the New York Times.
He added: “There certainly was — as you would expect — no discussion of little green men here.”
“This is a history of the U-2. The only overlap is the discussion of the U-2 flights and U.F.O. sightings, the fact that you had these high-flying aircraft in the air being the cause of some of the sightings.”
That rather dry feedback probably won’t satisfy the over half-century lore on Area 51 that’s been talked about and believed by millions of ordinary people, researchers and writers.
For most of these they want to hear about extraterrestrial ships or beings and they probably won’t stop believing anytime soon.
As to the question of why it has taken the government three-four decades post the end of the cold war to open the files, Richelson offered one simple explanation to the BBC:
“There is a general inclination toward secrecy.”