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10 Little-Known Facts About Area 51 Including The Real Conspiracy

by Himanshu Sharma
fact checked by Jamie Frater

Area 51 is probably one of the most mysterious man-made places in the world. Depending on which part of the Internet you’re in, conspiracies around the highly secretive military base can range from ‘they conduct human experiments there’ to ‘we’re living in a simulation run out of Area 51`. There’s no dearth of information (or what conspiracy theorists believe is ‘information’) available on the region, though because of its popularity and conspiracy value, most of it is sensationalized and probably not accurate.

SEE ALSO: 10 Secret Cities Kept Hidden From The Public

That’s, of course, if you dig in a bit deeper and realize that there are many relatively-unknown facts around Area 51 that have been hidden in the back pages of search results. If we take our eyes off all the aliens and weather modification stuff for a minute, we’d realize that those facts are every bit as interesting as the most far-fetched conspiracy theories around it.

10 It’s Still Growing

It’s been a long time since the general public got to know about Area 51, even if the C.I.A. didn’t acknowledge its existence till 2013. What was originally an unspectacular military base to deal with the Cold War turned into the biggest military mystery in America, largely due to highly-publicized claims by former employees.

Since then, public interest in the base has only grown, and so has the base itself. Most of us assume that it’s just one cordoned-off place that has stayed the same since it was built. In reality, though, Area 51 is still expanding, along with – assumingly – the scope of whatever research is going on in there. The expansion has garnered quite a bit of controversy, too, as a significant part of the land that now makes Area 51 was forcefully taken by its owners without an adequate explanation. Now we’re not saying that it definitely means that they’ve found more aliens to experiment on in the years since the base was built. All we’re saying is that it’s a possibility.[1]

9 No One Knows Why It’s Called Area 51

Most of us don’t realize that the name of the base wasn’t always Area 51, even if the government has used ‘Area 51’ to refer to it multiple times in the recent past. It’s also not its original name, as the base is called Homey Airport or Groom Lake in Cold War era documents. Regardless, the base is now referred to as Area 51 for all intents and purposes, even in modern official records.

It certainly begs the question; why that name? Area 51 implies the existence of areas 1 – 50, though if they exist, no one has ever been able to find them. The answer? We simply have no idea. We know that government diagrams from the 60s called it that, and that the CIA officially confirmed it in 2013. Though beyond that, we just don’t know.

Some people say that it’s simply because of the grid naming system by the Atomic Energy Commission that did the planning for that region. Others claim that Areas 1 – 50 were originally built but eventually destroyed due to things getting out of hands with those pesky aliens. As far as we know, any of the explanations could be true.[2]

8 When The Navy Confirmed UFO Videos Are Real

FLIR1: Official UAP Footage from the USG for Public Release

While there are definitely a lot of conspiracy theories around Area 51 (and we do mean ‘a lot’; just search online), almost all of them could be discredited by reason and logic. We’re sure that some of them have a shred of truth to them – as the military does need bases to test out secretive technology for national security – though some of the theories are too far-fetched to be true.

That is, of course, until you consider that the U.S. Navy has gone on record confirming the presence of one of the UFOs captured on video in the region. The video shows navy aircraft engaging with some weird flying objects, and was considered to be doctored until then. While that doesn’t mean that the navy confirmed the presence of aliens, they did admit that some unexplained flying phenomenon has been happening in and around Area 51.[3]

7 One Of Those UFOs Matches Lazar’s Description

While many people from the general populace may have forgotten how Area 51 gained its popularity, the conspiracy theorist community remembers that it was thanks to Bob Lazar. Originally an employee at Area 51, Lazar was the first person to claim that he had seen the government conducting alien experiments there.

If you don’t believe in conspiracies, you’d think that none of his predictions could be true, and may dismiss him as someone just out for fame. That would be our assumption, too, at least until his description of one of the alien UFOs matched one of the three whose presence was confirmed by the navy. He claimed that he worked on a spacecraft that flies with its bottom in the front and described its shape in detail. If you look at the above-mentioned video, you’d see that one of those objects perfectly coincides with his claims.[4]

6 The Original Purpose Of Area 51

Among all the chatter around aliens and conspiracy theories, it’s difficult to find the actual purpose of Area 51. Many theorists believe that to be undeniable proof of the accuracy of their theories, as if it wasn’t built for any other purpose, it must have been to house captured aliens. While that may as well be true – as a lot of people unrelated to each other have claimed to see weird things around the base – Area 51 had a legit reason to exist.

You see, when the Cold War started, the entire Eastern Block was suddenly covered in what we know as the Iron Curtain. Because of that, USA had to come up with an effective way to gather intelligence. Area 51 was originally meant to carry out research on America’s secret, high-altitude U – 2 recon planes. The secrecy around the base could also explained by the simple fact that the U.S. military didn’t want Soviet Russia to know about it, as that would defeat the whole point.[5]

5 There’s No Actual Fence Around Area 51

For a facility so heavily guarded by the U.S. military, you’d think that Area 51 would have some kind of physical boundary to keep the citizens out. After all, if you can just breach its guarded perimeter by the simple act of walking, it’s not a very safe military facility, is it?

Actually, that’s exactly how it is. Area 51 doesn’t have a fence at all, and we do mean ‘at all’. While some of its inner installations are guarded by perimeters, the whole base has no physical boundary. That doesn’t mean it’s advisable to just walk into it—as it does have magnetic sensors at many places, along with guard towers who would definitely shoot at you if you try to do that.[6]

4 The Secret Daily Commute To Work

Many of you may have wondered about the work life of the people working inside Area 51. It’s not like they’d build residential facilities for all the employees, as that would literally be the best military job in the world. Who wouldn’t want to work for the biggest army in the world with free accommodation and zero risk of combat?

While we’d guess that some of the personnel working in Area 51 have their own quarters (as we don’t know any better), the majority of them don’t. They make their way to office in possibly one of the most peculiar and secretive daily commutes to work in the world – by air. There’s a whole hangar dedicated to employees of Area 51 inside the facility, with a restricted terminal on the other side at the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. More interestingly, the planes use a secret call sign called Janet, which may as well be the most secretive airline in the world. It’s not really a company registered by that name, either, but just a name given to those flights when they’re in civilian airspace.[7]

3 You Can See It On Google Maps

Even if the general public may not have any idea about what’s inside Area 51, one company knows the entire layout of it, at least from satellite distance. Google Maps is possibly one of the few private companies to be allowed to map the facility, and you could even see it in high resolution right now. It even released a high-res time-lapse of the growth of the facility over the years, something we’re quite surprised the government even allowed it to do.

Google also has an Easter egg for Area 51 if you type in its coordinates in Maps. Just go to 37.24804, -115.800155, and you’d find that the little Google Street pointer guy has turned into a tiny spaceship.[8]

2 U.S. Military’s Most Heavily-Guarded Secret

Other than conspiracy theorists and people dedicated to dismiss conspiracies, you’d think that Area 51 would just be another secretive U.S. military facility. After all, conspiracy theories exist around all sizeable secret military bases in the world. All the conspiracies around Area 51 seem to branch out of that initial claim by Bob Lazar, and it’s safe to assume that it would just be another military facility if that wouldn’t have happened.

In reality, though, it’s not just conspiracy theorists who find Area 51 to be of interest. When some astronauts at the Skylab space facility accidentally photographed the facility, CIA sent them a special memorandum stating that it was the only coordinate on the planet with explicit instructions to not do that. In other words, the government also recognizes Area 51 as the single most-heavily-guarded secret of the U.S. military. What does that mean? Well, your guess is as good at ours.[9]

1 The Real Conspiracy At Area 51

We’ve been exposed to so many conspiracy theories surrounding Area 51 that we inadvertently ignore real controversies happening in there. It’s pretty hard to keep up with, say, cases of sexual harassment at the workplace inside Area 51 when we’re consistently told about things like exoskeletons made out of alien skin.

As is the case with most governments, the real conspiracies around Area 51 have more to do with corporate misconduct (Lockheed Martin built the U-2 plane) and employer neglect of working conditions than aliens. There have been quite a few lawsuits alleging that Area 51 employees were exposed to hazardous chemicals that weren’t dumped properly, and at least two people may have died because of it. Complicating matters even further is the government’s refusal to disclose exactly what they were exposed to, as everything inside the facility is a heavily-guarded government secret.[10]

About The Author: You can check out Himanshu’s stuff at Cracked ( and Screen Rant (, or get in touch with him for writing gigs ([email protected]).

fact checked by Jamie Frater
Himanshu Sharma

Himanshu has written for sites like Cracked, Screen Rant, The Gamer and Forbes. He could be found shouting obscenities at strangers on Twitter, or trying his hand at amateur art on Instagram.

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