The entrance is seemingly protected by little more than signs that read, Top Secret Military Facility, No Trespassing, Use of Deadly Force Authorized. There is no gate but make no mistake, you are being watched. Look to the right and on the top of a nearby hill is a 4 wheel drive vehicle with two heavily armed guards to insure no one enters this base. In addition, on closer observation, you’ll see cameras, sensors and listening devices strategically placed among the cactus and Joshua Trees.
There are of course, the alien conspiracy theories attached to the 1947 Roswell crash where UFO wreckage and alien bodies were said to have been recovered. And that we are reverse engineering the Alien technology. For all the theories and speculation, what is true is that Area 51 is real and still very active. Only a select few with the highest security clearance are privy to what is really happening inside the facility. Also, hundreds of workers fly to and from the base daily on the airline known as “Janet” from Las Vegas McCarran International Airport. The airline has been hiding in plain sight alongside the Las Vegas Strip for decades. The stories that nothing is going on at Area 51 are quite false.
In the early days of Area 51 the government knew the majority of the “UFO” unexplained sightings were U-2 spy-plane tests, but could not reveal these details to the public. So, “natural phenomena” or “high-altitude weather research” became the standard explanations for the UFO sightings. The U-2 program halted in the late 1950s, but other top secret military aircraft continued testing at Area 51. Over the years, numerous top secret and stealth aircraft like the SR-71 Blackbird, F-117 Nighthawk and F-22 Raptor, have all been developed and tested at Area 51.
George Knapp, a local investigative reporter in Las Vegas let the cat out of the bag when he told the world about the existence of Area 51. Even the state of Nevada capitalized on this new found fame and mystery by renaming Route 375 the “Extraterrestrial Highway,” and destinations such as the Alien Research Center and The Little A’Le’ Inn (in the town of Rachel) continue to be popular tourist destinations.