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Area 51 officially acknowledged, mapped in newly released documents
August 16, 2013 at 8:02 AM

Area 51 officially acknowledged, mapped in newly released documents

By Laura Koran, CNN

updated 3:28 AM EDT, Fri August 16, 2013

(CNN) -- Area 51 has long been a topic of fascination for conspiracy theorists and paranormal enthusiasts, but newly released CIA documents officially acknowledge the site and suggest that the area served a far less remarkable purpose than many had supposed.

According to these reports, which include a map of the base's location in Nevada, Area 51 was merely a testing site for the government's U-2 and OXCART aerial surveillance programs. The U-2 program conducted surveillance around the world, including over the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Area 51, about 125 miles northwest of Las Vegas, is synonymous in popular culture with government secrecy, and many have theorized that it holds the answer to one of the greatest questions plaguing mankind: Are we really alone in the universe?

But the newly released documents make no mention of alien autopsy rooms or spaceship parking lots.

This information will be disappointing to some, who have come to view the area has been a mecca of sorts for alien encounters.

For these true believers, the existence of alien spacecraft at Area 51, and the government's attempts to cover up their trace, is irrefutable and has been since reports of Unidentified Flying Objects -- or UFOs -- began to emerge from the Nevada desert in the middle part of the 20th century.

The map and other documents were released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by Jeffrey T. Richelson, a senior fellow at the National Security Archives, in 2005.

Richelson submitted the request as part of his continuing study of aerial surveillance programs and told CNN that he was not given an explanation of why the new documents were less redacted than previous versions declassified by the agency.

He points out, however, that the location of Area 51 was not a particularly well-kept secret. Its location appears in books on aerial surveillance and is widely referenced in popular culture.

In fact, the map that was released in the CIA documents mirrors the one that appears after a simple Google Maps search for "Area 51."

Area 51 has also been referenced in government documents in the past, though this newest release is the first that acknowledges its existence and location in a purposeful way.

Richelson told CNN he believes this could signal a dramatic change in the government's willingness to declassify information about the famed base, meaning even more information could come out about Area 51 in the future.

The release of these reports seem to put the theories about aliens and flying saucers to rest for the time being, although they may not be enough to silence the true believers.

At least they still have Roswell, right?


  • Donna6503
    August 16, 2013 at 8:11 AM
    Now can the government provide the maps to the Bigfoot village in Wsshington?

    Just having a little fun. ;)
  • prommy
    by prommy
    August 16, 2013 at 10:49 AM

     I know for a fact there are alien bodies at Area 51... I saw it on TV. ;)

  • SuzCahn
    by SuzCahn
    August 16, 2013 at 11:10 AM

     Where do you think Pelosi came from???? ;)

  • mariekay
    August 16, 2013 at 11:13 AM


    Quoting SuzCahn:

     Where do you think Pelosi came from???? ;)

  • prommy
    by prommy
    August 16, 2013 at 11:40 AM


    Quoting SuzCahn:

     Where do you think Pelosi came from???? ;)

     rolling on floor

  • Peanutx3
    August 16, 2013 at 11:41 AM


    Quoting Donna6503:

    Now can the government provide the maps to the Bigfoot village in Wsshington?

    Just having a little fun. ;)

  • T-HoneyLuv
    August 16, 2013 at 11:59 AM
    It seems like there is more going on than just an aerial surveillance site considering the high level of security and armed guards ready to shoot trespassers on the spot.
  • sweet-a-kins
    August 16, 2013 at 2:41 PM

     of course, now that they have MOVED all the ALIENS!

  • kjc143
    by kjc143
    August 16, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    Ha ha, this blurb won't stop the conspiracy'll only add fuel to the fire.  Can't wait.  More alien movies! :)

  • ms-superwoman
    August 16, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    I cannot wait for all the new alien movies to come out!

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