Posted at 10:52 AM ET, 06/03/2011

Area 51: Declassified photos, Google Maps, unravel some of the mystery


In Rachl, Nev., this sign marks the tiny watering hole the “Little Ale’Inn.” Rachel is the closest town to Area 51, and hosts pilgrims from around the world who come hoping for UFO sightings.
A supersecret military base on the southern shore of Nevada’s Groom Lake has been the object of speculation over UFOs, and aliens for decades. It hasn’t helped that the government has barely acknowledged the site’s existence.

But now, National Geographic has published declassified photos of Area 51, taken in 1963 of a military plane crash that was allegedly covered up by the government.

“Area 51 was created so that U.S. Cold Warriors with the highest security clearances could pursue cutting-edge aeronautical projects away from prying eyes,” National Geographic writes.

One of those projects was the A-12, a plane which was so fast it could cross the continental U.S. in 70 minutes. Too fast, perhaps, because in 1963 it crashed while coming out of Area 51. See the first evidence of that crash through declassified photos here.

Despite the presence of radar stations and other security that protect the area, you can also see a satellite Google Map of Area 51 below:


A simple search in Google Maps of Area 51, Nevada, will allow you to pinpoint the secretive site on a map. (Screengrab from Google Maps)


You can zoom in to see the terrain around Area 51. (Screengrab from Google Maps)

By  |  10:52 AM ET, 06/03/2011

 
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