Area 51 is a secret U.S. Air Force military installation located at Groom Lake in southern Nevada. This location has been the focus of numerous conspiracies involving extraterrestrial life, even though it’s only confirmed use is as a flight testing facility. Therefore, the question begs: what is actually known about this secretive place?
This location is not accessible to the public and is under 24-hour surveillance. The employees of Area 51 enter the facility by way of airplanes. They fly in and out of a restricted terminal at McCarran International Airport on one of several unmarked planes permitted to fly through the airspace above. Adding to the secrecy, satellite imagery of the installation was censored until 2018. During World War II, the US Army Air Corps used the site as an aerial gunnery range. Then 1955, the area was selected by the CIA as a testing site for a high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft, the Lockheed U-2. After the U-2 was put into service in 1956, other aircraft were tested, including the A-12 reconnaissance plane, and the stealth fighter F-117 Nighthawk. However, in 1989, a man named Robert Lazar claimed he worked on extraterrestrial technology inside Area 51. Lazar expressed that he saw autopsy photographs of aliens inside the facility and that the US government used the facility to examine recovered alien spacecraft. Although Lazar himself was dishonored, his claims spawned numerous government conspiracy theories, most of which involve extraterrestrial life.
Fifty-eight years later, on June 25, 2013, the CIA approved the release of declassified documents that chronicled the history of the U-2 and A-12 reconnaissance planes in response to a request permitted by the Freedom of Information Act. As a result, the release of those documents marked the first time that the US government acknowledged the existence of Area 51. Since then, not much other information has been released.