Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/14/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Area 51 activity led to public speculation of UFOs.

Area 51 has captivated American imagination for decades, prompting questions about what the U.S. government does at the secretive facility. Now, new revelations have pulled away the veil of secrecy, allowing the public to enjoy an unprecedented look at the history of one of the world's most enigmatic locations.

Various signs warn would-be visitors away. None refer to Area 51 itself, but rather Nellis AFB.

Various signs warn would-be visitors away. None refer to Area 51 itself, but rather Nellis AFB.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/14/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Area 51, government, UFO, speculation, secret, Groom Lake, Skylab, CIA, classified, security, stealth, drones


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A new article published by space.com details some of the new information about Area 51, including an incident in which it was photographed, perhaps inadvertently, by astronauts during a 1974 Skylab mission. That article is based on documents declassified by the CIA.

Area 51, also known as Groom Lake, was only publicly acknowledged by the CIA in July of this year. By that time it had already become the nation's worst-kept secret. Yet the not-so-secret base did a pretty good job covering up its actual day-to-day operations which led to wild conspiracy theories and rumors about what actually happened there.

AFTER THE UNSPEAKABLE, WE SPEAK HOPE. Support Catholic Online's response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.  DONATE NOW...

For the public imagination, Area 51 was an ultra-secret facility that tested alien technology from recovered UFOs. Some stories even claimed alien bodies, or live aliens were housed there and interacted with government agents. Area 51 became a staple of science fiction.

Adding to the rumors was the persistent, even obstinate government secrecy. From official denials to dire warning signs posted around the perimeter warning, "use of lethal force authorized," the government did little to dispel the rumors of UFOs and alien visitors.

The government secrecy was so insistent that when a 1974 Skylab mission photographed the area from space, there was a high-level discussion between CIA and security officials and NASA as to whether the photograph should be released to the public. Eventually, the photograph was quietly placed in a public archive where it sat forgotten for decades.

There was a reason for the extreme government secrecy. What the Air Force and CIA were actually up to warranted tight security. As early as the 1950s, the site was used to test advanced aircraft technology, particularly reconnaissance and stealth technology.

Today, the past product of the work at Area 51 is mostly public knowledge. The U2 and SR-71 spy planes, which warranted great secrecy until the 1980s, are now retired. Incidentally, those aircraft flew so high, and the SR-71 so fast, that they prompted many UFO sightings in the Western U.S. Reports of high flying, fast moving UFOs were actually spy planes flying much higher and faster than the public thought possible at the time. It didn't help that their shapes were unconventional too.

Stealth technology, which became public only in the late 1980s, was pioneered there. Today, stealth is becoming commonplace and three decades behind Area 51, nations such as China and Russia are finally developing their own stealth aircraft.

Drone technology was also pioneered there, and today that is also commonplace.

However, there remains no credible evidence that Area 51 has anything to do with UFOs or aliens. The entire sensation over the phenomenon has turned out to be a convenient distraction for the public from the true purpose of the facility. In a sense, the UFOs were a true conspiracy, but one conveniently manufactured by the public, with a little help from the government.

Or, could it be that the conspiracy itself IS the conspiracy? It's not too far fetched to imagine a few colorful personalities on the government dole in exchange for insisting that Area 51 is all about aliens, drawing attention away from the very real nature of the facility. Perhaps public confusion is part of the proof.

Today, Area 51 continues to operate, still in secret, despite the publication of many photos and a revelation of its history. It remains a matter of wild speculation to imagine what is developed there today, although the secrecy is much improved by technology.

Around the perimeter, motion sensors detect people approaching on foot. Most of the work, once done on the tarmac, is now done underground in laboratories, often with computers and simulations. Fewer flights are needed now that the blueprint and slide rule have given way to software.

Whatever goes on there, we can rest assured of two things. First, it is beyond what we can imagine today, just as stealth technology was beyond the average imagination of the 80's kid. Second, the projects they develop today will become known in the decades to come, just as we now know what they were really up to during all those years of our youth. 

The Skylab image from 1974. The astronauts were told not to photograph Area 51, but did so anyway de

The Skylab image from 1974. The astronauts were told not to photograph Area 51, but did so anyway despite CIA protest. NASA won the debate to have the image placed in public archives, but nobody noticed it or appreciated its significance.


You can view Area 51 with Google, but it looks pretty mundane. Of course, they knew when the imaging

You can view Area 51 with Google, but it looks pretty mundane. Of course, they knew when the imaging satellite was passing over.


A secret aircraft component is transported. The cover is to protect it from damage, dust, and eyes.

A secret aircraft component is transported. The cover is to protect it from damage, dust, and eyes.


Some of the secret craft tested by the Air Force. Flying disks were in phase for awhile. It was thou

Some of the secret craft tested by the Air Force. Flying disks were in phase for awhile. It was thought they might be more maneuverable than conventional aircraft.


The wreckage of a crashed spy plane. Cover ups such as these fueled public speculation about downed

The wreckage of a crashed spy plane. Cover ups such as these fueled public speculation about downed UFOs.


The OXCART and SR 71 aircraft were developed and tested at Area 51. Various tests were conducted to

The OXCART and SR 71 aircraft were developed and tested at Area 51. Various tests were conducted to see how the craft appeared to radar at various angles.


OXCART aircraft lined up for a photoshoot. Despite the secrecy, officials were very proud of their s

OXCART aircraft lined up for a photoshoot. Despite the secrecy, officials were very proud of their success and for good reason. Unfortunately, that reason is classified.


The SR 71 still looks futuristic, yet today is has been retired for two decades. It makes you wonder

The SR 71 still looks futuristic, yet today is has been retired for two decades. It makes you wonder what they have today.


The F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Fighter under construction. The fighter-bomber was used to deadly effect

The F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Fighter under construction. The fighter-bomber was used to deadly effect in Desert Storm, sneaking in and destroying high-value targets without being detected. Stealth technology gives the U.S. military unprecedented, effective strike capability while minimizing risk to pilots and mission success.


Codenamed TACIT BLUE, this craft was flown at Area 51 in 1982 and was used to demonstrate stealth te

Codenamed TACIT BLUE, this craft was flown at Area 51 in 1982 and was used to demonstrate stealth technology.


The Boeing Bird of Prey, a technology demonstrator used to test minimization of shadows and active c

The Boeing Bird of Prey, a technology demonstrator used to test minimization of shadows and active camouflage-- an aircraft designed to be invisible to the eye in broad daylight. It was flown in the 1990s. Today it is on museum display.


Area 51 remains off limits to this day. Most of its work is now done underground and with computers.

Area 51 remains off limits to this day. Most of its work is now done underground and with computers. It's ill advised to attempt to go there. Use of lethal force is still authorized.



AFTER THE UNSPEAKABLE, WE SPEAK HOPE. Support Catholic Online's response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.  DONATE NOW...

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More Technology

Faception: New app to identify everyone from pedophiles to terrorists Watch

Image of Faception app can play huge role in national security (snapmunk).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A new app just signed a contract with a homeland security agency to help identify national threats to security - but is it accurate? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Faception is a new facial recognition app that can identify everyone from terrorists to poker ... continue reading


DISLIKE: Facebook blames Zuckerberg bias on employees, promises to retrain Watch

Image of It's the employees, never the boss, who is responsible.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Facebook has announced they will retrain employees responsible for curating their news content. The social networking giant has been accused of censoring news and content with a conservative slant in favor of liberal content. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - ... continue reading


Think again! Soon, EVERY job will be taken by robots Watch

Image of In the future, every job will be performed by a robot. Robots will even repair and design other robots. What happens when human labor becomes obsolete?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

All healthy, well adjusted people want to work. It's hardwired into our DNA to build, to produce, to gather, grow and trade. Without this impulse, our species could never have built civilization. But what happens when an essential part of our being becomes obsolete? ... continue reading


We are THIS close to finding life on another planet Watch

Image of The James Webb Space Telescope may bring us the answers we seek regarding life in the universe.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Scientists have announced the discovery of three planets in the habitable zone of a star just 39 light years away. Such planets have the potential to host life, making them targets for future study. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Are scientists about to ... continue reading


Chinese invent robots that can beat humans at soccer Watch

Image of Chinese robots are now beating humans at their own game.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Earlier this year, a robot beat a master player at the ancient game of Go. Now, robots are beating humans at soccer. Armies of engineers are working around the world to develop artificial intelligence and robots that can do what humans do, only better. They're making ... continue reading


Top Secret Area 51 on fire - film footage captures mysterious mushroom cloud, armed security at base Watch

Image of What just happened in the secretive Area 51?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

UFO watchers have spotted a mysterious mushroom-shaped cloud over Area 51. The cause of the cloud remains unknown, but it is evidently connected to a fire at the secret military base. Viewers were unable to obtain direct footage of whatever caused the inferno, due to ... continue reading


AI shoots to kill: Will robots rule the world? Watch

Image of Researchers believe Artificial Intelligence can lead to the extinction of all humanity (Terminator 2).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

After Microsoft's failure with AI teen "Tay," it should come as no surprise that more and more researchers are agreeing artificial intelligence requires a delicate balance between helpful tech and murderous exterminators. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According ... continue reading


New machine about to replace ALL fast food workers -- and why that's awesome! Watch

Image of Several companies are developing machines and robots that can replace legions of low-wage, low-skilled workers. The cost savings would be tremendous. It would also be of benefit to the workers themselves, a least in the long run.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Fast food workers, say goodbye to that grimy job with surly guests and overbearing managers. Your fight for $15 is over. No, you didn't win, someone has invented a machine that makes hamburgers better and faster than you do. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - ... continue reading


Extraordinary life-changing surgery allows paralyzed man to regain body control Watch

Image of Chip implant helps paralyzed man move arm and even play guitar (Screenshot/Ohio State University).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Ian Burkhart underwent experimental brain surgery to help scientists pioneer technology aimed at reanimating paralyzed limbs - and it worked! LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Six years ago, Burkhart severed his spine when he went for a swim and was slammed into a ... continue reading


Would you eat a pizza delivered by a robot? Customers in New Zealand already can... How will this affect you? Watch

Image of Within a few years, your pizza may be delivered by robot.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Robots will soon begin to deliver your mail, pizza, and other parcels within the next few years. Plans are being developed around the globe to test, then roll out automated delivery systems for everything from packages, to mail to pizza. The rising demand for delivered ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Daily Readings for Saturday, May 28, 2016
  • Bl. Margaret Pole: Saint of the Day for Saturday, May 28, 2016
  • Daily Reading for Wednesday, June 1st, 2016 HD Video
  • Woman diagnosed with 'nightmare bacteria' in US
  • Your Daily Inspirational Meme: He will never leave you
  • Advent Prayer HD Video
  • WARNING: Exorcist claims demon is targeting families

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jude 1:17, 20-25
17 But remember, my dear friends, what the apostles of our Lord Jesus ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 63:2, 3-4, 5-6
2 Thus I have gazed on you in the sanctuary, seeing your power and your ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 11:27-33
27 They came to Jerusalem again, and as Jesus was walking in the Temple, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 28th, 2016 Image

Bl. Margaret Pole
May 28: Martyr of England. She was born Margaret ... Read More