Area 51

Area 51 is a military base, and a remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base. It is in the southern portion of Nevada, 83 miles north-northwest of downtown Las Vegas. At its center, on the southern shore of Groom Lake, is a large military airfield. The base’s primary purpose is to support development and testing of experimental aircraft and weapons systems. Though the name ‘Area 51’ is used in official CIA documentation, other names used for the facility include ‘Dreamland,’ ‘Paradise Ranch,’ ‘Home Base,’ ‘Watertown Strip,’ ‘Groom Lake,’ and most recently ‘Homey Airport.’

The area is part of the Nellis Military Operations Area, and the restricted airspace around the field is referred to as R- 4808N, known by the military pilots in the area as ‘The Box’ or ‘the Container.’ The intense secrecy surrounding the base, the very existence of which the US government did not even acknowledge until 2003, has made it the frequent subject of conspiracy theories and a central component to unidentified flying object (UFO) folklore.

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