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Area 51 Overview

Area 51 (also known as Dreamland, or Groom Lake) is a military base that operates as Detachment 3 of the Air Force Flight Test Center, which is headquartered at Edwards Air Force Base.

Area 51 is located in the southern portion of Nevada in the western United States, 83 miles (133 km) north-northwest of Las Vegas. Situated at its center, on the southern shore of Groom Lake, is a large military installation. The primary purpose of the base is undetermined; however, based on historical evidence, it appears to support development and testing of experimental aircraft and weapons systems. The Area 51 base lies within the United States Air Force's vast Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR), formerly called the Nellis Air Force Range (NAFR). Though the name Area 51 is used in official Central Intelligence Agency (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 military pilots in the area as "The Box" or "The Container". The facility is not a conventional airbase, as frontline operational units are not normally deployed there. It instead appears to be used for highly classified military/defense Special Access Programs (SAP), which are unacknowledged publicly by the government, military personnel, and defense contractors. Its mission may be to support the development, testing, and training phases for new aircraft weapons systems or research projects. Once these projects have been approved by the United States Air Force or other agencies such as the CIA, and are ready to be announced to the public, operations of the aircraft are then moved to a normal air force base. Everything that happens at Area 51 is classified Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI), or higher.

Some Area 51 History
During World War II, the United States Army Air Corps built several runways in Nevada, including a pair of small runways at Groom Lake. They named the spot the Army Air Corps Gunnery School. After the 1940s, the runways were abandoned. In the early 1950s, the CIA entered a partnership with Lockheed to develop high altitude aircraft to use in surveillance missions. Kelly Johnson at Lockheed helmed the project. He formed a department of engineers and test pilots that eventually took on the name Skunk Works. The Skunk Works department was famous for being very secretive and nearly fanatical in the pursuit of their goals. The CIA and Johnson both knew that secrecy was critical to their success, and so Johnson needed to find a location to develop and test secret aircraft. He wanted a location that was remote enough to avoid notice, yet still close enough to a major city so that supplying the facility would not be a monumental task. The site would need to be easily accessible by aircraft and out of the way of commercial and military flight paths. It would also need space to house a sizable force of military and civilian employees. In 1955, he traveled to Nevada with test pilot Tony LeVier and CIA representative Osmond Ritland to find a good place to use as a base of operations for test flights. Ritland trained at the Gunnery School and told Johnson about it. Johnson decided the location was ideal for their operations. Four months later, crews completed the initial construction. U-2 test flights began and President Eisenhower signed an Executive Order restricting the airspace over Groom Lake. The CIA, the Atomic Energy Commission and Lockheed oversaw base operations. Eventually, control of the base would pass to the U.S. Department of Energy and eventually the United States Air Force. For the most comprehensive Area 51 research available online, we recommend the Dreamland Resort

All-Inclusive Custom Area 51 Tours for Private Groups from Las Vegas:
• Pre-Booked, Custom Tours for Private Groups Only (minimum 6 people required)
• Full Day Guided Tour to Rachel, Nevada and security perimeter of Area 51
• Area 51 Researcher as your personal Tour Guide / Driver + Bus Driver (Coach)
• Each and Every Tour is a "Private Tour" - Your Group Only (in our Coach or Van)
• Flexibility in Group Size: 6 - 52 people per Area 51 Tour Group

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Tour Testimonials

"Tony, thanks for the great job delivering outstanding quality Tours to Area 51! Look forward to working together in the future."

Jan Harzan - MUFON
Executive Director, 2013 - present

"You have done your homework in two of my favorite subjects - UFOs and nuclear research... It was a pleasure collaborating with you."

Stanton Friedman (1934 - 2019)
Nuclear Physicist / Author / Speaker

"Many thanks for another superb Tour - had a wonderful time and want to do another one. The Tour was all that I wanted and more."

Tom Morgan - U.S.A., retired
USMAWP Class of '58

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