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We're About To Learn A Lot More About Area 51

Posted: 05/17/2014 8:34 am EDT Updated: 05/21/2014 11:59 am EDT

By Lee Speigel Become a fan

When the National Atomic Testing Museum of Las Vegas opened its "Area 51: Myth or Reality" exhibit two years ago, it became an instant hit. It wasn't just the only place that had a comprehensive knowledge of Area 51 -- it gave a venue to former employees of America's top secret military base to present their involvement in declassified projects.

Today, the museum is expanding.

"Area 51: Myth or Reality" is re-opening its doors today to give the public more of the truth about one of the most secretive military installations. After all, Area 51 is the same facility that spawned America's stealth fighter technology as well as decades of speculation about the alleged testing of recovered UFOs.

"It's fair to say that an awful lot of people were very skeptical of us presenting anything that had to do with UFOs and space travel and aliens. But I felt compelled to at least address that part of the story in this Area 51 exhibit, so that became a big part of it," said museum executive director and CEO Allan Palmer. Palmer, a former distinguished Air Force and Navy jet fighter pilot, told The Huffington Post what people can expect from the newly-tweaked Area 51 exhibit.

"We've added some really interesting elements to the exhibit that weren't there before -- some extra artifacts, a different look and feel to make more of a definition between the myth and reality sides of the exhibit. We wanted to create the experience for the visitor of going through Area 51, first of all, just knowing what it is and getting a little bit of in-character view as you walk in, a briefing by the guards, admonishing you not to tell anybody about what's going on and keeping it to yourself."

The National Atomic Testing Museum -- one of a handful of national museums -- is the most logical place to house an exhibit devoted to Area 51, which is located about 100 miles north of Las Vegas.

The museum contains more than 12,000 artifacts related to the history of the development and testing of nuclear bombs.

Up until 1989, the public didn't know much about Area 51. There were reports of strange-looking lights in the sky in the general vicinity of what's now known as a military installation, but that's about it. During that year, KLAS-TV news reporter George Knapp publicly broke the Area 51 story after an interview he conducted with Bob Lazar, who claimed to be a government physicist performing research on recovered alien technology at the top secret Nevada military base. Lazar's story included allegations of a campaign of intimidation against him. Palmer, who also hosts a weekly Las Vegas-based radio program, "Myth or Reality," on KXNT-FM, told HuffPost he was all set to dismantle the Area 51 exhibit after its first two years, but thought better of it.

"It was so successful and was filling a need and a gap that existed. Nobody else really has dealt seriously with that whole business of Area 51 and UFOs and aliens that go with it, so we really felt obligated to do it, and at the end of two years, people still wanted to see it. It still has broad appeal, not just here in the museum, but throughout America and internationally, so we decided to change it a bit to make it more interesting, user-friendly and exciting, and I think the public is going to be really thrilled when they see what we've done with it."

Today's re-opening of the Area 51 exhibit will include appearances by former employees of Area 51 -- government workers, test engineers, radar experts and pilots. KLAS-TV's multi-Emmy Award-winning Knapp, retired military officials, including Air Force Col. Charles Halt and Army Col. John Alexander, as well as former British Ministry of Defence UFO investigator Nick Pope will all be in attendance. The exhibit features an alleged "authentic alien artifact" -- small pieces of material that came from a reported 1986 UFO crash in Russia. Also on display are unique UFO photographs from the personal collection of Robert Bigelow, founder of Bigelow Aerospace, that is creating the next generation of spacecraft. Palmer personally selected Bigelow's UFO images to include in the Area 51 exhibit. "What's remarkable about them is that they were original negatives -- not prints -- they were negatives that we made prints from, so we know they were not doctored, they're all pre-Photoshop. These are photographic images of UFOs from around the world, going back to the 1940s up through the 70s. In some of the images, you can see that they may be confused with some naturally occurring phenomena, but there are others that are clearly not."

Boyd Bushman

Scientist Shares Insider Truth About

Area 51

Shortly before Boyd Bushman passed away on August 7, 2014, he was video recorded candidly speaking about his personal experiences with Area 51, UFOs, aliens and anti-gravity ideas. Boyd was a retired Senior Scientist for Lockheed Martin. His career spanned over forty years, was awarded many patents, and included work with defense contractors Hughes Aircraft, General Dynamics, Texas Instruments, and Lockheed Martin.

Boyd Bushman: A Documentary on Area 51 and UFOs over Tucson, Arizona




25 years later: Man who exposed Area 51

May 12, 2014 1:42 PM PDT

By George Knapp, Chief Investigative Reporter -

It has been 25 years to the day since a live interview with a shadowy guy named Dennis changed everything for America's most secret military base.

I-Team reporter George Knapp broke a story in 1989 that exposed details about the then-secret government base known as Area 51. A man who claimed to have worked at the base broke his silence.


Area 51

LAS VEGAS -- A once-secret air base in the Nevada desert is marking an unofficial anniversary Tuesday.

Area 51 was one of the most secretive places on the planet, known primarily to the top secret  employees who worked there or by those few who lived in the vicinity. But that anonymity vanished forever because of what happened 25 years ago when a controversial electronics whiz told a fantastic tale during a television interview. That interview with I-Team reporter George Knapp became an international sensation.

Knapp had been preparing for the 5 p.m. news on May 13, 1989 when the scheduled interview canceled. Knapp placed a call to aviator John Lear to see if someone else could fill the spot. Lear had hinted to Knapp he knew someone who worked out near Area 51, and the guy claimed to have been tinkering with flying saucers from another planet.

That first interview with Bob Lazar sounded outrageous and it ended up exposing details about the government’s secret base called Area 51. Lazar was initially reluctant to talk, but he did.

"Sometimes I really do regret it, and I almost feel like apologizing to them, saying, I'm sorry. Can I have my job back?" Lazar said.

Twenty five years after he was forever transformed into "Bob the UFO guy," Lazar says he regrets ever talking about flying saucers or a secret base in the Nevada desert or any of the things that made his name known all over the world.

"There isn't a day that I don't get emails and I try to get this across to them. I don't even want to talk about this anymore," he said.

People will tell him they don’t believe his story, but Lazar doesn't’t care.

"Great. Pass it around; you know I really don't want you to because it makes life difficult for me."

A quarter century ago, not many people outside of Nevada had ever heard of Area 51, the mysterious base 100 miles north of Las Vegas, a place the government said didn't exist. It was the location of choice for all manner of black projects, spy planes that were kept secret from the public.

Former CIA pilot John Lear remembers the day that Area 51 became a household name. He shot home video of an interview where a nervous Lazar talked with Knapp about Area 51.

"Yeah, he's nervous because he was putting it all on the line there. He's going to reveal secrets he'd signed on he would never tell anybody," Lear said.

In the interview, Lazar's face was hidden and he used a pseudonym, Dennis, which was the first name of his boss out in the desert. He claimed he worked intermittently at a location called S-4 south of Groom Lake, the main facility of Area 51. He said the hangars had been built into the side of a mountain, disguised as desert, and inside were nine flying saucers.

Months later, he revealed his identity to the world and said the technology he had worked on was from somewhere else and it was being taken apart to figure out how it worked.

The information exploded like a bomb, and in the quarter century since then, the world has beaten a path to Area 51's door. Every major news organization in the world has written stories. The base has inspired documentaries, television dramas and has made it into several blockbuster movies. Dozens of books have been written, fiction and non-fiction, hundreds of news articles, many of them critical of Lazar and skeptical about his background, have been printed. His tale launched 1,000 product lines with every trinket you can imagine, along with assorted businesses such as a Triple A baseball team and the world's only Extraterrestrial Highway running right past the entrance to Groom Lake.

President Obama recently made a point of publicly acknowledging the Area 51 base and former President Bill Clinton told Jimmy Kimmel he had looked into the stories about space aliens. Even the Kardashians have made the trek out to the desert.

"Look how that story moved through the Internet so quickly, not just the Internet but the news itself. Within 48 hours, it was broadcast in Japan," Lazar said.

Back in Las Vegas for a visit, Lazar recalls why he came forward in the first place. He had traveled to the S-4 base only a handful of times but began to get scared.

"I began to get really worried in that, they had given me all this classified information, they are not calling me anymore. They won’t take my phone calls. In the meantime, they are deciding what to do with me," Lazar said.

For a variety of personal reasons, Lazar couldn't keep the story to himself. He shared his tale with John Lear and Gene Huff. They, and a few others, made treks out to the outskirts of S-4 because Lazar said he had learned when test flights of the saucer would take place. Three weeks in a row, a glowing object appeared over the mountains.

"The time when Bob said there would be a test, there was a strange light jumping around in the sky above the location where he said it would be at the time and date he said it would be," Huff said.

"The craft took off when I said. It was taking off from past the mountain range, which was Papoose Lake, S-4, south of Area 51, a restricted area so it’s not like anyone was out there with a model airplane or anything and it flew around with incredible maneuvers that impressed everybody to the point where we got scared and got behind a car fearing it was going to explode. But really, how do you explain that?" Lazar said.

He has more than his share of critics, including the poobahs of the UFO community who think he made it up. And there are holes in Lazar’s background that have yet to be filled, but -- to date -- no one has yet been able to explain how he knew those test flights would take place three weeks in a row.

NOTE: The Area 51 exhibit at the Atomic Testing Museum is having a grand re-opening on Saturday, May 17. It is located at 755 E. Flamingo Rd. The phone number is (702)794-5151 and it is open on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.


I-Team: New twists in the Area 51 tax case

Posted: Aug 01, 2014 4:13 PM PST Updated: Aug 01, 2014 5:25 PM PST

By George Knapp, Chief Investigative Reporter

LAS VEGAS -- A nasty tussle between state tax officials and leaders in Lincoln County has taken a new set of twists and turns. At the heart of it all is the top secret Area 51 military base and the amount of taxes paid by contractors out there who are working on who-knows what. As the I-Team first reported weeks ago, Lincoln County cut a deal that would increase its tax payments from Area 51, but when the state tax commission started asking questions about how the deal was reached, a wall of secrecy came down and harsh words started flying. "I laughed. I gotta admit, I laughed. Obviously, we struck a real raw nerve with this guy," George Kelesis with the Nevada Tax Commission said. Kelesis, who is a tax attorney, had to chuckle when he first read the court motion filed by the District Attorney for Lincoln County.

It is the legal equivalent of an obscene gesture; Lincoln County telling state tax officials to butt out. It mirrors what the Nevada Tax Commission heard during a special meeting in mid July, where DA Dan Hogue and County Commissioner Ed Higbee were grilled about a deal that had been cut with the Air Force regarding tax payments from the top secret Area 51 military base. The two witnesses repeatedly said they could not answer questions about the deal because they had signed non-disclosure agreements with the Pentagon, supposedly because everything at Area 51 is classified. Commissioners suspected the secrecy had more to do with the county's own behavior, not national security. "The people who were there were really offended, and the clear attitude was, ‘how dare you ask us a question,’" Kelesis said. Here is the issue in a nutshell. Lincoln County is hurting, almost broke. The largest employer in the county is Area 51. The county cannot tax a military base, but it can tax the private contractors who work out there.

For years, the county received a pittance from the Air Force but, since the assessor was not cleared to step foot on the base, the office had to rely on satellite photos toguesstimatee the taxes owed. Enter Ashley Hall, a politically connected consultant and former Air Force officer, who pitched the county with an idea, he would get more tax money out of Area 51, but wanted to keep 25 percent of anything he collected. The county agreed, even though one of Hall's key employees in the deal is the first cousin of Lincoln County Commission Chairman Ed Higbee. Hall got the Air Force to agree to pay an extra $1.8 million. Four days later, Hall and Higbee signed a separate agreement about how Hall would be paid and for how long. Lincoln County, nearly broke, agreed to fork over close to half a million dollars to Hall. DA Hogue advised the county that the money was a settlement, not tax revenue, which meant it did not have to be allocated like other tax revenue, with portions going to the county's ailing school, fire and hospital budgets.

Tax commissioners found out about the deal and thought the whole thing smelled fishy. "The question is, what efforts did Lincoln County take to collect this tax prior to retaining this consultant, and it was clear none were taken. And that is distressing. They didn't call the tax division. They didn't call the governor. They didn't call anybody. They simply made this agreement and went forward," Kelesis said. During the July meeting, Kelesis grilled county officials about the deal. "Why can't you talk to us and what did you sign?" Kelesis asked county officials. But when county officials either couldn't or wouldn't answer, the commission voted to issue subpoenas for records and witnesses. Nine days later, Lincoln County filed for an injunction to stop the state probe. The motion said Commissioner Thom Sheets had intimidated and threatened county officials and that Kelesis had lied and attacked their character. The Lincoln County newspaper defended the deal, saying everything had been open and above board. "I was astounded when we were simply in the process of trying to determine what happened and how it happened," Kelesis said. Four days after Lincoln County went to court to stop the state investigation; it reversed itself, decided to drop the lawsuit, and asked the state if the two sides could work something out instead.

Commissioner Kelesis thinks that someone must have realized that a court battle would shine even more light on the Area 51 deal. The whole dispute could come to a head Monday when the tax commission will hold its next meeting.

All content Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KLAS. All Rights Reserved



Groom Lake (upper left)

and Papoose Lake (lower right). In July 2013, following a FOIA request filed in 2005, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) publicly acknowledged the existence of the 60-year-old Area 51 base for the first time by declassifying documents detailing the history and purpose of Area 51, which has some of the longest runways on
Earth. The above aerial was taken on August 6, 2010, by Doc Searls/ Wikipedia.

The RQ-180

Thursday, December 12, 2013

CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr

It looks like a bat, sweeping, turning. But it’s actually the new super-secret Air Force stealth drone.

CNN has learned this unmanned spy plane is designed to fly for up to 24 hours behind enemy lines in countries like North Korea, Iran, and Syria.

Military sources tell CNN it will give the United States a critical stealth advantage to spy on countries that have strong air defense systems able to shoot down more conventional aircraft.

The drone, believed to be called the RQ-180, was first revealed by the magazine Aviation Week and Space Technology in a lengthy article co-authored by Amy Butler and Bill Sweetman, both long time experts in classified military stealth technology.

The program is so classified the Air Force would not confirm its existence to CNN or Aviation Week.

But several U.S. officials told CNN its capabilities are a top intelligence gathering priority– especially after a less sophisticated stealth drone went down in Iran in 2012.

The key, Butler said, is the drone’s ability to fly long distance and stay aloft for 24 hours in a stealthy manner.

"This aircraft will be able to penetrate that border and conduct operations in and around an enemy airspace without being targeted," Butler told CNN.

It’s so secret the drone is believed to be at a hangar at Area 51 - the Air Force's highly secure flight test center in Nevada.

The drone may be able to fly as high as 11 miles. The requirement for an asset that is stealthy, can fly at high altitude and conduct intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance is a crucial priority for the military and the intelligence community.

In several countries, air defenses have improved significantly in recent years making it difficult if not impossible for U.S. assets to gather information.

The drone’s ability to stay up for 24 hours will also give it a key advantage over satellites which often pass by a target intermittently and are subject to be being detected.

Butler said the shape of the drone means enemy radars can't easily see the drone as heat it throws off is shielded so radars can’t pick it up.

"This aircraft is designed to evade both those thermal sensor, those radar sensors, and other sensors that look for aircraft. So it might not be invisible to radar, but you might not be able to target it and shoot it down."

Butler suggested the drone may even be able to carry sensors that can listen to cell phone calls and any "activities on enemy frequency, radar activities, that sort of thing."

Although it’s not confirmed, the magazine suggested the drone could be operating as soon as 2015.

Former Area 51 employee: Work there helped save world

LAS VEGAS (KSNV -- After decades of speculation and haunting rumors, the U.S. government is finally
acknowledging the existence of Area 51.
The top-secret site -- about three hours northwest of Las Vegas -- played a crucial role in the Cold War, but the government
long has fought to keep it private.
That fight for secrecy has sparked many conspiracy theories, including government interaction with aliens.
Some of those theories are explored at the National Atomic Testing Museum with an exhibit on Area 51.
The acknowledgment only came about because the National Security Archive acquired some CIA documents, spelling out Area 51's
role in preventing nuclear war.
While rumors still swirl of alien encounters and the classified creation of weapons, what is known for sure is that the
secluded spot served to test spy planes during the Cold War.
Those planes -- called U-2s -- spied on the Soviet Union, snapping pictures of the country’s nuclear productions.
Richard Mingus, a former Area 51 security guard, said he believes the work done there helped end the Cold War.
“I knew what we were doing was extremely important,” Mingus said. “What we learned by spying on the Soviets, we knew how
strong they were and how strong they really weren't.”
Now a security guard at the National Atomic Testing Museum, Mingus said he is relieved the government is acknowledging Area
51. Sworn to secrecy for years, he was not able to tell his wife about his work.
Allan Palmer, the museum’s executive director says it's likely there's still plenty of top-secret government activity going
on at Area 51. He adds that sometime the government has to stay silent to prevent enemies from knowing national secrets.