LAS VEGAS (AP) — UFO buffs and believers in space aliens are celebrating the CIA’s clearest acknowledgement yet of the existence of Area 51, the top-secret Cold War test site that has been the subject of elaborate conspiracy theories for decades.
The recently declassified documents have set the tinfoil-hat contingent abuzz on the Internet, though there’s no mention in the papers of UFO crashes, black-eyed extraterrestrials or staged moon landings.
“I’m thinking that they’re probably testing the waters now to see how mad people get about the big lie and cover-up,” said Audrey Hewins, an Oxford, Maine, woman who runs a support group for people like her who believe they have been contacted by extraterrestrials. “We’re hoping the CIA is leading up to disclosure” of the existence of space aliens on Earth.
“It’s not something you can look at us and lie about, because we know that they’re here and have been here for a long time,” she said.
The CIA history released Thursday not only refers to Area 51 by name and describes some of the activities that took place there, but places the Air Force base on a map, along the dry Groom Lake bed.
It also describes some cool planes, though none of them are saucer-shaped.
George Washington University’s National Security Archive used a public records request to obtain the CIA history of one of Area 51’s most secret Cold War projects, the U-2 spy plane program.
National Security Archive senior fellow Jeffrey Richelson first reviewed the history in 2002, but all mentions of the country’s most mysterious military base had been redacted. So he requested the history again in 2005, hoping for more information. Sure enough, he received a version a few weeks ago with the mentions of Area 51 restored.
The report is unlikely to stop the conspiracy theories. The 407-page document still contains many redactions, and who’s to say those missing sections don’t involve little green men?
Some UFO buffs and others believe the most earthshattering revelations will come from Area 51 workers, not an official document.