Sorry, Conspiracy Theorists: Area 51 is Real, But The Aliens Aren't

There has been a long tradition in American culture of supposing the existence of aliens, and likewise, there have been myriad reported sightings of unidentified flying objects, supposedly operated by non-human beings. Corresponding to these theories is the belief that the U.S. federal government seizes the remnants of all abandoned UFOs, and stores them and their inhabitants in a plot of land in the Nevada desert known as Area 51.

Often serving as sensational fodder for Hollywood writers and conspiracy theorists alike, Area 51 appears to actually be a real place — but unfortunately, without any extraterrestrial components.

In recently released documents, the CIA has confirmed that there is indeed a previously classified, government-owned land parcel in Nevada, located a mere 125 miles north of Las Vegas. Insistently denying the rumors that the compound houses aliens and their spacecraft, the disclosing documents offer anticlimactic explanations to disappointed conspiracy theorists.

It can be inferred that the unidentified flying objects previously cited in the Nevada desert may in fact be linked to Area 51. However, they are not spaceships, but rather planes and other paraphernalia from the U.S. government’s U-2 and OXCART aerial surveillance programs.

U-2 planes were particularly remarkable for those who witnessed them because they were flown at an altitude of about 60,000 feet, which is significantly higher than any other planes were flown at the time of the sightings. Moreover, so as not to arouse suspicion, the Lockheed Martin employees working on the program were flown instead of driven to Area 51, contributing to the off-the-public-record plane traffic that nearby people witnessed.

The entire report has yet to be released, so it is probable that conspiracy theorists still cling to their conjectures, but the CIA has taken a large step in squelching the rumors and uncertainty that Area 51 has provoked over the years.

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Maggie O'Neill

I'm a senior in high school, where I am chair of the Republican Club, am an editor of the newspaper and serve in student government.

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