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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2005 > May > May 6

Area 51 Declassified

From: A. J. Gevaerd - Revista UFO <gevaerd.nul>
Date: Fri, 6 May 2005 07:47:27 -0300
Fwd Date: Fri, 06 May 2005 12:34:48 -0400
Subject: Area 51 Declassified


Source: KLAS-TV - Las Vegas Nevada

http://www.klas-tv.com/Global/story.asp?S=3308578&nav=168XZX0A

May 6, 2005


Area 51 Declassified
by
George Knapp

As Las Vegas prepares to celebrate its centennial, another
Nevada institution is marking a milestone birthday this month.
The world's best-known secret military base, Area 51, turns 50
years old this month. Area 51, located at dry Groom Lake in
Lincoln County, has been 'the' location of choice for the most
classified military programs in the world. For many years, the
government would not admit its existence. People who worked
there were sworn to secrecy. Now, they're talking.

Area 51 wasn't supposed to be a permanent base. It was built in
1955 for the U-2 spy plane. But when that work was finished,
other so-called black projects were sent there, and today it is
a multi-billion dollar facility that essentially cannot be
duplicated.

The people who've worked there over the years are justifiably
proud about their work in protecting our national security. But
they've never been able to talk about it, not to their spouses,
not even to each other. Now, the people who were there, and the
secrets they kept for so long, are breaking their silence.

Buses with blacked-out windows, cameras that scan for any
movement, sensors buried in the dirt, armed choppers that patrol
the skies are all ominous signs that warn of deadly force. The
secrecy that's long been the trademark of Area 51 is as
pronounced today as it's ever been. Whatever is going on inside,
no one is going to talk about it. For decades, the government
would not admit the existence of Area 51. Its code name
disappeared from maps. Employees could not tell their own
spouses where they worked.

T.D. Barnes, retired CIA electronics specialist, said,  "No one
knew about it. You never heard of Groom Lake in those days, or
Area 51. Electrical whiz T.D. Barnes was working for NASA in the
1960s when he first focused on Area 51. He knew from radar
signatures that something very fast was flying around out there.
Barnes was recruited by the CIA to join the Groom Lake team,
although this kind of teamwork was pretty unusual.

Barnes said, "You never talked about each other's jobs. Some
guys I knew, I worked with them, stayed there all week with
them, to this day I don't know what their specialty was. We
didn't ask. To this day you do not ask." If Area 51 had DNA,
secrecy would be woven into it. Lockheed genius Kelly Johnson
needed an out-of-the-way place to test his spindly spy plane,
the U-2, and the dry bed of Groom Lake seemed perfect. It was
far from prying eyes, but still close to the already-secure
Nevada Test Site.

In 1955, when the first U-2 was rolled out at Groom, the base,
then known as Watertown, consisted of only a few buildings and
hangars. For Francis Gary Powers and the other U-2 pilots and
personnel, Area 51 was no garden spot, but the work was vital.
The U-2 enabled America to find out what our adversaries were up
to. Even before Powers U-2 was shot down over Russia, a
successor to the U-2 was in the pipeline at Lockheed's
Skunkworks, a family of planes that would be known as
Blackbirds.

Bob Gilliland, Lockheed test pilot, "The greatest airplanes ever
built, and still are, 40 years ago and still the world's
fastest. Test pilot Bob Gilliland was chosen by Lockheed as the
first man to fly the SR-71, one version of the Blackbird and the
fastest plane too ever fly.

When the U-2's moved out of Groom Lake, the Blackbirds moved in.
They could travel faster than Mach 3, but at such speeds, the
planes and the pilots got mighty warm.

Bob Gilliland, "Around 800 degrees Fahrenheit. A self-cleaning
oven is 425. A soldering iron is 550, so it's a lot hotter than
that. General Dennis Sullivan, CIA pilot, said, "They asked me,
you want to volunteer to do something? What am I gonna do, I
asked. They said, we can't tell you. Okay, I volunteer."

Military pilot Dennis Sullivan was recruited by the CIA to work
at Groom Lake in the early 1960s and to pilot the A-12, an early
Blackbird. It was the middle of the Cold War, but for spy
pilots, the cold war was pretty hot. Various enemies were trying
to shoot down the Blackbirds.

And just flying the planes was dangerous enough. Gen. Dennis
Sullivan said, "A guy in CIA headquarters told me when we looked
at it, we figured we'd lose 20-percent of you guys, which is
about what we did." There were other dangers. Area 51 was only a
few miles from Ground Zero at the Nevada Test Site. The base was
often showed with radioactive fallout from atomic tests. In
later years, workers were exposed to toxic chemicals because of
regular open pit burning at Groom Lake. Despite the risks, those
who worked at Area 51 are proud of their roles - proud and
tight-lipped.

T.D. Barnes said, "If there's something going on out there and
they don't want people to know about it, they're not gonna know
about it. It's not gonna happen." There are some festivities
planned for the end of this month in Rachel, Nevada to mark the
50th anniversary of Area 51. Although, the I-Team is told the
base has already held its own little shindig. The men we
interviewed are part of an organization called the Roadrunners,
made up of former Area 51 workers and headed by Roger Anderson.
The Roadrunners have helped get a lot of information about their
projects declassified, which is why they were able to talk at
all.

Friday night at 11, the I-Team will look at Area 51's other
claim to fame - UFOs.




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