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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2005 > May > May 7

Area 51's 50th

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
Date: Sat, 07 May 2005 10:01:29 -0400
Fwd Date: Sat, 07 May 2005 10:01:29 -0400
Subject: Area 51's 50th

Source: KLAS-TV - Las Vegas, Nevada


May 7, 2005

Area 51: UFOs

George Knapp
Investigative Reporter

It's hard to believe now, but not too many years ago, few people
outside of Nevada had ever heard of Area 51, the secret military
base that turns 50 years old this month.

All of that changed in 1989 when KLAS-TV aired a series of
reports about alleged alien technology being tested in and
around the Groom Lake facility. The UFO stories changed Area 51
forever, and spawned all sorts of spin-offs.

I-Team Investigative Reporter George Knapp is the guy who first
broke the UFO tales back then and is here now with an update.

For better or worse, those Channel 8 stories did put Area 51 on
the map. The first time George Knapp read about UFOs at Area 51,
it was in the pages of the Las Vegas Review Journal back in the
mid '80s. The paper reported it as a mere rumor.

KLAS-TV reports a few years later made quite a splash, even
internationally, and Area 51 has never been the same. The reason
for all of the attention is a  man who said he worked on flying

Dennis said, "There were 9 flying saucers, flying discs..."

A live interview with the shadowy Dennis in the spring of 1989
was the beginning of the end for Area 51's anonymity. Dennis, a
pseudonym, claimed to be working on a top-secret project
involving flying saucers of extraterrestrial origin. In November
of '89, the true identity of Dennis was revealed.

Bob Lazar, former government scientist, said, "Physical contact
with another intelligence could be the biggest event in history.
It's real and it's there."

Bob Lazar said he was hired by the Navy to work at a facility
called S-4, adjacent to Papoose dry lake, south of Groom Lake.
Several hangars were built into a mountainside, he said, and
inside each hangar was a flying saucer.

Lazar continues, "They were all different, as if they got the
assortment pack."

The story set off a stampede. UFO enthusiasts took bus trips to
the outskirts of Area 51, staged saucer watches, told even
wilder tales about alien beings running amok at Groom Lake.
Media outlets poked fun at the so-called saucer nuts, and at
Lazar, but in the years that followed, every major news
organization in the world visited or wrote about the base. TV
specials aired in many countries. Tens of thousands of visitors
trekked to the base to see for themselves.

In nearby Rachel, Nevada, the town closest to Area 51, residents
recognized a good thing. The Rachel Bar and Grill became The
Little A'le'inn, plastered its walls with UFO photos, put a few
clever doo-dads and eye catchers outside, and began selling
alien merchandise.

Pat Travis, owner of The Little A'le'inn, says, "I have candles,
patches, pins, coffee cups, badges, licenses, shot glasses..." -
along with post cards, posters, cookie jars, and alien spoons
- "mini playing cards, guitar straps, sunglasses. You name it,
we've got it."

They have books too, including this one by Area 51 gadfly Chuck
Clark. Clark says, "Yeah, it still sells. I keep it up to date
with changes as necessary."

The Las Vegas Stars baseball team became the Las Vegas 51's.
There's an Area 51 rock band, video game, dance troupe, and
fireworks company. Oh, and alien jerky stands.

The base has been featured in numerous TV dramas and a movie or
two. Area 51, the base that didn't officially exist, has become
a household name all over the world, to the chagrin of the so-
called cammo dudes who have to keep trespassers out.

The notoriety inspired the State of Nevada to dedicate the
Extraterrestrial Highway, the only one of its kind on this
planet, anyway. While critics think its all nonsense, a lot of
people have seen glowing objects over the base. True, some of
the photos are probably secret craft made in the USA, but a few
look and act like, dare we say it, flying saucers.

The vantage points once used to look at the base have been
seized, but skywatchers still catch a glimpse now and then of
something strange. Chuck Clark said, "Every once in awhile
there'll still be a sighting, one of the weird objects moving in
that air space."

Several other people have come forward in the years since Lazar
and have told the I-Team bits and pieces of the same story. But
after Lazar's reputation was so thoroughly pummeled, none of the
other witnesses were willing to appear on camera or let us use
their real names.

These days, Lazar is alive and well in a western state and still
stands by his story.

If you're interested in Area 51, or want information about the
50th anniversary activities later this month, check out some of
the links above.

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