[80][81] Five people were reportedly arrested at the event. The lake bed made an ideal strip for testing aircraft, and the Emigrant Valley's mountain ranges and the NTS perimeter protected the site from visitors; it was about 100 mi (160 km) north of Las Vegas. The B-52H gave a sharp lurch as the drone fell free. The booster fired and was "quite a sight from the ground". To separate it from the other A-12-based projects, it was renamed the "D-21". Elevation: … The first attempt was made on 28 September 1967, and ended in complete failure. They were labeled "GTD-21Bs" (GT stood for ground training). [57], The perimeter of the base is marked out by orange posts and patrolled by guards in white pickup trucks and camouflage fatigues. They also sought detailed information about the chemicals, hoping that this would facilitate the medical treatment of survivors. [9][10][11] The Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository is southwest of Groom Lake. On 17 January 1981 the Lockheed test team at Area 51 accepted delivery of the first full-scale development (FSD) prototype 79–780, designated YF-117A. [43], The USGS topographic map for the area only shows the long-disused Groom Mine. He had been watching as Townsend "waxed" the Air Force MiG-21 pilots. B. Osborne and partners and patented in 1876, and Osborne's son acquired the interests in the 1890s. Several more tests were made, none of which met with success. After the war, testing of acquired foreign technology was performed by the Air Technical Intelligence Center (ATIC, which became very influential during the Korean War), under the direct command of the Air Materiel Control Department. The Navy also contributed more than 130 surplus Babbitt duplex housing units for long-term occupancy facilities. [63][65] The memo details debate between federal agencies regarding whether the images should be classified, with Department of Defense agencies arguing that it should and NASA and the State Department arguing that it should not be classified. What could go wrong? The base and its associated runway system were expanded, including expansion of housing and support facilities. [5] Located within the namesake Groom Lake Valley portion of the Tonopah Basin, the lake is 25 mi (40 km) south of Rachel, Nevada. [80], This article is about the U.S. Air Force facility in Nevada. The 6-by-10 mile rectangular air base lies within the Switzerland-sized boundaries of Nellis Air Force Base, and has served as a testing ground for "black budget" (top-secret) military prototype aircraft since the mid-1950s. [18] On 22 October 2015 a federal judge signed an order giving land that belonged to a Nevada family since the 1870s to the United States Air Force for expanding Area 51. Officially it’s called Homey Airport and Groom lake, but the rest of the world knows it as Area 51. Captive flights showed unforeseen aerodynamic difficulties. In 1961 ATIC became the Foreign Technology Division (FTD), and was reassigned to Air Force Systems Command. On aeronautical maps, the exercise area was marked in red ink. An F-4 had defeated the MiG-21; the weakness of the Soviet plane had been found. The remaining drones were transferred by a C-5A and placed in dead storage. [7]:57 On 4 May 1955, a survey team arrived at Groom Lake and laid out a 5,000-foot (1,500 m) north–south runway on the southwest corner of the lakebed and designated a site for a base support facility. The problem was not with the planes, but with the pilots flying them. For crosswind landings, they marked two unpaved airstrips (runways 9/27 and 03/21) on the dry lakebed. But he inclined leave decision to me (DCI)—I confessed some question over need to protect since: The declassified documents do not disclose the outcome of discussions regarding the Skylab imagery. [25], The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) established the Groom Lake test facility in April 1955 for Project AQUATONE: the development of the Lockheed U-2 strategic reconnaissance aircraft. [26]:162 After finding a large scorpion in their offices, the testing team (Designated "R Unit") adopted it as their mascot and dubbed themselves the "Baja Scorpions". Choose from several map styles. 7–9 (S) (cited by "The U-2's Intended Successor"), Steve Davies: "Red Eagles. (The "12" was reversed to "21"). [31] The CIA facility received eight USAF F-101 Voodoos for training, two T-33 Shooting Star trainers for proficiency flying, a C-130 Hercules for cargo transport, a U-3A for administrative purposes, a helicopter for search and rescue, and a Cessna 180 for liaison use, and Lockheed provided an F-104 Starfighter for use as a chase plane. [8] The claims were proved in 1916 when two companies began working their mines; that work continued until 1918, and resuming after World War II until the early 1950s.[8]. The contractor upgraded base facilities and built a new 10,000 ft (3,000 m) runway (14/32) diagonally across the southwest corner of the lakebed. The first D-21 launch was made on 5 March 1966 with a successful flight, with the D-21 flying 120 miles with limited fuel. After completion of acceptance flights at Area 51 of this last new F-117A aircraft, the flight test squadron continued flight test duties of refurbished aircraft after modifications by Lockheed. It's an airfield, officially called Groom Lake, deep inside the Nevada Air Combat Training Range. A number of D-21s had already been produced, and rather than scrapping the whole effort, Johnson again proposed to the Air Force that they be launched from a B-52H bomber. ATIC personnel were sent anywhere where foreign aircraft could be found. Another explanation is that 51 was used because it was unlikely that the AEC would use the number. MapQuest. [7]:56–57, Johnson named the area "Paradise Ranch" to encourage workers to move to "the new facility in the middle of nowhere", as the CIA later described it, and the name became shortened to "the Ranch". people felt strongly. [39], Since the F-117 became operational in 1983, operations at Groom Lake have continued. [26]:25 He notified Lockheed, who sent an inspection team out to Groom Lake. [redacted] was the only location which had such an instruction. Longitude: -115.8003° or 115° 48' 1.1" west. #1 Groom Lake salt flat Unclassified Updated: 2020-05-12 Groom Lake is a dry lake, also described as a salt flat, in Nevada. A second group arrived in 1977. [26]:132, Davis-Monthan is an open base, with public tours of the storage area at the time, so the odd-looking drones were soon spotted and photos began appearing in magazines. We flew over it and within thirty seconds, you knew that was the place ... it was right by a dry lake. In 1979, the CIA transferred jurisdiction of the Area 51 site to the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB, California. [15], The origin of the name "Area 51" is unclear. The Ranch initially consisted of little more than a few shelters, workshops, and trailer homes in which to house its small team. United States pilots would have to fly much better than they had been to beat it. From street and road map to high-resolution satellite imagery of Groom Lake. [1] Two music festivals in rural Nevada, "AlienStock" and "Storm Area 51 Basecamp", were subsequently organized to capitalize on the popularity of the original Facebook event. This was not a new mission, as testing of foreign technology by the USAF began during World War II. [7][47][48][13], In 1994, five unnamed civilian contractors and the widows of contractors Walter Kasza and Robert Frost sued the Air Force and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. [68], In the mid-1950s, civilian aircraft flew under 20,000 feet while military aircraft flew under 40,000 feet. On 15 October 1982, Major Alton C. Whitley Jr. became the first USAF 4450th TG pilot to fly the F-117A. [72] Similarly, the 1996 documentary Dreamland directed by Bruce Burgess included an interview with a 71-year-old mechanical engineer who claimed to be a former employee at Area 51 during the 1950s. Area 51 is the common name of a highly classified United States Air Force (USAF) facility located within the Nevada Test and Training Range. 20, pp. As in the earlier program, a small group of Air Force and Navy pilots conducted mock dogfights with the MiG-17s. Latitude: 37.268° or 37° 16' 4.8" north. After the flight, they realized the MiG-21 turned better than the F-4 at lower speeds. The memo includes handwritten remarks,[66] apparently by Director of Central Intelligence Colby: [Secretary of State Rusk] did raise it—said State Dept. [12], Groom Lake is a salt flat[13] in Nevada used for runways of the Nellis Bombing Range Test Site airport (KXTA) on the north of the Area 51 USAF military installation. This would require a special school to teach advanced air combat techniques. Area 51 (AKA Groom Lake) is located in southern Nevada, not far away from Las Vegas. Area 51 is located in the southern portion of Nevada, 83 miles (134 km) north-northwest of Las Vegas. Groom Lake is a location in the zombies maps "Moon" and "Classified" in the Call Of Duty: Black Ops franchise. The lake at 4,409 ft (1,344 m)[14] elevation is approximately 3.7 miles (6.0 km) from north to south and 3 miles (4.8 km) from east to west at its widest point. Located within the namesake Groom Lake Valley portion of the Tonopah Basin, the lake is 25 mi … Enable JavaScript to see Google Maps. Its remote location and surrounding restricted airspace make it ideal for testing some of the very advanced and very secret aircraft, many of which officially "don't exist." "US Department of Energy. [23] J. [6], Lead and silver were discovered in the southern part of the Groom Range in 1864,[7] and the English Groome Lead Mines Limited company financed the Conception Mines in the 1870s, giving the district its name (nearby mines included Maria, Willow and White Lake). Maphill is more than just a map … Rutgers University biochemists analyzed biopsies from the complainants and found high levels of dioxin, dibenzofuran, and trichloroethylene in their body fat. Visita virtuale dall'alto della base di Groom Lake all'interno della Area 51 In January 1962, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) expanded the restricted airspace in the vicinity of Groom Lake, and the lakebed became the center of a 600-square mile addition to restricted area R-4808N. Get free map for your website. Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps. If exposed, don't we just say classified USAF work is done there? [5] Even military pilots training in the NAFR risk disciplinary action if they stray into the exclusionary "box" surrounding Groom's airspace. [38], By early 1982, four more YF-117As were operating at the base. [26]:60–62 The closed airspace above Groom Lake was within the Nellis Air Force Range airspace, and pilots saw the A-12 20 to 30 times. The area is connected to the internal Nevada Test Site (NTS) road network, with paved roads leading south to Mercury and west to Yucca Flat. [35], Meanwhile, Tactical Air Command (TAC) decided to set up a group-level organization to guide the F-117A to an initial operating capability. [23], The airfield on the Groom Lake site began service in 1942 as Indian Springs Air Force Auxiliary Field[24] and consisted of two unpaved 5,000-foot (1,524 m) runways. The tooling used to build the D-21Bs was ordered destroyed. They were arranged to simulate a Soviet-style air defense complex. A joint Air Force-Navy team was assembled for a series of dogfight tests. [33], In August 1966, Iraqi Air Force fighter pilot Captain Munir Redfa defected, flying his MiG-21 to Israel after being ordered to attack Iraqi Kurd villages with napalm. The first D-21B to be flown was Article 501, the prototype. [5], The nearest publicly accessible vantage point is Tikaboo Peak, 26 miles to the east. Time was running out for the Tagboard. Production FSD airframes from Lockheed were shipped to Area 51 for acceptance testing. The Area 51 name comes from the Nevada Test Site map reference. With the D-21/M-21 at the correct speed and altitude, the LCO would start the ramjet and the other systems of the D-21. [27] Regular Military Air Transport Service flights were set up between Area 51 and Lockheed's offices in Burbank, California. [26]:121, The first D-21 was completed in the spring of 1964 by Lockheed. The memo was removed shortly after journalists became aware of it. [32], Following the loss of Gary Powers' U-2 over the Soviet Union, there were several discussions about using the A-12 OXCART as an unpiloted drone aircraft. To prevent any sightings, the airspace above the Groom Lake range was closed. According to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the correct names for the facility are Homey Airport (ICAO: KXTA) and Groom Lake though the Area 51 name has stuck since around the time of the Vietnam War. Papoose Range Ridge, 4½ miles south. Mr. Sam Mitchell, the last CIA commander of Area 51, relinquished command to USAF Lt. Col. Larry D. The project checked U-2 and later OXCART flight records to eliminate the majority of UFO reports that it received during the late 1950s and 1960s, although it could not reveal to the letter writers the truth behind what they saw. [49], The President annually issues a determination continuing the Groom exception[53][54][55] which is the only formal recognition that the government has ever given that Groom Lake is more than simply another part of the Nellis complex. [71], Bob Lazar claimed in 1989 that he had worked at Area 51's "Sector Four (S-4)", said to be located underground inside the Papoose Range near Papoose Lake. Cassidy was willing to fight in the vertical, flying the plane to the point where it was buffeting, just above the stall. [35], Flying squadrons of the 4450th TG were the 4450th Tactical Squadron (Initially designated "I Unit") activated on 11 June 1981, and 4451st Tactical Squadron (Initially designated "P Unit") on 15 January 1983. The number is believed to have originated with a map notation. [26]:60 It made its first flight 26 April 1962 when the base had over 1,000 personnel. However, the fact is that the resumptions of D-21 tests took place against a changing reconnaissance background. [44] A civil aviation chart published by the Nevada Department of Transportation shows a large restricted area, defined as part of the Nellis restricted airspace. The original rectangular base of 6 by 10 miles (9.7 by 16.1 km) is now part of the so-called "Groom box", a rectangular area measuring 23 by 25 miles (37 by 40 km), of restricted airspace. Beginning in the late 1960s, and for several decades, Area 51 played host to an assortment of Soviet-built aircraft. Sightings occurred most often during early evenings hours, when airline pilots flying west saw the U-2's silver wings reflect the setting sun, giving the aircraft a "fiery" appearance. [26]:58 Groom Lake had received the name "Area 51"[26]:59[29] when A-12 test facility construction began in September 1960, including a new 8,500 ft (2,600 m) runway to replace the existing runway. At the same time, new developments in reconnaissance satellite technology were nearing operation. The focus of Air Force Systems Command limited the use of the fighter as a tool with which to train the front line tactical fighter pilots. [39] Testing of a series of ultra-secret prototypes continued at Area 51 until mid-1981, when testing transitioned to the initial production of F-117 stealth fighters. The closest place you can get a legal line of sight on land is Tikaboo Peak, 26 miles away. [33], Area 51 also hosted another foreign materiel evaluation program called HAVE GLIB. Some of these motion detectors are placed some distance away from the base on public land to notify guards of people approaching. [34], In 1978, the Air Force awarded a full-scale development contract for the F-117 to Lockheed Corporation's Advanced Development Projects. The suit sought compensation for the injuries, claiming that the Air Force had illegally handled toxic materials and that the EPA had failed in its duty to enforce the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act which governs handling of dangerous materials. Groom performed radar profiling, F-117 weapons testing, and training of the first group of frontline USAF F-117 pilots. The storage, examination, and reverse engineering of crashed alien spacecraft, including material supposedly recovered at, Meetings or joint undertakings with extraterrestrials, The development of time travel and teleportation technology, The development of exotic propulsion systems related to the, Activities related to a shadowy one world government or the, This page was last edited on 4 February 2021, at 19:52. The U-2 began flying at above 60,000 feet and there was an increasing number of UFO sighting reports. [27] A little over three months later, the base consisted of a single paved runway, three hangars, a control tower, and rudimentary accommodations for test personnel. [59][60] Signage around the base perimeter advises that deadly force is authorized against trespassers. Groom Lake is a dry lake, also described as a salt flat, in Nevada. Selected instructors from the Navy's Top Gun school at NAS Miramar, California, were chosen to fly against the MiGs for familiarization purposes. ", "1.3 million people have signed up to storm Area 51. That organization became the 4450th Tactical Group (Initially designated "A Unit"), which officially activated on 15 October 1979 at Nellis AFB, Nevada, although the group was physically located at Area 51. fighters.[33]. When he flew against the MiG-21, he would outmaneuver it every time. [18] These show the runway markings, base facilities, aircraft, and vehicles. [46] There are higher resolution and newer images available from other satellite imagery providers, including Russian providers and the IKONOS. The HAVE DOUGHNUT tests showed the skill of the man in the cockpit was what made the difference. 39–40, 43, 51 ... "OXCART Story" pp. Consequently, Pro dismissed the suit due to lack of evidence. The 4450th TS, stationed at Area 51, was the first F-117A squadron, while the 4451st TS was stationed at Nellis AFB and was equipped with A-7D Corsair IIs painted in a dark motif, tail coded "LV". The original U-2 hangars were converted to maintenance and machine shops. The satellites' resolution would be comparable to that of aircraft, but without the slightest political risk. Coordinates: .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}37°16′N 115°48′W / 37.267°N 115.800°W / 37.267; -115.800, Salt flat in Area 51, in Nevada, United States, "Government officially acknowledges existence of Area 51, but not the UFOs", "Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Area 51 Gets Airport Identifier", DREAMLAND: Fifty Years of Secret Flight Testing in Nevada, Mineral resources of the Pahranagat Range 30' by 60' quadrangle, "A Guide to the Records of The Groom Mining District Collection No. For other uses, see, US Air Force facility in southern Nevada, US, For testing of a similar aircraft in December 1964, see, "OSA History, chap. [33] Air Force Systems Command recruited its pilots from the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California, who were usually graduates from various test pilot schools. [74], In July 2019, more than 2,000,000 people responded to a joke proposal to storm Area 51 which appeared in an anonymous Facebook post. Between 1,500 and 3,000 people showed up at the festivals, while over 150 people made the journey over several miles of rough roads to get near the gates to Area 51. [26]:132–133, During the Cold War, one of the missions carried out by the United States was the test and evaluation of captured Soviet fighter aircraft. [31] A permanent aircraft fuel tank farm was constructed by early 1962 for the special JP-7 fuel required by the A-12. [16] According to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the correct names for the facility are Homey Airport (KXTA) and Groom Lake,[17][18] though the name Area 51 was used in a CIA document from the Vietnam War. However, it was not until 1993 that the B-52/D-21B program was made public. He conducted a search for a suitable testing site for the U-2 under the same extreme security as the rest of the project. If you go to Google Maps and drag the little yellow Street View man icon over the Area 51 area by Groom Lake in the Nevada desert, a cute UFO icon will pop up. [33], The Air Force began funding improvements to Area 51 in 1977 under project SCORE EVENT. This map was created by a user. DEMs are made by airplanes recording radar altitudes. The reason for this difference was Top Gun. He was an engineer and a Korean War veteran and had flown almost every navy aircraft. What could go wrong? [31], By August 1961, construction of the essential facilities was complete; three surplus Navy hangars were erected on the base's north side while hangar 7 was new construction. Nevada Operations Office. It is used for runways of Nellis Bombing Range Test Site Airport Part of Area 51 USAF installation. [2][1] The USAF acquired the site in 1955, primarily for flight testing the Lockheed U-2 aircraft. It is used for runways of the Nellis Bombing Range Test Site airport (KXTA). verification, the operational airplanes were then transferred to the 4450th TG. Leading northeast from the lake, the wide and well-maintained Groom Lake Road runs through a pass in the Jumbled Hills. At Tonopah testing of foreign technology aircraft continued and expanded throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Groom Lake Lake, 2½ miles north. There were no clear advantages. The area surrounding the lake is permanently off-limits to both civilian and normal military air traffic. [31], The first A-12 test aircraft was covertly trucked from Burbank on 26 February 1962 and arrived at Groom Lake on 28 February. Tony LeVier, the pilot assigned by Johnson to find a suitable location, found several remote spots, but chose Groom Lake because of the mountainous perimeter it furnished a dry lake bed that would provide the ultimate runway. The memo itself questions the legality of retroactively classifying unclassified images.[63]. The aircraft's titanium body, moving as fast as a bullet, would reflect the sun's rays in a way that could make anyone think, UFO. A new generation of reconnaissance satellites could soon cover targets anywhere in the world. In 1968 the US Air Force and Navy jointly formed a project known as HAVE DOUGHNUT in which Air Force Systems Command, Tactical Air Command, and the U.S. Navy's Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Four (VX-4) flew this acquired Soviet made aircraft in simulated air combat training. Commercial pilots cruising over Nevada at dusk would look up and see the bottom of OXCART whiz by at 2,000-plus mph. It is used for runways of the Nellis Bombing Range Test Site airport (KXTA). CIA, Air Force, and Lockheed personnel began arriving by July 1955. [41], The United States government has provided minimal information regarding Area 51. The government was sure that nothing around the Groom Lake and Papoose area showed nothing in the way of soil disturbance or construction from any map, chart or satellite image. KXTA/KXTA Map & Diagram for Homey (Groom Lake) Airport - (Lincoln County, NV) ... Homey (Groom Lake) Airport (Lincoln County, NV) KXTA Map & Diagram. [42] Area 51 is a common destination for Janet, a small fleet of passenger aircraft operated on behalf of the Air Force to transport military personnel, primarily from McCarran International Airport. Many sighting reports came to the Air Force's Project Blue Book, which investigated UFO sightings, through air-traffic controllers and letters to the government. The Ninth Circuit rejected Turley's appeal[52] and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear it, putting an end to the complainants' case. It had an extremely simple, even crude, control system which lacked the power-boosted controls of American aircraft. Under the HAVE DOUGHNUT, HAVE DRILL and HAVE FERRY programs, the first MiGs flown in the United States were used to evaluate the aircraft in performance, technical, and operational capabilities, pitting the types against U.S. [39], The R-Unit was inactivated on 30 May 1989. Private pilot and amateur photographer Gabe Zeifman was back in the air flying his small plane past the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR), past Papoose Dry Lake and past Groom Lake, home of Are… Had revitalized its Air combat training Range a recreational Area one mile North the! 1962 for the F-4 to keep its speed up quantities of unknown chemicals had been present when large of! 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