Area 51 Facts



Modified: 20 Jun 2022

Area 51 Facts

Area 51 holds a lot of secrets, mystery, and theories of extraterrestrial happening. Although we already know that it’s a secret military installation for the US Air Force, what else do we really know about it? What are the conspiracies and myths that surround this site? Get ready as we unravel more about these Area 51 facts that will keep you wide awake at night.



  1. Built in 1955, Area 51 is a restricted airspace covering 1.2 million hectares and 12,950 square kilometres.
  2. The very first U-2 spy plane was developed in August 1955 at Area 51.
  3. Area 51 hits a temperature of 100°F during summer. 
  4. Trespassing Area 51 could result in a $1,000 fine or a prison arrest for 6 months.
  5. Paradise Ranch used to be Area 51’s name.
  1. Area 51 hosted nuclear weapon testing in the 1950s. 
  2. The Nevada Test Site includes the Area 51 location 65 miles north of Las Vegas.
  3. Many extraterrestrial conspiracies surround Area 51.
  4. The conspiracy theories about aliens started in the 1980s from a worker in the installation division. 
  5. The US government only revealed Area 51’s existence in 2013.
  6. The US Air Force used Area 51 as a secret base to test and develop spy aircrafts.
  7. Area 51 lies 120 miles northwest of the famous Las Vegas.
  8. It’s impossible to enter the perimeter of Area 51 as it is heavily guarded. 
  9. Area 51 remains highly classified. 
  10. The secret base lies in the Nevada Desert.
  1. Area 51’s name comes from its map coordinates.
  2. A 2019 poll revealed that 54% of American adults believe there are UFO and alien experiments in Area 51.
  3. In 1958, the US government passed an order restricting Area 51 from public use. 
  4. You can’t enter the airspace of Area 51 without air traffic control permission. 
  5. Skylab astronauts once took photos of Area 51, but the National Photographic Center discarded the films.


Table of Contents

Area 51 has a lot of names.

One of the least known Area 51 facts is that the highly classified base’s official name is Nevada Test and Training Range. Before that, it was also called the Paradise Ranch to make the area more appealing to potential workers. Later on, it got shortened to “Ranch” and other nicknames sprang like “Dreamland” and “Watertown.”

Many interesting conspiracy theories surround Area 51.

One of the most popular conspiracy theories of Area 51 is about the saucer in Roswell, Mexico in 1947. People believed that the remains of the flying saucer were in Area 51, with a team of experts studying them to understand alien life.

The CIA found Area 51 during an aerial scouting mission. 

On April 12, 1955, Richard Bissell, a CIA officer, was overseeing the U-2 Plane development. During the scouting mission, they found Area 51 as an ideal site. From there, they requested permission from the Atomic Energy Commission to claim the area as Nevada’s territory.

Spy planes have been developed in Area 51 since 1955.

Early in July 1955, the CIA started to use Area 51 to develop the U-2 spy and reconnaissance plane. Right after that, other aircraft were also tested, such as the F-117 stealth jet for ground attack and the A-12 reconnaissance aircraft.

An interview with an employee in Area 51 sparked the interest of many. 

On May 13, 1989, Area 51 worker Bob Lazar had an interview with CBS reporter George Knapp. During the interview, Lazar claimed to work on an alien spacecraft with a bunch of physicists. This interview ultimately sparked the public’s association between Area 51 and aliens. 

interview, area 51 facts
Source: Unsplash

The US Air Force has since clarified the alien situation in Area 51.

Five years after the interview of Lazar, the US Air Force clarified the issue on September 8, 1994. They said that the wreckage from the said “alien spacecraft” was actually from the Roswell Incident.

Parts of the plane got recovered in July 1947 in Roswell, New Mexico. The only things recovered from it were balloon parts and radar reflectors from Project Mogul, which was a classified government project.

Area 51 has exemptions from disclosing classified information.

On January 30th, 1996, US President Bill Clinton exempted Area 51 from any state or federal hazardous laws. As a result, members of the base can choose to withhold pertinent information from the public.

The CIA has since published declassified documents about Area 51.

Following the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request in 2005, the CIA released declassified documents where they acknowledged the existence of Area 51. They revealed that it was indeed a secret site for the US military.

They also published information about the history of A-12 OXCART and U-2 aerial surveillance testing in the area. The CIA claimed that it was kept secret for years not because it was a cover-up for alien encounters, but to keep important information from reaching the Soviets.

Barack Obama was the first president to call the base as Area 51 during a public speech.

One of the surprising Area 51 facts is that it was only called as such in 2013. During the 36th Annual Kennedy Center Honors on December 8th, 2013, President Obama first used the term “Area 51.”

barack obama
Source: Pixabay

Hillary Clinton vowed to release information on Area 51 if she gets elected president.

During Hillary Clinton’s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live on 2016, the then-presidential candidate promised that if she got elected, she would open all government files that contain any unexplained phenomenon, including Area 51.

A viral Facebook event once pledged to raid Area 51. 

On September 20th, 2019, roughly 2 million people signed up for a Facebook event titled “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us.”  As expected, there were no aliens seen throughout the event, and only featured people dwindling near the empty towns of Hiko and Rachel. Now that’s one for interesting Area 51 facts.

The US Air Force has advised people against breaching Area 51.

With the growing conspiracy theories about aliens and other non-Earth beings, the Air Force warned the public. They said that they were aware of Facebook event. It was also discouraged that anyone come near the area as the Air Force is willing to protect and stand ready for America’s assets.

Area 51 inspired the Alienstock Festival.

Announced on August 9th, 2019, the Alienstock Festival initially meant to celebrate believers of extraterrestrial life in Rachel, Nevada. Unfortunately, the event got canceled due to critical infrastructure issues.

Out of all who signed up for the Area 51 raid, only 200 showed up.

Although the event created much hype in the online community, only 200 people were seen outside Area 51’s gates during the said event. Since Area 51 is a government facility, it’s not surprising that the supposed raid failed.

According to reports, 3 people got arrested throughout the event- one for indecent exposure, one alcohol-related arrest, and one for crossing the “No Entry” signage. How’s that for crazy Areas 51 facts?

area 51 facts
Source: Unsplash

Area 51 is expanding.

The satellite imagery of Area 51 shows that there have been significant changes in construction between 1984 to 2016. Some of the extra changes included hangars and runaways.

Although Area 51 serves as a base for the US Air Force, some alien believers suggest that these renovations provided parking spaces for UFOs and other extraterrestrial life.

Theories say that the moon landing took place in Area 51.

One of the most intriguing Area 51 facts is the conspiracy theory about the moon landing in 1969. Some theories believed that the landing was only staged and that NASA officials did a fake landing in the Area 51 base and not on the moon.

Bill Kaysing’s book, We Never Went to the Moon: America’s Thirty Billion Dollar Swindle talks about the process behind the allegedly faked landing in 1969. Grab a copy and decide for yourself here.

Area 51 UFO sightings explained.

In its early years, Area 51 served as a testing site for U-2 planes. These planes flew at least 60,000 feet far from spies and civilians as a highly classified government project. Since the public never knew about Area 51 until 2013, commercial pilots and aircrafts flying 20,000 feet did not know what these flying objects were. As a result, it is believed that most UFO sightings were actually just spy jets going on test flights. 

Employees of Area 51 ride planes to get to work.

Plane rides are a regular treat for Area 51 employees, since it’s their everyday commute to work. Area 51 employees would board an aircraft in Las Vegas Airport which ferries them to and from the location of the site. It only makes sense, since it’s technically in the middle of nowhere. Definitely one of the most intriguing Area 51 facts.

plane, area 51 facts
Source: Pixabay

Area 51 employees have sworn to secrecy with the work that they do.

They say that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas – and even more so for Area 51. Employees in the secret base have to complete documents of written sworn secrecy. However, some of the former employees had the liberty to share what they experienced during their time there.

These former Area 51 employees revealed mishaps and accidentally exposed important information in the public eye. James Noce, a former employee, also confirmed that no alien activity went on in the site.

Area 51 had reports of hazardous working conditions.

In the 1990s, Area 51 workers and employees approached professor and lawyer Jonathan Turley for legal help. They complained that the working conditions in the site exposed them to hazardous waste and materials that made them sick. Some of the employees came down with respiratory illnesses and skin diseases due to exposure to hazardous waste.

The complaint from the Area 51 employees was a federal law violation.

According to Turley, Area 51 clearly violated the law. Especially with the classified materials they work with, so many workers develop illnesses without knowing the cause. Eventually, the government escaped their responsibility by its obligation to keep the program’s secrecy. Truly, one of the more unfortunate Area 51 facts.

A mailbox near Area 51 is the best place to spot UFOs.

Someone claiming to have worked in Area 51 described a mailbox standing at least 12 miles away from the base. Apparently, this spot is where you can witness alien activity. It was universally known as Steve Medlin’s “Black Mailbox”. Since many believers visited and tampered with the mailbox, Medlin had to place a second one near base.

You can die if you attempt to sneak into Area 51.

Although Area 51 is an Air Force base, the work that they do has a very intense nature of secrecy. With that, there is no surprise that it has strict security. For those who would like to enter the facility, the outside warnings should be enough. Once you trespass, the government could be authorized to resort to deadly force. This is hands down one of the scariest Area 51 facts.

area 51 facts
Source: Unsplash

Apart from Area 51, the Air Force has another secret base.

Much like Area 51, the Tonopah Test Range or Area 52 is a restricted military installation. Lying 30 miles southeast of Nevada, Area 52 sits at least 70 miles northwest of Area 51 at Groom Dry Lake. If Area 51 facts bore you, then Area 52 might just be your next cup of tea!

Area 51 prohibits outside air traffic.

The R-4808N or the airspace above the area restricts all military and commercial flights, except for the Janet Commuters that transports its workers. They also forbid pilots from the nearby Nellis Air Force Range from flying close to the zones. If they do, they can face a dishonorable discharge and serve time in prison.

Not all Area 51 conspiracy theories are about aliens.

According to some theories, the reverse-engineering stories and UFO sightings are just tactics to deviate something bigger. One of these theories is that the UFO talk covers up the existence of the New World Order, or an organization pushing for a totalitarian world government. 

Only 54 people live in the town near Area 51.

If you find living near Area 51 a bit strange, you can confirm your suspicion by visiting Rachel, Nevada. According to a 2010 census, the town only has 54 people. Most of them have a strong sense of eccentricity and independence.

It was only in 1970 that a small number of people settled in the valley, hoping for a life of seclusion. This is definitely one of the more surprising Area 51 facts on the list.

Becoming an Area 51 employee requires many qualifications.

There is no complete and legitimate guide on how you can land a job at Area 51. However, one of the most specific requirements is that you need to be an American citizen. You’d also need extensive knowledge in sensitive research when it comes to military and government projects. Finally, reports have also claimed that it requires military experience, but we have no way to tell.

It would take a 15 hour car ride to travel from Area 51 to Roswell.

Most reports talk about Roswell and Area 51 in the same breath, but they’re actually far from each other. If you search it on Google Maps, Roswell lies 1,433 km away from the Area 51 base. The trip would take a 15 hour uncomfortable car drive down unexciting roads. How’s that for one of the coolest Area 51 facts?

deer, road, area 51 facts
Source: Unsplash