In the middle of the Nevada desert, tucked between a former nuclear test site and an Air Force base, is a remote piece of land known as Area 51. The US government has never officially recognized the existence of Area 51, and until recently, it did not appear on maps of the region. It is not possible to walk or drive into the site, and for many decades, planes could not fly overhead. Given the mystery surrounding Area 51, it is not surprising that rumors and stories about it—the strangest involving aliens and spaceships—have flourished over the years.
Some details are known about Area 51. The base was built in the mid-1950s and contains a mix of buildings, landing strips, and parking ramps. During the Cold War, the US government built and tested experimental aircraft there, including the U2 spy plane and the F-117 fighter jet. The testing of military aircraft and weapons continues today, along with the site's status as a top-secret base.
Rumors about alien visitors and spaceships at Area 51 are understandable. Some of the new planes tested here have had unusual shapes, lights, and flight patterns. Stories about frozen aliens in a large underground complex there are related to rumors about a spaceship crashing in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947; and the existence of underground facilities at Area 51 has since been confirmed. The strangest rumors—involving secret treaties between the US government and aliens that supposedly allowed the aliens to kidnap local citizens and grind them up for food—are a little harder to explain.
Curiosity about Area 51 is unlikely to fade anytime soon. The base has been featured in numerous movies, books, and TV shows, as well as on websites. Although former employees have recently been allowed to talk about some of the aircraft they tested, people who have theories are still insisting that alien spacecraft were worked on there. No solid evidence of these spaceships has ever been presented, however. In the meantime, visitors continue to flock to the Nevada desert from around the globe in the hope of seeing something out of this world.