What Is Area 51?
The speculation about the true purpose of Area 51 is a fertile ground for conspiracy theorists. What really takes place in that remote stretch of Nevada desert close to Roswell in New Mexico?
We do know that there was once an airfield that was turned into a clandestine location for developing spy planes in the mid 1950s after President Eisenhower authorised the purchase of a plot of land around 90 miles north of Las Vegas. The terrain is dry, as you would expect, and the site revolves around a dried up body of water called Groom Lake. We know that is you cross into this area of unmarked land, you will be detained face-down and at gun point by US federal agents at least until the local sheriffs arrive to pick you up.
Whether it is aliens, high-technology surveillance equipment or government-technology being readied to use against the wider population, it is clear that Area 51 contains some of the most highly-protected secrets hidden in any location worldwide.
A recent confirmation of its existence by the US government has made many conspiracy analysts suspicious that it is no longer a site of great importance. I am not sure that I agree: a site that is forgotten is as good as any to hide secrets. And what better way to get people to forget, in this day and age, than by acknowledging that thing's existence and then quietly moving on?