The official website for everything Area 51
Hotline (775) 372-1500
The official website for everything Area 51
Hotline (775) 372-1500

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Area 51 Museum

Area 51

AKA: Groom Lake, Paradise Ranch, The Ranch, Groom Box, Nevada Test and Training Range, Water Town, Dream Land, Hitman Station, Homey Airport, The Box, And the Red Square.

Officially called Homey Airport call sign XTA/KXTA, Area 51 is located within the Nevada Test and Training Range, and is a classified and secretive United States Air Force (USAF) facility administered by Edwards Air Force base. While detailed facility operations have not been made public, the Air Force has said it is used as an open training range and for the creation and development of experimental weapon systems and aircraft. The USAF bought the site in 1955 and built facilities for flight testing the Lockheed U-2 aircraft.

Groom Lake Statistics:
  • Salt flat in the Nevada Desert
  • Located on the Nellis Bombing Range in the Groom Lake Valley portion of the Tonopah Basin
  • Elevation: 4,409 feet
  • Length (North to South): 3.7 miles
  • Length (East to West): 3.0 miles


area 51 alien center
area 51 museum

Special Collections, University of Nevada–Reno


Lead and silver were discovered in the southern part of the Groom Range

Early 1870s:

Groome Lead Mines Ltd. built the Conception Mines and gave the district its name.


J.B. Osborne and his partners bought a controlling interest in Groom.

Mining went on until 1918 and restarted after World War II until the early '50s.


Land Used As A Wildlife Refuge
alien landing


Indian Springs Air Force Auxiliary Field opens with two, unpaved, 5,000 foot runways.

roswell journal
marcel roswell

At Fort Worth Army Air Field, Major Jesse A. Marcel (looking left) of Houma, LA - holding foil debris from Roswell, New Mexico, UFO incident, 07/08/1947

ramey dubose

Fort Worth Army-Air Force -- Brig. General Roger Ramey, left, holding telegram, and Col. Thomas J. DuBose looking over wind-forecasting device from Roswell, New Mexico, 07/08/1947


Roswell Incident

Statements released by the U.S. Air Force (USAF) about the Roswell Incident after official U.S. congressional inquiries and their own internal investigation:

1994: A nuclear test surveillance balloon from Project Mogul crashed near Corona, New Mexico. The wreckage was retrieved by USAF officers from Roswell Army Air Field.

1997: Conspiracy theories of "alien bodies" were based on test dummies that were dropped from high altitudes.

Monday July 7th, 1947:

W.W. "Mac" Brazel, a rancher near Corona, New Mexico finds debris on his farm and took it to the Roswell Sheriff's Department. The sheriff called Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF), and the case was assigned to Major Jesse Marcel.

Tuesday July 8th, 1947:

The RAAF public information officer, Walter Haut, issued a press release saying personnel had recovered a "flying disc" from a ranch near Roswell.

The U.S. Army quickly retracted the statement and said it was actually a crashed weather balloon.

February 1978:

UFO researcher Stanton Friedman interviewed Major Marcel, the only person known to have accompanied the crashed object to the Fort Worth Army Air Field.

His interview heavily contradicted the testimony he gave in 1947.

November 1979:

Stanton Friedman's film, "UFO's Are Real," was released and included Marcel's first filmed interview.

Thursday February 28, 1980:

The sensational tabloid National Enquirer brought national attention to Marcel's interview.

Saturday September 20, 1980:

TV series In Search Of... released an interview where Marcel discussed his involvement with the 1947 press conference with General Roger Ramey:

"They wanted some comments from me, but I wasn't at liberty to do that. So, all I could do [was] keep my mouth shut. And General Ramey is the one who discussed – told the newspapers, I mean the newsman, what it was, and to forget about it."

"'It is nothing more than a weather observation balloon,' [Ramey said]. Of course, we both knew differently."

project sign

U.S. Air Force General Nathan F. Twining, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff


Project Sign

Project Sign (also known as Project Saucer) was code for an official study by the U.S. government active for the majority of 1948. The study aimed to dig deeper into claims of unidentified flying objects and was completed by the U.S. Air Force, under Air Force General Nathan Farragut Twining (pictured right).

1949 - 1951

Project Grudge

Project Grudge, a brief USAF project, succeeded Project Sign and began investigating UFOs in February 1949.

The project officially ended in December of that year, lasting just 11 months, but continued in a nominal capacity until late 1951.

project blue book

1952 - 1969

Project Blue Book

Project Blue Book took the place of Project Grudge from March 1952 to December 17, 1969, and was headquartered at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. It was initially led by Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, and had two main goals: determining if UFOs were a national security threat, and analyzing UFO-related data.

Thousands of collected and analyzed UFO reports were filed. The Condon Report was released, and concluded that studying UFOs was unlikely to yield major scientific discoveries. When Project Blue Book was terminated in 1969, the USAF gave this investigation summary:

Official Statement about Project Blue Book:

"There was no evidence submitted to or discovered by the Air Force that sightings categorized as 'unidentified' represented technological developments or principles beyond the range of modern scientific knowledge; and there was no evidence indicating that sightings categorized as 'unidentified' were extraterrestrial vehicles.

paradise ranch
area 51


The base was named "Paradise Ranch" to attract employees to relocate to the secretive military base. 

The Nevada National Security Site (N2S2) is the government's name for Area 51. It was known as the Nevada Test Site (NTS) until 2010, and is used by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The site was established to test nuclear devices in 1951; testing because with a 1-kiloton-of-TNT bomb dropped on January 27, 1951. Over the next 40 years the U.S. would test over 1,000 nuclear devices at the site, and the mushroom clouds from atmospheric tests could be seen from nearly 100 miles away.

Westerly winds carried the fallout of nuclear testing over southern Utah, which resulted in a massive increase in cancer cases from the mid-1950s onward.

536 anti-nuclear protests involving more than 37,000 participants and almost 16,000 arrests were held at the site from 1986 through 1994.

Mission Support and Test Services is the current civilian contractor for the site's management and supervises overall operations and operates the site for the National Nuclear Security Administration.

clarence kelly johnson
kelly johnson
wv-2 airframe number


Clarence “Kelly” Johnson

Johnson led a team at Lockheed to develop multiple classified aircraft, including the U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird.

Johnson led a team at Lockheed to develop multiple classified aircraft, including the U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird.

Witness of UFO activity

Wednesday December 16, 1953:

Johnson and his wife were visiting their ranch close to Agoura, California and Point Mugu Naval Air Station, an aircraft and missile test facility.

Around 5 PM Johnson was looking out a window at the sunset, when he saw a dark, elliptical shape in the sky in the direction of Point Mugu Cape.

He originally thought it was a cloud or maybe an aircraft smoke trail, but after it was stationary for a few minutes and didn't change, he called for his wife to bring him binoculars.

By this time the shape had started to move and accelerated away from him, in the opposite direction of the other clouds of the sky, and at a shallow climb. It looked like it was very large, moving fast, and far away, but he had no way of confirming its real size, speed, or distance.


View of a U-2 reconnaissance aircraft


Pilot view within the U-2 cockpit.

April 1955

The CIA requested construction of an airbase at Groom Lake, Nevada, later known as Area 51. It was originally intended to be a secret location to flight test the Lockheed U-2 aircraft, also known as Project AQUATONE.

Richard M. Bissell Jr., the project director, knew that Project AQUATONE was so secretive that the flight test and pilot training programs couldn't take place at a normal location like Edwards Air Force Base or Lockheed's Palmdale facility. He began searching for a suitable testing site under the same extreme security measures as the rest of the project.

clark sky

June 17, 1959

“More Flying Objects Seen In Clark Sky”

In Reno, Nevada, north of Area 51, the Reno Evening Gazette published a story with this headline.

The article described how Sergeant Wayne Anderson of the local sheriff's office and several other locals reported seeing an object that was "bright green in color and descending toward the earth at a speed too great to be an airplane."

lockheed a-12

An A-12 (60-6924) takes off from Groom Lake during one of the first test flights


Lockheed A-12

A high-altitude, Mach 3+ reconnaissance aircraft, the Lockheed A-12 was built for the CIA. It was given the name A-12 because it was the 12th model in the series of Lockheed's design efforts for the project, which was code named Archangel.

In 1959 the A-12 was selected as the winner of Project GUSTO, was produced from 1962 to 1964, and flew missions from 1963 until its final mission in May 1968. The program was retired in June, but wasn't officially revealed to the public until the mid-1990s.

lockheed d-21b

Lockheed D-21B at the National Museum of the United States Air Force


Modified A-12 (codename M-21) carrying D-21 drone (Project Tagboard)

October 1962 - 1971

D-21 Tagboard

Designed to be launched from the back of an M-21 aircraft carrier and created as a variation of the A-12 aircraft, the D-21 is a supersonic reconnaissance drone with a maximum speed of Mach 3.3 (2,200 miles per hour) and an operational altitude of 90,000 feet.

The aircraft was originally known by the Lockheed designation Q-12, and was intended for surveillance use deep in enemy airspace. It was designed to carry a single, high-resolution camera over a pre-programmed path, release the camera module to be retrieved, and then self-destruct.

After a fatal accident occurred when launched from an M-21, the aircraft was redesigned to be launched from a Boeing B-52 Stratofortress.

Several test flights and four unsuccessful missions over China later, the program was cancelled in 1971.

area 51



A CIA diagram of Area 51 that was found in an untitled, declassified paper, showing the runway overrun for the OXCART program.


OXCART program

Declassified documents signed by Clarence “Kelly” Johnson himself.


A CIA document mentions Area 51 amid details of OXCART reconnaissance plans
janet airlines

Wikipedia user Twistedpictures1 - Wikipedia: 737-600 (N319BD) of 'Janet' airline. Improved framing. Original description as follows: "This is a photo of a "Janet" taking off from an undisclosed location in California."

las vegas

Tomás Del Coro from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - (EG & G) Boeing 737-66N N365SR (cn 29891/1294)- Las Vegas - McCarran International (LAS / KLAS) USA - Nevada, February 16, 2012 Photo: Tomás Del Coro


Janet Airlines

Unofficial name given to a highly classified fleet of passenger aircraft

The main purpose of Janet Airlines is to act as an employee shuttle for military and contractor employees — picking them up at their home airport in the morning and taking them to work, then transporting them back to their home airports in the evening.

Janet Airlines mainly serves the Nevada National Security Site (N2S2), which includes Area 51 and the Tonopah Test Range. It operates out of a private terminal on the west side of the Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas, and even has its own terminal building.

The aircraft are mostly unmarked, but have a red line along the windows, which is a sort of hint at Janet being the operator.

Janet flights use three-digit flight numbers with a WWW prefix, although the three-letter designator is marked as "blocked" in the official International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The official airline callsign is simply "Janet," but a different callsign is used once the aircraft is transferred to Groom Lake from Nellis control.

The callsign name would change, and the number becomes the last two digits of the flight number plus 15. "Janet 412" would become something like "Bunny 27."

area 51
bob lazer

Robert Scott Lazar - Photo By Dudeanatortron - Own work

george knapp

George Knapp - PHOTO CREDIT: ANDERS KRUSBERG / PEABODY AWARDS George Knapp and Matt Adams 69th Annual Peabody Awards Luncheon Waldorf=Astoria Hotel New York, NY USA May 17, 2010

May & November 1989

Bob Lazar & George Knapp

The interview that made Area 51 a household name

In an interview with George Knapp, Bob Lazar claimed that he had worked in Area 51, and that he had reverse engineered alien spacecrafts and technology for the United States government.

He also said that while he joined the program, he saw evidence of involvement with "grey aliens" over the last 10,000 years of Earth's history, and that they came from a planet in the binary star system Zeta Reticuli.

Bob used the pseudonym "Dennis" and hid his face to protect his identity in the May interview, but in another interview with Knapp in November of the same year, he appeared using his own name and with his face unobscured.


Environmental lawsuit

In the early 1990s, employees of Area 51 came to attorney Jonathan Turley, saying the government was disposing of toxic waste by drenching it in jet fuel and burning it in open trenches the size of football fields.

The smoke was highly toxic and workers were reporting skin and respiratory issues consistent with exposure to burning toxic waste. One of the main goals of the lawsuit was to force the government to admit what the waste was, so the employees could get proper diagnoses and treatment.

Unfortunately, the bigger problem was that the U.S. government refused to even acknowledge Area 51 existed.

After extensive fact-finding and litigation, Turley was finally able to prove the government acted in violation of federal law.

Finally in 2013, after the statue of limitations had passed for crimes, the U.S. declassified documents related to the military base, and specifically named it as "Area 51." It also directly contradicts statements the government made during litigation.

Your honor, there is no name. There is no name for the operating location near Groom Lake.

- Colonel Richard Sarver, 1995

Lead Counsel for the U.S. Government

department of the air force


A letter from the USAF replying to a query about Area 51

The U.S. government will admit the existence of Area 51 however, 15 years later.


December 2007

Airbase Appears in New Civilian Aircraft Navigation System Update

The latest database revision from Jeppesen, a aviation navigation manufacturing company, contains the location of Area 51, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) identifier code KXTA, and is listed as "Homey Airport."

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) released a notice that all student pilots should be explicitly told about KXTA, and not to use it as a waypoint or destination for any flight, regardless of its appearance in public navigation databases.

secret stealth helicopter


Killing of Osama bin Laden with a Secret Stealth Helicopter

Although the program for Black Hawk helicopters was based out of Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, training occurred at Area 51.

The idea was to build four Black Hawks to start a special operations detachment in Nevada, but never ended up happening.

By 2011 the program was mostly cancelled, two airframes remained, and were occasionally used by 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) personnel.



CIA responds to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request

An official history of the U-2 and OXCART projects were released by the CIA following a FOIA request by Jeffrey T. Richelson of the National Security Archive at George Washington University.

His request was submitted in 2005.

The CIA response mentioned Area 51 and Groom Lake multiple times, and included a map of the area.


A protestor at Raid Area 51 dressed up in combat armor carries a protest sign that reads, "Clap Alien Cheeks." This sign humorously suggests that the purpose of freeing extraterrestrials from Area 51 is to engage in sexual intercourse with them. Photo By: David James Henry

area 51 raid

Three Lincoln County, Nevada deputies guarding the back gate to Area 51 during Raid Area 51. the sheriff's department deputized many more men for the event, and acted as the liaison between the public and the military police, so they could take civilians into custody instead. Photo By David James Henry

September 20, 2019

Storm Area 51

In July 2019, a joke Facebook event was created and proposed storming Area 51 to "see them aliens." The event was titled "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us," and garnered more than 2 million responses.

A spokeswoman for the Air Force, Laura McAndrews, said the government "discourage[s] anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces."

Two music festivals named "AlienStock" and "Storm Area 51 Basecamp" were organized to capitalize on the popularity of the original Facebook event.

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Department at one point estimated up to 30,000 people would show up for the Storm Area 51 event, but actual attendance was closer to 6,000.