The Declassification of Area 51

Area 51, taken in 1998

The thick cloak of secrecy began to unravel in 1994, when a group of former Groom Lake employees sued the government for health problems resulting from poor working conditions. They claimed that their health was harmed by the government illegally burning noxious chemicals in open trenches near the base. These allegations were serious, as the chemicals they had allegedly been burning were environmentally unsafe, not to mention unhealthy for people to be exposed to. This lead to some problems, as the lawsuit was difficult to pursue when the place of employment supposedly does not exist.

Finally Declassified...Almost

On September 29, 1995, President Clinton signed a presidential determination which stated that the base exsisted, but that it was in the best interest of the United States that its secrets remained classified. Thus, for the first time in years, the existance of such a facility at Groom Lake was acknowledged, but no other information would be divulged. Having caught such media attention from the lawsuit, the government was actually forced to seize 5000 more acres of land to prevent onlookers from viewing the base's activities, as the large number of visitors to the base's perimeter had found an overlook that the previous acquisitions had not managed to remove from public land.

Today

Recent satellite photos of the base, which can be seen here at the Dreamland Resort Homepage show that Area 51 is alive and well. The base seems to be full of activity, and there are a number of construction projects being undertaken in these photos which were taken in July of 2007. Although Area 51 may now be officially acknowledged, it is fair to say that there is no lack of activity still going on at the base. There will almost certainly be more experimental aircraft coming out of this test facility which will be seen in upcoming years, and there will almost certainly be some we will never know about at all.

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