The storm Area 51 event has put the spotlight back on an old horse, almost a staple of American pop culture. The military base in southern Nevada has been fodder for conspiracy theorists for decades, and it’s been referenced in everything from The X-Files to Pineapple Express.

In fact, one of the main theories is that the site is involved in the storage, examination, and reverse engineering of crashed alien spacecrafts, and that the personnel there conduct meeting with extraterrestrials.


But why exactly is the place so popular? 


Area 51 is officially called the Nevada Test and Training Range at Groom Lake. It’s a high-security open training range for the U.S. Air Force in southern Nevada which has always been shrouded in a veil of secrecy.


Since the 1950s, people have reported seeing UFOs and peculiar aircrafts in the skies around the remote desert base of Area 51. These, however, were later proved to simply be secret flight testings done by the CIA on their U-2 spy planes.

Regardless, the rumours lived on, especially as the truth about the testing came out much later, giving Area 51 an air of irresistible sci-fi mystery. 


In fact, the US only admitted that Area 51 officially existed in August 2013 after Dr. Jeffrey T. Richelson, a senior fellow at the George Washington University National Security Archive, filed a Freedom of Information Act Request in 2005 for information on the CIA’s secret Lockheed U-2 plane reconnaissance program, which was testing spy planes.

The request forced the CIA to declassify documents about the site of the secret spy plane construction and testing place – Area 51.


So there you go – a perfectly logical explanation for a place that has captured the imagination of thousands over the years. But hey, at the end of the day, it’s a secret military base, which means there could literally be anything in there. *X-Files theme intensifies*