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.
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.
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.
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*