U2 spy plane testing explains Area 51 and subsequent UFO sightings

Now we know what Area 51 was really for. It WAS a place for a UFO, for a while.

Declassified: The CIA’s Secret History of Area 51 | FP Passport.

Area 51 is a touchstone of America’s cultural mythology . It rose to notoriety in 1989, when a Las Vegas man claimed he had worked at the secret facility to discover the secrets of crashed alien hardware, spawning two decades of conspiracy theories and speculation about little green men. But the facility’s history — and the history of the strange, secret aircraft that were developed there — extends back to 1955. Since its inception, the government has obliquely acknowledged its existence only a handful of times, and even the CIA’s 1996 declassified history of the OXCART program — the development of the SR-71 Blackbird at the secret site — refers only to tests conducted in “the Nevada desert.” The government has never publicly discussed the specific facility … until now.

On Thursday, the National Security Archive reported that it had gotten its hands on a newly declassified CIA history of the development of the U-2 spy plane. The report, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, contains the CIA’s secret record of how Area 51 came to be.

Here is info from the archive: The Secret History of the U-2.

Area 51/Groom Lake was needed to test the U2 plane. At first, the facility was called Paradise Ranch, or “the Ranch”. Testing of the spy plane commenced in July 1955 and, according to the this FP piece, UFO reports began immediately. So, the U2 was responsible for a huge UFO flap at this time. Huh, how about that. This is interesting reading and an important landmark in the history of UFO sightings. Explains a considerable amount.

More: The Government Now Admits There’s an ‘Area 51’ – Philip Bump – The Atlantic Wire.

UFO community greets Area 51 disclosure with a resounding 'Duh!' – U.S. News.

  9 comments for “U2 spy plane testing explains Area 51 and subsequent UFO sightings

  1. Chris Howard
    August 15, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    I always kind of thought that that is what the base was used for.

    Not just the U2, but other experimental aircraft, as well.

    It always just seemed to make the most sense.

  2. August 15, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    The link “The Secret History of the U-2” http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB434/ says (this is the whole webpage):

    “Site Running in Degraded Mode We’re very sorry, but this site is running in a degrade mode. This should be fixed very soon, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”

    Fortunately, archive,org has a copy of the current (or immediate past) site:


  3. Kitty Lapin Agile
    August 15, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    the book “Dreamland” by Phil Patton is a MUST READ. He covered all this when he wrote it, so I’m kind of confused how this is new news. Still waiting for the Aurora though! It’s a must read book for the government is covering up a LOT at the site, mainly what they have done to their employees and the money spent. No UFOs, but the theory goes if people are busy being interested in UFOs, they won’t ask questions about other things. http://www.amazon.com/Dreamland-Travels-Inside-Secret-Roswell/dp/0375753850

  4. spookyparadigm
    August 15, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    While the new specific information is nice, even the primary explanation here has been covered before in a different report than the one mentioned above



  5. August 15, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    I had thought the experimental aircraft at Area 51/Groom Lake was already on public record?

  6. spookyparadigm
    August 15, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    BTW, if you want a major part of the secret of the UFOs, one might want to listen to the July 7 episode of The Paracast


    The show is not as good as it once was, IMO, but it still has some good episodes (usually those where experienced hands in ufology tear apart some of the more cherished mythology. The episode where a roundtable of Roswell folks buries MJ12 once and for all is a must listen) that somewhat balance out the not-so-good episodes (there are quite a few episodes with utterly loopy guests, some of whom are friends of the hosts, though when they haven’t been friends of the show, they’ve done some calling out of liars).

    The July 7 episode is neither of these. It is an interview with the author of a bio-historical work on Raymond Palmer and Richard Shaver. Despite some of the claims in the episode that Palmer didn’t invent the UFO, the episode makes it pretty clear that Palmer had a huge role in inventing the UFO, and that both he and Shaver were bizarre characters. The author (Richard Toronto) more or less makes a convincing case that both of them were driven (especially Palmer) by their outsider status, and Palmer comes off as sympathetic as a person in the interview, but fairly awful in terms of the effect he had on history (the claims, at least as Toronto presents them, that Shaver-Palmer paved the way for science fiction don’t hold much water given how much of the roots of science fiction predate the Shaver mysteries, whereas the impact of his publications on creating UFOlore are pretty clear).

    If listening to audio material is your thing (I have a 20-minute walk to work), and you are interested in where UFOs come from, I’d recommend the episode.

    I mention this on this story because (a) I listened to the episode within the last week so it is fresh in my mind, and (b), this CIA story is about the early underpinnings of UFOs. The conclusion drawn from the CIA report on the OXCART/U-2 sightings is that they are the cause of the UFO. But that’s not it, anymore than commercial aircraft are why people believe in chemtrails, or decomposition is why people believe in cattle mutilation. These ideas emerge independently, usually in the hands of an imaginative and/or somewhat off-base individual, and then they luck out and find a mass media vector to spread. Once they do, then all sorts of phenomena in our environment is re-interpreted in light of the new concept.

    The CIA material might help explain specific UFO sightings, but that’s not why people believe in UFOs, or think about them even if they don’t believe in them.

  7. August 17, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    Here is an interesting link to disputed claims from Alejandro Rohas. Project Blue Book did not start from the Area 51 reports.

  8. spookyparadigm
    August 17, 2013 at 9:16 PM

    I hadn’t noticed that specific claim in the documents (since I was familiar with the content as noted above, I breezed over them), but yeah, that would make no sense.

    Not to get completely conspiratorial or anything, but I do think there is some chance this is a form of media manipulation. The American intelligence community is coming under popular and press attack at a level not seen since the Church hearings almost forty years ago. There is a history of intelligence agencies using the Woo-Spygames, often old, stuff to distract popular attention away from current concerns. The FBI used old declassified documents (on MJ12, Amelia Earhart, etc.) on its website as a PR tool in the 1990s, partly cashing in on the success of the X-Files, but notably at a time when there was both tremendous public interest in the FBI (the X-Files was only one of many shows and movies featuring FBI agents at that time) but also a lot of anger and distrust in the wake of Ruby Ridge and Waco.

    In fact, the CIA actually used UFOs for this exact purpose in the 1950s during the lead-up to the invasion of Guatemala (PBSUCCESS)


    As tensions were growing (the operation wasn’t exactly a total surprise, given that it had a lot of moving parts in Florida and Central America and off the Guatemala coast), when part of the operation was exposed in the Guatemalan press, the CIA urged its press friendlies to flood papers with human interest stories, including flying saucers, to drown out news of the impending invasion. The relevant quote:

    ” Telegram from PBSUCCESS headquarters in Florida to C.I.A. headquarters, Jan. 30, 1954:

    White Paper [issued by the Guatemalan government] has effectively exposed certain aspects of PBSUCCESS . . . If possible, fabricate big human interest story, like flying saucers, birth sextuplets in remote area to take play away.”


  9. Carl W. Johansen
    August 20, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    This is typical non-news, the recent FOI “scoop” merely confirms what has been confirmed numerous times before. But first and foremost, the site was never much of a secret.

    I recommend this little piece on its history:

    The existence of the base was public knowledge from its very inception, and its purpose shortly thereafter. The biggest mystery about it is how people keep insisting it’s such a mystery, pretty much.

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