After denying the existence of the base for many years, 5 original players dared to speak out
Area 51.It is the most renowned military establishment on our earth that does not officially present. If it did, it would be present nearly hundred miles away from Las Vegas in Nevada’s high desert, tucked between United States Air Force base and deserted nuclear testing ground.
On the other hand, might be not, as the United States government refuses to say. You cannot go or drive close to it, and till now, the air space overhead has been bounded all the way to outer space. Any mention of Area 51 has been edited from official record, even those documents that have had security classification removed for decades.
It has turned into as the Holy Grail for many conspiracy theorists, as UFOlogists continue to state that the Pentagon reverse engineers UFOs and keep extraterrestrials stored in freezers. Urban Legend accounts that this Area 51 is linked with some other secret establishments through underground tunnels, passages and trains across the country. In 2001, Katie Couric said while talking to Today Show audiences that seven percent of American citizens have doubts on moon landing happening; they believe that it was arranged in the Nevada desert. Hundreds and thousands of X-Files fans think that the truth is “out there”, but there are more chance that it has been concealed somewhere in Area 51’s Strangelove-esque hangars-buildings that, had also been confirmed by Google Earth; however the authorities refuse to acknowledge.
The fact is that it is difficult to challenge the mythoi of Area 51 if nobody dares to speak on the record what really happened there. Well, now, it is for the first time in history that somebody is willing to reveal facts. These are 5 men, with stories rivaling the most outrageous of rumors.
1- Colonel Hugh “Slip” Slater (Age: 87): He was the commander of the Area 51 base in 1960s.
2- Edward Lovick (Age: 90): He featured in “What Plane?” in LA’s March issue. He passed 3 decades radar testing of the world’s most big-name planes, which also include the U-2, the A-12 OXCART & the F-117.
3-Keneth Collins (Age: 80): He was a CIA experimental test pilot. He attained Silver Star medal.
4- Thomton “T.D.” Barnes (Age: 72): He was an Area 51 special-projects engineer.
5- Harry Martin (Age: 77): He was in the group appointed for base’s half-million-gallon supply of spy-plane fuels every month.
Stories Related To Area 51
Here are some of their best stories-for the record, accounted by themselves-
On 24th of May , 1963, Collins was asked to fly out of Area 51’s restricted air space in a top-secret spy aircraft, OXCART ( its code-name). The aircraft was built by Lockheed Aircraft Corp. When the plane reached over Utah the plane started pitching, flipping and finally headed towards crash. He timely ejected into a field of weeds.
After forty six years later, in late fall of last year (2008), while sitting in a coffeehouse in the San Fernando Valley, Collins recalls that old day with the kind of limpidity the fear of national security offend evokes: “Three guys came driving toward me in a pickup. I saw they had the aircraft canopy in the back. They offered to take me to my plane.” Before that instant, not any citizen without a top-secret security clearance had ever beheld the aircraft he was piloting. “I told them not to go near the aircraft. I said it had a nuclear weapon on-board.” The incident fit properly into the Cold War background of the day, as several nuclear experiments and tests were carried out in Nevada. Spooked, those guys took Collins to the nearest local highway patrol. The CIA cloaked that incident. They involved a generic Air Force aircraft, the F-105 that is how that incident is still mentioned in official documents.
On the other hand, for the reason that those men picked up Collins, they were pursued and forced to sign national security nondisclosures. As part of Collin’s own debriefing of his mission, the CIA demanded from the honorable pilot to take truth drug. “They wanted to see if there was anything I’d forgotten about the events leading up to the crash.” The Sodium Pento-the whole feeling went without a hitch-just received reaction from his wife, Jane.
“Late Sunday, three CIA agents brought me home. One drove my car; the other two carried me inside and laid me down on the couch. I was loopy from the drugs. They handed Jane the car keys and left without saying a word.” The first judgment Jane could made was that her hubby had moved out and was up drunk. ”Boy, was she mad,” comments Collins with a soft chortle.
The time when Collin’s accident took place, CIA had been engaged in flying spy aircrafts over Area 51 for almost a decade (8 years). They were on a job of express mission of giving secret information about an enemy to avert possible nuclear war. Aerial reconnaissance was the most important area of the CIA’s pre-emptive strategy, while the rest of America built air-raid shelters and had hopes for the best.
“It wasn’t always called Area 51,” tells Lovick, the physic scientist who worked on stealth engineering. His boss, Clarence L. “Kelly” , also regarded as legend in aircraft designing, called the location Paradise Ranch to lure men to go and leave their families and homes behind and “rough it” out in the Nevada desert for the sake of scientific research and the war against the evil empire. ”Test pilot Tony LeVier found the place by flying over it,’ tells Lovick. “It was a lake bed called Groom Lake, selected for testing because it was flat and far from anything. It was kept secret because the CIA tested U-2s there.”
And when Frances Gary Powers was hit down while flying over Sverdlovsk, Russia, in 1960, this U-2 program no longer remained secret and lost its covering. However, the CIA already had Lovick and about two hundred scientists, technologists, and pilots rendering their services at Area 51 on the A-12 OXCART that could outwit Russian radar employing height, stealth and speed.
Colonel Slater was in the group of 6 pilots who carried out OXCART operations during the Vietnam War. While sitting at the Bahama Breeze restaurant off the Las Vegas Strip with a Cuban meat and cheese sandwich on his table, Slater tells, “I was recruited for the Area after working with the CIA’s classified Black Cat squadron, which flew U-2 missions over denied territory in Mainland China. After that, I was told, ’You should come out to Nevada and work on something interesting we’re doing out there.’ ”
Despite the fact that, Slater calls himself a fighter pilot, as he conducted eighty four missions during World War II, the opportunity to serve at Area 51 could not be passed up.” When I learned about this Mach-3 aircraft called OXCART, it was completely intriguing to me; this idea of flying three times the speed of sound! No one knew a thing about the program. I asked my wife, Barbara, if she wanted to move to Las Vegas, and she said yes. And I said, ‘you won’t see me but on the weekends,’ and she said, ‘That’s fine!’ “.At this remembrance, Slater laughed heartily. Barbara, eating dinner with us, also laughed. The two, after passing sixty three years of their marriage life, are rarely apart even today.
“We couldn’t have told you any of this a year ago,” Slater tells. “Now we can’t tell it to you fast enough.” As in 2007, the CIA declassified half-century old OXCART program. Today, there is a tussle for all eyewitnesses to supply with information on this topic. Now, there are just few of the real participants left. Two more players joined us there and Slater for lunch. One was Barnes, who is former special-projects engineer of an Area 51, along with his wife, Doris and second was Martin, whose job was to oversee the OXCART’S specially prepared fuel for jet planes ( the reason for doing that was because regular fuel use to explode when at extreme altitude, temperature and speed ), with his wife, Mary. As the military personnel are bounded by an oath to keep secrets sometimes throughout their lives, so their wives get a kick out on knowing those old secret stories.
Barnes was seventeen when he got married with Doris (sixteen at that time). To keep going their living, he adopted the profession of an electronic wizard. He used to buy broken TV sets, fix them up and resell them for 5 times than the price he purchased it. He went from living in extreme impoverishment on a Texas Panhandle ranch having no electric facility to giving his new bride a dream home before getting too old to vote. While serving as a soldier during Korean War, Barnes showed preternatural ability for working with radar and Nike missile systems that made him prime selection for recruitment by the CIA—that actually took place when he was 22. By reaching age of thirty, he was handling national nuclear secrets.
“The agency located each guy at the top of a certain field and put us together for the programs at Area 51,”tells Barnes. As a precautionary measure regarding security, he had to keep his real birth name secret—he traveled by the moniker Thunder. His colleagues went in separate cars, helicopters and aircrafts. Barnes and his team had to keep to themselves, even in the mess. ”Our special-projects group was the most classified team since the Manhattan Project,” Barnes tells.
Harry Martin’s specialty was in the line of fuel. Handpicked by the CIA from American Air Force, Martin passed through strict psychological and physical tests to check whether he was willing to do that job. When he went successfully through tests and selection process, the CIA shifted his family to Nevada. As OXCART needed to be refueled frequently, the CIA kept supplies at underground places all over the world. Martin used to travel to these places for quality-control checks. He gives a detailed account of planning for a top-secret mission from Area 51 to Thule, Greenland. ”My wife took one look at me in these arctic boots and this big hooded coat, and she knew not to ask where I was going.”
So, what about those many urban legends—the UFOs studied secretly, the underground passageways towards other clandestine bases. For many years, the men working at Area 51 believed they would take their national secrets to the grave. At the top-times of the Cold War, these men developed anonymity while participating one of the country’s most secret projects. It is clear now that all those conspiracy theories were just mind creations. But after having detailed discussion with Collines, Lovick, Slater, Barnes and Martin, it is also evident that most of those folklore was spun from threads of reality.
As for the mythoi of reverse engineering of flying saucers, Barnes gives clear and deep perceptions of situation: “We did reverse engineer a lot of foreign technology, including the Soviet MiG fighter jet out at the Area”—the MiG doesn’t shape like a flying saucer. As for the mythos of underground-tunnel, that, also, had some reality behind. Barnes remained involved in a nuclear-rocket program named Project NERVA, within underground chambers at Jackass Flats, built in the backyard of Area 51.” Three test-cell facilities were connected by railroad, but everything else was underground,” Barnes tells.
Moreover, the quintessential Area 51 conspiracy- that the Pentagon retains caught alien spacecraft here, which they fly in the restricted air space area? Seems that it’s easy to debunk. The design of OXCART was unprecedented. It had wide, disc-like fuselage made to supply big quantities of fuel. Commercial pilots moving over Nevada at evening could look up to see the bottom of OXCART flying at 2,000+ miles per hour speed. The aircraft’s titanium structure, moving like a bullet, would make sun’s rays reflection in a way that could make anybody believe, UFO.
Total of 2,850 OXCART test-flights flew out of Area 51 on mission, when Slater was in charge.” That’s a lot of UFO sightings!” Slater says further. Commercial pilots were to report their sightings to the FAA. “When, they’d land in California, they’d be met by FBI agents who’d make them sign nondisclosure forms.” Despite all that, not everybody remained quite and that resulted the birth of Area 51’s UFO lore. These observations incited a state of confusion in Nevada and nearby areas. It pushed US Air Force to open Project BLUE BOOK to enter each claim into log.
As there were only few U.S. Air Force officials who were clear about OXCART (despite the fact that it was a joint venture between CIA and USAF), therefore these UFO sightings aroused concerns in military also. Few generals thought these are stealth aircrafts sent by Soviet Union over American skies to stir up paranoia and create extensive terror of alien invasion. Today, BLUE BOOK reports are contained in 37-cu-ft of record files at the National Archives.74,000 pages of files. A keyword search takes out no reference of the top-secret OXCART or Area 51.
Project BLUE BOOK was terminated in 1969. And about one and a half year later OXCART was also retired. But what goes on at America’s most secret military base would require another 40 years to reveal.
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