Welcome to Area 51: holder of some of the biggest secrets on the planet — perhaps even the universe. The military base, nestled in a Nevada desert valley, was only officially acknowledged by the CIA in 2013. It’s no wonder conspiracy theorists drone on about secret underground laboratories on the base that contain proof of extraterrestrial life — if there’s anywhere on Earth to hide an alien, this is the place.
Part of what makes the location so perfect is its geography — mountains obscure the base from view, and the few roads running through the region are easily monitored. Surprisingly, the boundaries of the base aren’t even fenced. Any unassuming visitors are alerted to go no further only by orange warning signs spelling out that deadly force is authorized, and the foreboding scrutiny of security guards in the distance.
But that, of course, hasn’t stopped members of the public from craning their necks for a look. The best (legal) vantage point that’s still publicly accessible is a mountain called Tikaboo Peak. It’s about an hour’s hike up, and even then a view of Area 51 is far from guaranteed. At 26 miles from the base, it’s nowhere near close.
But on a clear day, someone with a drone and some good camera equipment can get decent shots of the visible infrastructure.
This new drone footage shows a circular clearing of land with some buildings, which can also be seen on Google Maps. In fact, all sorts of interesting and mysterious features can be seen from satellite imagery, leading to no end of internet denizens speculating what it’s all for.
It’s no secret that Area 51 and the surrounding base are used for testing top-secret weapons and stealth aircraft — including material that shields planes and drones from radar detection. That goes a long way in providing a reasonable explanation for the activities there, including strange sightings of UFO-like orbs in the sky.
But could all of that be just a front for the most secret secrets that the base wants to conceal? And what is going on under the surface, below the infrastructure that can be monitored from the sky? Very few people on this planet know the answers to these questions, although there sure are a whole lot dying to find out.