Niagara Gazette

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August 16, 2013

CIA acknowledges Area 51 -- but not UFOs or aliens

Niagara Gazette — LAS VEGAS — UFO buffs and believers in space aliens are celebrating the CIA's clearest acknowledgement yet of the existence of Area 51, the top-secret Cold War test site that has been the subject of elaborate conspiracy theories for decades.

The recently declassified documents have set the tinfoil-hat contingent abuzz on the Internet, though there's no mention in the papers of UFO crashes, black-eyed extraterrestrials or staged moon landings.

The CIA history released Thursday not only refers to Area 51 by name and describes some of the activities that took place there, but places the Air Force base on a map, along the dry Groom Lake bed.

It also describes some cool planes, though none of them are saucer-shaped.

George Washington University's National Security Archive used a public records request to obtain the CIA history of one of Area 51's most secret Cold War projects, the U-2 spy plane program.

National Security Archive senior fellow Jeffrey Richelson first reviewed the history in 2002, but all mentions of the country's most mysterious military base had been redacted. So he requested the history again in 2005, hoping for more information. Sure enough, he received a version a few weeks ago with the mentions of Area 51 restored.

The report is unlikely to stop the conspiracy theories. The 407-page document still contains many redactions, and who's to say those missing sections don't involve little green men?

Some UFO buffs and others believe the most earthshattering revelations will come from Area 51 workers, not an official document.

"The government probably will not release what it knows," UFO researcher Robert Hastings said. "My opinion is that whoever is flying these craft will break the story and will reveal themselves at some point in the future. The CIA is not going to release anything they don't want to talk about."

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