Outside of the Roswell incident, Area 51 is one of the most notorious in extraterrestrial lore. But, since the space out in the Nevada desert that many have thought to be Area 51 is closed off, no one could confirm it—and the government sure as hell wasn't talking. Until now.
The CIA has just released a newly declassified document where they confirm the existence of Area 51. The 407-page document describes CIA project director Richard Bissell and Air Force officer Col. Osmund Ritlandt's selection of the area to test U-2 spy planes and other technology, back when the area was just an old airstrip near a slat flat named Groom Lake. "AEC chairman Adm. Lewis Strauss readily agreed and President Eisenhower also approved the addition of this strip of wasteland, known by its map designation as Area 51, to the Nevada Test site," according to the document.
"To make the facility in the middle of nowhere sound more attractive to his workers, (Skunk Works founder) Kelly Johnson called it the Paradise Ranch, which was soon shortened to the Ranch," the document continued.
But, we continued to call it Area 51. No where in the paper is "aliens" mentioned, but don't worry—the truth is still out there.
[via USA Today]