The CIA has finally admitted that Area 51 exists, according to newly released documents — but the mysterious facility is apparently nothing like what you’ve seen in Hollywood movies and on conspiracy theory websites about aliens.
According to the documents, which reportedly include a map of the base’s actual location in the Nevada desert, Area 51 was only a test site for the U.S. government’s U-2 and OXCART aerial surveillance programs. Well, that kind of explains where the UFO theories came from.
More from CNN:
Area 51, about 125 miles northwest of Las Vegas, is synonymous in popular culture with government secrecy, and many have theorized that it holds the answer to one of the greatest questions plaguing mankind: Are we really alone in the universe?
But the newly released documents make no mention of alien autopsy rooms or spaceship parking lots.
This information will be disappointing to some, who have come to view the area has been a Mecca of sorts for alien encounters.
For these true believers, the existence of alien spacecraft at Area 51, and the government’s attempts to cover up their trace, is irrefutable and has been since reports of Unidentified Flying Objects — or UFOs — began to emerge from the Nevada desert in the middle part of the 20th century.
Believe it or not, the new Area 51 documents were released by the government in response to a 2005 Freedom of Information Act request submitted by Jeffery T. Richelson, a senior fellow at the National Security Archives.
Richelson said he requested the information as part of his study of aerial surveillance programs. The documents he recently received were reportedly less redacted than previous versions declassified by the CIA, possibly signaling a willingness by the spy agency to reveal additional information in the future — or at least that’s what he hopes.
Richelson told CNN that the actual location of Area 51 was not really a secret. Seriously, if you do a Google Maps search for “Area 51,” you will get the same location as the one included in the CIA documents.
Still, the official CIA documents probably won’t convince hardcore Area 51 and extraterrestrial fanatics.
Either way, as CNN points out: “At least they still have Roswell, right?”