Subtitle: Resident fears road's more mundane dangers
Type: Newspaper article
Publication: Las Vegas Sun
Date: March 8, 1996
Author: Mary Manning

Area 51 watcher Glenn Campbell isn't expecting Nevada's new Extraterres- 
trial Highway" to attract any ETs, but he fears the remote roadway will 
trap hapless Earth-bound tourists in natural and man-made dangers.

Gov. Bob Miller designated State Route 375, running about 100 miles 
through south-central Nevada, as the "Extraterrestrial Highway" after 
the state Transportation Board approved the name change in February.

South and west of the highway, the Air Force operates the top-secret 
Groom Lake air base, known as Area 51, where the government has 
developed such exotic aircraft as the U2 spy plane, SR-71 Blackbird and 
F-117A Stealth fighter. The base is also thought by many UFO buffs to 
contain the bodies of aliens recovered from crash sites.

The lure of possible UFOs leads many people to hang out on public land 
around the base, where there is no fence and poor markers to warn them 
that they are near a sensitive military area, said Campbell, director of 
the Area 51 Research Center in Rachel, population 100.

"Instead of accurately portraying this as a harsh desert area, the state 
is putting an appealing label on it," Campbell said, "making the area 
seem gentle and attractive instead of dangerous."

Campbell has witnessed base security officers confiscating film and 
video equipment from television crews. He was arrested and convicted of 
a misdemeanor for obstructing an officer during one media visit.

There's danger to visitors from Mother Nature, as well, he said. Or-
dinary cars may get stuck in off-road sand or people unfamiliar with the 
desert may drive into the middle of nowhere without water. Last year, 
five people died in Southern Nevada's desert areas from heat exposure 
and lack of water.

"This has happened to perhaps a half-dozen people in my time here," said
Campbell, who moved to Rachel near the secret military base in 1981.

To warn tourists about the hidden dangers in the desert, Campbell asked 
state officials to post more warning signs with specific dangers, modify 
the state's trespassing laws and resolve warrantless film seizures by 
rural sheriff's deputies on behalf of armed guards at the base.

Miller appeared on national television Monday to announce the designated 
highway. The Nevada Transportation Department will post "Extraterres-
trial Highway" signs costing $3,300, Miller said, including at least one 
pointing skyward to welcome any out-of-this-world visitors.

"The designation of Highway 375 as the Extraterrestrial Highway serves 
to accentuate the sense of mystery that pervades a stretch of this 
road," Miller said.  "This is a tourist attraction and I don't believe 
for a minute that anyone visiting the highway and its immediate area 
should be concerned about being bothered by security personnel." The 
governor noted that 87 percent of Nevada is owned by the federal govern-
ment and the state contains many military installations.

"So I don't feel there's a need to make a particular issue out of the ET 
Highway and its immediate public access land area," he said.

The Extraterrestrial Highway runs from Hiko to Warm Springs, drawing 
about 50 vehicles a day. Campbell said he felt responsible for the 
highway's special designation. In 1993 he published "The Area 51 
Viewer's Guide" calling State Route 375 "America's Alien Highway."

Although he's camped in the hills surrounding Groom Lake and joins the 
UFO spotters in Rachel twice a year, Campbell said he has never seen 
anything unexplainable in the skies above the obscure rural road.


Correction: Campbell moved to Nevada in 1993, not 1981 as stated
in article.