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Area 51 border visit

Date: Wed, 7 May 1997 14:17:24 -0400
Subject: Area 51 border visit

I made another visit to the border of Area 51 during my stay in Las Vegas
last month.  Heading toward the border on Groom Lake road on Saturday,
April 26th, security was higher than in my previous visits.

I was taking two other couples and my wife for a ride down the road to the
warning signs, closely following Glenn Campbell's Viewers Guide.  We had
just about gotten to the right turn before the signs when we spotted a
crowd of people on the ridge to the right of the road.  I thought it was
some kind of mass protest at first.  After pulling over and looking at them
through the binoculars, we saw they weren't protesters, but artists with
easels!  We parked the van and walked up to talk to them.  When they saw us
coming they started to videotape us.  That seemed very strange, but we
engaged them in conversation anyway.  The 'spokesman' told us that they
were there to paint the "landscape".  Upon studying the paintings, I
decided that if they were artists, I was a B-2 pilot.  They said they were
art students from San Jose college out on a field trip.  They numbered
about a dozen (quite a crowd for this spot).  They told us they had been
down on the road painting, when the camo-dudes showed up and started
checking them out.  They never had direct contact with the security forces,
but the Lincoln County sheriff showed up and had a talk with them.  He told
them where they could, and could not  go, and then left.  They were up on
the ridge, where he said they could be, when we came across them.

When the six of us came on the scene, the white jeeps appeared again.
Probably just when they thought they had everything contained and figured
out, half again as many people show up!  The camo-dudes set up a perimeter
line across from the ridge from us and brought out the large 'scopes.  This
new action excited the 'artists' and they started asking me if I saw all
the guards.  I figured I'd have some fun with this situation before we
left.  I ignored the camo-dudes and told the fellow I was talking to that
"they're just doing their jobs".  The combination of my apparent
sympathetic attitude toward the security forces, plus the fact that I
didn't seem curious enough to even look at them, succeeded in fully
spooking the group of students.  I'm sure by now they thought we were
security forces in plain clothes.

These 'painters' knew exactly where they were, and what was over the next
ridge.  This was just a ruse to be there and not be throw out.

By now I'd had my fun.  The artists think they've been infiltrated, and the
camo-dudes probably imagine a bus load of Japanese tourists is going to
pull next.  A large black helicopter was now launched and slowly circles us
in the distance.  I decide not to make anybody more nervous, and told my
people to get back in the van to leave.

At this point we leave the painters alone with 3 white jeeps, 6 camo-dudes,
and the helicopter.  When we got back to highway 375, we noticed that there
is a van and a car off to each side of Groom Lake road.  I had noticed them
when we went in, but I just thought they were tourists like us, pulled off
the road to take some pictures.  It seemed odd that they were still there.
They didn't try to stop us, and we just waved at each other as we passed.
I did notice that most of people standing there looked similar.  By that I
mean young, close cut hair, an in shape.  Funny, I thought, if these guys
aren't tourists, they could be the secruity forces in civilian clothes.  It
seemed like they were there to stop people coming in, or out, if thngs went
wrong down the road.  I don't know if anybody was set up at the end of
mailbox road like this because we headed back to Vegas.

This level of secruity doesn't match what would be going on if the base was
being closed down like this month's article in Popular Mechanics states.  I
agree that something new is going on in Utah, but Groom Lake is far from

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