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Las Vegas Sun on Pop. Mechanics [news article]

From: (Glenn Campbell, Las Vegas)
Date: Tue, 20 May 1997 17:32:07 -0800
Subject: Las Vegas Sun on Pop. Mechanics [news article]

[From today's Las Vegas Sun at

Note colorful Campbell quote.]

Magazine: Area 51 gear moving to Utah

By Mary Manning

The Air Force plans to abandon Area 51, its once-secret air base in
Nevada's desert, if June's edition of Popular Mechanics is on target.

The magazine's science editor, Jim Wilson, explores the signs in
government budgets and in the dust rising from the Groom Lake bed
about 110 miles northeast of Las Vegas. He concludes that fighters and
bombers and other invisible aircraft believed to be tested at Area 51
are moving to Utah.

Thanks to television, movies, media coverage and a tourism campaign by
the state of Nevada, the proving ground for the Stealth fighter, U-2
spy plane and other high-tech aircraft has become a tourist

Some believe the government is hiding a crashed alien spacecraft at
Area 51 and trying to learn from the technology. That theory was
popularized by the movie "Independence Day."

Last year, Gov. Bob Miller dedicated State Route 375, which runs by
Area 51, as "The Extraterrestrial Highway." For the festivities, state
Sen. Bob Price, D-North Las Vegas -- dressed as Darth Vader -- and Lt.
Gov. Lonnie Hammargren packed a silvery alien peeking out from his

On a more serious note, the Air Force sends a short message to anyone
saying it denied Area 51's existence: "Training and testing activities
take place at the Groom Dry Lake Bed."

In short, the remote desert site, shimmering like a mirage, has become
the Air Force's worst-kept secret, Wilson said.

Wilson reports that the Air Force had to look for another site to
develop ultra-high-performance military aircraft for the next

The new Utah sites also are connected to military activities.

The top-secret candidate is White Sands Missile Range, a site in
eastern Utah dubbed Area 6413 by the Air Force, according to Wilson.

Another suitable launch location seems to be near the Air Force's
Michael site just south of the Great Salt Lake. That's also protected
by Dugway Proving Ground, the area where tons of U.S. nerve gases and
other toxins are stored.

By moving to Utah, Wilson guesses, the Air Force is closer to its
Space Warfare Center near Colorado Springs, Colo.

Wilson discovered these prospective sites in a congressional briefing
document and in a leaner military budget.

The Air Force Times has reported that flights of CT-43 transports,
once ferrying workers between McCarran International Airport and Area
51, now fly to Utah.

But Glenn Campbell, director of the Area 51 Research Center in Rachel,
disputes the Popular Mechanics report.

"The article is rubbish, all rubbish," Campbell said Monday. "I've
never seen so much crapola in a national magazine before."

Campbell, who has offices in Las Vegas and Rachel, the nearest town to
Area 51, said he can look out his Las Vegas apartment window and see
the same planes taking off for the Nevada base every day.

"I've seen no change in activity at the airport here," Campbell said,
adding that Popular Mechanics mentioned him, but never contacted him.

The new Utah base has a famous resident already. Las Vegas millionaire
Robert Bigelow, Wilson reports, has just purchased the 480-acre
Sherman Ranch, the future site of the National Institute for Discovery
Science. Its mission will be to conduct scientific studies of crop
circles, cattle mutilations and other things that go bump in the night
that people have reported for decades.

Wilson doesn't think the lore and lure of Nevada's base will disappear
when the Air Force moves operations about 1999.

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