After decades of secrecy and conspiracy theories, the US government has finally confirmed the existence of Area 51. The site of much speculation was officially acknowledged in declassified documents.
Public records on the U-2 spy plane programme were requested by Washington’s Georgetown University and contain the first official references to Area 51.
Located 130 northwest of Las Vegas, the site was developed by the CIA in the 1950s as a place to test the U-2 reconnaissance plane.
“They (the US government) obviously didn’t want the Soviet Union to know about it, and to ensure that, they wanted a facility where it could be tested away from everybody else,” explained intelligence researcher, Jeffrey Richelson from the National Security Archive.
Area 51 was the testing area for other secret aviation projects, including supersonic aircraft code-named OXCART.
But secrecy surrounding the area, also known as Groom Lake, caused a mass of conspiracies over the years, with many centred on the US-government, UFOs and aliens.