Area 51

Essay by shammer123High School, 11th grade May 2004

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Area 51, also known as Groom Lake, is a secret military facility about 90 miles north of Las Vegas. The number refers to a 6-by-10-mile block of land, at the center of which is a large air base the government will not discuss. The site was selected in the mid-1950s for testing of the U-2 spyplane, due to its remoteness, proximity to existing facilities and presence of a dry lake bed for landings. Groom Lake is America's traditional testing ground for "black budget" aircraft before they are publicly acknowledged. The facility and surrounding areas are also associated -- with varying levels of credibility -- with UFO and conspiracy stories. In 1989, Bob Lazar claimed on a Las Vegas television station that he had worked with alien spacecraft at Papoose Lake, south of Area 51. Since then, "Area 51" has become a popular symbol for the alleged U.S. Government UFO cover-up.

The Cammo Dudes are members of a private security firm, EG&G Technical Services, Inc., guarding the outer perimeter of Area 51. Most of them wear camouflage outfit (hence the name), and they patrol the border in white Jeep Cherokees or champagne golden Ford F-150s. They can usually be seen sitting on top of a hill near the signs at Groom Lake Road, watching traffic on the road through high-powered binoculars.

After dark they can often be seen patrolling Hwy. 375 between Groom Lake Road and Rachel. We have seen them recently at least twice each night, at all hours of the night. They go in and out of the base on either Groom Lake Road, Mailbox Road or the North Gate (Rachel Back Gate). Sometimes they turn off their headlights and use night vision equipment when driving on the dirt roads.

The Cammos do not have legal authority...