Area 51 'Uncensored': Was It UFOs Or The USSR?
"Seventy-five miles north of Las Vegas sits a land parcel in the middle of the desert. Called Area 51, the parcel is just outside of the abandoned Nevada Test and Training Range, where more than 100 atmospheric bomb tests were conducted in the 1950s. Officially, the U.S. government has never acknowledged the existence of Area 51. Unofficially, it has become a place associated with conspiracy theories, alien landings and tiny spaceships.
Journalist Annie Jacobsen tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that the site has remained classified for many years â?? not because of aliens or spaceships, but because the government once used the site for top-secret nuclear testing and weapons development.
In Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base, Jacobsen details how several agencies â?? including the Atomic Energy Commission, the Department of Defense and the CIA â?? once used the site to conduct controversial and secretive research on aircraft and pilot-related projects, including planes that traveled three times faster than the speed of sound and nuclear-propelled, space-based missile launch systems....."