what it’s like being an air force brat, example #921

June 13, 2011

Area 51’s been on my radar a lot lately, for some reason — new books, articles, whatever.  But it’s reminded me of a conversation I had with my father when I was probably 10 or 12 or so, and just learning about conspiracy theories.  This was during one of his stints flying B-52’s.

Me:  Hey Dad, did you know there’s a secret government base in Nevada where all kinds of strange things are going on?

Dad:  Yes.

Me:  But. . .but. . .it’s secret.

Dad:  No, it isn’t.

Me:  But. . .but. . .but. . .

Dad:  We’re not allowed to fly over it, so they have to mark it on the map so we can avoid it. I’ll show it to you.

And he did.  For some reason, I found the fact that he knew exactly where Area 51 was and didn’t seem at all bothered by its mysterious aura highly disturbing. It was like he was part of the conspiracy.  Which I suppose he was, even if he was just observing air space restrictions.

Now, every time I see some wacky TV “documentary” about Area 51 that claims it’s hidden in a secret location in the Nevada desert, I think, “No it isn’t, I can show it to you on a map!”

10 Responses to “what it’s like being an air force brat, example #921”

  1. LupLun Says:

    Better than that: you can show them the photos

    Kinda “meh”, really. It’s a bunch of buildings in the desert by a dried-out lakebed. With, admittedly, a Highly Convenient Cloud hovering around, but still, the Nazca Lines are more interesting, IMHO.

  2. ArcLight Says:

    Yeah, the whole ‘open secret’ thing has always been a bit odd. Had some fun conversations with folks that had gone TDY to the Nellis Test Range, tho….

  3. Jakk Says:

    This whole topic makes me feel alienated from you all…🙂

  4. Kristian Says:

    Have you ever wondered about the other 50 areas? Or if there are only 51 areas?

    Also, I was stationed as George AFB, and they used to fly training missions into Nevada, so yeah they know where not to fly.

    Secret bases don’t mean we don’t know where they are. The travel / airspace restrictions are pretty obvious.

  5. Miss Bliss Says:

    I absolutely LOVE that whole adult/kid moment. It happens to everyone at some point whether you’re the kid or the adult (unless you NEVER spend any time at all with kids). Kid discovers something about the world at large and exclaims “Did you know THIS?” and the adult says, in a VERY anti-climactic way, ‘Yes. Would you like a book about it or I could give you the paper I wrote about it when I was in college if you like.” Always mind blowing for the kid and usually entertaining for the adult.

    I too have always wondered where the other 50 Areas were?

  6. Thomas Says:

    I’ve heard some strange, interesting stories who went up to the gate, and/or near the premises, or even went up on a hill and used a telescope or binoculars to try and see what’s going on.

    Strange stories including cameras in rocks and such, and laser testing or detection systems. Usually the stories ended with them either being arrested or escorted away, and any of their equipment they were using confiscated.

    While not so ‘conspiracy’ I remember my dad flying me to and from school in Prescott, AZ for the weekends and holidays. Being from Roswell, New Mexico my dad always had to fly around White Sands Missile Range because it was restricted. So yeah pilots, even private or commercial ones, know where the hidden stuff is because they have to avoid it.

  7. Robert Says:

    Area 51 was heavily involved in the Manhattan project and nuclear weapon testing. The Airforce gets very protective about anything dealing with nuclear weapons.

    The NRC developed it’s own classification rules that stood outside of the president’s authority. For a long time it was deemed that the president did not have a need to know even after a direct request for information.

  8. Stevi Glasspell Says:

    The other 50 secret sites? That assumes that the US government were counting up from 1, but in fact they have been counting down from infinity for some time now.

  9. Rebecca Sparks Says:

    My ex-husband was an alien fanatic, so I once went with him to Rachel, Nevada to see the little Ale’inn and the black mailbox. (Both of which are close to Area 51.) Because it’s in the middle of no where, you can see stars with the naked eye that you would usually need a telescope to see.


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