Revisiting Area 51

Monday, 24th May 2010 by

Whether it's space aliens, light-speed travelling spaceships, or just some top-secret government testing, the world's most famous "secret place" has got to be that of Nevada's Area 51. Popular demand from our readers prompted GSS to originally visit Area 51 back in 2005, but the legacy of Groom Lake continues to live on through our reader’s comments and tips through our suggestion line. Aliens and spaceships are always worth a second look, so let's take a trip back out into the desert!

Area 51

Thanks to our friends at Google there are very few places in the world that can be still be considered secret. The entire Area 51 area was upgraded to high-resolution satellite imagery a few years ago and you can easily make out many of the facilities that were previously unidentifiable. For example, this building is rumoured to enclose a lavish night club and personal gym for the workers and temporary residents of Area 51. Just outside you can find a tennis court and lighted baseball field (or possibly alien landing pad).

Night club and tennis court Baseball field

When the employees aren't relaxing in their exclusive night club, they might be seen at work at any of Area 51's many different hangar sites. Near the north side of the facility you can see some of the older hangars that were used for the U-2 spy plane project in the 1950s, while on the south side a much newer and larger facility was rumoured to house the fastest aircraft on the planet during its military testing, the SR-71 Blackbird.

U-2 hangar SR-71 hangar

So what is there to do between work and play at Area 51? Well you could make your way over to the dining hall for some Jetson’s style lunch, or just head back to the large dormitories for some rest. After all, working with spaceships all day can really wear you out!

Dining hall Dormitories

Commuters to Area 51 often use commercial aircraft to get back and forth from the base. A fleet of white and red 737 aircraft, nicknamed "Janet" after their radio call sign, continually fly workers between the facility and the international airport in Las Vegas. Google's latest imagery shows a couple of the Janet 737s sitting on Area 51’s ramp outside what appears to be the base's terminal. However, if you scroll south to Las Vegas and look at the airport there, you can get a much better view of three of the Janet shuttles sitting at the terminal awaiting their next flight.

Janet 737s at Area 51 Janet 737s in Las Vegas

The street view car got close enough with its high resolution camera to sneak a few pictures in too!

Janet 737 Janet 737

So where are the aliens? Area 51 is after all supposedly the home to spaceships and extraterrestrials. Well, not every building has a known purpose out there, and a few of them are home to some top secret operations. This group of structures is rumoured to be home to something called the Kukla Pen project, and these buildings to the Moscow River project. Anyone care to guess what they might be hiding?

Kukla Pen building Moscow River building

Thanks to all of the many GSS readers who suggested visiting Area 51 again!

For more information about Area 51, visit or Wikipedia.