- uploaded: May 2, 2010
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Area 51 is a nickname for a military base located in the southern portion of Nevada in the western United States. Situated at its center, on the southern shore of Groom Lake is a large military airfield and one of the most secretive places in the world. The base's primary purpose is to support development and testing of experimental aircraft and weapons systems.
The base lies within the United States Air Force's vast Nevada Test and Training Range. Although the facilities at the range are managed by the 99th Air Base Wing at Nellis Air Force Base, the Groom facility appears to be run as an adjunct of the Air Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC) at Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert, around 160 miles (260 km) from Groom, and as such the base is known as Air Force Flight Test Center (Detachment 3).
Other names used for the facility include "Dreamland", "Paradise Ranch", "Home Base", "Watertown Strip", Groom Lake and most recently "Homey Airport". The area is part of the Nellis Military Operations Area, and military pilots refer to the forbidden airspace around it (R-4808N) as The Box.
The intense secrecy surrounding the base, the very existence of which the U.S. government barely acknowledges, has led it to become the frequent subject of conspiracy theories and UFO folklore