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back to article AREA 51 - THE TRUTH by the CIA: Official dossier blows lid off US secrets

A declassified CIA report made public this week includes copious references to the United States' mysterious Area 51 base. The Cold War-era dossier on the U-2 spy plane was published by the George Washington University's National Security Archive - and acknowledges the existence of the highly hush-hush patch of Nevada desert, a …

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Welcome to what EVERYONE already knows about.

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Everyone sane you mean.

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jai
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that's just what They'd want you to say - your tinfoil hat must have slipped

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Facepalm

Re: cyke1

"Welcome to what EVERYONE already knows about." Exactly! Look at the timing - this is just a distraction to keep the conspiracy theorists busy with one of their favorite bleating points.

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Black Helicopters

Re: Matt Bryant

>Exactly! Look at the timing - this is just a distraction to keep the conspiracy theorists busy with one of their favorite bleating points.

Ya right, and forget the obvious double coverup wherein the Blackbird is being used to cover for the failed balloon info release coverup.

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Alien

It shows how tragic these UFO fantasists are. Whatever you think about its purpose, the SR-71 is a marvel of human engineering. That people can't appreciate what we're capable of without having to imagine little grey men is sad.

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Anonymous Coward

Don't forget the stealth... That I believe was responsible for most of the 'triangle' craft sightings...

And I suspect there have been many more experimental aircraft tested there, drones for one thing!

one amazing thing is that while the SR-71 is grounded now... the U2 is STILL in active service, amazing kit...

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Anonymous Coward

English Electric Lightning ????

Wasn't there an incident where an SR71 pilot was brushing the edge of space, looked up and was overflown by an Lightning ?

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Go

SR-71

My favorite aircraft of all time. Mach 3+ using 1960's tech and it still looks like something out of a sci-fi movie. Dreamed of it as a little boy, saw one recently whilst in D.C. Still smiling from it.

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Both the U-2 and the SR-71 are excellent examples of not only aerospace design but high speed, high resolution photography and photography processes and logistical support. They were full of complicated engineering problems and keeping them flying was a constant challenge: I'm afraid the abilities to bootstrap engineering solutions on the fly is a lost art these days.

Everyone wants no risk guarantees and assurances these days, not forward thinking. Look at the F-35 for a great example of trying to design around every possible problem and coming up with a big pile of shit that can't do anything, instead of recognizing the need for in the field solutions.

Also, the aliens and their technology are kept at the Mt. Weather facility in Virginia not Area 51.

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Alien

In truth, Area 51 has not much to do with UFO lore. It was tacked on much later. One could as well talk about Black Oil, Däniken, the Bermuda Triangle, Gurus calling the Endtimes and other commercial ideas.

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Also a lover of the old SR-71, from an aesthetic but also an engineering viewpoint.

It's the little things, like the story I heard once from one of their pilots at an airshow that they tended to leak fuel when on the ground due to the requirements of tolerance to allow for thermal expansion when they were going supersonic.

A trait (the expansion, not the leakage) it shared with that other supersonic icon, Concorde.

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"That I believe was responsible for most of the 'triangle' craft sightings..."

Those virtually stopped overnight when existance of the F-117 was revealed.

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Re: English Electric Lightning ????

Yes. Some NATO exercise in Europe in the mid eighties. I recall reading it on the EE Lighting stand at Duxford IWM.

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Electric_Lightning

"In 1984, during a major NATO exercise, Flt Lt Mike Hale intercepted a U-2 at a height which they had previously considered safe from interception (thought to be 66,000 feet). Records show that Hale also climbed to 88,000 ft (26,800 m) in his Lightning F.3"

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Re: English Electric Lightning ????

Going in a different direction, maybe. At top speed and overtaken by, no way!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: English Electric Lightning ????

Sorry to burst your (probably British) bubble, the SR71 had an operating altitude of 80,000ft, the U-2 70,000, the Electric Lightning 65000. Although they tried and successfully tested U-2 interception around 60-65,000ft. On one occasion they managed to climb to 88,000ft, but it was just a ballistic flight, not a sustained level one.

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SR-71 Pilot

I met one of the SR-71 pilots a number of decades ago, Major Brian Shul, and even got him to autograph a copy of his first book "Sled Driver". His story is quite an interesting one:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Shul

Dave

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Anonymous Coward

Re: English Electric Lightning ????

5000 ft is close enough. The U-2 is flying in a very narrow speed range at that height and would need very little to bring it down. I think the slipstream of another aircraft would probably knock it out of the sky - wouldn't even need to get the airflow off your wing under its wing (a la Tempest vs V-1)

If the 1957 hadn't knocked most all new ideas on the head, I wonder if the UK would have turned out a really high altitude and longer ranged interceptor - and would it have looked like the Vickers-Armstrong Type 559?

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Re: English Electric Lightning ????

it was just a ballistic flight, not a sustained level one.

You don't need sustained level flight to intercept something and be able to shoot it down.

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Re: SR-71 Pilot

A brilliant book, I still refer to the SR-71 as The Sled because I really think it's the best name.

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Alien

what if info about F-117 was only released to misdirect people from the *really* exotic triangular shaped craft.

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@Anonymous 14:01

That's correct. The planes were never fully fueled on the ground. They were fueled with enough to get to 'operating temperature' before they were fueled fully in flight.

The one problem they suffered from though were the violent unstarts, which were physically worse than on the Concorde... But they show how much of that engineering was new and how much of it is still novel now...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: English Electric Lightning ????

It was a U2, not an SR-71.

A U2 was slower than SR-71, but it flew extremely high (out of reach of most SAMs). But once the Russians managed to shoot down one of them over Russian soil, that was it.

The Lightning easily had a ceiling as high as the U2, so it is not inconceivable that the Lightning ended up above a U2 as part of an intercept.

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Shaha Alam, do you mean exotic triangular shapes like that one that was designed back in ▒▒▒▒ using non-Euclidean geometry? The one that had π corners, for improving the ▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒ of its ▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒ ▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒?

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Coat

Re: @Anonymous 14:01

And, don't forget that, when the engines started, they blew green flames out the back.

Dave

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Coat

Oh, you mean the Aurora:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurora_%28aircraft%29

Dave

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Re: English Electric Lightning ????

True - read up on "coffin corner" for the weird coincidence of airspeed and mach numbers making flying in the thin air at this altitude equivalent to balancing a pencil on your nose.....one twitch and you are stalled and spinning/

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Anonymous Coward

I've been to Mt. Weather before and left there with food poisoning; so stay away from the cafeteria there. ;)

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Re: @Anonymous 14:01

Violent unstarts on Concorde? Really? Did any such thing ever happen to a Concorde engine after they'd finished the development work?

Sorting out the engine inlets was a big job, but from what I've read, the effort paid off and Concorde's engines were pretty much immune to such trouble once in service.

Not that I mean to diss the SR-71 designers in any way: that was a military craft designed to hit Mach 3+, not a "mere" twice the speed of sound. Concorde got by with fairly normal turbojets: Blackbird engines operated as ramjets at high speeds. The fact they got the things to work at all is a Big Win.

The engineering's not been replicated before or since AFAIK - not the clever Concorde stuff, nor the clever SR-71 stuff. Both brilliant one-offs, the like of which the world shall probably not see again, damnit!

As for Andrew Orlowski's idea that the SR-71 was the intended successor to U-2s: well, no. SR-71s were meant as an additional reconnaissance platform. After all, U-2s are a good deal easier and cheaper to operate. Then again, SR-71s were harder to shoot down (none were) and can get there quicker.

SR71s have long since been retired, but U2 descendant are still in service despite drones, satellites, and all the modern remote electronic snooping they can do.

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Re: English Electric Lightning ????

Not exactly. It was a U, not a SR71.

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Wait! Isn't the UFO stuff in hanger 18 at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, not Area 51? Or is that just the little grey bodies?

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Re: English Electric Lightning ????

I heard it was a Vulcan...

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Re: English Electric Lightning ????

A lightning buzzed a U2 (Empire of the Clouds-Patterson).

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Anonymous Coward

re:Oh, you mean the Aurora

No, Astra.

Like the one that crashed at Boscombe Down in 94.

but I didn't tell you that, or that it crashed, because officially it didn't....

Oh and you should note that Gibson dismissed suggestions it was an F117.. as it isn't.

anon obv. no comment.

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Other acknowledgements of Area 51 / Groom Lake

aka "Dreamland"

As part of any outage which affects 911 services, US telco's have to file a report with the FCC detailing areas affected, what happened, and what the fix was

10-15 years ago Sprint filed an outage notice with the FCC detailing a DACC (from memory) that had failed. They listed one of the affected areas as "Military Base 'Area 51'"

I may still have a copy of that outage notification somewhere. Oh, it's even on the wayback machine

http://web.archive.org/web/20011217044254/www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Engineering_Technology/Filings/Network_Outage/1999/reports/99-228.pdf

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Pint

In my experience, an awful lot of the ZOMG ALIENS about Area 51 died out a while ago. Most of the die-hard UFO community now accept Area 51 is/was just an R&D and test area for some extremely advanced airborne kit, you'd think if there was something truly dodgy and extra-terrestrial going on that the US military wouldn't keep it in the one place everyone knows about and is obsessed with.

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How interesting that they are declassifying this information now.

Wouldn't have anything to do with events in Egypt would it? Events which have been precipitated by the Snowdon release of NSA secrets and the Royal "birth".

Things are now moving faster than I anticipated.

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Things are moving at exactly the pace I dictate mortal.

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SR71 Blackbird

For all enthusiast, there used to be a Blackbird in the USAF display Hangar at the Imperial War Musuem Duxford. sheltering under a B52's wing. (it seems tiny). Well worth the visit just to admire something designed and built a little over 50 years after the first practical aeroplanes Mach 0.1ish to Mach 3.0ish

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Happy

Re: SR71 Blackbird

There's an SR-71 at the USAF Armament Museum at Eglin AFB in Florida. The museum is open to the public as it's just outside the base. The plane is cool, you can climb all over it, touch it, etc. Nice that they allow the public to come in contact with it. Seems to make it more real somehow.

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Re: SR71 Blackbird

The SR-71 is still there at the American Air Museum within IWM Duxford

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Blackbird_Sr71.jpg

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Re: SR71 Blackbird

There's an M-21 Blackbird at the Museum of Flight in Seattle with its ramjet drone perched on top. The museum is well worth a visit if you are in the Pacific NW - loads of historic aircraft including Kennedy's Air Force 1, the first 747 and a Concorde.

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Go

Re: SR71 Blackbird

Nothing tops the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in DC. Best day of my life :-) SR-71, Space Shuttle Discovery, Enola Gay, Concorde, F35, F14, the list goes on.

And back in town, Apollo 11.

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The Truth is out there ( pa' vItna' tu'lu'). Old Klingon saying!

This is just a ruse to throw alien hunting, anal probe afficionados off the trail.

The trouble is no matter what the US Gov' now officially releases about Area 51 the conspiricists will believe it is part of a continuing cover up for what is really happening!

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Black Helicopters

Re: The Truth is out there ( pa' vItna' tu'lu'). Old Klingon saying!

They've declassified Ared 51 as a red herring. The real secrets are, of course, to be found at Area 667. Yes, of course you've never heard of it.

Oops.

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Re: The Truth is out there ( pa' vItna' tu'lu'). Old Klingon saying!

The real secrets can only be revealed if you have signed Section Three of the Official Secrets Act.

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Devil

@Nigel 11 - Area 667

The neighbour of the beast ?

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Re: @Nigel 11 - Area 667

"The neighbour of the beast ?"

Thought that was 665, as used in Max Payne.

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Anonymous Coward

Is this the CIA PR machine trying to make it seem fun again?

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Mandatory xkcd reference

http://xkcd.com/1235/

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