Fly2HMO
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Overflying Area 51?

Fri Jan 21, 2005 8:26 am

I was looking at the Las vegas sectional, and saw Groom Lake. In case you don't know, that's where "area 51" is. The airspace all over that area is restricted, Groom Lake is in restricted area R-4808 N.

Now, IIRC, restricted areas can be flown through. You just have to ask for clearance. So you guys think you could fly over "Area 51" with clearance, that is, if you get it? Who would you ask for clearance?

Just don't start a flame war please. AFAIK, "Area 51" does exist, but I don't believe in all that alien UFO b*llsh*t experiments they talk about that "happen" in there. It's just another AFB to me. But that's just my opinion.

 Smile
 
Biggles
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Fri Jan 21, 2005 8:39 am

I suggest you conduct an internet search on what happens to pilots that attempt to , or stray into , the Groom Lake area.

The short answer is No.  Smile
 
Ralgha
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Fri Jan 21, 2005 8:41 am

Yes, you can ask for clearance through "Area 51". Yes, if it was granted you could fly through it. No, you would not get the clearance.
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SlamClick
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Fri Jan 21, 2005 8:55 am

The usual rules probably apply to R4808N as any other restricted area. Problem you would have is in contacting the controlling agency for clearance through. Nobody ever seems to be able to contact the controlling agency out there. You may have already noted that it extends Ground-Unlimited.

I have many an hour on the airways and jet routes of the State of Nevada and have never seen or heard anyone ever get clearance through there.

My experience: I was F/O on a flight and the captain was a close friend of mine, one hard-charging bulldog SOB who was shot down twice in Vietnam because he don't back down from nothing! So, we are at FL330 southeastbound near OAL, and cleared down J-92 after that and there is a HUGE thunderstorm straddling J-92, but extending farther west of it than east.

The Captain tells ATC that we are deviating east of the airway for weather. They said they needed us to deviate west of the cell.
"Negative" he said.
"Turn right NOW, heading one eight zero."
"Negative"
After a few moments a different voice came on Oakland Center, presumably the controllers's supervisor.
"Turn right. We need you west of the airway centerline immediately."
"Negative"

We had a big purple cell forty miles across over to our right and we presumably had F-117s that did not show up on radar to our left. The captain made his choice - one in a zillion midair with a plane that might not even exist (early 1980s) or fly into a level 5 or 6 cell at FL330. We agreed on this one completely, though I didn't mind that he was pilot in command.

We never heard anything about it. Since we collided with nothing, nothing seemed to have happened.

* * *


Now it is just barely possible that once, many years ago a Beech 18 flew through that area with an inoperative transponder. But then I might be making that up.
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2H4
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Fri Jan 21, 2005 9:09 am

Now it is just barely possible that once, many years ago a Beech 18 flew through that area with an inoperative transponder. But then I might be making that up.


That's it, Slamclick. That does it. The straw that broke the camel's back.

Welcome to my respected users list.


 Big thumbs up



2H4
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aeroweanie
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Fri Jan 21, 2005 9:28 am

You can legally fly right around the edges of R4808N, which gives one a slant view in. Somewhere out on the Internet there is an account of some guys who did this in a C172. Part way along, the control said to them "doing a little sightseeing?".
 
Newark777
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Fri Jan 21, 2005 9:30 am

There is an audio file out there somewhere on the internet that is supposedly of a private pilot flying towards Area 51, and then the transmission is cut off. I'm not sure if it is real or not, though.

Doesn't involve flying, but there was that show on the Discovery Channel where the people tried to get as close to the base as possible on foot. At one point, they were sitting on a hill nearby, and a Mig plus some other US fighters blasted off from behind the hill, and I think a B-1 might have been there too. Pretty cool footage.  Big thumbs up

Harry
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dan2002
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Fri Jan 21, 2005 9:44 am

AeroWeanie, you mean this page http://www.serve.com/mahood/nellis/flight.htm ? Pretty good story.


-Dan
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ShyFlyer
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Fri Jan 21, 2005 9:45 am

You can legally fly right around the edges of R4808N

You better be darn sure your navigation equipment is accurate! Otherwise, you may learn the hard way what it is like to bust restricted airspace (if the ground perimeter security is any indication).  Wow!
I lift things up and put them down.
 
aeroweanie
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Fri Jan 21, 2005 10:03 am

Thanks Dan2002 - thats it
 
SlamClick
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Sat Jan 22, 2005 1:24 am

What ShyFlyer said is absolutely correct. He was just being gentle about it. The signs on the ground say:

USE OF DEADLY FORCE AUTHORIZED


Oh, they mean by them, not by you.

This would not be like busting any other Restricted airspace. This would be a special case.

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USAFHummer
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Sat Jan 22, 2005 4:32 am

I think taking a look at http://www.dreamlandresort.com gives you answers to a lot of things about Groom Lake, and I believe there's an account and photos of an aircraft that did skirt the edges of the restricted zones...

Greg
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HaveBlue
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Sat Jan 22, 2005 6:17 am

SlamClick, just out of curiousity was that a night flight? Reason I ask is that back in the early 80's the F-117's were still doing almost all of their flying at night.

Yours is an interesting experience either way. If it wasn't stealths I'm sure it was something out of the ordinary.
Here Here for Severe Clear!
 
N766UA
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Sat Jan 22, 2005 6:22 am

If one busts Class B you might get written up in an FAA report.
If one busts Area-51 you might get written up in an obituary.
This Website Censors Me
 
SlamClick
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Sat Jan 22, 2005 7:48 am

HaveBlue well, just after sunset IIRC. I suppose it was dark on the ground, but up where we we there was some light. There was also a high stratus layer so the cell was embedded. We might have gone closer to it if we could have seen it.

The whole area seems to repel airplanes. I don't think I've ever been allowed east of J92 or south of J110 or northwest of J9 (or Janine, as I like to call it)

I have been into certain locations inside that whole block, many years ago (wearing nomex if that helps) but can't say I was ever made to feel welcome.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Sat Jan 22, 2005 9:44 am

As if e.g. Russian spy satellites would mind the no fly zone...  Nuts

Jan
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SlamClick
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Sat Jan 22, 2005 12:31 pm

Not a problem o ye of little imagination.
You see into the hangars horizontally, not vertically. Smile

These folks are well aware of the satellite schedules.
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KDTWflyer
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Sat Jan 22, 2005 3:14 pm

Very cool story I think of flying around Area-51 area...

http://www.serve.com/mahood/nellis/flight.htm

I especially like this part...

I noted, with more than passing interest, the antics of our plane's transponder. The transponder flashes a light on the instrument panel whenever it's interrogated by a ground based radar. Normally, it flashes briefly every few seconds or so. In this area it was illuminated almost constantly! We were certainly being scanned a lot and I wondered if the light would burn out.

NW B744 B742 B753 B752 A333 A332 A320 A319 DC10 DC9 ARJ CRJ S340
 
2H4
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Sat Jan 22, 2005 3:28 pm








2H4
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HaveBlue
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Sun Jan 23, 2005 9:19 am

Cool SlamClick. Perhaps it was F-117's then. I prefer to think they were anyways  Smile
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dan2002
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Mon Jan 24, 2005 12:42 am

2H4, damn thats one monster runway, one couldnt imagine what would need all that runway. Hell you could probally land a 747 on the thing and stop without using spoilers, breaks, or reverse thrust and still have alot of runway to spare.


-Dan
A guy asks 'What's Punk?'. I kick over a trash can and its punk. He knocks over a trash can and its trendy.
 
SlamClick
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Mon Jan 24, 2005 4:41 am

A guy I worked with at one airline had that satellite view of Groom Lake as a poster in his office. It had an arrow on it, pointing to a building and it said:

You are NOT HERE!
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efohdee
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Mon Jan 24, 2005 5:41 am



"I noted, with more than passing interest, the antics of our plane's transponder. The transponder flashes a light on the instrument panel whenever it's interrogated by a ground based radar. Normally, it flashes briefly every few seconds or so. In this area it was illuminated almost constantly! We were certainly being scanned a lot and I wondered if the light would burn out. "
They were probably "painted" by a targeting and tracking radar. In the crosshairs....


 
FlyingColours
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:26 am

Doesn't one member of this forum have a habbit of flying out over some long desert roads in his USAF aircraft and paint speeding cars in the hope they have a radar on board and watch them hit the breaks?  Smile

I had no idea the facility was called "Groom Lake" then again until yesterday I can safley say I never bothered to do any research into A51 although I have been deeply intrested in it.

Is it on FS9 BTW, could be worth a look  Big grin

Phil
FlyingColours
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Ryan h
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Mon Jan 24, 2005 8:24 am

They were probably "painted" by a targeting and tracking radar. In the crosshairs....
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Espion007
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Mon Jan 24, 2005 8:30 am

Is it on FS9 BTW, could be worth a look

nope,but you can download it as scenery for fs2002 from flightsim.com
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ShyFlyer
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Mon Jan 24, 2005 2:33 pm

@FlyingColours
I had no idea the facility was called "Groom Lake"

That "facility" goes by many names: Area 51, Dreamland, Watertown, the Ranch. According to Dreamlandresort.com, the "official" name is Air Force Flight Test Center, Detachment 3. Up until a few years ago, it was also known as "there is nothing here, now leave."

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SlamClick
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Mon Jan 24, 2005 2:37 pm

Accompanied by the unmistakable sound of a pump shotgun!
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dan2002
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Tue Jan 25, 2005 12:33 am

Wasnt there a TW MD-83 that had to declare an emergency and had to land at Groom? It was told to close all the window shades, and was towed to a hangar where they questioned all the pax and crew about what they saw.

-Dan
A guy asks 'What's Punk?'. I kick over a trash can and its punk. He knocks over a trash can and its trendy.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Tue Jan 25, 2005 12:59 am

While I think it would be impossible to enter the area with a vehicle, I wonder if one or two persons e.g. with a military background in special ops couldn´t sneak in secretly within viewing distance and take pictures of whatever gear they have there. The area is so big that they can´t have infrared imaging equipment, guards and sensor everywhere.
Of course, the risk is to end up in federal jail for life.

Jan
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KAUST
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:05 am

I could be wrong, but is the picture posted by 2H4 on this thread not Edwards AFB? I know it has the long runway, as well as non-paved desert runways.

KAUST
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SlamClick
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:23 am

MD11Engineer if I believe anything about that place, I believe this: You will NOT go to jail. Neither will the security guards.

In the words of Dirty Harry: "Do you feel lucky?"

Kaust while it bears some superficial resemblances, that is for certain not Edwards. See below.
http://terraserver.homeadvisor.msn.com/image.aspx?T=1&S=14&Z=11&X=130&Y=1206&W=1&qs=%7cedwards+afb%7c%7c
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Newark777
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:34 am

Just as a side note, I wonder how many of these are really coming from Tonopah:

Tonopah, NV Reserved 201 05:35 AM Arrived
Tonopah, NV Reserved 212 06:38 AM Planned
Tonopah, NV Reserved 223 06:38 AM Arrived
Tonopah, NV Reserved 234 06:46 AM Arrived
Tonopah, NV Reserved 245 07:07 AM Arrived
Tonopah, NV Reserved 256 07:18 AM Arrived


Harry
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MD11Engineer
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:56 am

So you Americans have a place within the CONUS, where normal American laws don´t apply? Where the base commander can act like a dictator and the air force through the president is not responsible to anything? What is the legal status of this site (which only officially exists since a few years)?

Jan

[Edited 2005-01-24 17:57:28]
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Newark777
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Tue Jan 25, 2005 5:18 am

If I told you I'd have to kill you.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Harry
Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
 
SlamClick
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Tue Jan 25, 2005 6:20 am

Well, MD11Engineer with all due respect, that comment could easily be construed as a deliberate insult to the US with no other purpose. Of course we have places where "normal" US laws don't apply. I can think of many.

A bubble around the President.
A bubble around the UN
A bubble around the German Embassy.

Starting to get the idea?

There are laws that apply to the defense of defended space within defended space. The night watchman at a warehouse or factory may shoot you under certain specific circumstances. I might, in my house if certain legal tests are met.

I will guarantee you that, no matter how superior you think your civilization is to ours, there are places in your nation where you venture at risk to your own life.

Ours is simply more famous for a variety of reasons. Personally I am glad they have this level of secrecy somewhere. I hope whatever they are working on there is GOOD. As a citizen who believes in the most open government possible, I don't feel that I have a "right to know" what they are doing there. The notion that what goes on there is somehow sinister is probably the result of watching too many stupid movies, and frankly this thread has taken a turn toward a Non-Aviation flavor.







[Edited 2005-01-24 22:23:44]
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BR715-A1-30
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Tue Jan 25, 2005 6:38 am

Not to be the weasel here, but if Area 51 "does not exist", why do they have a problem with people flying over that specific area??? Yeah, Thats what I thought...  Smile
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jc2354
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Tue Jan 25, 2005 6:38 am

"So you Americans have a place within the CONUS, where normal American laws don´t apply? Where the base commander can act like a dictator and the air force through the president is not responsible to anything? What is the legal status of this site (which only officially exists since a few years)?"

The official government response to Area 51 is that "it doesn't exist". A response that has been held up in Supreme Court rulings. As absurd as it may be, how can laws apply in a place that isn't there, especially environmental issues. One well documented case, at least in Las Vegas, involved the premature deaths of several workers as a result of hazardous waste being burned in an open pit! Only 150 miles from Area 51, I am more concerned with the air that I breath, than the aircraft flying around out there. It was even common knowledge around Las Vegas that there was a stealth fighter a year before it was formally announced to a surprised public!

One way the government can distance itself from Area 51, is through a company known as E.G.& G. Through outsourcing/contracting, it is E.G. & G. that runs Area 51, provides the employees, operates the Janet flights, operates the dozens of busses that leave Las Vegas around 5am delivering workers to the site. I doubt a TWA flight had an emergency landing there. AFAIK, airfield information does not exist on any navigation charts. The restricted area, yes, the airfield, no. Therefore, you would not even know where the airfield is, much less be given clearance to land. Remember "Use of Deadly Force Authorized". Besides, the are other airfields available for emergency diversions.

With the popularity of the movie "Independence Day", it brought a world knowledge to the existence of a supposedly Area 51. Because of this, it has been reported that many programs/projects have been relocated to an area near the Toella Army Depot in Utah, not far from Salt Lake City. As with the site in Nevada, this offers much government land and dry lake beds. As an aside, Toella is also the storage site to every known germ and disease known to mankind.

No doubt, it is an interesting place. Such a place will always exist somewhere.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Tue Jan 25, 2005 6:48 am

Slamclick,

My question weasn´t meant as an insult. However I wonder how the activities going on there are being controlled. Has Congress a say about what is going on there?
While there might be special laws that apply around the president or an embassy, non the less they are written down somwhere and can be challlenged in a court of law or in parliament.
You as a person might not want to know what is going on there, but maybe other US citizens want to know.
While you also find signs on German military installations that the use of firearms is authorised inside the fence, they are still being controlled by parliament, the government can´t just act without any restrictions inside.
I wonder if such a control exists over this place or other, less known similar places. Let´s face it, an unauthorised intruder could simply disappear. Also, who decides who gets access or not?

Jan

[Edited 2005-01-24 22:49:35]
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
SlamClick
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Tue Jan 25, 2005 7:10 am

Well, I can assure you that no one is going to give an Air Force brigadier general a whole base and a giant budget and say: "enjoy!"

You may be sure that someone, from the President to the SecDef on down is expecting certain results and not expecting certain other kinds of results. I'd say there is some oversight. I know damn well there is oversight.

I would love to know what is going on there, but I reiterate. The citizens of the United States of America or any other nation do not necessarily have a "right" to know what is going on there.

We have abdicated direct control to our Government in many areas from road-building to national defense. So have the citizens of other countries. Many nations have abdicated control of ALL matters related to warfare because the current cost of R & D would bankrupt them. In some cases this permits their citizens the luxury of feeling superior to us. For that reason lots of us here in the US are touchy on that subject.

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CaptOveur
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Tue Jan 25, 2005 7:45 am

"Just as a side note, I wonder how many of these are really coming from Tonopah:"

Probably all of them. EG&G, the company that operates Groom Lake, or at least gets credit for operating it. Flies a bunch of 737-200s from LAS to Area 51 every day. That is apparently how the people who do the alien autopsies get to and from work.
Things were better when it was two guys in a dorm room.
 
SSTjumbo
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Tue Jan 25, 2005 9:04 am

Not to be the weasel here, but if Area 51 "does not exist", why do they have a problem with people flying over that specific area??? Yeah, Thats what I thought...


By definition, a prohibited area is established for national welfare. A restricted area, however, is set up for the pilot's welfare. I guess that "covers" that tangent.


Also, general advice, never fly into a restriced area, and if you do, never squawk 7777.  Big grin
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ShyFlyer
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Tue Jan 25, 2005 10:27 am

The official government response to Area 51 is that "it doesn't exist".

That was true. A couple of years ago, the Air Force (or the Pentagon) admitted that there was a facility there. There is no hard evidence about what the "official" name is, of course.

When asking questions regarding oversite of such a "facility," one must realize that secret projects are often highly compartmentalized (sp?). Basically, only those with a need to know will have any access to the program. It would not surprise me if there are people working on related programs who know nothing about the "real" nature of there jobs.

Regarding the TWA emergency landing: I recall reading a story such as this, although I don't recall if it was TWA or not. Jc2354 said, "...airfield information does not exist on any navigation charts. The restricted area, yes, the airfield, no. Therefore, you would not even know where the airfield is, much less be given clearance to land." The "facility" is visible from unrestricted airspace, so anyone wishing to look will most likely find it. However, I have the feeling the story is really one of those urban legend types.


Side Note: I'm suggesting that the Mods move this thread to Military as it seems the course of discussion is more appropriate there than here.
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Newark777
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Tue Jan 25, 2005 11:46 am

Probably all of them. EG&G, the company that operates Groom Lake, or at least gets credit for operating it. Flies a bunch of 737-200s from LAS to Area 51 every day

What I was hinting at was that those are the only JANET flights listed under flytecomm, and they obviously wouldn't put "Area 51" as the origin, so maybe some of those come from Area 51 and they just label it Tonopah. Just my theory.  Big grin

Harry

[Edited 2005-01-25 03:48:00]
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2H4
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Tue Jan 25, 2005 12:53 pm

Question for you all...

A early as 1977, Lockheed was flying stealth technology demonstrators that were identical in appearance to the F-117. In 1977.

The F-117 wasn't unveiled to the public until 1990....13 years later. Even now, this aircraft...born in 1977...is considered to be absolutely state-of-the-art.

So let's do a little brainstorming. What do you suppose is being developed now?


2H4
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smcmac32msn
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:00 pm

Here's an interesting area on TerraServer that I happened to find after taking a look at Edwards AFB (prior link earlier in discussion). I typed in "Rachel, NV" and started navigating the area. Well... there is a area now blocked out on this picture, and you cannot go much farther west. Rachel, NV is directly to the east of this link. Is A51 now blocked on TerraServer? Or is this just one of those areas that they never took a picture of?

http://terraserver.homeadvisor.msn.com/image.aspx?T=1&S=14&Z=11&X=188&Y=1302&W=1&qs=%7crachel%7cnv%7c
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CaptOveur
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Tue Jan 25, 2005 2:30 pm

so maybe some of those come from Area 51 and they just label it Tonopah. Just my theory.

I think one of Area 51's many names is "Tonopah Test Range"
Things were better when it was two guys in a dorm room.
 
SlamClick
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Tue Jan 25, 2005 2:47 pm

That is correct. "Area 51" was a marking on one old map that may have been carried forward to a newer version without any modern meaning. I don't think any of the tenants of the Tonopah Test Range or Nellis Range officially refer to their geography as Area 51.

Within the adjoining restricted airspace are a number of landing strips including Indian Springs, Silverbow, which may or may not be called that anymore, and others. I'm sure there are some deep within the area, maybe Kawich Valley that are not visible from the airways around the area.
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aeroweanie
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RE: Overflying Area 51?

Tue Jan 25, 2005 2:52 pm

> I think one of Area 51's many names is "Tonopah Test Range"

TTR is to the north of Area 51 and is a different facility.

> A early as 1977, Lockheed was flying stealth technology demonstrators that
> were identical in appearance to the F-117. In 1977.

Not true - the Have Blue prototypes were similar, but identical to the F-117.


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jc2354
Posts: 601
Joined: Sat May 01, 2004 9:56 am

RE: Overflying Area 51?

Tue Jan 25, 2005 2:57 pm

Does anyone have a link to the TWA diversion? I've searched and am unable to locate any information. Thanks.
If not now, then when?

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