Such important news this week! The CIA declassified documents that confirm that Area 51 does exist! It does!
Seeing this example of transparency I feel I must act in kind and confirm that, yes, Onno.Com does have a web page called Area 50. We, the editors of Onno.Com, that is me, apologize for any anxiety and discomfort this necessary act of deception may have caused.
In August 2000 I was for a business trip in Las Vegas. I took a day off to go find Area 51. Below is the story of that road trip that I posted on onno.com afterwards. Enjoy!
Announcement, please read!
In mid-August I attended a developer conference in Las Vegas. Before official business started there was some time to look around. Being an X-Files fan, I drove up north to a tiny village called Rachel, Nevada. Village is perhaps overstating it, it is really a handful of trailers and the Little Ale-inn. Rachel lies east of a huge Air Force base, called Area 51. According to the conspiracy theories here is where the aliens found at Roswell are kept and where the Air Force tests planes based on UFO technology. Part of the fuel to all this is that the Air Force (still?) denies that Area 51 exists. Little Aleinn is both a diner and a souvenir shop with pictures of alleged UFO sightings covering the walls. One of my favorite t-shirts reads “Area 51 is real, the Air Force does not exist!”. Another conspiracy theory is that because of all this attention, caused in part by the X-Files, the Air Force has moved any kind of secret stuff that took place here to somewhere in Utah. Which may well be true and by keeping doing suspicious about this place they keep attention away from that site in Utah. The truth is out there?
In the souvenir shop you can buy, for a mere 33 cents, a guide of how to get to Area 51. Click on the image to see an enlargement of the text and the map. With the guide in hand and the map on the back I drove the 19 miles back to the mailbox and turned onto to the dirt road. Following the instructions I came indeed upon those orange posts and the signs with very stern language at either side of the road. The rather amusing part of all this is that there is NOTHING to see. You’re in the midst of Nevada desert and hills. The only thing you see are the signs and indeed a white jeep appearing on the hill before you a few hundred yards away. I stopped the car and wandered around a bit. By that time I trust the two guards in the jeep used the internet to their benefit and retrieved that the license plate on the car was for a rental car and currently being rented by a Dutchman living in California on a H1B visa…
So somewhere behind those hills on the horizon is Area 51.
“Are you sure you want to turn onto that dirt road?”
“Why? It is perfectly fine!”
“Well, it is not a four-wheel drive that we’re renting…”
“Oh, as if I ever got stuck. I know what I am doing!”
Driving from Las Vegas to Rachel this is mostly what that’s like for most of the 2 1/2 hours it takes. A long empty road through very dry, very hot terrain. So it is no problem to stop the car in the middle of the road, climb in the back and fiddle with the headrest and the mirror to take this picture.
It has its own beauty though.