The CIA has confirmed that Area 51 is real, after nearly sixty years of pop culture references and spy photography of this "top secret" site. A 407-page declassified document explores the discovery, research, and development of the government base.
Probably the biggest revelation is the name: why Area 51? This was simply part of a naming scheme of a much larger Nevada test site that stuck, but this wasn't going to be the name. President Eisenhower, upon visiting the site himself, instead proposed the name "Paradise Ranch." Conspiracy theories would've sounded rather different if this was the case...
Unfortunately, for those who's lives were blessed with multiple episodes of The X-Files, or watching The Independence Day, the CIA makes no reference to aliens. Instead, the Area 51 in this document is a base for the likes of the government's U-2 spy plane program. In World War II, it was an "Aerial gunnery range," complete with a non-paved airstrip, as one particular quip talks about:
"From the air the strip appeared to be paved, but on closer inspection it turned out to have originally been fashioned from compacted earth that had turned into ankle-deep dust after more than a decade of disuse. If LeVier had attempted to land on the airstrip, the plane would probably have nosed over when the wheels sank into the loose soil, killing or injuring all of the key figures in the U-2 project."
This is the first official government confirmation of the Area 51 base, as all documents that made references to it have been redacted, alongside the larger Nevada Test Site.
But the big question remains, any alien experimentation?