During the early 1940's, a small landing strip was built into the dirt of the desert floor by Groom Lake, Nevada. Little did anyone know, this area of landing strip would soon turn into one of the largest talked about government secrets of all time. We now know this area of land as Area 51. The military base that is located at Area 51 has a long history of unusual stories and supposed government cover ups, which make it one of the most interesting places in the United States. So what exactly is at area 51, and why won't the government release more information about it?.
During the time of World War II, two airplane runways were built at Groom Lake, Nevada. These airstrips were just two lanes of run down dirt that were around six thousand feet long. These stripes were used for training new flyers of the Nellis Air Force Base. After the end of World War II, the lanes were not kept up and soon disappeared (Wallace 1997).
During April of 1955, a test pilot for the government was ordered to find a place to test a new plane of the United States, the U-2 spy plane. The pilot decided on a spot on the south end of Groom Lake. Work soon started on the building of a center to test the new U-2 planes. After three months of work, the eight hundred thousand dollar base was built (Wallace 1997). It consisted of three hangers, a control tower, a mess hall, runways, and an area with mobile homes for soldiers to live at. The U-2's were also brought here during this time (Campbell 1996).
Activity at Groom Lake soon started on August 4, 1955. This was the first flight of a U-2 plane at Groom Lake. Around two weeks later, President Eisenhower signed the executive order 10633. This order restricted air space over Groom Lake. This airspace was five by nine miles long, and was called the "Las Vegas Project" (Cambell 1996). When the public and press became aware of this area, they were told that this area was a small complex with "dormitories, equipment, buildings, and a small airstrip.