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Nick Redfern

Keep Out!: Top Secret Places Governments Don't Want You to Know About

For Ken Gerhard, a great friend and seeker of the strange.


I would like to offer my very sincere thanks and deep appreciation to everyone at New Page Books and Career Press, but, particularly, Michael Pye, Laurie Kelly-Pye, Kirsten Dalley, Kara Kumpel, Gina Talucci, Jeff Piasky, and Adam Schwartz; and to all the staff at Warwick Associates for their fine promotion and publicity work. I would also like to say a very big “thank you” to my agent, Lisa Hagan, for her constant great work and support.


Area 51, Hangar 18, Montauk, Pine Gap, Fort Detrick, Rudloe Manor, Zhitkur, Porton Down, the Dugway Proving Ground, and the Dulce Base: These are just a handful of the many highly classified installations of which the governments of the United States, Australia, China, Russia, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere prefer we, the general public, remain steadfastly ignorant. Those governments have extremely good reasons for wishing us to remain in the dark. It is at these secret facilities that, for decades, clandestine research is said to have been undertaken into lethal viruses, genetic manipulation, crashed UFOs and deceased alien entities, biological warfare, mind-control experimentation, futuristic aircraft and spacecraft, teleportation, weather-modification, invisibility, time travel, and much, much more of a conspiratorial and cosmic nature.

Whether situated deep under the oceans, far below the ground, or within the heart of hidden, remote desert locales, these super-secret places are guarded with paranoid zeal by those in power who wish to keep their secrets buried and locked far away from prying eyes. Sometimes, however, the huge, steel, near-impenetrable vault-like doors that help to hide the truths open wide — or are forced open — and the shocking secrets within are revealed…


The Ultimate Secret Base

We have to start somewhere on our quest for the truth about top-secret sites, so it seems appropriate that our attentions should first focus upon the most infamous of all classified installations. Can you guess its name? I strongly suspect you can.

It all goes back to 1989, when a man by the name of Robert Scott Lazar went public with a series of sensational claims that continue to reverberate to this day. A self-admitted maverick scientist, Lazar asserted that for a brief period of time in the late 1980s he was employed in a scientific capacity at an incredibly secret, well-protected installation situated in the harsh wilds of the Nevada desert. The program to which Lazar had been assigned was, he said, one of astonishing proportions and profound implications: a clandestine operation to evaluate, comprehend, and ultimately duplicate an impressive fleet of spacecraft of nonhuman origin that had, quite literally, fallen into the hands of the U.S. government — or, perhaps more accurately, into the sweaty palms of an elite scientific body of officialdom that quite possibly was not answerable to the presidential office. Yep, you read it right: According to Lazar, behind closed doors, watched over 24/7 with a Shoot first and dont even bother asking questions later attitude, Uncle Sam was intensively researching real-life, honest-to-goodness flying saucers — and maybe even their extraterrestrial crews as well. Thus was born, or was exposed, the legend of Area 51.

Without doubt the definitive secret base, Area 51 is an installation composed of a mass of huge, impenetrable hangars, mysterious underground chambers, and winding, labyrinthine tunnels. The idea that such a place could at the same time be both classified and widely recognized might sound like the ultimate oxymoron, but it happens to be absolutely true. The U.S. government steadfastly — and somewhat ridiculously, given that practically everyone has heard of it and knows of the alien rumors — refuses to discuss the specific nature of the Area 51 facility.

Just the Facts

Before we get to Lazar and his alleged UFOs, let’s first take a look at what we can say with certainty about this particularly intriguing installation. Despite Area 51’s reputation as some sort of remote fortress buried far, far away from civilization, it most certainly is not. The surprising reality is that the base is located less than 90 miles from the glittering lights, spacious hotels, countless slot machines, and gyrating strippers of Sin City. What makes Area 51 so impenetrable — to the vast majority of people, anyway — is not its distance from Las Vegas, but the extent to which its innermost secrets are maintained.

Area 51: The ultimate secret base.

Try piloting a plane over the base’s strictly enforced no-fly zone and you risk being blasted out of the sky by a missile. See what happens if you decide to take the highways and byways to the base: You’ll soon find yourself watched closely by humorless, Men in Black — style private-security goons who, if you fail to heed the signs and stark warnings to turn back, will be only too happy to make life extremely difficult for you. Significant monetary fines, several months of jail time, and even the use of deadly force may be invoked to deter you from making an exciting road trip with your buddies into the desert in search of E.T. Given that such security extends for literally miles outside of the perimeter of Area 51, it’s little wonder that — just as is the case with its glitzy, money-draining near-neighbor — what happens at Area 51 is forever destined to stay at Area 51. At least, most of the time. Just occasionally — to the chagrin of officialdom — some of Area 51’s many cans of worms spill open into the public domain.

In terms of what the base’s name implies today — in short, aliens—“Area 51” is a relatively recent phenomenon; it extends back only a little more than two decades. In terms of the base’s actual existence and its secret workload, however…well, that goes way back; more than half a century, even. And it’s called Area 51 for a very good reason: Rather than being a solitary, stand-alone facility, Area 51 is actually just one of a number of areas on the Air Force’s vast Nevada Test and Training Range that, in total, extends to more than 4,500 square miles.

Just to the northeast of Area 51 is the sprawling dry lakebed known as Groom Lake, where, during the hostilities of the Second World War, practice bombing missions were secretly undertaken. Come the 1950s, by which time the Soviet Union was already the next big threat to the Western world, the CIA very quickly (and very secretly) got in on the Area 51 action. As a result, by 1955, a huge 5,000-foot runway was constructed at the base, from which CIA test flights and landings of the super-classified U-2 spy plane were successfully conducted. As both time and aviation-based technology progressed, so did the clandestine programs at Area 51.

When the 1950s became the 1960s, the SR71 Blackbird aircraft became a staple ingredient of the research, projects, and missions at Area 51. Then, in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, base personnel were engaged in perfecting the so-called Stealth technology that became so famous when, in 1988, the U.S. government revealed to the world the latest addition to its military arsenaclass="underline" the Stealth F-117 Nighthawk. To demonstrate the depth of the secrecy that surrounded Area 51’s involvement in the development of the Nighthawk, we now know it had secretly been flying missions as far back as 1983—and provoking more than a few notable UFO reports in the process — even though the 80s were nearly over when the world’s media was finally shown the strange-looking, angular, utterly black aircraft. This leads us to Area 51’s cosmic reputation as the U.S. government’s very own top-secret saucer-central.