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Area 51: A travel guide for the person who signed up for the raid but isn't ready to storm the gate
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Everyone's talking about Area 51 because of a satirical Facebook page where a million actual people signed up to storm the Nevada site to "see them aliens." It was all a joke! Storming a classified government site en masse is kind of a big lift and also very dangerous and illegal ... right, guys? But whether it's the location's secretive aura, the trendiness of conspiracies and unsolved mysteries or a secret collective desire to, you know, actually see them aliens, people are still fascinated. We're not saying Area 51 is going to be the next hot tourist destination, but if you were to visit for non-nefarious reasons, here's what you'd find.

Area 51 is a US Air Force training range in the Southern Nevada desert. Yes, it is an active military base used for flight testing, although it's fairly secretive about what else happens there (which is one of the reasons why people think it has a bunch of aliens! Or at least one or two). Everything that goes on at the base is considered top secret, but the base itself is not secret.

Historically, there have been a lot of UFO sightings in the area, which of course have nothing to do with all of the fancy top-secret military aircraft they test there. But conspiracy theorists are gonna conspiracy, and the legends got a big boost in 1989 when a man named Bob Lazar claimed that he worked with an alien spacecraft as part of his job in one of Area 51's underground facilities.

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