Please be advised: Area 51 is a private military institution and trespassing is neither tolerated nor condoned. Please, exercise proper judgement and common sense when traveling near here.
Area 51 (also known as Dreamland, or Groom Lake) is a military base, and a remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base. It is located in the southern portion of Nevada in the western United States, 83 miles (133 km) north-northwest of Las Vegas. Situated at its center, on the southern shore of Groom Lake, is a large military airfield. The base's primary purpose is undetermined; however, based on historical evidence, it appears to support development and testing of experimental aircraft and weapons systems.
The Area 51 base lies within the United States Air Force's vast Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR), formerly called the Nellis Air Force Range (NAFR). Although the facilities at the range are managed by the 99th Air Base Wing at Nellis Air Force Base, the Groom facility appears to be run as an adjunct of the Air Materiel Command Air Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC) at Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert, around 186 miles (300 km) southwest of Groom, and as such the base is known as Air Force Flight Test Center (Detachment 3).
The facility is not a conventional airbase, as frontline operational units are not normally deployed there. It instead appears to be used for highly classified military/defense Special Access Programs (SAP), which are unacknowledged publicly by the government, military personnel, and defense contractors. Its mission may be to support the development, testing, and training phases for new aircraft weapons systems or research projects. Once these projects have been approved by the United States Air Force or other agencies such as the CIA, and are ready to be announced to the public, operations of the aircraft are then moved to a normal air force base.The intense secrecy surrounding the base, whose very existence the U.S. government did not even acknowledge until 29 September 1995, has made it the frequent subject of conspiracy theories and a central component to unidentified flying object (UFO) folklore.
Everything that happens at Area 51 is classified Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI). This security policy ensures that only those insiders with a "need to know" have access to only the information they require, and ensures that outsiders don't know what they don't know.
Novels, films, television programs, and other fictional portrayals of Area 51 describe it—or a fictional counterpart—as a haven for extraterrestrials, time travel, and sinister conspiracies, often linking it with the Roswell UFO incident. In the 1996 action film Independence Day, the United States military uses alien technology captured at Roswell to attack the invading alien fleet from Area 51. The "Hangar 51" government warehouse of the Indiana Jones films stores, among other exotic items, the Ark of the Covenant and an alien corpse from Roswell. The television series Seven Days takes place inside Area 51, with the base containing a covert NSA time travel operation using alien technology recovered from Roswell. The 2005 video game Area 51 is set in the base, and mentions the Roswell and moon landing hoax conspiracy theories.