Nearly 65 years after it was built, the CIA has acknowledged Area 51 exists, and has stated why it was built. The CIA claims it wasn't to hide aliens or alien spacecraft.
"The true story about what happened at Area 51 is probably better than you could ever make up," said Alan Palmer, a former F-14 pilot and executive director of the National Atomic Testing Museum.
Documents show Area 51 was built in the mid-50s for the agency's spy plane project.
"The CIA decided it needed a land-locked, isolated part of the United States where they could build such a plane," said Palmer. The ideal location turned out to be Groom Lake, 125 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
When testing for the U2 finally started in the 1950s, people were not used to seeing planes flying at altitudes up to 60,000 feet and believed what they were seeing were UFO's, according to Palmer.
"When they would report it to the military, naturally, because it was such a dark secret, they would say, 'We don't know what you are talking about,'"said Palmer.
According to CIA documents, Area 51 was also where captured and purchased enemy MIGS were brought for testing and as a means of learning about aircraft the Soviet Union had developed.
The National Atomic Testing Museum is home to an Area 51 display that will be open to the public through 2014.
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