Area 51 maps, hangar details should end base’s ‘secret’ status

Area 51

In one of the first news stories to reveal details of specific buildings within Area 51, investigative journalist George Knapp talks to author Glenn Campbell about the U.S. government’s secret military base. They also discuss Hangar 18, long rumored to house aliens and unknown aircraft. Aired on Feb. 5, 1996, on KLAS TV in Las Vegas.


The government won’t tell us what it does at Area 51. It won’t even admit the base has a name, but denials of its existence are no longer credible.

An Air Force document that describes procedures at Area 51. (KLAS-TV)

A security manual believed to have been taken from the base surfaced in the mid-1990s and it has been circulated underground ever since. The manual reveals much about just how mammoth the Groom facility has become.

“These three buildings are the original U-2 hangars that were built back in the 1950s,” explains author Glenn Campbell, pointing to diagrams showing the arrangement of the buildings. “These four hangars are the Red Hat hangars. They were built to house Soviet aircraft,” Campbell said.

A map shows building locations based on information in documents from Area 51. (KLAS-TV)

The manual was so detailed it inspired researchers to create their own maps of the base. A directory lists every building and street. “Other hangars down here in the south, this is called Baja. These hangars were built for the A-12 program. They may have also been used for the F-117, the Have Blue,” continued Campbell. Have Blue refers to a Lockheed project that preceded the F-117A Nighthawk stealth bomber.

Before the government cut off vantage points around the base, the curious had a clear view of this huge building and we now know its name. According to Campbell, “This hangar right here is Hangar 18. It’s a very large hangar. It could be the mate facility for an aircraft that carries something on its back.”

Something like the rumored Aurora spy plane.

Hangars at the secret Area 51 base. (KLAS-TV)

In UFO lore, Hangar 18 is the place where alien artifacts and bodies are stored. It’s unknown if this choice of names was accidentally ironic or purposefully tongue in cheek. Nothing in the manual or the maps refers to anything extraterrestrial.

Campbell continued, “They have motor pool, they have photo lab, but no flying saucer facility.”

But it has everything else, including a swimming pool, tennis courts, a baseball diamond, a theater and a bar named Sam’s Place.

Also clearly indicated are waste trenches, the place where toxic materials were allegedly burned, sending clouds of smoke over the base and inspiring a lawsuit.

Jonathan Turley is a lawyer representing workers who were exposed to waste in trenches on Area 51. (KLAS-TV)

“This is a bloody horrible record,” said Jonathan Turley, attorney for those suing Area 51 for injuries they say they suffered while working at the secret base.

“And what they’re suggesting now is that the executive branch is effectively a government unto itself. And by that I mean that they’re saying that they can classify evidence of their own crimes,” Turley said.

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