A security manual the government says should be secret has revealed a hangar known as Hangar 18 does exist at Area 51. The name Hangar 18 might ring a bell if you’ve ever read anything about a 1947 crash supposedly involving a flying saucer near Roswell, New Mexico. Aired on Feb. 5, 1996, on KLAS TV in Las Vegas.

A security manual leaked from Area 51 lists the name of every building on the secret military base, including one named Hangar 18. It’s a manual the government says should be classified.

Maybe the people who run the base that officially has no name wanted to tease UFO buffs who formerly climbed the hills to peer into “Dreamland,” another base nickname. Or it may just be this was the 18th hangar built at Groom Lake. But the irony of the name has not escaped researchers.

The Hangar 18 legend began not in Nevada but in New Mexico. Persistent reports claim that debris and bodies from flying saucer crash sites had been flown to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio and hidden inside Hangar 18, aka the Blue Room.

The story grew after Senator Barry Goldwater, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee asked to see what was inside the hangar and was told to never ask again. And a cheesy movie of the same name added to the folklore.

Now there are maps of Area 51 that clearly show the namesake hangar.

Glenn Campbell is partly responsible. His research center near Area 51 helped generate worldwide attention on the base. Today he has different digs.

“It just happens to overlook the Janet terminal out here,” Campbell said. “This is where all the workers at the base and at Tonopah take off.”

Campbell’s apartment near McCarran International Airport allows a bird’s eye view of every person who flies in and out of Groom Lake. He occasionally counts the cars to gauge activity at the base.

The “Janet terminal” at McCarran International Airport, as seen from Glenn Campbell’s apartment. (KLAS-TV)

“What I’ve noticed since the first of January, there has been a pickup of activity. There definitely are more cars in the parking lot now,” Campbell said.

About 30% more, he says. We don’t know for sure what they’re doing up there.

The security manual notes that cover stories are routine procedure. Security forces who meet intruders are instructed to say they’re trying to protect the public from ordnance and low-flying planes.

Jonathan Turley. (KLAS-TV)

Jonathan Turley, George Washington University law professor: “What we have at the base is both this cultural feeling that anything can happen here because this is a place that doesn’t exist. And if you have a place it doesn’t exist, how can you have enforcement?”