Satellite images show unusual activity at Tonopah Test Range Airport — again

Area 51
Tonopah Test Range Airport

MYSTERY WIRE — Shadows? Water on the ground after a rainstorm? Or surveillance aircraft?

The speculation over what we’re seeing at the Tonopah Test Range Airport is fascinating. It’s a game of clandestine hide-and-seek involving a secret base and civilian satellite technology.

READ: Mystery objects simultaneously emerge from hangars again at secretive Tonopah airport

The War Zone’s Tyler Rogoway brings us a second look at what he has spotted in satellite images from Planet Labs. It follows a great story from Dec. 6, 2019, that speculates on more objects spotted at the base. The website is among the sources of terrific work tracking activity involving the “retired” F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter over the years.

Don’t miss our report on the F-117, including our interview with webmaster Joerg Arnu:

So what’s the new sighting? One possibility forwarded by The War Zone: An aircraft refitted from transport duties to surveillance. The CASA CN-235-300 was the subject of a previous article from 2017.

A few comments on a message board cast doubt on that assessment, speculating that it could very well be water left on the runway from a recent rain. But those puddles are in a strange place — and there are only a few of them.

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