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The 5 Biggest Mysteries Of Area 51

Few places in the world are surrounded by a similar amount of intrigue than Nevada's Area 51. Sifting through all the hundreds of theories would be nearly impossible, but here are five of the biggest controversies surrounding the base. If you're curious about Area 51 and other mysterious places, check out Fact or Faked, returning on Tuesday, April 17 at 9/8c only on Syfy.

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1. Are there alien remains in Area 51?

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On July 8, 1947, a crashed "flying disk" was discovered on the grounds of ranch outside Roswell, New Mexico. While the Roswell Army Air Field found it, the investigation was immediately taken over by the United States Armed Forces, which claimed—and maintains—that the debris from an "experimental high-altitude surveillance balloon" that was part of a classified program called "Mogul."

The incident quickly lost the public's interest until more than thirty years. However, in 1978, physicist and ufologist Stanton T. Friedman interviewed Jesse Marcel, an army major who had helped recover the debris in 1947. Instead of reinforcing the statement that it was a crashed weather balloon, though, he claimed that the military had covered up the discovery of an alien spacecraft and had subsequently relocated it to Area 51, where its materials and crew were analyzed.

Ever since Friedman's report, what actually happened has remained a mystery. No-one can access Area 51 to confirm the remains of the debris, and anyone who disputes the Marcel interview is discredited by conspiracy theorists.

Do you think this is fact or faked? Join the conversation @FactOrFakedSyfy.

2. What is really going on in S-4?

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Supposed location of Sector Four (S-4).

The function and existence of S-4 is all mere speculation. The site is either wholly or partially located underground, and its alleged position is within a valley, protecting anything from view. Additionally, because of the restricted airspace above Area 51, there is no way to get an aerial view, either.

S-4 has been a contentious site ever since 1989, when Bob Lazar claimed that he had worked on reverse-engineering alien technology within the facility. Allegedly, Lazar saw nine different "discs" there, knew how they propelled themselves, and could go into detail about it. Although he was able to pinpoint its location, he has been mostly discredited because the schools he supposedly attended (California Institution of Technology and MIT) have no record of him, and military officials at Area 51 claim that they don't recall working with him. Lazar, however, attributes this to "government deletion of records."

Nevertheless, whether Lazar's story is fact or fiction is completely indeterminable.

Do you think this is fact or faked? Join the conversation @FactOrFakedSyfy.

3. Is it a top secret testing site for new aircraft and spy technology?

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Much of our modern military technology has supposedly come out of Area 51. For example, the U-2 spy plane—which could fly over the range of the Soviets' radar—was originally tested on the base. While this was happening, though, the government issued a press release stating that Area 51 and all of its employees did not exist. On August 19, 1955, Executive Order 10633 was signed by President Eisenhower, making the airspace above Groom Lake (part of Area 51) restricted. Just a year later, sixty square miles around it were made "officially nonexistent" through Public Land Order 1662.

The Soviets still did discover the U-2 plane, but ever since it has become increasingly difficult to ascertain what is being tested there.

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4. Is there alien technology being used on site?

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Ever since the signing of Executive Order 10633, there have been rumors abound of the kind of technology that exists on the base—much further than a few spy planes. Supposedly, materials collected from the Roswell crash have been used prominently in reverse-engineering at the facility, and perhaps used to create new aircraft and other tech. There has been evidence of a "disappearing airstrip" (likely some kind of camouflage) at Papoose Lake and weather manipulation technology; and shakier reports point to sightings of alien corpses and the existence of an underground, transcontinental railroad (connected to the speculation that the whole base has a system of tunnels beneath it). Obviously, though, there's no clear or easy way of confirming or debunking any these hypotheses.

Do you think this is fact or faked? Join the conversation @FactOrFakedSyfy.

5. What is its involvement with the Majestic 12?


President Harry S. Truman signed an executive order commissioning the creation of a "secret committee of scientists, military leaders, and government officials" under the name "Majestic 12," whose purpose was to investigate the Roswell incident.

As a result, there have been numerous supposed connections between MJ-12 and Area 51, though most are unsubstantiated. However, if the "alien remains" were transported to Area 51 from Roswell, it seems likely that MJ-12 and the base were interacting on some level.

Moreover, some believe that the Majestic 12 is a much broader, more terrifying organization, one whose members are all top officials in politics, business, and science, selected to help orchestrate the creation of a new world order with a single government.

Do you think this is fact or faked? Join the conversation @FactOrFakedSyfy.

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