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In Brief

Area 51 Exists! But Where Are the Aliens?

Warning signs tell people to stay away from Area 51.
Warning signs tell people to stay away from Area 51. (Image credit: <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-246568p1.html">SipaPhoto</a> | <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/">Shutterstock.com</a>)

All right, conspiracy fans, you were right. There really is an Area 51.

For the first time, the U.S. government has publicly acknowledged that it has a facility called "Area 51" in Nevada near Groom Lake, about 80 miles northwest of Las Vegas. But the site served as a proving ground for the U-2 spy plane, and not a secret storage room for aliens and spaceships, as has long been maintained by conspiracy groups. George Washington University's National Security Archive made the clandestine find after receiving documents related to the infamous military base during a Freedom of Information Act Request submitted in 2005. The Archive posted the documents online on Thursday (Aug. 15).

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of Space.com and joined the team in 2001 as a staff writer, and later editor, covering human spaceflight, exploration and space science. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter.