F.A.Q.

A list of Frequently Asked Questions when traveling to Area 51.

What is Area 51?
Are there aliens at Area 51?
Can you see UFO’s at Area 51?
Does the government admit that there is a base there?
Why would the government lie about a base that obviously exists?
Is it illegal to go to Area 51?
Will I get shot/arrested/kidnapped/etc if I go to Area 51?
How do the employees get to Area 51?
How can I get a job at the base?
Can I take photographs or video of the base/guards?
Has anyone successfully made it into the base?
How are the borders secured?
What are Cammo Dudes?
What is the black mailbox?
What is Groom Lake?
Why do people connect Area 51 with aliens and UFO’s?
What should I bring with me on my trip?
Where is Area 51 located?
Where is the nearest gas station?
Where is the nearest restaurant?
Where is the nearest hotel?
Where is the nearest campsite?
Where is the best place to watch for UFO’s?
Where is the best vantage point to try and see the base?
Why does anybody care about Area 51?
What is Roswell?
What is the connection between Area 51 and Roswell?

Still have more questions? Ask them and you will get answers.



What is Area 51?
While the US government has never officially recognized any military base with the name of Area 51, and while this name appears on no official government maps or documents, they have acknowledged the existence of a military base operating near Groom Lake.

The closest towns to the base are Rachel and Alamo, Nevada. And the closest any civilian can get–without written permission from the base commander–are the warning signs at the front gates of Area 51, located at the end of Groom Lake Road.

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Are there aliens at Area 51?
While there are many varying theories about what goes on at groom lake, the reality is that there is no concrete evidence of extraterrestrial life at the base. Even so, the mere possibility has brought tens of thousands to visit the base each year.

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Can you see UFO’s at Area 51?
Yes. UFO’s, or unidentified flying objects, are the essence of Area 51.

From the very beginning, when the first-meager base was used to test top-secret spy planes, most of what Groom Lake produced was unknown at the time. To this day many people report strange lights, objects, and activities of unidentified aircraft over the skies of Area 51. It should be noted that while people mistakenly connect the definition of UFO’s with alien spacecraft, there is no hard evidence that the unidentified flying objects at Area 51 are actually alien in nature.

One thing for sure is that the aircraft and military of tomorrow is surly being tested daily at the Groom Lake base.

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Does the government admit that there is a base there?
While they do not admit to a base called “Area 51“, they do now admit to a Air Force operating location near Groom Dry Lake.

Originally the US government wholly denied the existence of the base, but after a large-scale environmental lawsuit in 1994, they were eventually forced–in 1997–to declassify the existence of the Groom Lake operation.

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Why would the government lie about a base that obviously exists?
The most plausible answer is that they are performing top secret testing and do not want enemies of the US to know what is being done there.

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Is it illegal to go to Area 51?
While it is illegal to cross the border into Area 51, the lands surrounding the base are public, and because of this, there are many areas where you can get a decent look.

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Will I get shot, arrested, kidnapped, etc if I go to Area 51?
If you cross the border, marked by orange posts every 50 yards, you will be stopped, caught, and held at gunpoint by Area 51 border security (also known as Cammo Dudes) until the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department can come and pick you up.

If you are lucky, and they find that you have just accidentally crossed the border, then you will get off with only a $650+ fine, and a letter from the base commander saying that you are not welcome there.

If you are unlucky, and they feel that you were up to something a bit more nefarious, than they can charge you up to $10,000, two years in prison, or depending on your infraction, they might just decided to hold you indefinitely.

While it is unlikely that they will utilize their right to deadly force, it is best to keep your person on the public side of the border.

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How do the employees get to Area 51?
Employees arrive at Area 51 by two means of transportation. The most common, which it is estimated that over 1,000 people use each day, is an air commute (on what’s known as a JANET flight) from Las Vegas. The second is a white bus that picks up local commuters from Crystal Springs, Ash Springs, and Alamo.

While you can only see the JANET flights when they leave Las Vegas, the white bus can be seen each morning around 8:30AM, as it drives through the front gates of Area 51.

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How can I get a job at the base?
Much of base security, known as the “Cammo Dudes“, are run by EG&G‘s security subcontractor Wackenhut. To get a job with this company, you usually need to have a High School education, and a clean background check.

You can also apply online at their website.

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Can I take photographs or video of the base or guards?
Technically, as inferred by several gratuitous warning signs posted at the front gates of Area 51, it is “unlawful to make any photograph, sketch, picture, drawing, map, or graphical representation of such vital military [base] without first obtaining permission of the commanding officer.” While there is no cash fine implied for this offense, you may be held for up to one year.

Even though the above is very specific in the United States Code (18 USC 795), there are obviously a lot of examples on the internet, and many on this website, which seem to be in direct contradiction to the law here. There have even been situations where Area 51 border guards (known as the cammo dudes) have had there photos taken from only a few feet away, and they did nothing more than hide their face. The question then is, if they could arrest you for taking photos, wouldn’t they have done so long ago?

Their policy seems to be that as long as you are on public land, they will let you take video and pictures of the base and guards; however, because the language in the United States Code (18 USC 795) is so specific and so strict, if you do go to Area 51, and take photos of the restricted zone, then you do so at your own risk.

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Has anyone successfully made it into the base and gotten out without getting in trouble?
While some people, like Bob Lazar, have claimed to seen top secret happenings at Area 51–there are absolutely no substantiated claims that someone has managed to do this. So, if someone has made it in, they’ve kept it a well maintained secret.

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How are the borders secured?
Area 51 has multiple border security features. These include, but are not limited to, road motion sensors, video surveillance, armed patrol guards (also known as the cammo dudes) and FLIR-equipped Sikorsky MH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters.

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What are Cammo Dudes?
This is the name given to the armed guards that work the perimeter of Area 51. They are affectionately named so due to their camouflage-colored clothing.

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What is the black mailbox?
The black mailbox is actually now a white mailbox located outside of Area 51 on HWY 375. It was originally painted black, and it retains the name for reasons of nostalgia.

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What is Groom Lake?
Groom Lake is a dry lake bed outside of Rachel, Nevada. When Area 51 was first built, the lake was chosen as the premier location, because the dry lake could be used as a landing strip. Today, it is home to the world’s longest runway.

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Why do people connect Area 51 with aliens and spacecraft?
Because of the top-secret nature of the base, and the new technology that is being tested there, it is only natural for people to assume that the unexplained is not-from-this world.

While many people have claimed to have seen evidence of alien activity at Area 51, and while others are convinced that it is there, to this date, there is no concrete evidence to support these allegations.

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What should I bring with me on my trip?
Think of preparing for your visit to Area 51 like you would prepare for a few days in the woods. Then add the fact that you’ll have no shelter, no trees, no water, no gas or gas station, and probably no one else for hundreds of miles. When making your list, be sure to include lots of water, and a full tank of gas.

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Where is Area 51 located?
Area 51 is located about 27 miles south of Rachel, NV, and about 80 miles north of Las Vegas. While you can drive up to the front gates of Area 51, and look at the warnings signs, or even hike around the border to see the guard shack at the first security checkpoint, the Groom Lake base is still more than eight miles past any public land, and far from any viewing location. The closest place to actually see the base itself is from the top of Tikaboo Peak–which is over 26 miles from the base.

For more information, you can refer to our selection of interactive maps, as well as our detailed descriptions of noted places around Area 51.

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Where is the nearest gas station?
The nearest gas station is a Shell Station between Ash Springs, NV and Alamo, NV. Make sure that you fill up here before continuing to Area 51, as there is no gas available for another 120 miles.

There are also two Chevron stations in Alamo, NV.

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Where is the nearest restaurant?
The nearest town to Area 51 is actually Ash Springs and Alamo, NV. And one really great place to eat is, surprisingly, the Shell gas station between the two.

However, if you are going to Area 51, you have to stop at the Little A’Le’Inn in Rachel, NV. Even though it is out-of-the way and offers little services (for your vehicle), it is a required stop for anyone making the pilgrimage.

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Where is the nearest hotel?
Both Alamo and Rachel, NV have places to stay–though they are not necessarily considered hotels.

The Little A’Le’Inn in Rachel is the obvious choice for anyone visiting Area 51, as they are more inclined to understand the nature of your visit. Also if you elect to rent one of their trailers for the night, you will have your pick of complementary Area 51 and UFO documentaries to watch for the evening.

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Where is the nearest campsite?
There are many campsites around Area 51, as you can legally pull off the road anywhere along HWY 375 or Groom Lake Road–because all of this area is considered public land.

However, there are some premium camping areas outlined on this website, and picking a site is simply dependent on the amount of time, equipment, and ability that you have at your disposal.

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Where is the best place to watch the sky at night?
While the traditional sky-watching place is the Black Mailbox, as it was the first place where people met to look for unusual things above Area 51, the best place to watch for activities over Groom Lake is arguably Powerlines Overlook. While you still cannot see the base, the overlook offers one of the clearest views of Area 51′s air traffic. If you cannot make it to Powerlines Overlook, there are several other places to view the night sky.

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Where is the best vantage point to try and see the base?
The closest place to actually see the base itself is from the top of Tikaboo Peak–which is over 26 miles from the base.

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Why does anybody care about Area 51?
America’s most secret military installation has remained so since its conception. It is the mystery that surrounds this base that garners so much interest from the public, but why does the government require such secrecy in a time without war? Shouldn’t the American people be allowed to know where their tax dollars are being spent? It is these questions and more that drive people to learn more and more about the Groom Lake operation.

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What is Roswell?
Roswell, NM is most famously known for the 1947 crash of what was allegedly an alien U.F.O.. It is alleged that the debris was taken from the crash site to either Area 51, Carswell Air Force Base or Hangar 18, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

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What is the connection between Area 51 and Roswell?
There has been a strong connection between Area 51 and Roswell because of the rumors that sections of debris and possibly victims from the Roswell crash were taken to the top secret base.

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Still have more questions? Ask them and you will get answers.


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