Published: 3:23 PM 9/9/2013
For nearly a quarter of a century the government refused to admit that Area 51 exists deep in the Mojave Desert. That’s where, if you believe in UFOs and conspiracy theories, a colony of extraterrestrial aliens is being held captive.
Finally the government has acknowledged the existence of a top military installation 150 miles north of Las Vegas, but the land was just used to test spy planes. It makes no mention of Little Green Men.
But that’s all the true believers needed to renew their beliefs that aliens are really there, that UFOs are shooting through the desert skies and that the government has never been straight about what it’s been up to there.
Did I ever see a UFO?
Of course I saw them. Everybody did. Or at least claimed to in order not to appear totally out of it in the 1950s when the “sightings” began.
There was even an incident when hundreds of area residents claim to have spotted a UFO in Brands Flat.
I’m not making this up. I checked my notes and articles in the News Leader and it was sitting there in a field right off U.S. 250, looking like — exactly — a flying saucer.
It got national media attention, but the incident is now largely forgotten.
You have to remember it was the ’50s and we were a lot more innocent then — and sincere. Truman was in the White House, we were at war with Korea, Milton Berle and Lucille Ball were the king and queen of black and white TV, and there was this little thing called the Red Menace where communists lurked behind every bush ready to jump out and scare us. Why not Little Green Men too?
When we looked up at the sky, we were bound to see something because for maybe the first time in our lives we realized we just might not be alone.
It wasn’t birds, it wasn’t planes, and it was the mass hysteria of flying saucers because we were told they were going to be there. From bright lights hovering in the heavens to streaking blips of light in the shape of giant saucers, they were enough to give us goose bumps.
People as high up and unimpeachable as informed unnamed Air Force officials were quoted in Life, Look, Pic and even the News Leader as saying Earth was being visited by aliens from outer space. They didn’t say “invasion” but we knew that’s what it probably was.
The more we read and heard on the radio and TV, the more UFOs we saw, or thought we did. You can convince yourself of just about anything.
There were rumors of alien landings and abductions, and Area 51 was the target.
Some people tried to explain them away as really being experimental military aircraft, temperature inversions, flocks of geese, and the combination of too much moonshine and a hyperactive imagination, but we knew they were real and the government had maybe even captured one. Didn’t Washington admit as much in a secret report?
They gradually went away in the ’60s. The decline in flying saucer sightings was in direct proportion to the country’s loss of innocence.
That’s why people don’t see flying saucers these days. We now know better. There’s nothing out there but us.
Why can’t the government leave well enough alone?