HOUSTON - After decades of denials, the U.S. government has finally acknowledged the existence of the mysterious military base known as Area 51.
Recently, declassified documents obtained by the National Security Archive at George Washington University confirmed the existence of the government site about 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
Before the revelation, all government documents containing references to Area 51 were redacted.
"It's kind of like the elephant in the room," space enthusiast David Booth said. "Everybody knows it's there and now the government is saying, 'The elephant is in fact in the room.'"
Despite conspiracy theories of aliens and crash-landed spaceships at the site, there were no such mentions in the government documents. There was, however, mention of the site's origin.
According to the report, Area 51 was first used as a test site for secret CIA spy planes during the Cold War. It also served as a training ground for Apollo astronauts heading to the moon.
"Everybody likes secrecy," astronomy professor Kenny Tap said. "But now, it also opens up the doors because the public's going to want to know what was going on inside there. Maybe there's things we want to know. Maybe there's things we don't want to know. But that is going to be the next chapter."
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