Afternoon Inquisition

AI: Area 51 Comes Out of the Closet

Oh, please. Like no one knew.

A smattering of newspapers ran stories yesterday about alleged former contractors at Area 51 who are now talking about their experiences at the “mysterious” base in the Nevada desert. No longer sworn to secrecy, folks are free to come forward, and tales are surfacing confirming the strict security measures always reported at Groom Lake.

According to the sources in the newspaper articles, there in fact have been highly secret, highly classified military projects and aircraft tests being conducted at the base since its inception. Unfortunately, none of the reports from former contractors confirms any of the outlandish stories of crashed alien spacecraft, dead aliens, live aliens, or reverse engineering of alien technology that conspiracy nutters have repeated for decades.

Stupid truth. Ruining all the fun.

Anyway . . . . In honor of Area 51 coming out of the closet:

Do you dig air shows? Are you into the bad ass aircraft that was tested at Area 51? Have you ever seen a UFO? What’s your best guess as to what it actually was? Ever been abducted? Is alien sex all anal? Do aliens hold you afterward, or leave ’cause you know, they have to get up early for work the next day? Why don’t they call when they say they’re going to call? I just don’t understand it. I can’t do this anymore. It tears me up inside. I’m a man, damn it. I’m sensitive. . . . I’ll be at my mother’s for a few days.

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 3pm ET.

Sam Ogden

Sam Ogden is a writer, beach bum, and songwriter living in Houston, Texas, but he may be found scratching himself at many points across the globe. Follow him on Twitter @SamOgden

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  1. A cousin of mine does the air shows at Luke Air Force Base here in Arizona. :D He does all the fancy tricks.

    My dad looooves air shows.

    My dad is a huge nerd, though.

  2. I’d like to note that I dislike “UFO” being associated directly with “anally probed by little grey men.”

    I’ve seen a UFO before. I don’t see any reason to believe it was an alien spacecraft over any other possibility, nor do I have any idea what it could’ve been, though likely it was a low flying aircraft and I’ve just forgotten the engine sound since seeing it. I don’t bring it up, even when talking about UFOs, because people tend to write you off as a nut.

  3. Aliens, don’t get me started. Sure they’ll say anything to get into your pants, then after probing your anus. WHOOSH! They’re gone, and you’re left wondering “Where do we stand, will it call?” Was it just a one time thing?” Can I write a book and become a millionaire and get a column on Huffinton Post? Just so many questions. I’m not bitter!!! Wait did I say that out loud?

  4. @teambanzai:

    Hey, let’s all get together at my place. I’ll get out a tub of Häagen-Dazs and a bottle of tequila. We’ll give each other make-overs, play some man-empowering records, and dance like we just don’t care.

    Aliens. Who needs ’em, right?

  5. Ok, look, it was a close encounter, and that’s all it was, a close encounter.

    You knew what you were getting in to when I abducted you. Lets get one thing clear, I don’t often have close encounters, its just not my thing. But, every once in a while, I get edgy, and the only thing to take the edge off is having a close encounter.

    I mean, you were in a field all by yourself. What were you expect-a circus? These are kinda the gentleman’s rules of the game. If you out into a field on a dark night, its implied you’re looking for a close enounter. So when you have a close encounter, and you get probed, and they don’t call, take it for what it is-a close encounter.

    Why do you think they call it close encounter? Its not like we’re gonna take you back to our home planet and make you our king.

    This isn’t some lame scifi movie we’re talking about, this is real life, and some times, close encounters just happen. They happen, and then we move on.

    Sorry if this seems a little course, I’m not trying to hurt your feelings. I’m sure some lucky alien will come along, and make you their king, and you’ll rule happily ever after. But I not that alien. You’re a really nice guy, and deserve a better alien than me. There are plenty of species in the galaxy, I’m sure you’ll find the one that makes you happy.

  6. Round where I live one sees lots of UFOs. Of course I live near an airforce base, and until recently there was a big airforce weapons testing range… So its possible that some of the UFOs might not have been aliens.

    One sighting which foxed me completely for a long time was a large black rectangle just floating in one place above the town. It was years later that I saw a solar kite made out of bin bags and realised that that must have been what it was.

    Oh and air shows are cool! Saw the Red Arrows display team from real close last year – it was truly awesome.

  7. @infinitemonkey:

    Very nice!


    Man, I don’t think I would have been very good in the military, but I would love to fly those aircraft. Any of them actually.

    Maybe if I get famous one day, one of those teams will take me up and I can barf in my mask like the other celebs they take up.

  8. So then it was all just talk to you? It wasn’t my first close encounter either, and you can’t deny there was a connection.

    Maybe your kind get cold feet, if those were feet, the point is that you obviously have commintment issues. Flying all this way just for a probing. Yeah maybe I was looking for a close encounter in that field, but the key word is “close” but I guess it just wan’t meant to be.

    Don’t worry about me this isn’t my first brush from an alien and sadly probably not my last. But you missed out on the best human subject you ever studied budy. Oh and you can check my face book because I’m going to put all those fuzzy, squiggly, hard to identify so they must be aliens pictures up for the world to see. So let’s see you make a return trip to this planet!

  9. So your gonna put my study life on the internet for all the world to see? Really, how petty can you get. My study life is my study life. You don’t think us species talk? Wait till I tell all the other species what your doing. The closest encounter you’ll have is you might have seen something…if you tilt your head to the side, and squint. I don’t wanna have to do that, and I’d rather not, but if you think your gonna coerce me into studing you more, you’ve got another thing coming. I was going to try to be civil about this, but obiously, that isn’t happening.

    I can easily go have another close encounter with someone else in a field, and not have to deal with this clingy crap.

    And you know what, there was a connection-a connection of my probe to your body. And I’d like to call that pretty close. But I didn’t hear you complaining.

  10. I see how it is, well fine then! According to the Drake Equation there are PLENTY of other intelligent lifeforms out there willing to study me, and not just my orifices! You can’t possibly communicate with all of them.

    Oh so that wasn’t your ship I think I thought I saw last night out of the corner of my eye for just a second as I was waking up without my glasses on?

  11. First of all, I never said it wasn’t my ship you saw. And try to wrap your unevolved monkey brain around this-intergalactic chatrooms and civbook. I can tell more more civilizations about your antics then people on your planet in less time than it takes for you to load a picture on facebook. By the time I’m done with you, no civilization this side of Andromeda will so much as scan your lifesigns let alone probe you. Keep on, we’re an advanced alien civilization. We know all your games, because when we were less evolved, we played then too.

    What now, monkey.

  12. Oh just like an advanced civilization to take advantage of a backwards planet like this one. I hope you can sleep at night. If your kind sleep.

  13. I would say that Area 51 (aka Dreamland) did some horrific things. Toxic waste, employees killed and poisoned, cost over runs and total stamping on the rights of land owners in the name of “top top secret”. The focus on UFOs and aliens take the focus off the government run wild reality of the place. The book “Dreamland” is a document of stuff that went on there that people never took too seriously, you mention “Area 51” and most people laugh. Employees hurt, killed and poisoned by the government while working there arent even able to get damages or care that they need because the records are “sealed”. You cant prove your husband died in a horrific toxic mistake, if you can’t tell what happened in a courtroom because of “security”. Area 51, its not as funny as you think.

  14. I love air shows and have volunteered at Oshkosh several times. (if you don’t know about Oshkosh, see The only thing I’d as if I were invited to fly in a modern military aircraft would be when and where do I need to show up. I’ll provide my own barf bags. :-D

    Anyway, aviation buffs know Area 51/”Dreamland” well. No serious aviation buff believes the UFO crap about it. Many people hang with cameras by the fences (when they’re not run off by security) to get pictures of the “latest and greatest” aircraft. This is where airplanes like the F-117 and B-2 were tested, along with the (possibly apocryphal) “Aurora” hypersonic spy plane.

    Unfortunately, kittynh has a point. Many military bases are toxic waste sites. Let’s just say that I work within sight of the real “Hot Zone” and none of us will drink the base water. We even carry water in to make our coffee. I can’t comment on the problems of the employees at Area 51 – I have no knowledge to offer on the topic.

    I’ve seen UFO’s, too. However, I’ve never thought they were alien spacecraft. I think the term “UFO” is partly responsible for planting the thought in the viewer’s mind that it must be a physical object. Words matter, because they define thinking.

    The word “object” implies that there is a physical, unknown object involved. Just because you don’t know what you’re seeing doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s really there.

  15. I once saw a UFO, I was delievering newspapers at the time and through the clouds I could see lights, in a round shape, flying in an odd way, it seemed too fast and too weird of a path to be an airplane, besides the lights were all wrong. After a minute of looking and squinting, it was quickly realized that it was an airplane, flying a tad low (not dangerously, just lower than usual) and I was viewing it from a 3/4 angle, so the lights from the tail, wings, and front appeared to form a circle. While I didn’t jump to conclusions, I should have taken a picture so that I could use as an example as to how these mistakes can happen.

    Not an alien, but still cool to see

  16. Many years ago in north eastern Arizona I was on the roof with my old telescope, when I saw a bizarre light in the sky. Through the scope it appeared to be a tight ball of lights of several different colors. It didn’t move for an extended period of time. I’ve never figured out what it was, and it’s very likely poor optics obscured its true shape.

  17. weatherwax, magicdude, if you were UFO believers, you probably would have been euphoric.

    As a pilot, aviation weather observer and former airline trainer for over 20 years, I’ve seen lots of wierd shiat in the skies. Not once did I think it was ET or the Vogons. Though I did keep a towel in my locker. ;-)

  18. A lot of questions this afternoon!
    Do you dig air shows?
    Are you into the bad ass aircraft that was tested at Area 51?
    Have you ever seen a UFO?
    What’s your best guess as to what it actually was?
    Ever been abducted?
    Not by extraterrestrials, no.
    Is alien sex all anal?
    Hard to say, but speaking of anal probing, the famous words “I didn’t ask for the anal probe” is a great sentence for showing how emphasis can strongly effect the meaning of a sentence. Just look:
    I didn’t ask for the anal probe.
    I didn’t ask for the anal probe.
    I didn’t ask for the anal probe.
    I didn’t ask for the anal probe.
    Do aliens hold you afterward, or leave ’cause you know, they have to get up early for work the next day?
    I believe it depends on whether you asked for the anal probe. Or possibly on whether you asked for the anal probe.
    Why don’t they call when they say they’re going to call? I just don’t understand it. I can’t do this anymore. It tears me up inside. I’m a man, damn it. I’m sensitive. . . . I’ll be at my mother’s for a few days.
    Aliens are pigs!

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