Area 51 alien hunters might want to rethink their nutty plan

World

Area 51 alien hunters might want to rethink their nutty plan

As locals scramble to weather the onslaught of UFO obsessives, there are a few nasty surprises in store for the latter

Laurence Dodds

In the grey light of the Nevada dawn, in a parking lot beside a tiny rural courthouse, a small group of people board a white bus with tinted windows.

At about 10 minutes to seven, the bus pulls out of the lot onto the main road and speeds past the sign that reads “Extraterrestrial Highway”. It passes the Alien Research Centre gift shop, with its giant metal alien statue, and ET Fresh Jerky, a food stop with outer space murals. Finally it slips onto an unmarked dirt track and into the hills, passing through a hidden security checkpoint to deliver its passengers to another day’s work at Area 51.

Despite its near-mythical status among UFO obsessives, Area 51, properly known as Groom Lake, is a real place, and to the people living in the small towns and farming valleys nearby, its brooding, secretive presence is just a normal part of life...

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