HOW CLOSE CAN YOU GET TO AREA 51 WITHOUT BEING KILLED?
CASE# 2 Security breach
The warning couldn’t be any clearer. At the end of Groom Lake Road – a featureless dirt track leading from Highway 375 – drivers are met by an ominous sign at the start of Area
51: Warning – restricted area. Use of deadly force authorised.
Area 51’s military bases are obscured from the road by mountains. There’s no official ‘entrance’ to the military installations as such; there are no gates or fences. Instead, a series of discreet orange posts mark the beginning of Area 51. Meanwhile, a pair of camouflaged armed guards watch from the ridge of the surrounding desert hills; surveillance cameras scan from the hilltops. If priers are spooking the authorities, they may be sandblasted by a low-flying Pave Hawk security helicopter.
But even before curious explorers reach the Area 51 boundary, they’re closely monitored by the military. “Any vehicles driving down the Groom Lake Road are detected by magnetic sensors,” says Peter Merlin, an aeronautical historian who’s been researching Area 51 for 30 years. “Each one sends an electronic signal to the guard house, alerting them so they know where you’re coming from and how fast you’re making progress down the road.”
While Merlin warns that crossing the invisible line marking Area 51’s boundary will result in arrest, a former security guard at the site, Fred Dunham, claims that breaching the border could have more serious consequences. “If they [trespassers] demonstrated they were going to try to penetrate, they [his bosses] gave me the okay to waste ’em.”
If that’s the case, then a BBC crew who deliberately drove onto the restricted site in 2012 should count themselves lucky. While filming the documentary UFO: Conspiracy Road Trip, the 12-person team were arrested and held at gunpoint after walking for 30 minutes down
“THE GUARDS RUSHED OUT WITH THEIR WEAPONS AND FORCED US ALL TO LAY FACE DOWN AT GUNPOINT IN THE TARMAC”