Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Short History of Area 51's Shady Expansion

Area 51, everyone’s favorite military test site turned alien conspiracy theorist hub, is growing—whether its neighbors like it or not.

The Associated Press reports that the huge and ostensibly top-secret base in Nevada plans to take over a 400-acre patch of former mining land that the base has come to encircle following a number of expansions over the decades. The owners of the land have been offered $5.4 million to give it up. But they say that’s not enough.

"Why don't they ask themselves what it cost my family over the years in blood, sweat, tears and money?" landowner Joseph Sheahan said, according to the AP. Sheahan and his relatives have owned the land for almost 130 years.

The Air Force set a September 10 deadline for the acceptance of the $5.4 million offer, but the landowners refused to back down. Now, the matter is being handled in federal court. Sheahan and the others say they will continue to fight to receive what they consider to be a fair amount for their land: around $29 million.

This is not the first time that Area 51 has experienced growing pains. When the CIA established the Groom Lake facility back in 1955, the secret testing grounds measured just six miles by 10 miles. Today, the AP story notes, the borders of the base are now almost twice the size of Delaware, incorporating over 4,500 square miles of land.

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