Satellite pics of US alien base hit the Web

Millions of jelly-headed X-files fans wet themselves

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"The truth is out there, Scully."

"I'd settle for a coherent plot, Mulder."

But, blimey! The truth really is out there with the Internet publication of some satellite snaps of the notorious Area 51 - a top-secret US military base in the Nevada desert, just north-west of Las Vegas. The pics were taken with a Russian satellite - but don't worry, it was in conjunction with apple-pie companies Kodak and Microsoft - and are legal thanks to a 1992 "open skies" treaty that allowed foreign countries to check up on others' moves towards disarmament.

Theoretically, the pics are viewable here, but we've been unable to even get on the site yet thanks to millions of brainwashed kids striving to find some meaning in their lives. Needless to say, the pics show a military base - roads, runways, tennis courts, you know the kind of thing - although (gasp!) there is clear evidence that there are underground facilities too. Area 51 is where alien loonies believe the US army has stashed all its evidence of alien life - and the blueprints from which Intel got its CPU technology, if some pundits are to be believed.

It is a top-secret base all right, and is where the US government has built and tested its various start-of-the-art planes over the ages - including the U2 spy plane, F-117A stealth fighter and B-2 stealth bomber. Until recently, the US government denied it even existed (that old gag, eh?). A pretty good site dealing with all the area's mythology can be found here. ®

Register Factoid 51

In a survey about 12 years ago, a cross-section of Americans were asked if they believed in alien life. Something like 11 per cent said yes. The same survey was repeated ten years later - at the peak of X-files mania. The results were somewhat different and around 73 per cent of those quizzed were convinced that alien life existed. The power of TV, eh? Or is that the gullibility of human beings? While we're here, there was also mass panic when Orson Welles broadcast War of the Worlds for the first time in 1938. He hadn't bothered to precede it with a warning that it wasn't for real. Many have never recovered.

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