Feeds

AREA 51 - THE TRUTH by the CIA: Official dossier blows lid off US secrets

Aliens ate my redaction

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Pic A declassified CIA report made public this week includes copious references to the United States' mysterious Area 51 base.

The Cold War-era dossier on the U-2 spy plane was published by the George Washington University's National Security Archive - and acknowledges the existence of the highly hush-hush patch of Nevada desert, a remote detachment of the Edwards Air Force Base.

Area 51, for long believed to be a testing area for high-tech military toy sets, is somewhat of a tourist attraction and a fixture in popular sci-fi drama - but references to it in official government material are routinely redacted. Only one slip in 1967 included the codename.

Now, someone has evidently become bored with the joke, for this freshly revealed material leaves the reference in the clear.

In the report, CIA spooks said the zone, dubbed Groom Lake, was used to test its top-secret surveillance aircraft, including the U-2 spy plane, from 1955 onwards. The new material includes detail on the missions flown over the old Soviet Union including the flight route, names of pilots, and details of the U-2's use in the Sino-Indian war of 1962 to 1967. Other reconnaissance programmes are also detailed.

The A-series of designs for the CIA led to the SR-71 spy plane.
See Chapter 6 in the new archive material

Of more interest to Reg readers, perhaps, is the development of the U-2 successors, the A-series supersonic spy planes, the best known of which was the SR-71 Blackbird. Satellites made these marvels redundant - as we detailed here - and the SR-71 was decommissioned in 1990, but revived by the US Congress for another few years. It made its last flight in 1999.

"Like any historical study, the CIA history may include errors that will require further scrutiny by researchers in the field," cautions the university's archivist Jeffrey Richelson. So caveat lector. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.