The Tube Has Spoken: Reality TV and History (Film and History)

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More hangars, runways, housing units, and other facilities were installed in order to keep a burgeoning, secret spy-plane program running. But because the US government was making aircraft for the express purpose of beating the Soviet Union and others technologically, secrecy was of the utmost importance. It was the Cold War, after all. Here are just a couple of examples of what they did: Employees mostly used planes to travel in and out of the facility.

The Tube Has Spoken: Reality TV and History

According to the CIA , components used to create the U-2 would be disassembled, placed on a plane, and then reassembled on-site at Area The CIA also encouraged the myth that UFOs were flying around Area 51 because it helped obfuscate what was really going on: the testing of odd-looking, high-flying, lightning-fast, never-before-seen aircraft. The secrecy continues to this day, and what goes on there is jealously guarded.

But some activities that happen there are known. Jacobsen told Vox that the US military will train foreign fighters there sometimes, allowing the troops to practice on rough, remote terrain well out of sight of the public.

She also believes Area 51 remains a place for American armed forces to develop and test the next generation of aircraft and weapons of war. What kinds of things commonly get mistaken for UFOs? Stealth bombers and drones , military decoy flares , weapons tests , military training exercises , and weird classified air stuff.

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What does Area 51 have a lot of? All of the above. But Lazar believed that the foreign air technology belonged to aliens and that Area 51 was entirely designed to capture, reverse-engineer, and study alien aircraft and aliens themselves. In , the government ultimately revealed the object to have been a nuclear surveillance balloon. Conspiracists like John Lear, a pilot and heir to the Learjet fortune, spun macabre and bizarre stories about aliens being held and studied in such underground camps, where the government fed them abducted children and mutilated cattle.

In , Lear described Groom Lake, Nevada — a.

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Lazar is believed to have fabricated his educational background , making up degrees from MIT and Cal Tech, institutes he seems to have never attended. He also claimed to have worked for the Los Alamos particle laboratory during years when bankruptcy filings instead listed him as a photo and film processor.

Nonetheless, when he appeared on KLAS he was calm and articulate as he spoke of dismantling and test-flying flying saucers at Area As late as , new claims and conspiracies about Area 51 were still finding their way into the mainstream. The source told her that a Nazi doctor surgically enlarged the heads of abducted teenagers to make them resemble aliens, supposedly on the order of Joseph Stalin, who the source says forced the teenagers to pilot flying saucers over the US as a Cold War scare tactic.

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Then, he claims, the remains of the crash were brought back to Area While no evidence of Nazis creating fake UFOs for Stalin — or of federal cooperation with aliens — has ever come to light, the US government does have a long history of investigating reported UFO sightings. These investigations date back to and include focused studies like Project Blue Book , which covered, among other things, the first reported record of alleged alien abduction , in Ufology — the study of UFOs — has been enjoying a banner moment lately.

In , reports of UFO sightings have been happening at a staggering rate , with some recent ones coming from reputable members of the US Navy. On June 20, , the libertarian-flavored podcast The Joe Rogan Experience , one of the most popular podcasts in existence, published a two-hour-long interview with Bob Lazar and filmmaker Jeremy Corbell. Throughout the interview, Lazar mostly repeats and embellishes his original story about aliens at Area 51, as told to KLAS in He also adds details to explain his apparently fabricated academic and job history, claiming that nebulous government entities seem to have made his birth certificate, employment records, and college transcripts disappear.

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The documentary was critically panned for its production values and lack of skepticism toward Lazar, his suspicious academic and professional credentials, and the entirely unverified claims he made. The Storm Area 51 event rapidly grew into a real-world festival called Alienstock, slated to be held in the desert town Rachel, Nevada. It was born out of the curiosity of the internet, and the curiosity surrounding aliens, UFOs, everything like that, and just wanting to gather and throw cool parties.


Ruth McElroy Correspondence rmcelroy glam. Pages Published online: 24 Jan Additional information Acknowledgements The time given by participants in our study to discussing their viewing of television history is gratefully acknowledged. Article Metrics Views. Article metrics information Disclaimer for citing articles. Login options Log in. Username Password Forgot password? Shibboleth OpenAthens. Restore content access Restore content access for purchases made as guest.

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