'Area 51': debunked?
At the heart of many of the sightings, the film contends, is the testing of the high-altitude aircraft the
For its part, the military didn't exactly refute the sightings. It was trying to keep the planes and the entire site a secret, so the explanations given were as evasive as possible. A conspiracy theory cottage industry was born.
On the ground at Area 51, employees such as T.D. Barnes knew of the occasional report but were blissfully unaware of all the UFO chatter and conspiracy theories.
"We didn't hear of that until much, much later, long after we were gone," the now-retired Barnes says, chuckling. "When they did start ... coming out with these wild stories about the aliens and UFOs and stuff, it actually sort of benefited us because if they did happen to see something that they weren't supposed to, no one would really believe they saw it because they hollered wolf too many times. So it took a little bit of pressure off of us ... ."
The film also touches upon nuclear tests conducted at Area 51, the reverse engineering of a captured Soviet MiG and how the families of employees were kept in the dark about activities there.