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Sat, Mar 12, 2016

Area 6: An Enigma In The Desert

Could Be A Drone Base In The Nevada Wilderness

In the remote Nevada desert there is a mile-long landing strip about which less is known than Area 51.

It's called Area 6, and images from Google Earth show it consists of the runway along with a few hangars with clamshell doors at one end of the pavement, according to Fox News. The area is not nearly as secure as Area 51. It is fenced off, but can be seen from a nearby road near the spot where the U.S. military conducted nuclear tests for many years.

There is no other name listed for the site. After avoiding questions about Area 6 for months, Darwin Morgan, a spokesperson for the National Nuclear Security Administration, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the Yucca Airstrip is used by both the DoD and Homeland Security. Morgan said that the strip is used for sensor testing.

There are some clues in a 7,500-page document on nuclear safety at the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site. A single paragraph describes the site as an "aerial operations facility."

“The purpose of this facility is to construct, operate, and test a variety of unmanned aerial vehicles. Tests include, but are not limited to, airframe modifications, sensor operation, and onboard computer development. A small, manned chase plane is used to track the unmanned aerial vehicles,” the report, prepared in 2008 by Bechtel SAIC, the contractor who build the runway for $9.6 million.

The airspace above Area 6 is tightly controlled to prevent even satellites from normally getting a good view of the site. Morgan told the Review-Journal that it also keeps the public from finding it accidentally.

An analyst for the website told the paper that the facility is too small for fighter jets or bombers, but the hangars would be the right size for up to 15 MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft.

(Image from YouTube video)



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