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Area 51 in Rachel, Nevada

Area 51, plastic alien sighting
Area 51, plastic alien sighting

Though the city of Las Vegas is full of odd characters and bizarre scenarios, none compare with what exists just outside of town, off Interstate 15: Area 51.

Area 51 is the stuff of legends and has been featured in many films and documentaries. It is the most famous secret military installation on the planet; some might call it "The Real X-Files."

You can drive along the perimeter of Area 51 yourself, although I enjoyed taking a tour that included fascinating points of interest and stops along the way. The "Black Mailbox" is a famous site for ET viewings and so is the area where UFO radiation has been said to have deformed a Joshua Tree Forest.

It's fun to stare at the heavily armed Air Force guards hanging out in their fortified trucks. Test your eye for detail by searching for hidden detection, motion and listening devices, and scan for assorted cameras mounted among the cactus. Should you "accidentally" cross the perimeter into Area 51, some say men in black will teleport to you directly and slap some cuffs on you for trespassing on government property.

Don't forget to scan the skies for UFO activity – maybe some ETs are searching for lost kin. That would be the purported dead aliens and spacecraft the government has presumably secreted below Area 51 that contain the remains discovered at Roswell, New Mexico, in 1948.

A sign that caught my eye: "The use of deadly force is authorized." The feds mean business here.

Even though it is supposed to be hush-hush and no picture taking is allowed, there is something supremely alluring and mysterious about this place. No trip to nearby Sin City should be complete without an extraterrestrial pilgrimage to Area 51.

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Area 51, plastic alien sighting
Area 51, plastic alien sighting

Though the city of Las Vegas is full of odd characters and bizarre scenarios, none compare with what exists just outside of town, off Interstate 15: Area 51.

Area 51 is the stuff of legends and has been featured in many films and documentaries. It is the most famous secret military installation on the planet; some might call it "The Real X-Files."

You can drive along the perimeter of Area 51 yourself, although I enjoyed taking a tour that included fascinating points of interest and stops along the way. The "Black Mailbox" is a famous site for ET viewings and so is the area where UFO radiation has been said to have deformed a Joshua Tree Forest.

It's fun to stare at the heavily armed Air Force guards hanging out in their fortified trucks. Test your eye for detail by searching for hidden detection, motion and listening devices, and scan for assorted cameras mounted among the cactus. Should you "accidentally" cross the perimeter into Area 51, some say men in black will teleport to you directly and slap some cuffs on you for trespassing on government property.

Don't forget to scan the skies for UFO activity – maybe some ETs are searching for lost kin. That would be the purported dead aliens and spacecraft the government has presumably secreted below Area 51 that contain the remains discovered at Roswell, New Mexico, in 1948.

A sign that caught my eye: "The use of deadly force is authorized." The feds mean business here.

Even though it is supposed to be hush-hush and no picture taking is allowed, there is something supremely alluring and mysterious about this place. No trip to nearby Sin City should be complete without an extraterrestrial pilgrimage to Area 51.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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