Re: First Mention of Groom Lake....

Message posted by Peter Merlin on April 25, 2016 at 10:38:58 PST:

The very first mention was when the AEC announced construction of the airfield to the press on May 18, 1955. The news release was distributed to 18 media outlets in Nevada and Utah including a dozen newspapers, four radio stations, and two television stations. The words "Groom Lake" were not specifically included (though they had been included in the original draft), but were later added to follow-up information provided to reporters. Under the heading, "Watertown Project," Nevada Test Site information booklets provided to the media in the late 1950s noted that during 1955, "construction of a small facility at Watertown, in the Groom Lake area at the northeast corner of the Test Site, was announced."

After the C-54 transport plane crashed on Mt. Charleston in November 1955, Las Vegas Review Journal (LVRJ) reporter Dennis Schiek speculated that it might have been heading to “Groom Lake, a top secret base…some 115 miles northwest” of Las Vegas. Another LVRJ article, two days later, stated unequivocally that the C-54 was “bound for the super-secret ‘proving grounds within the proving grounds’ – Groom Dry Lake.”

An LVRJ article on September 17, 1959, announced that “sheet metal workers needed at the Groom Lake Project 51 in the Nevada Test Site are constructing a butler-type building.” An AEC spokesman said that the building would be used to “house data reduction equipment for use by Edgerton, Germeshausen, and Grier in an Air Force program.”

In September 1967, front-page LVRJ headline announced, “Super-Secret Base Jet Crash Kills Pilot,” and the accompanying article revealed that the crash site was within what was “known to Nevada Test Site workers as Area 51…the same area where the Air Force developed and tested the U-2 spy plane and its successor, the SR-71.”

Ned Day wrote a 1979 editorial for the LVRJ asking, "What's going on at that secret test site base?" He used the terms "Area 51" and "Groom Lake," and mentioned that "a couple of years ago, KLAS-TV reported the existence of Area 51."

These are just some examples that I could find quickly. There are probably many others. I think it's funny that just six months after construction of the base was announced - and in such an innocuous way - it had already become an object of mystery and folklore.

In Reply to: First Mention of Groom Lake.... posted by Brian L on April 24, 2016 at 12:39:43 PST:


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