http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=SDbQ5xvsrIU Enter this address in your browser and view this youtube video; it complements the verbiage below about the SR-71 aircraft
Area 51 has been an area of concern and controversy for more than a half of a century. A very diligent author named Annie Jacobsen has completed her extensive research and it is nicely bound into a book with the title of, what else, AREA 51. For those that may not be familiar with Area 51 I will suggest that it holds more mysteries than all of the Agatha Christies in the world.
It all began with the landing of the alien people (Martian-like) according to the press in 1947 in Roswell, New Mexico. The remnants of this crash were supposedly taken to Area 51, a large area of several thousand acres of barren wasteland located about 150 miles north of Las Vegas. The “Roswell Incident” has created an untold number of discussions regarding the concept of alien invaders visiting our planet. Perhaps it is a leading catalyst for the burgeoning civilian space programs.
Amongst the many “goings on” that have occurred at Area 51 is the development and use of the CIA/ Air force spy plane, the U-2 and its successor, the SR-71 “Blackbird.” In 1968 while passing through Kadena Air Force Base one of my Phantom pilot colleagues took a photo of a taxiing SR-71 and within minutes large numbers of Air Police had surrounded his airplane and he was whisked away. He joined us a few hours later after an interrogation and the confiscation of his camera. A few months later as I was sitting at the mobile control tower at Kunsan AFB in Korea, a SR-71 showed up on short final and the imposing looking “Blackbird” created quite a furor amongst the security folks as the aircraft was immediately cordoned off and surrounded by Air Police. Within two hours a C-130 and KC-135 tanker aircraft landed to provide the needed support to get this big black spy back in the air. It had been headed over Russia to take a few photos when an emergency resulted in a diversion to Kunsan.
On its final flight, the Blackbird, destined for The Air and Space Museum sped from Los Angeles to Washington, DC in 64 minutes at an average speed of 2,145 miles per hour, setting four speed records.
This blog is prepared by Ace Abbott, author of The Rogue Aviator