LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — Newly declassified federal documents that have been released to George Washington University’s National Security Archive make mention of Nevada’s Area 51 as a testing site for aerial reconnaissance programs.

American pop culture — especially sci-fi works like The X-Files and Independence Day — is rife with references to Area 51 as a secret government site associated with extraterrestrials. It has been linked by conspiracy theorists to the 1947 Roswell, New Mexico UFO incident.

Despite numerous mentions of Area 51 and Groom Lake (a map of the area is even included), there is no whisper of alien activity in the documents.

What they delve into instead are details about the development and testing of the U-2 and Lockheed A-12 (OXCART) air crafts, which were built for CIA surveillance purposes.

Surely this news comes as a disappointment to those who like to believe that the Nevada landmark is home to heavily-guarded proof that mankind is not alone in the universe, but they may find consolation in this popular and insistent X-Files fan mantra: “The truth is out there.”

The documents are still partially redacted, after all.

To see more of them, click here.

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