Debut: February 2015



.: Peter McKinnon's "Lightning Never Strikes Twice" Flying Saucer - Area 51 UFO





Modelling Time:

~ hrs

PE/Resin Detail:



"Peter remarked about the effects he managed to achieve - quite by accident - with the strange patterns in the paintwork.
He had been painting this model in his shed and left it to dry, which happened to be during a wild thunderstorm.
The next day he happened to notice the pattern you can see here.
Don't know how it happened, must have been something to do with the static electricity of a thunderstorm - could be something to do with Scarsdale/Smythesdale area - could be something to do with Peter.
This model could actually be seen as a compressed Zepellin!!!
.......but we won't go there!!"

So if Peter comes to the next meeting looking like Dr. Emmett Brown, then we will know that he's tried to get that paint finish again!!....RjT

Area 51

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the U.S. Air Force facility in Nevada. For other uses, see Area 51 (disambiguation).
"Groom Lake" redirects here. For other uses, see Groom Lake (disambiguation).
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Homey Airport
Wfm area 51 landsat geocover 2000.jpg
satellite image, taken in 2000, shows dryGroom Lake just northeast of the site.
Airport type Military
Owner U.S. Federal Government
Operator United States Air Force
Location Southern Nevada, U.S.
Elevation AMSL 4,462 ft / 1,360 m
Coordinates 37°14′06″N 115°48′40″WCoordinates37°14′06″N 115°48′40″W
KXTA is located in Nevada
Location of Homey Airport

The United States Air Force facility commonly known as Area 51 is a remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base, within the Nevada Test and Training Range. According to theCentral Intelligence Agency (CIA), the correct names for the facility are Homey Airport (ICAOKXTA) and Groom Lake,[1][2] though the name Area 51 was used in a CIA document from the Vietnam War.[3] Other names used for the facility include Dreamland,[4] and nicknames Paradise Ranch,[5] Home Base and Watertown.[6] The Special use airspace around the field is referred to as a Restricted Area 4808 North (R-4808N).[7]

The base's current primary purpose is publicly unknown; however, based on historical evidence, it most likely supports development and testing of experimental aircraft and weapons systems.[8] The intense secrecy surrounding the base has made it the frequent subject of conspiracy theories and a central component to unidentified flying object (UFO) folklore.[9][10]Although the base has never been declared a secret base, all research and occurrings in Area 51 are Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI).[9] In July 2013, following a FOIA request filed in 2005, the CIA publicly acknowledged the existence of the base for the first time, declassifying documents detailing the history and purpose of Area 51.[11]

Area 51 is located in the southern portion of Nevada in the western United States, 83 miles (134 km) north-northwest of Las Vegas. Situated at its center, on the southern shore ofGroom Lake, is a large military airfield. The site was acquired by the United States Air Force in 1955, primarily for the testing of the Lockheed U-2 aircraft.[11] The area around Area 51, including the small town of Rachel on the aptly named "Extraterrestrial Highway", is a popular tourist destination.


Area 51

Map showing Area 51, NAFR, and the NTS

The original rectangular base of 6 by 10 miles (9.7 by 16.1 km) is now part of the so-called "Groom box", a rectangular area measuring 23 by 25 miles (37 by 40 km), of restricted airspace. The area is connected to the internal Nevada Test Site (NTS) road network, with paved roads leading south to Mercury and west to Yucca Flat. Leading northeast from the lake, the wide and well-maintained Groom Lake Road runs through a pass in the Jumbled Hills. The road formerly led to mines in the Groom basin, but has been improved since their closure. Its winding course runs past a security checkpoint, but the restricted area around the base extends further east. After leaving the restricted area, Groom Lake Road descends eastward to the floor of the Tikaboo Valley, passing the dirt-road entrances to several small ranches, before converging with State Route 375, the "Extraterrestrial Highway",[12] south ofRachel.

Area 51 shares a border with the Yucca Flat region of the Nevada Test Site, the location of 739 of the 928 nuclear tests conducted by the United States Department of Energy at NTS.[13][14][15] The Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository is 44 miles (71 km) southwest of Groom Lake.

Groom Lake

Nevada Test Range topographic chart centered on Groom Lake

Groom Lake is a salt flat in Nevada used for runways of the Nellis Bombing Range Test Site airport (KXTA) on the north of the Area 51 USAF military installation. The lake at 4,409 ft (1,344 m)[16] elevation is approximately 3.7 miles (6.0 km) from north to south and 3 miles (4.8 km) from east to west at its widest point. Located within the namesake Groom Lake Valley portion of the Tonopah Basin, the lake is 25 mi (40 km) south of Rachel, Nevada.


The origin of the Area 51 name is unclear. The most accepted comes from a grid numbering system of the area by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC); while Area 51 isn't part of this system, it is adjacent to Area 15. Another explanation is that 51 was used because it was unlikely that the AEC would use the number.[17]

Groom Lake

Lead and silver were discovered in the southern part of the Groom Range in 1864,[18] and the English Groome Lead Mines Limited company financed the Conception Mines in the 1870s, giving the district its name (nearby mines included Maria, Willow and White Lake).[19] The interests in Groom were acquired by J. B. Osborne and partners and patented in 1876, and his son acquired the interests in the 1890s.[19] Claims were incorporated as two 1916 companies with mining continuing until 1918 and resuming after World War II until the early 1950s.[19]

continued next column......>>

Click on each image for a closer look

I didn't bother taking any shots of the back, sorry!

Box art:



World War II

The airfield on the Groom Lake site began service in 1942 as Indian Springs Air Force Auxiliary Field,[20] and consisted of two dirt 5000 feet runways aligned NE/SW, NW/SE 37°16′35″N 115°45′20″W. The airfield may have been used for bombing and artillery practice; bomb craters are still visible in the vicinity.[21]

U-2 program

Main article: Lockheed U-2
Watertown ("The Ranch") with U-2 flight line

The Groom Lake test facility was established by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for Project Aquatone, the development of the Lockheed U-2 strategic reconnaissance aircraft in April 1955.

As part of the project, the director, Richard M. Bissell, Jr., understood that, given the extreme secrecy enveloping the project, the flight test and pilot training programs could not be conducted at Edwards Air Force Base or Lockheed's Palmdale facility. A search for a suitable testing site for the U-2 was conducted under the same extreme security as the rest of the project.[22]

He notified Lockheed, who sent an inspection team out to Groom Lake. According to Lockheed's U-2 designer Kelly Johnson:[22]


... We flew over it and within thirty seconds, you knew that was the place ... it was right by a dry lake. Man alive, we looked at that lake, and we all looked at each other. It was another Edwards, so we wheeled around, landed on that lake, taxied up to one end of it. It was a perfect natural landing field ... as smooth as a billiard table without anything being done to it". Johnson used a compass to lay out the direction of the first runway. The place was called "Groom Lake".

The lakebed made an ideal strip from which they could test aircraft, and the Emigrant Valley's mountain ranges and the NTS perimeter, about 100 miles north of Las Vegas, protected the test site from visitors.[23] The CIA asked the AEC to acquire the land, designated "Area 51" on the map, and add it to the Nevada Test Site.[24]:56–57

Johnson named the area "Paradise Ranch" to encourage workers to move to a place that the CIA's official history of the U-2 project would later describe as "the new facility in the middle of nowhere"; the name became shortened to "the Ranch".[24]:57 On 4 May 1955, a survey team arrived at Groom Lake and laid out a 5,000-foot (1,500 m), north-south runway on the southwest corner of the lakebed and designated a site for a base support facility. "The Ranch", also known as Site II, initially consisted of little more than a few shelters, workshops and trailer homes in which to house its small team.[23] In a little over three months, the base consisted of a single, paved runway, three hangars, a control tower, and rudimentary accommodations for test personnel. The base's few amenities included a movie theatre and volleyball court. Additionally, there was a mess hall, several water wells, and fuel storage tanks. By July 1955, CIA, Air Force, and Lockheed personnel began arriving. The Ranch received its first U-2 delivery on 24 July 1955 from Burbank on a C-124 Globemaster II cargo plane, accompanied by Lockheed technicians on a Douglas DC-3.[23] Regular Military Air Transport Service flights were set up between Area 51 and Lockheed's Burbank, California offices. To preserve secrecy, personnel flew to Nevada on Monday mornings and returned to California on Friday evenings.[24]:72

Please go to Wikipedia, if you want any further information

Thanks Wikipedia!


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