n. United States military aircraft testing facility located within the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR). The facility is on the edge of Groom Lake and has one abandoned runway on the lakebed.
The real name of the base is Air Force Flight Test Center, Detachment 3 or AFFTC Det. 3 for short.
The major belief has been that Area 51 is supposed to be completely secret. Its existence was never something the military bothered to hide. Area 51 has appeared on unclassified maps from government agencies and contractors. Only base insiders, military, and the general public have made the claim that it is a secret.
The idea that it holds alien life forms is quite ridiculous since it is an aircraft testing facility and nothing more. The whole idea of Area 51 being associated with aliens is due to Bob Lazar who claimed he worked on reverse-engineering a UFO in a place near by he called "S-4" or Site 4. Bob Lazar's claims have never been backed up and it is believed it was just a lie.
A few of the other names for Area 51 include Dreamland, Watertown, the Ranch, Paradise Ranch, Skunkworks, and the Box (mostly to aviators who see it as a no-fly zone).
"You ever heard of Area 51?"
"Yeah, it was a big thing on the news when terraserver released satellite photos of the place."