Area 51 is not a good neighbor
November 10, 2015 3:50 PM   Subscribe

The long battle between the US government and the folks who own the property next door to Area 51.
posted by Chrysostom (18 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
You think they're bad neighbors? They're the easy ones. When those assholes at the place next door to Area 51 throw a party, it gets ugly.
posted by eriko at 3:53 PM on November 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


Good claymore's make sound fences.
posted by clavdivs at 3:57 PM on November 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


[Insert Area 69 Joke Here]
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:58 PM on November 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


A family has been offered 5.2 million dollars for their otherwise worthless real estate. Real estate their family initially got for free under the absurd mining claim laws. Real estate that was stolen from native Americans in the first place.
posted by humanfont at 4:17 PM on November 10, 2015 [22 favorites]


Where they have faced invasive, terrifying security measures from men in uniform.

They've had to go through a TSA check before going on vacation?
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:19 PM on November 10, 2015 [6 favorites]


It sounds like the Area 51 people are just ... alienating ... their neighbors.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 4:27 PM on November 10, 2015 [25 favorites]


The area is fascinating. I got near it because of an aversion to I-15. So I take the road down through Lund and Rachel to go to southern Cal from SLC. How protective are they? It is 188 miles from Ely to Vegas via the Great Basin, but only 117 Via Lund. Nice road too, maintained by the Vegas Porsche Cllub. The Pahranagat National Wild Life Refuge is beautiful at dawn. I have taken the road across the top of that area and been to the Lunar Volcanic Crater with its huge playa lots of volcanoes there.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, secret boy stuff we could all live without. Secrecy of this kind is the father of waste, theft of national monies via corporate seduction of our most base motivations. Fun stuff for insiders.

I once was driving through the Great Basin, really taken by the rock formations in the area. A white truck in front of me kept slowing down by degrees, so I passed him. In the valley a semi was pulled over, across the way a small, bright blue car halted suddenly, coming from the oposite direction. People jumped out with the biggest binoculars I have ever seen, (musta been Janes.) Overhead came a coupla big assed bombers or fighters, very sleek. I got the picture of what was going on in a heartbeat, but I was all about the round rock and desolate beauty of the Great Basin. Besides if it isn't as big as a B-52 it just doesn't move me.

These top secret types have a deadly serious boy's club, they won't be giving it up, anytime soon. Then I looked at Google Earth all along that aternate truck route I love, and there are these little marks here and there indicating nuclear blast sites, just off the road. I understand love of the land just as well as the next person. They should take the money and move to Alamo or Rachel.

Something to remember about all of this is how much land the Air Force has, up the middle of Utah, the middle of Nevada, and then Edwards up to China Lake. It is a lot of land.
posted by Oyéah at 4:48 PM on November 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


"[A]ncestral mining land" ... If you have land that is useful for mining, then you probably should have a mine. If "ancestral" is the strongest claim of value this land has, I'm not super sympathetic. A mine is not an ecosystem that needs to be carefully and responsibly managed over generations.
posted by rustcrumb at 4:51 PM on November 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


If you look at the pictures there is an oasis there. Familial lands are dear to people. History, memory are intangibles we celebrate in saga and song. Obviously the powers that bombed their milling area and didn't fess up. There is nothing wrong with these people except radiation exposure.
posted by Oyéah at 4:56 PM on November 10, 2015 [7 favorites]


"[A]ncestral mining land" ... If you have land that is useful for mining, then you probably should have a mine. If "ancestral" is the strongest claim of value this land has, I'm not super sympathetic. A mine is not an ecosystem that needs to be carefully and responsibly managed over generations.

Well the article suggests that mining operations stopped due to inability to maintain a crew in the face of bombing and fallout and occasional strafing runs.
posted by anazgnos at 4:59 PM on November 10, 2015 [13 favorites]


I'm sympathetic to the family, but I couldn't help but notice this bit:

Boeing’s Bird Of Prey technology demonstrator was tested at Area 51 in the 1990s.

guys
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:34 PM on November 10, 2015


When someone insists on talking to a whale, you get them a whale to talk to.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:06 PM on November 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


A family has been offered 5.2 million dollars for their otherwise worthless real estate.

Worthless because of direct government action to make it worthless, it sounds like it was worth more before those actions.
If you have land that is useful for mining, then you probably should have a mine.
Well the article suggests that mining operations stopped due to inability to maintain a crew in the face of bombing and fallout and occasional strafing runs.

...and also government arson of their mining equipment.

The Air Force has money, they should have just offered to overpay for the land decades ago to get them off it. It's not like that would've been the first time they'd have overpaid for something.
posted by cosmic.osmo at 10:04 PM on November 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


Amazingly, even after facing so much turmoil from being the base’s neighbors, the Sheahans are seemingly as quiet about what goes on at Area 51 as those who actually work there.

Amazingly!? They were bombed by a shady government institution. I'd say that's a pretty good "ya keep yer mouths shut, ya hear!" warning.
posted by mannequito at 11:19 PM on November 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also worthless because it was the site of a lead mine for over 50 years during the pre-EPA era. They arnt stuck with a massive cleanup bill. Instead they get $5.2 million.
posted by humanfont at 4:15 AM on November 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


guy

Star Trek: The Eighties Reboot doesn't have a trademark on the term "bird of prey".

This one is parked at the Air Force Museum in Dayton, where you will also find another Boeing aircraft that was named "Bird of Prey" in 1968.

As to the YF-118G, "the Bird of Prey, so named because of its distinctive gull-shaped wings . . . "
-- Boeing Frontiers, November 2002

A bit of how it works along with better pictures (and the usual nerd wars) from Stackexchange Aviation.
 
posted by Herodios at 6:38 AM on November 11, 2015


Wow, the Sheahan family has been far more accommodating than I ever would have been in their position. I would have put up a hostelry of some sort back in the 70s when Area 51 first became interesting, not sat there with my mouth shut until the government decided they could get away with blocking access to my land without actually buying it. Then when the inevitable shit fit was thrown, it would have been lawyer city.

Unlike the Area 51 workers' lawsuit, it would have nothing to do with classified information, so progress would be possible.

Hell, if I were them today I'd set up a webcam pointing right at the base for the entire Internet to see just to spite them. Because that's some spectacular bullshit the Air Force has been dealing for the past 35 years. At least the nuclear testing, shitty as it was, was not intended to harass them off their land like much of the more recent happenings have been clearly calculated to do.
posted by wierdo at 11:49 AM on November 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


If their little piece of land had been held by some politically connected entity--GE, Monsanto etc--or ranking senator's sister, this whole issue would have resolved forty years ago for a piddling 750 million dollars.
posted by notreally at 12:02 PM on November 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


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