business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

This morning's bonus Eye-Opener has nothing to do with retailing, or even business. But it is simply too juicy to ignore.

Foreign Policy reports that the National Security Archive has released newly declassified information indicating that Area 51 - the secret Nevada facility that has long been rumored to be the place where alien spacecraft were housed, the existence of which long has been denied by the US government - actually exists.

According to the story, "In 1955, CIA Special Assistant for Planning and Coordination Richard Bissell, Col. Osmund Ritland, an Air Force officer working on the U-2 project, and Lockheed aircraft designer Kelly Johnson began looking for a location in California or Nevada to test the U-2 prototype. The location had to be remote -- far from the view of the public (or potential Soviet spies). On April 12, 1955, they were scouting locations from the air with the help of Lockheed test pilot Tony LeVier. While flying over the Groom Lake salt flat, they noticed an airstrip that had been abandoned after being used by the Army Air Corps during World War II." And that airstrip became Area 51 - a place where much of the development work on the U2 spy plane was done, which led (the government say) to all the reports of local UFO sightings.

I sort of prefer the stories told on "The X Files" or in Independence Day. I'm reminded of the great line from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance: "This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."
KC's View: