An insider's account of how the CIA formed Area 51 in Nevada and turned it into the technology laboratory that it is today.
In 1955, the Central Intelligence Agency founded the Area 51 station to develop the revolutionary high-flying U-2 reconnaissance plane that has flown operationally on a global scale ever since. In 1959, the Area 51 station initiated a successor to the U-2 Angel, the A-12 Archangel that was America’s first stealth plane and flew higher and faster than any plane ever. In the process, the CIA’s Science and Technology Directorate assembled a special projects team at Area 51 like no other in the world. When the Air Force assumed the agency’s aerial reconnaissance flight in 1968, the station had already prepared by setting its unique facilities at the Area 51 station into a business of continuing with stealth development and a new project needed by customers starting with the US Air Force and the Navy. The Area 51 station began the exploitation of the Soviet MiG planes that had mastered the aerial war in Vietnam. That was only the start of a highly classified technology laboratory and business that has expanded to levels one can only imagine today.