Located about 150 miles (241 kilometers) from Las Vegas, Area 51 is an ultra-secure U.S. Air Force base where it is said that the government takes particular interest in examining alien technology to further its own capabilities [source: TIME]. These claims are nothing new, but the flames were fanned in 2014 when Boyd Bushman, a retired Area 51 engineer, talked shop. He also happened to be dying, which could be why he suddenly became so generous with the details. In his interview, he described alien life-forms within the base; how he reverse-engineered spaceships and even claimed that alien life-forms are employed by the U.S. government [source: Depra].
Declassified documents have since revealed the site's true function as a secret testing location for spy planes such as those that monitored the Soviet Union during the Cold War [source: Koran]. Area 51 is now known as the National Classified Test Facility, but true conspiracy theorists don't buy it. If alien reverse-engineering is really going on, I want to know why don't we have flying cars like The Jetsons yet? What's taking so long?