Area 51 Neighbours Speak After 60 Years

Area 51 Neighbours Speak After 60 Years
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A family have reportedly rejected a $5.2m (£3.4m) bid by the US Air Force to buy land next to Area 51 they say they have owned for generations.

The Sheahan family have broken more than 60 years of silence about what it is like living so close to the top secret site, the existence of which was not officially acknowledged until 2013.

The nearby Groom Mine has been owned by the family for 130 years, ever since family members began mining for silver, lead, copper, zinc and small amounts of gold, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper, which spoke to the family.


Groom Mine has been owned by the family for 130 years. Pic: Las Vegas Now

Area 51, which got its name from its map designation, was used to test U2 spy planes during the Cold War.

It has been the source of fascination for many, with conspiracy theories abounding about just what has gone on at the patch of desert in Nevada.

There have been rumours of crashed UFOs, alien bodies and futuristic air force projects.

But for the Sheahan family it has caused nothing but problems.

They want compensation from the Air Force and Department of Energy for what they claim are “abuses and atrocities” that date back to the 1950s.

In an interview with the Review-Journal the family said their ore processing mill has been fire-bombed by a military jet, ending production there, and their property showered by radioactive fallout from above-ground nuclear weapons tests.

Groom Mine co-owner Dan Sheahan said in a separate interview with Las Vegas Now: “First, we really didn’t want to come public, but the Air Force has forced us into it.

“We want ’em to know what they have done over the last 60 years to our family is not acceptable.”

“These were fired over our property.

“The bullets, the cases dropped on the ground right there and then.”

The Review-Journal reports that the Air Force has threatened to take control of the 400-acre property through eminent domain, or a compulsory purchase, on 10 September if the family does not agree to the offer.


The family maintains the land is worth “considerably more” than $5.2m because of the minerals in the mine, the Review-Journal reports.

In a statement, the nearby Nellis Air Force Base said the action was necessary because family’s land has become an “increasingly greater safety and security risk”.

“The Air Force attempted to conduct operations while the owners used the property for decades, much of it amicably,” the release said.

“However, over the past several years the desired activities of the family and operations on the NTTR (Nevada Test and Training Range) have become less and less compatible.

“The property’s location inside the NTTR and the increasing national security demands have made it impossible for the Air Force to test and train securely and safely while civilians are present.”

The statement, which said the family could visit the site in the future, also addressed the incident involving the ore processing mill, saying it was dealt with in the US Court of Claims.

However, the family contends their grandparents only stopped their court action over the incident because they ran out of money.

In response to the statement, Joe Sheahan told the Review-Journal: “We’re interrupting their operations? Really?

“We didn’t parachute into their backyard.

“They parachuted into our backyard.”

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  1. Makrem Ouahada
    Makrem Ouahada 3 September, 2015, 11:58

    AREA 51 i’ts called DREAMLAND by the owners of lockheed if you know !

      Reply this comment
  2. Connie J Klein
    Connie J Klein 3 September, 2015, 12:43


      Reply this comment
  3. Calum Robbie
    Calum Robbie 3 September, 2015, 12:53

    i right!

      Reply this comment
  4. Peter Lythgoe
    Peter Lythgoe 3 September, 2015, 14:06

    Maybe they want the mine…

      Reply this comment
  5. John Gonsalves
    John Gonsalves 3 September, 2015, 15:38

    The government will take what they want when they want. Yea, that’s called freedom…hahhahaha!

      Reply this comment
  6. Marty Lawson
    Marty Lawson 3 September, 2015, 16:59

    They better take what they offered and run! The govt will claim eminent domain over it and take it for free then. Hell! It’s a desert and they’re not going to Sell admission tickets to area 51. Ever! Unless there is a zombie takeover. …In the govt.

      Reply this comment
  7. William Ortis
    William Ortis 3 September, 2015, 17:33

    Maybe rent it out to the USAF. 😉

      Reply this comment
  8. Kerry D. Johnson
    Kerry D. Johnson 3 September, 2015, 18:58

    Proof that there’s no need for a fence or wall on the border. Just hire the group that guards the border to area 51…….

      Reply this comment

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