Friday, August 16, 2013

Area 51, Oswald, and the U-2

The CIA has admitted that Area 51 is real.

The CIA has responded to a FOIA request and acknowledged the existence and location of Area 51 in the deserts of Nevada, and stated that the base was used to test the famed U-2 spy plane. 

The revelation is the latest in a line of alleged "big stories" that only confirm what most intelligent researchers already knew.  Much like Snowden's alleged big news that the NSA does exactly what conspiracy researchers have been telling the world that it does for years, now the CIA admits that the "secret" base that's appeared in countless movies, cartoons, and other popular media is actually real.  A few media outlets tried to flog the story for all it was worth and make it sound like something important had happened, but, like the NSA snooping, the conspiracy/paranormal/UFO community just shrugged their shoulders at the non-story.  NBC even dug up Bob Lazar for a comment, who summed it up nicely with, "Tell us something we don't know." You'll remember that Bob Lazar claimed to have worked at Area 51/Groom Lake/Dreamland/S4 in the 80s reverse engineering downed alien craft. 

Many mysteries still abound about Area 51, however.  The first one that popped in to my mind was the curiousness of it being the CIA who finally spilled the beans.  Everyone knows that the US Air Force runs Area 51, not the CIA:

In fact, the only actual piece of hard news in the entire story is the connection between Area 51 and the U-2. 

Francis Gary Powers' flight and crash in the Soviet Union on May 1, 1960 is a pivotal moment in world history that is given little attention these days.  It was the spark that heated up the Cold War after sidelining a proposed summit between Eisenhower and Khrushchev; a summit that was to have likely included a limited nuclear test ban treaty and paved the way for future accords.  After Powers' crash -- on May Day of all days -- the summit would never materialize and hostilities would continue for decades more. 

Even less well known are some of the bizarre particulars of that event.  Several, including Powers himself, believed that there was more to the story.  This is the point where the U-2 and the Kennedy assassination, two of the most important events of the 20th century, intersect.

Lee Harvey Oswald arrived in Moscow on October 16, 1959 on a one-week visa and immediately informed his tourist liaison -- in his his self-taught, but reportedly exceptional Russian -- that he wanted to defect.  The story of how Oswald actually got to stay in Russia is an odd and involved tale I'll save for another time, but he was allowed to remain in the USSR until 1962.  One important aspect of Oswald's pseudo-defection was the fact that he told both US and Soviet officials that his status as a former Marine had made him privy to certain sensitive information he wished to share with his communist brethren. 

Oswald never rose above the rank of Private, First Class in his three-year stint in the Marines.  What sensitive information could a PFC with reported disciplinary problems have that would have been of use to the Soviets?  A lot, truth be told.  Oswald was trained as a radar operator at the Naval Air Facility in Atsugi, Japan.  Coincidentally, Atsugi was the home base of Area 51's pride and joy, the U-2 spy plane.  As a radar technician -- and, reportedly, a good one -- Oswald would have likely been involved with tracking the U-2 test flights in Atsugi and therefore would have known how to track the U-2 on radar.  The likelihood that Oswald contributed to the downing of the U-2 was strong enough that Powers mentioned it in his autobiography. 

For some theorists, this is more than just a coincidence.  There is a good deal of evidence that Oswald was working with US intelligence while in the Soviet Union, thus putting a different spin on the entire incident.  If Oswald was a double-agent, it would mean the U-2 was intentionally downed in order to sabotage any hopes of reaching a peaceful solution to the Cold War.  Was this the first major act of the "Military-Industrial Complex" that Eisenhower would warn us against just a few months later?  The U-2 was a major setback for peace, but a huge boon to the military and military contractors...much like the windfall they'd receive when LBJ escalated the Vietnam conflict just days after Kennedy's death.