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Our 1998 Trip to Area 51

 Remember that wild fact-finding mission the RL-LNW staff
 volunteered for (see RL-LNW Vol 92) last year in Las Vegas?

 If you remember, I said it was a four-pronged mission.



 Yet my report (RL-LNW Vol 94) mentioned only three prongs.

 Since we are about to go to war, I'm going to reveal
 ...the fourth, secret prong of my report.

 Like a lot of you subscribers and lurkers, the staff here at RL-LNW are science-fiction fans.
 We like Star Trek and the X-Files ...and ...we liked Independence Day.

 The last night we were in Las Vegas, an old college friend
 asked us if we wanted to see the UFO's at Area 51.

 ?*? Hello ?*?

 We said yes, and he plotted a course.
 (Quick, go get a map of Nevada.)

 North on I-15 about 25 miles to Nevada Highway 93 North.
 We stayed on 93 about 80 minutes at 80 mph.
 Just north of Ash Springs, you intersect with Nevada 375.
 They call this the "Extra Terrestrial Highway."

 (Stay with me now, swear to Koresh.
 Regulars know when I swear to Koresh, it's all true.)

 You go west on Nevada 375 about 35 minutes.
 On your left, if you're paying attention, you'll see an unmarked
 dirt road that leads southwest, toward old, dry Groom Lake.
 This is an access road to the Area 51 section of Nellis A.F.B.

 ...and I'm not kidding.

 We drove down this dusty road about 15 miles or so.
 A few miles in, we noticed we were being tailed by a Nevada County Sherrif's Jeep Cherokee.
 We thought we'd be pulled over, but he only got close enough to read our license plate.
 He must've run a check and discovered we rented the Town Car.
 (a nice red one, Gordo)

 Perhaps we seemed like harmless tourists, so he fell back.
 As we drove further, we saw listening devices aimed at the road.
 The federal government was tracking our car vibrations.

 Then came the cool part:

 A few more miles later we saw a sign.
 Having grown up in America, I've never seen a sign like this.
 I cannot tell you the exact wording of the sign,
 (which surprises me) but the sign basically said:

 "Restricted Area - Military Installation.
   If you go past this sign, you MAY BE SHOT without warning."

 THAT got 'ol BarCop's attention.
 I've never seen a sign like that before.
 I grew up in America.

 The sign explained in great detail that we were approaching
 a secret, military, off-limits area, and they were NOT kidding.

 I, always the voice of sanity and reason,
 stayed on THIS side of the death-without-warning sign.
 However, our guide stepped a few feet past the sign.
 He was not harmed.

 Just then, a gang of ruffians, four or so, started hassling us from about 50 yards away.
 They were off to our right, drunk, yelling at us, but making no sense.

 Then, I remembered: I was not armed.
 Your ediotr is the most dangerous kind of liberal:
 For ...reasons... that aren't explained here, your ediotr is constantly armed.

 I have a Glock in my car,
 a Glock by the bed,
 a S&W in my desk at work,
 a Colt .38 in Mrs. BartCop's car,
 and a derringer for the occasional poker game.

 Since we were approaching a secret military installation,
 ...since we EXPECTED to be detained or arrested...,
 I left "Baby" back at The Mirage.

 It was the first day since mid-1986 that I did not have a
 firearm nearby, and it was a feeling I didn't like.
 Being "nearly-manaced" by some local-yokel drunks who, 
 before the end of the night, might need dying,...and I'm unarmed.

 So, we "retreated with honor" back a couple of miles
 up the dirt road, ...just as the sun was setting.

 (Here comes the really cool part.)

 Once it got dark, we saw moving lights in the sky.
 I'm talking about unidentified flying objects.
 No, we didn't see any little green men.

 Uhmmm... have you ever seen something that couldn't be?
 Have you ever stared at something that couldn't exist?

 Let me tell you what we DID see:

 We were lucky that it was a new moon, meaning NO moon - nothing.
 That means it was absolutely, completely, totally dark.

 Even after several minutes, you couldn't see your hand
 in front of your face. The visibility of the stars was bright.
 The night sky was completely and absolutely black.
 As we stared at the blanket of stars above us, we looked
 southwest, towards Area 51, and we saw something.

 We saw the lights of what appeared to be aircraft taking off.
 Even at this distance, the lights were very, very clear.
 Trust me, a new moon evening in the deserts of Nevada
 is darker than Snoot Gingrich's heart on Christmas morning.

 But what we saw was, up till that moment, non-existent:
 We saw these aircraft perform aerodynamic maneuvers that were,
 trust me if you've EVER trusted ol' BartCop, im-possible.

 These lights were making turns that MODEL planes can't make.
 I mentioned "Wag the Aurora."
 Have you heard about the Aurora?
 It's the Windows '98 version of the invisible B-2 bomber.

 I'm telling you, Koresh as my witness,
 we watched these can't-possibly-exist planes for hours.
 These jets turn tighter than anything I've ever seen,
 by a factor of at least ten or twenty times.

 If I was a "more better writer," this would make more sense.
 One way to explain it would be to imagine an ice cream cone that
 was dropped on the ground on a August afternoon in Texas.
 Now wait five minutes.

 You see those flies buzzing around the ice cream?
 They can land on the ice cream, then take off and go a few
 inches then come just a few seconds.
 That's what these jets were doing.
 Leaving a spot and returning in just a few seconds.

 The lights usually were grouped in twos.

 Craft A would loop around Craft B, and I'm talking about
 B holding relatively still while A circled it twice in maybe
 three or four seconds. Then A would hold still while B circled
 around it. It appeared to be just what we suspected it was:

 Two extremely skilled pilots playing with jets from the future.
 The whole exercise seemed to be nothing more than getting familiar
 with the controls and practice dogfighting maneuvers.

 After a while, there were so many of these planes in the sky,
 Mrs. BartCop was saying "Look over here" while I was saying
 "No, look over here!" At one point, we saw maybe 30 pairs of
 these UFO's all screaming around the sky. They were making
 turns and stops that aircraft simply cannot do.

 I remember reading that when Israel's jets go full-throttle,
 they had to fly over several countries just to turn around.
 These babies turn on dimes.
 Plus, they sometimes appear to stop.
 Invisible warships that move like hummingbirds?
 (Excuse me, I need another drink.)

 So, the three of us were unsure of what to think.

 The local, brand-new Texaco station was about 30 miles away.
 We drove there for a break and I walked in and sorta...
 ...brought up the subject of the "funny" lights in the sky.

 I realized I was bonehead-tourist-boy, on the "ET Highway,"
 asking what's up with the flying saucers, but I asked anyway.
 The lady behind the Texaco counter said:

 "OH, yeah. Those lights are out most every night.
   We sit on the front lawn and watch them."

 So here I am - BartCop, logicitian, wondering why this story
 isn't on Hard Copy or Entertainment Tonight.

 Anyone in Las Vegas with a car and $30 in gas can see them.
 Why don't people talk about this?

 Do I think it's a flying saucer?

 Do I think it's a spooky, Area 51 deal?
 Duh - we saw them fly for hours.
 It was amazing.
 It's a secret, next-generation jet.

 This bad mother smokes!

 We saw aircraft take off in maybe, five-second increments.
 Think how unusual that is.
 From this great distance, we saw a jet take off, then another,
 then another and another in a row like a roman candle firing.

 My buddy Braintree suggested we were probably looking at lasers
 or lights of some kind, projected from the ground.
 No, I know aircraft lights when I see them.
 These lights were connected to a flying machine.

 Remember, this is swear to Koresh stuff.

 Would you like to see a photo from the future?

 Being the agnostic that I am, seeing something unusual in the sky  that cannot be explained 
 by any known physics, is as close to a religious experience as I'm likely to get on this Earth.

 When your friends tell you Las Vegas is really something at night, they don't know the 
 REAL show is about one hundred crow-flies miles north, northeast of downtown. 
 If you get a chance to go to Las Vegas, check the calender for a new moon. 

 If there's clouds or any light at all, you won't get to see much. But if you're there 
 on a clear, dark night, you're going to see what the super-secret boys have been 
 working on since the last time we kicked Saddam's ass.

 Think: What was your computer like in 1990?
 Think how far computers have come in the last 8 years.
 Now think how far our military computers must've come.

 Saddam, we've got a little something for you.

 Last time, our invisible jets were on their way back to their
 carriers while your "elite" troops were still firing at the
 SOUND the jets made a few miles back, minutes ago.

 ha ha

 Back in 1990, 15-18 MiGS were no match for a single American F-15.
 Guess what, Camelboy!

 That little 486 processor from 1990 has a big brother.

 Saddam's about to see what a Pentium V can do when powering the computer of 
 an invisible American warship that can turn in a 200-foot radius, instead of sixty miles.

 Plus, you're not dealing with a wimp this time.

 Christ, Clinton's approval is at 79 percent BEFORE this war,
 and he's looking for a distraction - a BIG one.

 This time, Saddam, it's your ass.

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