Is the Government Lying About Area 51?

Area 51, believed by some to be an alien related private property, is owned by the government and located roughly 70 miles away from Las Vegas. It is popular due to the secrecy surrounding its purpose (Pappas 1). It is closed off to the public and guarded by security 24/7. Area 51 is surrounded by a group of mountains in the middle of the Nevada dessert. People are forbidden to walk anywhere near it, and any sign of their trespassing will have them chased down by guards and arrested (Ugc “Area 51”). Conspiracy theories about area 51 began around the 1950s and are still being contemplated today. Some of these conspiracy theories surrounding area 51 include, that the government is hiding alien beings inside as well as that the moon landing was actually a hoax and it was filmed at area 51.

The extraordinary belief that the government is hiding aliens from Americans began in 1954 with the establishment of area 51 as a secret training and testing site for the U-2 project to advance USSR missions. The secret military base began tests with U-2 (a high-tech American aircraft) in the summer of 1955. Shortly after these tests began, people started to claim they saw UFOs. Specifically, pilots of commercial airlines spotted these flying objects in the Nevada air region and reported them (Blitz 1). People then began to claim a flying saucer (which the U.S government said was a weather balloon at the time) that had crashed in 1947 was actually an alien spacecraft that was then taken to area 51 and reengineered into U-2 (Pappas 3). The government later claimed it was actually a nuclear monitoring balloon. So, should the government be trusted? Because area 51 is so secretive, there is little known information about its use today. People have dedicated years of their life searching for information about area 51 with little success, but there have been CIA reports published on the topic, such as “Developing the U-2,” which was released in 2013. If the government is lying about the existence of aliens, they would be hiding essential information that could lead to a whole new world of knowledge. However, there is no real evidence of the existence of aliens so a conclusion cannot be made of whether they do or do not exist.

Before information about the U-2 project was released to the public, people’s want to believe in aliens lead them to think that extra-terrestrials were visiting Earth. Without the knowledge of what was going on at area 51, confirmation bias, the tendency to search for information that confirms someone’s belief, contributed to the misinterpretation of what U-2 actually was. People also may have misinterpreted evidence due to the circumstances in which they saw these flying objects in. For example, if it was dark and they saw strange flashing lights in the sky, their cues to depth and distance would have been reduced which may have led to seeing ambiguous shapes of ambiguous sizes in the sky. Without important visual cues, it is hard to decipher what is being seen, so the assumption was made that the government was flying Alien spacecrafts. Now, UFOs are very real, but it cannot be assumed that belong to aliens (Van Zandt).

People could also have been misinformed due to social influences surrounding the belief of UFOs. When pilots began to report these UFOs, the media hopped on it immediately. Newspapers all over began to include exciting information about these UFO reports. Also, doctored photos and hoaxes contributed to people’s beliefs as well (Van Zandt). People who believe in extraterrestrials come from all over America and even other countries. Those who believe in the conspiracy theories surrounding area 51 often have trust issues with the U.S. government. Some believe because they want to think there are other forms of life in the world, but others believe due to personal experiences that they have had, such as if they claim they were abducted by aliens (which can usually be explained by sleep paralysis).

Most extraordinary beliefs surrounding area 51 have been proven false by the government, but some people still question whether the government is being completely honest about the purpose of area 51. People who believe or did believe in the conspiracy theories surrounding area 51 likely sustained their beliefs due to the confirmation bias phenomena. The media as well as reduced depth and distance cues and hoaxes could have also contributed to people’s beliefs.

Works Cited
Blitz, Matt. “The Real Story Behind the Myth of Area 51.” Popular Mechanics, Popular Mechanics, 25 Apr. 2018,
51-history/. Accessed 26 Mar. 2019
Pappas, Stephanie. “15 Far-Out Facts About Area 51.” LiveScience, Purch, 13 Nov. 2017, Accessed 26 Mar. 2019 Ugc, Mikel. “Area 51.” Atlas Obscura, 12 July 2009,
Accessed 26 Mar. 2019
Van Zandt, P. (2019).Perception [PowerPoint slides].

What’s the Big Deal About Bigfoot?

The sasquatch, or wood ape, commonly known as bigfoot due to its enormous foot prints, resembles a mix between a gorilla and a human. Bigfoot is covered in reddish-brown hair similar to that of an orangutan and walks on two legs. There have been claims of bigfoot sightings all over north America, Canada, and even some in the Himalayan mountains. Sightings of the beast-like human occur mainly in dense forests, far from human population, but it has been known to cross over busy streets and through people’s wooded backyards. Today, there are many organizations, such as NAWAC and NABS, tv shows, such as Finding Bigfootand Mountain Monsters and even websites from multiple states, which are dedicated to finding and sharing evidence on the historical creature. Those who have claimed to see bigfoot have a strong belief in its existence and wish to spread awareness about the mysterious beast, due to the lack of factual evidence on it. The existence of bigfoot could mean there are other creatures in the world that have yet to be discovered and it could also contribute to the theory of evolution.

Sightings of the sasquatch in North America began as early as the 1830s. Evidence of bigfoot has been found in multiple forms, including video footage, eye witness accounts, foot tracks, voice recordings and body samples, such as hair and blood. Most of the evidence comes from that of eyewitnesses, but because a negative cannot be proven, this type of evidence is not dependable. There have been hundreds of thousands of accounts supporting the existence of bigfoot, but the majority have been proven to be a hoax. For example, human reenactments of bigfoot footage show it is highly possible that a man or woman could have put on a costume to portray themselves as bigfoot, in order to convince people of its existence. People have also been known to walk through wooded areas with handmade shoes to create bigfoot tracks in order to fool bigfoot believers. Of all the evidence, real or fake, one thing is for sure, those who believe in the extraordinary bigfoot will likely never stop.

People who believe in extraordinary things are often mistaken due to confirmation bias. They look for any information that has the potential to support their belief. For example, bigfoot hunters travel to the wilderness where multiple sightings of the beast have occurred. Their hope is to capture evidence for the scientific world to prove that the sasquatch in fact exists. With the mindset that the skeptical beast is real, these people often will hear a simple coyote howl or bear grunt and automatically think it’s the animal they have been searching for. Believers also misinterpret evidence due to practical jokers who disguise themselves as a sasquatch and deceivingly have someone record them while they act with strange mannerisms that do not correspond to that of a human. With the support of others who believe in the wood ape, the believers have a hard time changing their views.

Bigfoot believers, also known as bigfooters, come from all over the world, but they are mainly people who have had personal experiences with the beast, whether that be seeing it for themselves, or hearing accounts of friends or family who witnessed the wood ape. Such people usually dwell close to forests or mountains where civilization is dispersed scarcely throughout. These small knit communities often have town meetings to discuss personal accounts of bigfoot sightings with those whom are interested. These town meetings often contribute to the confirmation bias of those who view the sasquatch as real.

People who believe in this fictitious creature likely sustain their belief due to the phenomena of confirmation bias as well as the support of others who are also firm believers in the extraordinary bigfoot. The belief likely provides a sense of curiosity because other creatures may be out in the world that have yet to be discovered. Although it can be comforting to think that new species are still being discovered, it can also blind one from reality. A majority of sasquatch evidence that has been studied, has been proven to be fraud, and the rest very much has the potential to be a hoax. So, is bigfoot really out there?


Benjamin Radford. “Bigfoot: Man-Monster or Myth.” Live Science, 6 Nov. 2012, Accessed 7 Feb. 2019

Benjamin Radford. “Bigfiit at 50 Evaluating a Half-Century of Bigfoot Evidence.” CSI, Volume 26.2, April 2002, Acessed 10 Feb.2019

Tom Harris. “How Bigfoot Works.” How Stuff Works, 2019

myth/strange-creatures/bigfoot2.htm. Accessed 8 Feb. 2019