Area 51

Image Credit: Everett CollectionA producer for National Geographic’s upcoming documentary Area 51 Declassified says he’s managed to obtain unprecedented access to declassified military documents from the government’s super-secret military base.

The program will include first-ever on-camera interviews from former Area 51 employees, exclusive video footage from inside the facility (which, you’ll recall, doesn’t even officially exist), as well as previously unseen documents and photos.

“Some of the things that went on there were hidden and are quite remarkable,” says Peter Yost at the TCA press tour. “It’s completely factual. The government declassified to us thousands of documents and footage. It’s solid, it’s real, it’s verifiable. We do have some surprises.”

The Emmy-nominated Yost (Inside North Korea) is being a little cagey here because Area 51 Declassified is being released in tandem with another project on the subject and he’s under a non-disclosure agreement to not reveal details before their release date. What’s the other project? That’s also secret (yes, you’re reading this right: The U.S. military is releasing Area 51 documents, while a TV producer is keeping silent).

UFO newshounds won’t have too long to wait. Area 51 Declassified debuts this spring, along with another Nat Geo project, Alien Invasion, which explores how Earthlings might handle First Contact.

One TV critic asked why, after all these years, our government has given Yost access to Area 51’s history.

“Some of these employees are going to their graves — they’re in their 70s, 80s and 90s,” Yost says. “I think there was a certain decision made at highest levels …. regarding some of these projects, that it’s ‘now or never’ [to tell the story].”

Area 51 Declassified will mark the latest example of UFO-related documents being released as countries continue to relax restrictions on the subject (such as the New Zealand military opening up its UFO archives last month). It also follows up on journalist Leslie Kern’s recent muckraking book, UFO’s: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go On the Record, as well as reports that Wikileaks has some UFO-related docs coming down the pipeline (not that I follow this subject closely or anything).

Area 51
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