Pilot Takes Amazing Images Of Area 51 While Skirting Restricted Airspace


Flying very near and even across some of the restricted areas within the NTTR is not unheard of. If the timing is right and the ranges are not in use (referred to as being “cold”), air traffic control can allow routing through the area. A handful of small civilian airports ring the NTTR and planes can’t fly into them without at least passing very near the restricted operating areas that host everything from massive aerial warfare exercises like Red Flag to various test and tactics development sorties. It’s also worth noting that the Russians are allowed to get even closer than any civilian pilot can.

After spotting Zeifman’s amazing images after he posted them on Reddit, The War Zone reached out to the adventurous flyer. He described his flight into the NTTR and interest in the area to us as such:

I’ve had an interest in all the military airspace out this way for a while and figured I had to go check it out. The first time I ventured into the Nellis Ranges was on a flight from Tonopah to Rachel via R4807A where I went down to the edge of that side of 4808A [also known as “The Box”] and got some good views of Groom [Area 51] from the north. After departing Rachel, I was given permission to enter R4806W enroute to Henderson and proceeded to fly the perimeter of The Box and R4808N basically to Yucca Lake. I only had my cell phone camera at the time, so I waited to come back with a good camera. 

So, these are the installations where aviation’s crown jewels are developed and kept, some of which we may never know existed. 

You can see the results of Zeifman’s Tonopah Test Range Airport and Area 51 aerial tour in the amazingly detailed images below. He even caught a new development at “Dreamland” during his adventure:

Read the rest of the article link below-



  1. Real secret of Area 51? It is a HAZMAT site that the Air Force keeps on the classified list because if they ever take it off and have to demilitarize the place, paying for it will bankrupt them.

    No lie. There is still classified work being done there, but the main reason they keep it going are all the nasties in the ground and leaking from the old sites where they just buried crap. That installation reputedly makes the mess at Edwards look tiny, and if it ever comes off the list of “black” sites? The EPA and the California state equivalents are going to go nuts. Guy I knew was involved in some peripheral survey work out there back during the nineties, and saw things that turned his hair white as a knowledgable HAZMAT clean-up guy. Forget aliens; worry about the various half-ass experimental crap they did out there since WWII. There was stuff he found on the surveys he was doing for the expansions that he rated as being more of a pain to properly clean up than all the chemical weapons at Umatilla Army Depot.

    They ever get into that place as a SuperFund site, entire generations of Air Force officers are gonna have some serious ‘splainin to do.

      • The really amazing thing was that the guys who were detailed to show him around for his survey, and who were running that show weren’t even worried about the HAZMAT stuff he was finding. Everything else, to include the toilet paper he was using while there was covered by an NDA. The HAZMAT materials he was uncovering? No biggie; none of it was mentioned in either his briefings or his NDA paperwork, other than as “Hey, you may run into this, and if you manage to contaminate yourself, it is on you…”.

        His take on it was that either it’s an open secret the AF guys aren’t worried about, or that they don’t know what they’ve got out there for some damn reason. His estimate was, however, that it made the worst superfund site he ever worked on or looked at look like a walk in the park, and he couldn’t understand how they weren’t locking the entire place down. Then, he thought about the whole “Area 51” thing, and a lightbulb went off in his head. “Yeah, that’s why they do it that way…”.

        It’s kind of like some of the old Soviet test sites where they contaminated so much ground with so many different contaminants that it may literally be ten thousand years before it all goes inert, and we’re not even talking the nuclear crap.

        Which is why some of the old Soviet Air Force bases we took over in countries like Kazakhstan were such bad deals for long-term health effects. Some of the poor bastards who did significant time on those bases are probably Agent Orange-level ticking time bombs, health-wise.

        Swear to God, even the Army was doing seriously stupid sh*t as late as the 1990s, and there’s God alone knows what buried around and inside the perimeters of some of our former bases in Korea and Germany. What they used to do in preparation for an AGI doesn’t even bear thinking about… I’m morally certain that some of the dimwits I used to work for and with probably dumped thousands of gallons of solvents and who knows what into the environment, simply because there were no simple means of getting rid of the stuff. You tell a GI to clean something or get rid of it, while not ensuring that there is an environmentally sound way to do it, and that’s on you. It’ll be gone, but who the hell knows where?

        They say you can track the Lewis and Clark expedition via the mercury that they used in a lot of their medicines that still contaminates their latrines on their path. I don’t doubt but that future archaeologists won’t be able to do the same thing with our bases overseas and here in the US through similar means. I remember reading that there was something the Romans used that served the same way, maybe that lead-based sweetener they were so fond of…

        • wasnt there a news story the other day about an old soviet base in Afghanistan the Army took over making soldiers sick as hell from the pollution?


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