The Groom Lake Desert Rat

"The Naked Truth from Open Sources."

Area 51/Nellis Range/TTR/NTS/S-4?/Weird Stuff/Desert Lore

An on-line newsletter.
Written, published, copyrighted and totally disavowed by Psychospy.
Direct from the "UFO Capital," Rachel, Nevada.

Issue #11. July 15, 1994

In this issue...

A Nuclear Threat

The following anonymous press release was passed to us by friends of ours in Washington who thought we would want to know. It was sent to them by a confidential source who supposedly obtained it from the U.S. office of the Russian news agency TASS. Presumably, TASS received it by mail or fax from persons unknown.






ANALYSIS. You know darn well the place that's going to be targeted. Vegas! Blowing up any other part of Nevada would be pointless since it's a wasteland anyway. You can't do much damage to the Nevada Test Site. It's already been nuked! The Sons and Daughters wouldn't want to blow up Area 51 either because then they could be destroying the very evidence they seek. No, Las Vegas is the only place worth blowing up, and all we can say is, "Bravo!" We saw the exact same thing at the end of the recent broadcast of Steven King's The Stand. Lucifer and his disciples got bombed on Fremont Street, taking the rest of the town with them. We thought it was the most upbeat part of this end-of-the-world mini-series.

We would never condone any such terrorist action. Still, if it has to happen, there could be worse places. The cultural losses will be nil, and many of those lives so tragically lost are, quite frankly, the sort of low-life Vegas scum this country can do without. We'll miss the all-you-can-eat buffets and the four (4) 24-hour Wal-Marts, but, heck, we'll survive. If it means driving to Cedar City to shop, we'll make that sacrifice. They've got a Wal-Mart there and a couple of big supermarkets, and those good Mormon people--the original "Downwinders"--have plenty of experience in dealing with fallout.

The loss of Las Vegas could be seen as a tragic but ultimately beneficial societal cleansing, but we are not sure it will help much in cracking the UFO mystery. This event is going to create a lot of noise, both literally and figuratively. It could take a decade to mop up the mess, and in the meantime no one is going to be thinking much about the alleged alien/extraterrestrial crafts at Groom/Papoose lakes. If anything, an event like this would encourage even closer military control of Southern Nevada.

But Is It True?

On the subject of UFOs at Area 51, Psychospy is proud to sit squarely on the fence. Whatever the truth may be, we don't yet find the evidence compelling enough to march on the White House or blow up a major city in protest. We've heard endless stories of amazing lights in the sky in this area. Most of these, including many well publicized reports and the things that we've seen ourselves, appear to us to be routine misperceptions of military flares and aircraft lights. Newcomers do not appreciate the huge volume of military traffic here or the difficulties of judging the motion of a distant light. Even the few sighting reports that we can't explain don't seem to lead us anywhere. So you've seen a unworldly light in the sky. Even if it happened as you say it did, where does the investigation lead you? All you can usually conclude, after recording the sighting, is that the case is -- DAH-dum -- UNEXPLAINED!

Forty-five years of collecting sighting reports has lead the UFO movement nowhere. Idealistic investigators have filled out thousands of neatly ruled forms recording the size of the object, its brightness and structure, its movement across the sky, a description of the occupants if they land and step outside... Most such reports rely on human perception and memory and thus are automatically suspect. The endless stacks of sighting reports, although periodically regurgitated for books and TV shows, mostly collect dust in archives and result in no practical human effect. The skeptics remain skeptical, while the believers can only agree that "They are here!" and it's time to get mad as hell about it.

Get mad at whom? Why, the government of course. It's senseless to get angry at the aliens, because they apparently don't give a damn what we think and certainly aren't going to sit around to be harangued. The government, on the other hand, can't escape the wrath of its citizens, and it has to respond at least when its funding is threatened. The focus of attention by UFO activists is the U.S. Air Force, on the theory that if anybody knows anything about ships in the sky, it must be them. They've got aircraft on continuous patrol, spy satellites ringing the globe, advanced radar blanketing the skies, some totally "boss" radio and video equipment and satellite dishes that can get ALL the channels.

If the UFOs are real, then it is a reasonable assumption that the Air Force knows more about them than we do and that it is withholding this information from the public. That doesn't necessarily imply that the Air Force has any answers. Perhaps they have only attained a more advanced state of befuddlement than the rest of us and are loathe to admit how confused they are. On the other hand, the Air Force could be engaged in extensive contacts and agreements with the aliens. The aliens could already be entrenched here, messing with our society--or at least our minds--and telling the governments of the world what to do.

The only flaw in any government cover-up theory is our knowledge about how the government functions in all its other activities. The only human bureaucracies we have ever had experience with seem mildly incompetent and usually leak their secrets like a sieve. If many workers know about the Air Force's UFO data, it is hard to imagine them all keeping quiet. Washington is full of Deep Throats, frustrated with their employer, who are dying to spill the beans about whatever scandal they have access to. That a government agency is involved in any kind of alien research program is instantly newsworthy to both skeptics and believers. In the cutthroat underworld of Washington politics and media, it is hard to imagine any such program surviving for very long without its existence being leaked and widely criticized.

On the other hand, maybe the story has been leaked all along but sounds just too wacky for most people to take seriously. It has been widely reported that the captive aliens at Area 51 like strawberry ice cream. Even if a report like this is true, it doesn't go far in endorsing the alien presence in most people's eyes. The mainstream media can't do much with a far out story unless there is some reportable human connection. That the aliens eat strawberry ice cream isn't news. What might make the papers is the atrocious price the government is paying for that ice cream and how it has given all the business to Baskin-Robbins without competitive bidding.

The only sort of government UFO research program we find credible would be a relatively small and heavily compartmentalized one accomplishing what we expect of government bureaucracies--that is, very little. There is only one thing that the government does well, and that is stonewall. Since arriving in Rachel, we have upgraded our estimates of the government's ability to withstand a siege and keep its workers quiet. Easily 10,000 employees have worked at Groom Lake over the years, but hardly any will speak about the place publicly. What most of these people know is probably mundane, but the fact that the government can keep such tight control over so many people suggests that the enforcement mechanism is highly effective. Most workers turn pale if you ask them the price of a steak at the commissary; they really clam up when you ask them anything serious.

We have developed a respect for the government's ability to withhold static knowledge--that is, to stockpile data and not let anyone else have it. At the same time, since coming here, we have significantly downgraded our estimates of what workers can accomplish in such an oppressive environment. Security restrictions eat up resources, cripple scientific communication and sap all initiative and creativity from the human employees. Given enough funding for guards, locks and redundant safeguards, the government might be able keep an exotic body of knowledge secret for decades, but at the cost of not being able to do anything with it.

If the government is withholding proof of alien life, here's what to look for: A vault of poorly processed data, guarded by morons and managed by bureaucrats who are crippled by their own regulations. Nothing is accomplished in this air conditioned sanctum. Meetings are held and problems discussed, but real actions and decisions are always put off for another day. As long as the data remains secure and funding to maintain the security apparatus continues to roll in, there's no pressure to do anything at all.

So what is really out there at Area 51, beyond the impressive security, inside the deep bunkers, behind the big steel doors? Maybe alien craft, maybe Auroras--or maybe just a bunch of bored technicians sitting around in white lab coats playing cards.

New York Times Magazine

"The Media: Out Of Control?" was the cover story on the June 26 issue of the New York Times Sunday Magazine. There was also, on page 32, a 5-page article by Donovan Webster entitled "'Area 51'--The cold war still rages in the Nevada desert, site of an air base so secret it doesn't exist." A Times reader (, posted this summary to the Skunk Works mailing list....

As previously noted, the NY Times Magazine, 26 June issue, contained an article on Glenn Campbell and Groom Lake. The writer spent a day with Glenn, observing Groom and dodging the security folks, only to end up being ID'ed and released by a local sheriff's deputy. There was also more detail than I've seen elsewhere about the pending lawsuit against the Government filed by 39 former Nellis area workers who claim that they were exposed to hazardous materials emanating from open burn pits at Groom.

As the article focused on Glenn and the politics surrounding the base secrecy issue, there was little technical detail on any of the testing supposedly going on at Groom. Aurora and the TR-3A were mentioned, but only in passing.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the article, for me, was the following quote from an Air Force spokesman (no unit or organization affiliation given):

"Meanwhile, as Campbell continues playing to an ever-increasing audience, his efforts are not lost on the Air Force, which he's placed on his "Desert Rat" mailing list for free. "We read his publication," says Air Force Col. Douglas Kennett, "and we know what Mr. Campbell's doing near a base that may--or may not--exist. While Mr. Campbell says the base is there, and while the Soviets appear to have photographed a base there, the Air Force is aware of those times when Mr. Campbell or Russian spy satellites might be looking us over--and we can adjust our activities for that. That is, if any activities are going on at a base that may--or may not--exist."

Notable Quotes

Larry King Coming

From a television column in the Washington Post, July 12...

When we started typing this item we asked ourselves--have we on a very slow summer day been reduced to this?...

On Oct. 1 Larry King will do a live, on-location special, with phone calls, of course, from Rachel, Nev., "in the shadow of the U.S. government's super secret air base known as Area 51" on TNT...

It's called "The UFO Cover Up: Live from Area 51." Area 51, TNT explains, "also known as Groom Lake, is an enormous military installation hidden deep in the hostile Nevada Desert--so secret the Pentagon won't confirm its existence." Larry's guests will include Glenn Campbell, who heads Secrecy Oversight Council in Rachel, and technology expert Mark Farm[er] (a.k.a. Agent X) 'who specializes in spying on secret government aviation projects'...

And when we had finished typing this item we were forced to ask ourselves--has Larry King been reduced to this?...

Does Aurora Exist?

From an article in the New York Times, July 4, about attempts by Senator Robert Byrd to force the Air Force to revive the SR-71 Blackbird--"Spy Plane That Came in From Cold Just Will Not Go Away in the Senate"...

When the Pentagon canceled the Blackbird in 1990, citing the huge cost of operating and maintaining the fleet, it assured Senator Byrd and a handful of his senior colleagues on the Armed Services and Intelligence Committees that it was working on a very fast, very expensive, very secret reconnaissance plane to be a successor to the Blackbird.

But that program collapsed after consuming several hundred million dollars, according to members of Congress and their aides. And despite rumors that another successor is in the works, they said, nothing of the sort is on the horizon at the secret Air Force base in Nevada where classified prototypes of state-of-the- art aircraft are flown."

COMMENTS: You can take this any way you want. If true and no Aurora is flying, then protecting it is no longer an issue of national security--is it? Shouldn't it be revealed to the taxpayer exactly how many hundreds of millions of dollars were spent? (We suspect a very large "several.")

Nifty Book

The following comes from an amusing government-sponsored document entitled, Meeting the Press: A Media Survival Guide for the Defense Manager, by Judson J. Conner. (Sent to us by It's a slim book packed with practical tips for military commanders on "Facing a Swarm of Killer Reporters," handling a "Press Ambush" and otherwise managing those pesky journalists. We read it in one sitting and eagerly recommended it to those on both sides of the microphone. Available for $5 per copy from the U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC 20402. Visa/MC: 202-783-3238. Among the advice...

Common sense and military policy dictate that you should answer press queries fully and accurately, even when those answers tend to make you look bad. But human nature advises otherwise, and it is often difficult to choke back the impulse to evade the hard questions. This impulse can really do you in, for evasions always come back to haunt, and they are malevolent ghosts.

A "no comment" can be equally damaging. The reporter will probably quote you in the story, not only to let the public (and his editor) know that he offered you a chance to tell your side, but also to let everyone know you are guilty. The dictionary tells us that "no comment" merely means you prefer not to talk about the subject, but the readers know better. They know very well you are pleading the Fifth Amendment to cover up your incompetence.

Nellis Commander Responds

From an article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, July 4, about the pending promotion of Nellis Air Force Base commander Maj. Gen. Thomas R. Griffith--"Commander's career soars to new heights":

[Griffith] defended the Air Force's recent move to withdraw 4,000 acres of public land as a buffer zone around its secret Groom Lake base in Lincoln County, 35 miles west of Alamo.

"If we have to take security measures to do the things we want to do, we'll do it. We just can't have Boy Scouts roaming around in the area," he said.

"When decisions are made, they're based on the recommendation of people like me who are in the service of our country," he said. "At some point people have to have confidence in us and (in) the process."

Cammo Dudes Respond?

The following graffiti was found on a military "Restricted Area" sign in a remote area of public land near Freedom Ridge. As seen in the New York Times Magazine, June 26, Psychospy had drawn a big "X" across the sign and written "Misplaced Sign" on it because it was well outside the actual military border. Additional graffiti has appeared on the sign within the past week, author unknown:

Glenn Campbell is a stupid faggot and so are his loyal followers!


Some readers got the impression from DR#10 that Psychospy was ready to throw in the towel on the land grab. Responding to the continuing MFF, we said:

We almost wished they would just take the damn land and be done with it.

We assure both our supporters and the loyal opposition that we were speaking figuratively and our siege has not ended. Just recently, in fact, we installed at our Research Center a big satellite dish, the ultimate status symbol here in the outback and a clear message to our enemies (who are everywhere) that we are here for the long term. As an added benefit, we now receive the trash/sleaze/Simpsons/X-Files network, east and west feeds, so we can watch ourselves on Encounters twice on the same night.

The land grab fight is not over, and regardless of what the outcome may be, there is still plenty of political mileage on those 4000 acres. You never know what may turn up there: maybe the Nicole Simpson murder weapon! Whatever cards Fate may deal us, we assure the public that Psychospy and his faggot minions will cheerfully take advantage of the hand. The stated reason for the withdrawal ("To ensure the public safety, blah, blah...") is plainly insufficient and we believe creates a legal vulnerability. This, in turn, generates free floating political energy which might be tapped in elegant ways that may not yet be obvious. "Opportunistic" describes our philosophy.

Intel Bitties

ENCOUNTERS SEGMENT RESCHEDULED. At latest word, the Fox Encounters segment on Groom will run on Friday, July 22, at 8 pm in most cities (not tonight as reported in DR #10).

TRESPASSER CASE RESOLVED. Just before the date of their rescheduled trial, the four of seven accused trespassers reached a deal with the D.A. Two pleaded "no contest" and each paid a reduced fine of $100 (compared to $250 each for the three who pleaded "no contest" in January). In exchange, charges were dropped against the two remaining defendants. Mounting costs and emotional fatigue apparently prompted the defendants to bow out. Although the resolution was a compromise, we are pleased overall. We suspect that the small-town Alamo Justice Court, presided over by a non-lawyer, would have found them guilty, and the appeal to a higher court, although winnable, would have been costly. The government oversight group Citizen Alert did the same in 1988 when several members entered the Groom Range to work a mining claim. They were arrested and found guilty in the same Justice Court. They appealed to a higher court and won their case--but at a cost of thousands of dollars in legal fees and four years of "due process." Stretching out the latest case for over six months at least created a newsworthy cause and placed some political pressure on the local and military authorities. In the smaller battles of a larger war, the "process" is often more valuable than the end result.

WILDLIFE REFUGE LAND ACTION. An amendment to Senate Bill 823 now pending in Congress would transfer control of certain bombing areas in the Desert Wildlife Range to exclusive Air Force control. Although news of this action initially prompted suggestions of a "new Groom land grab," we now see no obvious connection between this and the Freedom Ridge withdrawal. The areas involved are 20- 60 miles southeast of Groom in an area that is already off limits to the public. The principal public concern seems to be the endangered desert tortoise--Nevada's version of the hated spotted owl. At present the land is jointly administered by the Nellis Bombing Range and the Wildlife Range, and the pending action would amend that arrangement to give the AF exclusive control over the limited areas where bombs already fall. Presumably, this would allow the strengthening of environmental rules outside the bombed areas (turtle paradise), while permitting the AF to continue its business within specified zones (turtle 'Nam). From what we know, we're inclined to support the AF on this one. We would agree with the brass that realistic exercises are necessary for defense readiness, and it's hard to be environmentally dainty when you are bombing things.

NEW PRODUCTS. The official unofficial GROOM LAKE HAT has just arrived at our Research Center. This is a black, all-cotton baseball cap with a three-inch version of the popular Groom Dry Lake cloth patch attached to the front. It is now available for $12 each plus the usual shipping.... We have also received a new shipment of the USGS SATELLITE IMAGE MAP showing the semi-secret Tonopah Test Range and vicinity, available for $8. This is a full color satellite photo in poster size, 24" x 40", covering the Cactus Flat 1:100,000 quadrangle and clearly showing the TTR runways and hangars.... Add $3.50 postage per order (USA priority mail--ask for intl.). [Catalog]

Reader Responses: In Defense of Vegas

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