This mailing list is no longer active. The document below is retained here for historical purposes only.

On Dec. 5, 1997, this mailing list was superceded by the Ufomind Mailing List.

On this page: I. Purpose of this List | II. Criteria for Submissions | III. Inappropriate Topics | IV. Special Circumstances | V. General Standards | VI. Target Audience | VII. Operational Issues | VIII. Moderator Duties | Tired Topics | IX. Sponsor

Area 51 Mailing List
Information and Standards

The Area 51 Mailing List is a moderated public forum for the exchange of information relating to the secret Groom Lake base in Nevada. Appropriate subjects can include UFOs, secret aircraft, government secrecy, desert geography, local politics, local history, popular culture, paranormal claims and military operations -- so long as they are reasonably related to this part of Nevada or the claims made here. This list differs from other lists and newsgroups in that it is actively moderated. Only messages meeting the criteria of the list -- in content, courtesy and relevancy -- will be sent on to subscribers. The intent is to create an intelligent forum for the discussion of Area 51 without superfluous posts. [GC 9/28/96]

Go to Main Page for archives.

I. Purpose of this List

This mailing list is sponsored by the Area 51 Research Center to provide an intelligent forum for the exchange of information on Area 51 and related topics. It fills a role halfway between the Web and the newsgroups. This list covers topics similar to alt.conspiracy.area51; the difference is that this list is moderated (when necessary) to keep superfluous messages to a minimum. This list is less structured than the web, however, and allows for active discussions and the publication of information that has not yet been investigated. Since this list is permanently archived, it also provides an easy way to publish documents on the web.

This list is not moderated all the time, only when a moderator is available or when posts get out of hand. When the moderation feature is on, all messages to the list are first routed to the moderator for approval. Moderation is chiefly concerned with (1) limiting irrelevant and superfluous posts, and (2) limiting repetitive discussions.

II. Criteria for Submissions

The criteria for submissions to this list will evolve with time. This mailing list is intended for those who already have a good understanding of the Area 51 "folklore". As the knowledge of the group changes, so will the criteria of the list. Naive submissions, like "Where is Area 51?", will not be passed on to the list.

Initial criteria below are based on the often-ignored Charter for alt.conspiracy.area51.

Allowable topics for this mailing list include:

  1. Any specific UFO claims for Area 51 and surrounding areas, including Nevada and nearby areas of Utah, Arizona & California.

  2. Secret military aircraft claims (e.g. Aurora, secret stealth aircraft) as long as these aircraft might have been tested in southern Nevada.

      Hard core aviation watchers who are more interested in military hardware than government organizations or UFOs may prefer the Skunkworks mailing list*.

  3. Military & atomic activities in southern Nevada, both past & present.

  4. Social, historical and pop cultural aspects of Area 51 (e.g. reports of human activities on the "E.T. Highway").

  5. Government organizations that might relate to Area 51.

  6. Secret facilities & activities at any other military installation, so long as they might shed some light on Area 51.

  7. Significant research (not just theories) on alleged U.S. military UFO programs or cover-ups, even if Area 51 isn't directly implicated. (The UFO specialty of this list is secret government organizations and how they might deal with UFOs or alien information. The list is not concerned with most other UFO topics.) "Military" includes any government agency concerned with national defense or secret intelligence. Claims must related to specific installations, incidents or organizations, not just vague conspiracies.

  8. Any topics relating to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada Test Site, Tonopah Test Range and the military bases of the Mojave Desert (Edwards, China Lake, etc.).

  9. Bob Lazar and other personalities associated with Area 51. However, any criticism of "character" must be specifically linked to the credibility of this person's Area 51 claims, and the author must explain this link in his message.

  10. Announcements of URLs relating to any of these topics.

Data collectors needed. The list relies on its subscribers to search the newsgroups, other mailing lists, newspapers, magazines, etc., for documents relating to the above criteria. Please keep us in mind as you cruise the net, and send us anything you find relevant.

III. Inappropriate Topics

Topics that are not appropriate for this mailing list include:

  1. UFO cases and paranormal topics with no significant link to Area 51, military UFO claims or this part of the southwest.

    In other words, abductions, crop circles, UFO sightings, cattle mutilations and chupacabras are not appropriate unless (1) They took place in Nevada, or (2) There is a specific link to Area 51, or (3) There is a specific link to a U.S. military agency.

      Messages about alleged NASA Cover-Ups -- like the Face on Mars and objects photographed from the space shuttle -- are probably not appropriate here, because (a) they don't involve aliens or craft on earth; (b) NASA is not overtly concerned with national defense, and (c) no connection has yet been established between NASA and Area 51. (These NASA cover-up claims need their own forum and would take over our list if we let them.) However, messages on alleged military programs or cover-ups are allowed -- as long as the claims are specific enough that they can be researched.

  2. Purely technical discussions of secret aircraft (which are more appropriate for the Skunkworks mailing list).

  3. Political opinions about current government, President, etc.

  4. Conspiracy and UFO theories without evidence or data.

      Example: A message claiming the "New World Order" is dissecting missing children at Area 51 would probably be rejected (unless it is amusing enough to achieve "Loon" status -- see below). Anyone can dream up a theory about Area 51. The author needs to provide some specific evidence before any conspiracy message is allowed. Note: This list will not exclude a message simply because its claims are "far out" or unconventional, but there has to be some specific lead that can be followed up on. Telling us that the aliens come from another dimension isn't very helpful.

  5. Commercial advertisements, unless the product is directly related to Area 51. (It is okay to note that a commercial tour or book is being offered about the area. In this case, the announcement must be brief and should refer to a URL for more information.)

IV. Special Circumstances

  1. Patently rediculous material, like someone's sincere theory linking Area 51 with the Loch Ness monster, are allowed if (a) the message is so absurd as to be amusing, (b) there is some link to Area 51 and (c) "[Loon]" appears in the subject line. (e.g. "Area 51 Invasion Planned [Loon]")

  2. Likewise, jokes and other purely humorous postings are allowed if they meet the same criteria and "[Humor]" appears in the subject line. Moderator, solely at his discretion, is free to reject humor if he doesn't think it is funny enough or if it would distract from a more serious exchange.

  3. Whenever asking a question, be sure that there is a question mark in your subject line. (e.g. "Where is Zeta Reticuli?") This lets people know you are soliciting information and not providing it. (And those who don't have any answers don't have to read the message.) Try to summarize the question in the subject line.

V. General Standards

The general criteria for acceptance is that a message be both intelligent and interesting, as well as being related to Area 51. What is intelligent and interesting evolves with time and with the experience of the group and cannot be precisely defined in advance, but at least the following is required...

  1. Every message accepted must contain "significant content." That is, it must contain specific data or an intelligent argument or question not yet distributed on the list.

  2. Each submission must offer something "new" to readers -- at least something they haven't seen on the list before. The repeating of old data and claims is not allowed unless the author can provide new information or analysis.

  3. Messages that simply express support for or disagreement with a previous message are discouraged in favor of those that add something significant to the argument.

  4. All submissions and responses must be reasonably courteous. Flames are not permitted. (What constitutes a "flame" will be defined over time. In general, a flame is a purely gratuitous insult that far exceeds the bounds of normal courtesy.) However, our intent is not to restrict blunt, fact-based intellectual criticism, which is allowed and encouraged.

  5. Repeated messages, general inquiries, misdirected "unsubscribe" requests and other superfluous messages will be filtered out by the moderator.

  6. Please do not quote excessively from previous messages, only enough lines to let people know what you are responding to. E.g. Do not quote the whole previous message just to write a couple of lines of response.

  7. Please make sure the subject line in your message is clear and informative, summarizing your topic. People look at the subject line to determine whether a message is relevant to them and worth their time to read.

    See the Welcome Message in the first digest for more information.

    Also see discussions of moderator philosophy in second digest.

    VI. Target Audience

    By definition, the target audience for this mailing list will be intelligent adults who are already familiar with the general stories about Area 51, including Black Budget aircraft, the claims of Bob Lazar, the "E.T. Highway" and related hoopla, as well as the general geography of the area. Unlike the newsgroups, this mailing list is intended as a research and discussion forum for those who are already well versed on Area 51 and related topics; it is not the aim of this mailing list to educate newcomers. Since the knowledge of the group will change with time, the standards of what is "interesting" and "relevant" will also change.

    In defining this list, these additional assumptions are made about subscribers:

    • Subscribers have web access and visit the Area 51/Ufomind What's New page at least once a week. Thus, we will not re-post items listed in What's New unless they are particularly timely or time critical. (In that case, only a short summary need be posted to the list, along with a URL or instructions to check What's New.)

        People without web access are free to subscribe, but that may be in the dark about some of the topics discussed.

    • It is assumed that subscribers do not regularly visit any newsgroups or subscribe to any internet mailing lists apart from this one. Thus, messages from newsgroups and other mailing lists may be re-posted to the list if they meet our charter. (The list will then serve as a "filter" for Area 51 messages from other internet sources, including alt.conspiracy.area51.)

    • It is assumed that new subscribers to this mailing list have reviewed our previous postings (at least from the last couple of months) and know the general topics and discussions that have already taken place. Thus, they have the same "memory" as the rest of the group, and we don't have to go over old ground again.

    VII. Operational Issues

    • There is no minimum number of messages. If no appropriate messages are available on any given day, none will be sent. The eventual aim is for no more than a half dozen messages per day. If volume becomes too large, we may try to cut it down by being more selective.

    • The list of subscribers will be kept confidential and will not be used for any other purpose except for the mailing list.

    • No one will be specifically "blacklisted" from posting to this list. However, every submission, regardless of author, must meet the criteria of the list or it will not be accepted. Moderator will give less leniency to people who repeatedly submit inappropriate material.

    • If any submission is rejected, the author will normally be notified, along with a general reason (3-4 words) and perhaps advice on how to make the message acceptable (moderator's time permitting).

    • All messages sent out on the list will be permanently archived in digest form, linked from this page.

    • We may also establish an archive for "rejected" messages so subscribers can see what they are missing and can evaluate the moderator. (Time permitting.)

    VIII. Moderator Duties

    Moderators are appointed by the Area 51 Research Center. Although the moderator may be invisible, he (she) plays an important role in keeping the list focussed. Although he is obligated to obey the charter above, his job is more an art than a science -- especially in evaluating what is "intelligent" and "interesting".

    The moderator's main responsibility is to accept or reject messages based on the general criteria above. It is not his responsibility to determine the factual accuracy of any message. He doesn't usually have to read the whole message, just enough to determine that the message is appropriate for the list. Minor violations of the charter can be overlooked as long as the message as a whole is worthwhile.

    The moderator may edit messages in the following minor ways, without notice and without changing the "From" address of the message:

    1. Change the subject line however he deems fit, to make it more useful to readers.

    2. Remove superfluous lines, such as excessive quotation of a previous message.

    3. Reformat text paragraphs to conform to the standard margin width.

    4. Add links to relevant web pages.

    Messages that are more extensively edited must be reposted under the moderator's email address (with the address of the source also given).

    When a message is rejected, the moderator should send a message to the author to this effect. See sample rejection letter. Rejection notices are sent only as time permits and at the discretion of the moderator.

    The moderator has the authority and obligation to "pull the plug" on any topic of conversation if the thread becomes tedious and repetitive with no new information given. (To keep the list alive, someone has to say, "Okay, lets move on.")

    Because a moderator cannot be on duty all the time, delays of up to several days are possible between the time a message is submitted and when it reaches subscribers. (Because mailing list messages are given a low priority on the host server, delivery delays of a day or more are possible even when the message is approved immediately.)

    Tired Topics

    Here is a partial list of "tired topics" that have been talked about so many times on newsgroups that they aren't interesting anymore. Unless a substantially new angle can be introduced, messages on these topics will probably be rejected.

    • Reports to visits to the Nellis Range border where nothing happens.

    • Proposals to send a remote controlled model airplane into Area 51.

    • Proposals to invade Area 51 with hundreds of people.

    IX. Sponsor

    The Area 51 Research Center, as the host of the remailer, is the ultimate authority on submission criteria. We will always accept suggestions on how the rules can be improved, but the current written rules must be respected. If anyone feels that the criteria of this list are too arbitrary or constraining, they are free to start their own mailing list elsewhere. Disgruntled parties are also free to post unmoderated messages to alt.conspiracy.area51, along with any complaints they may have about the list.

    -- Glenn Campbell


    This list was started Sept. 1, 1996.

    As of [an error occurred while processing this directive], there were [an error occurred while processing this directive] subscribers (about half digest-only).

    Digest is generated every 5 days or 12 messages, whichever comes first.

    Due to high load on the mail server, a delay of 4-36 hours is now common between message approval and its delivery to subscribers (not including the delay before the moderator approves the message).

    Created: 9/1/96 gc
    Last Modified: 1/15/97 gc.e