Satellite Photos Spot Mysterious Objects Emerging From Top Secret Area 51 Experimental Air Base

Mysterious Objects Spotted Emerging From Area 51 Experimental Air Base


Back in December of 2019, Planet Labs’ satellite photos showed a dozen unusual objects emerging from several rows of hangars at the top secret Area 51-affiliated Tonopah Test Range Airport. Nothing ever came of those photos, so the mystery withered away a bit.

That is, until it happened again last week.

Spotted by Area 51 expert Tyler Rogoway on March 2nd, the previously under-utilized Tonopah Test Range was once again buzzing as the mysterious objects in question re-appeared for the first time since December.

So what exactly are these unidentified objects? Are they aircraft? Spacecraft? Alien spacecraft?!

In imagery we obtained exclusively from Planet Labs, their three-meter resolution Planet Scope imaging satellites picked up what appears to be a number of objects sitting in front of, or at least poking out of, the same dozen hangars as before. Some of the objects appear to be quite large, with the morning light casting their shadow.

On the north-end of Tonopah’s long hangar-filled ramp, referred to by those who have worked on the base as ‘canyons,’ what are very likely three Air Force Special Operations Command CASA CN-235s sit. These aircraft, along with contractor-operated ones, are regular visitors to this part of the base. You can compare these aircraft to the shadows cast by some of the objects in front of the hangars. The CN-235s are roughly 70 feet long.

“As to what these objects are, we do not know,” Rogoway added.

In October of 2019, Rogoway also reported on a censored craft near one of these hangars that appeared in a satellite image of the Tonopah Test Range Airport.

The image is interesting on two levels. First off, what exactly are we looking at? It’s hard to tell, but it certainly looks like an aircraft. To us it resembles a flying wing and is very similar to the RQ-170’s planform. The light color would also match. The only difference is that this aircraft appears to have a wingspan approaching 80 feet, which is significantly larger than that of the RQ-170. So in that sense, this aircraft would be somewhere between an RQ-170 and the P175 Polecat in terms of proportions. This is the size of vehicle that we have posited to have existed for some time — a ‘Super Sentinel’ of sorts that is capable of performing strike and electronic attack missions.

The photo, dated Oct. 1, 2017 and attributed to Digital Globe, has clearly been touched-up to conceal the details of the aircraft seen in front of the hangar. Usually, personnel at sites that work with sensitive hardware like secret aircraft are very aware of the schedules of imaging satellites that pass overhead. Test schedules and even the movement of an aircraft from one hangar to another can be dictated by the satellites’ predictable orbital paths. But no system is perfect and the need to conceal test articles or even semi-operational aircraft from overhead view is also dictated by the sensitivity of the asset. We have no idea what exactly happened here, but clearly, corrective action was taken after the satellite’s shutter had snapped open and close.

Again we ask, what are these mysterious objects? Some day, hopefully soon, we will know because….

the truth is out there


Doug avatar
Before settling down at BroBible, Douglas Charles, a graduate of the University of Iowa (Go Hawks), owned and operated a wide assortment of websites. He is also one of the few White Sox fans out there and thinks Michael Jordan is, hands down, the GOAT.