The sister site of the enigmatic Area 51, Area 52, is lesser-known as the Tonopah Test Range (TTR). Compared to the otherworldly reputation of Area 51, this is ground in reality as a testing center of the US military technological research.
It is located about 70 miles from its more secretive sister base, which covers a total of 525 square miles where atom bombs, cutting-edge military aircraft have been seen on this secret base for sixty years.
The Tonopah base, which opened in 1957, has been essential in researching exotic weapons using energy and relevant technological tests, even today.
Area 52 Base conducted classified tests
From 1977 to 1988, the TTR conducted a combat training program called Constant Peg that analyzed the Russian Mikoyan MiGs pitting it against US pilots, radars, and drones, according to the Sun UK.
For eleven years, all the missions flown were secret until the Military declassified them in 2006.
The Lockheed stealth aircraft F-117 Nighthawk (Wobbly Goblin) was flight tested at the site from 1982 until 1989 as a classified project. In 1982, there was still little known about it.
The TTR remains active and has upgraded to research nuclear weapons to advance and a slew of top-secret projects. On the base is a 12,000-foot runway, with many hangers where next generation and future projects are tested.
Area 52 lodgings for workers are available as the thousands are flown in via a private terminal and driven to facilities to work.
The National Nuclear Security Administration website says the TTR is fully equipped with tracking equipment, video, high-speed cams, and radar tracking systems on the complex. The use of the equipment helps to analyze the performance of different weapon systems.
Though publicly called the TTR, Area 52 is the government's designation in official documents.
Current test activities are conducted on the TTR analysis via simulations and actual testing of different weapon systems for real-world data.
Civilians have no access to the site and are off-limits due to decades of tests that have left dangerous impurities in the 500-miles plus test range.
Tonopah Test Range is highly contaminated
According to the Department of Energy, which has striven to eliminate the contamination for several years, they have a scheme called 'Soils-Sub Project' to know how bad the radiation from atomic tests in 1963, cited Nairaland.
In 1963 nuke testing was done with the UK, designated as 'Operation Roller Coaster' that tested how bad a dirty bomb released radioactivity.
The F-117 project was used to be done in Area 51, where super-clandestine projects were started but went to area 52 for completion.
Unlike Area 51 is not seen on any map, the so-called Area 52 is visible via satellite, but the road to the front gates is not. The base is where major development came from, like the F-117, which is similar to Lockheed Skunkworks.
Conspiracy theory of a secret train from Area 52
John Lear, one out-of-touch CIA pilot and oddball conspiracist, said a bomb was used to blast a giant chamber in the TTR, but it was debunked later. Military watchers denied it.
Lear even suggested a secret train went from Tonopah Test Range (TTR) or Area 52 to Las Vegas, which is farfetched and looney since their project are mostly declassified already.