According to the LA Times Magazine, a multitude of UFO sightings over and near the vicinity of Groom Lake, Nevada, home of the infamous Area 51 base, can be attributed to something far-less cosmic than what many witnesses have presumed to be “UFOs” or extraterrestrial craft for several decades. Former Area-51 employees now state that the “A-12 Oxcart,” an experimental craft designed and tested during the 1960s, was actually at the heart of the UFO debate.

This aircraft, which had a disk-like fuselage and flew at speeds of over 2,000 mph, also bore a highly reflective titanium body, which according to The Times “may have thrown anyone who caught a glimpse of it.”

AOL News reported on the story earlier today, discussing Air Force Col. Hugh “Slip” Slater, now 87 years of age, who was a commander at Area 51 for a period during the 1960s. He cites 2,850 Oxcart test flights conducted during his tenure there, stating “That’s a lot of UFO sightings!” He also says commercial pilots who reported seeing UFOs in the vicinity were “met by FBI agents who’d make them sign nondisclosure forms.”

Could all of these reports have actually been the reflective metallic surface of the A-12 Oxcart? What about “glowing lights” seen over the base, reported by witnesses ranging from civilian pilots and government personnel to the likes of Bob Lazar, who also claimed to have been a former Area 51 employee?

The Oxcart program ended in December 1969, but by then some 12,618 UFO sightings had been logged under the famous Project Bluebook. Of those 12,618,  701 sightings remained classified, or were otherwise deemed “unidentified.”

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Author: Micah Hanks

Micah Hanks is a writer, researcher, and podcaster. His interests include areas of history, science, archaeology, philosophy, and the study of anomalous phenomena in nature. He can be reached at