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Groom Lake Timeline

 Victor Vigianni, MUFON Ontario, talked at last night's
 general meeting about his recent trip to Nevada and
 New Mexico. At one point he was asked about the year
 of its inception as a test facility. I, being the
 ever-helpful kind, shot from the hip with "the late
 forties." Wrong!
 Thanks to David Tilbury for the following:
 Date: Tue, 22 Oct 1996 11:11:29 +0100 (BST)
 From: David Tilbury - Sun UK 
 Subject: Groom Lake Info
 ->  SearchNet's   iufo   Mailing List
 Groom Lake Timeline
 By Tom Mahood
 Latest Revision: August, 1996
 Significant and interesting events in the history of Groom Lake
 April, 1955:
         Lockheed test pilot, Tony LeVier, under orders from Kelly
         Johnson, searches for remote site to test the U-2. He finds
         Groom Lake and returns with Kelly Johnson and a representative
         of the CIA. Johnson decides to place the runway at the south
         end of Groom Lake. Work begins on the facility there under the
         direction of Lockheed Skunk Works. (1)
 July, 1955:
         Work on "The Ranch" is complete at a cost of $800,000. It
         consists of three hangars, control tower, mess hall, runway,
         and numerous mobile homes. The first U-2 was shipped out on
         July 23. (1)
 August 4, 1955:
         First flight of the U-2 at Groom Lake. (1)
 August 19, 1955:
         Executive Order 10633 is signed by President Eisenhower
         restricting the airspace over Groom Lake for the first time.
         The rectangular airspace is an extension of the Test Site
         airspace (known as "The Las Vegas Project") at its northeast
         corner and measures 5 by 9 nautical miles. (8)
 November 17, 1955:
         A C-54 transport, en route to Groom from Burbank, crashes into
         Mt. Charleston killing all aboard, 9 civilian workers and 5
         military. (5)
 Fall, 1956:
         Six pilots from SAC start training at Groom in the U-2. (1)
 April 1957:
         A U-2 with radar spoofing equipment crashes during testing near
         Groom, killing the pilot. (1)
 June 20, 1958:
         Public Land Order 1662 is enacted by Roger Ernst, Assistant
         Secretary of the Interior, withdrawing 38,400 acres (60 square
         miles) for use " the Atomic Energy Commission in connection
         with the Nevada Test Site." The area, 6 miles North/South and
         10 miles East/West, forms the first "box" around the Groom
         base, beneath the already restricted airspace.
 September 21, 1959:
         The USGS snaps a photo (13-146) of Groom as part of a routine
         mapping program, which is still available.
 November, 1959:
         A full scale mockup of an A-12 is shipped to Groom, via truck,
         for radar signature testing. (4)
 September, 1960:
         Construction begins on a major expansion of the Groom Lake
         facility to accommodate the A-12 (OXCART) program on behalf of
         the CIA. This period of construction is not be complete until
         mid 1964. (4)
 September 7, 1960:
         Work begins on lengthening and strengthening the existing
         5,000' runway to 8,500'. It is completed November 15. (4)
 August 11, 1961:
         The newly created R-4808 restricted airspace becomes effective,
         covering the Test Site and Groom Lake. Use is restricted from
         the surface to FL600. The restricted airspace over Groom Lake
         remains 5 by 9 nautical miles in size. (8) (26 FR 6233)
 Late 1961:
         Colonel Robert J. Holbury, USAF, is named Commander of the
         Groom base. (4)
 Early 1962:
         The fuel tank farm is completed with a capacity of
         1,320,000 gallons. (4) January 15, 1962:
         The restricted airspace directly over Groom Lake (R-4808) is
         expanded to 22 by 20 nautical miles. The basis of the expansion
         was a request by the Department of the Air Force citing an
         immediate and urgent need due to a classified project. This
         creates the "Groom box" as it exists today. (8) (27 FR 205)
 February 26, 1962:
         The first A-12 Blackbird is brought to Groom via truck for
         testing. (4) (Ben Rich says January, 1962)
 April 26, 1962:
         First flight test of the A-12 Blackbird at Groom Lake. (4)
 May 24, 1963:
         An A-12 (#123) crashes due to pitot icing 14 miles south of
         Wendover, Utah. (4)
 July 9, 1964:
         An A-12 (#133) crashes on final approach to Groom. The pilot
         ejects at an altitude of 500'. (4)
 Beginning 1965:
         The OXCART construction project is now complete and the base
         population has reached 1,835. (4)
 February 27, 1965:
         First flight test of the D-21 drone launched from a Blackbird
         at Groom Lake. (1)
 December 28, 1965:
         An A-12 (#126) crashes immediately after takeoff from Groom.
 January 5, 1967:
         An A-12 (#125) runs out of fuel 70 miles from Groom, crashing,
         and the pilot killed after ejecting. (4)
 August 28, 1968:
         The US Geological Survey snaps an aerial photo of the Groom
         Lake complex as part of a routine high altitude survey. This
         photo, since published in numerous places, was available to the
         public until early 1994, when it was withdrawn from release by
         the government.
 Mid-November, 1977:
         "Have Blue", the F-117A Stealth fighter prototype, is shipped
         to Groom Lake for flight testing. (1)
 December 1, 1977:
         First flight of the "Have Blue" at Groom Lake. (2)
 May 4, 1978:
         One of the two "Have Blue" prototypes crashes at Groom. (2)
 July 11, 1979:
         The second "Have Blue" prototype crashes 35 miles from Groom.
 May, 1981:
         First production F-117A is airlifted to Groom for testing. (1)
 June 18, 1981:
         First flight of the production F-117A Stealth fighter at Groom.
 February, 1982:
         First flight of "TACIT BLUE" (demonstrator for stealth
         technology) at Groom . (7)
 April 20, 1982:
         The first production model of the F-117A crashes at Groom
         during Air Force acceptance tests. (1)
 October 15, 1982:
         Beginning of acceptance flight tests with second production
         model of F-117A. (1)
 Early 1984:
         The Air Force seizes 89,000 acres to the north and west of
         Groom Lake, pushing the border far from the base.
         First Stealth fighter squadron moves from Groom into new
         facilities at Tonopah Test Range. (1)
 August, 1984:
         In Congressional hearings concerning the land seizure, the Air
         Force representative (John Seiberling) makes the statement that
         while the Air Force had no legal authority to seize the land
         (as far as he knew) the decision to do so was made at a much
         higher level than his. He would only go into the details in a
         closed session. (5)
         Tacit Blue program ends. (7)
         Congress finally authorizes the Air Force's land seizure. (2)
 July 17, 1988:
         A Soviet spy satellite takes a photo of the Groom Lake area
         destined for release in a number of publications, including
         "Popular Science" and "The Lazar Poster".
 May, 1989:
         Robert Lazar's first interviews are broadcast on KLAS-TV in Las
         Vegas. Lazar states he had been hired to reverse engineer
         extraterrestrial craft at a facility at Papoose Lake, just
         southwest of Groom Lake. Lazar's appearance focuses the first
         widespread public interest on the Groom Lake area.
 October 18, 1993:
         The Air Force files a notice in the Federal Register seeking to
         withdraw another 3972 acres from public use to curtail public
         viewing of the Groom base from Freedom Ridge and Whitesides
         Peak. (3)
 April, 1994:
         "Popular Science" magazine appears, featuring a satellite photo
         of the Groom Lake base on its cover and containing a lengthy
         article on the base and its history, thus igniting mainstream
         media interest in the facility.
 April 10, 1995:
         Freedom Ridge and Whitesides Peak are officially closed to all
         public access. (3)
 January, 1996:
         The Bechtel Corporation is reported to have begun work
         lengthening the secondary runway (14L-32R) by 5,000'. (3)
 1. "Skunk Works" by Ben Rich, published by Little, Brown & Company, 1994.
 2. "Dreamland - the Air Force's remote test site" by Peter Merlin, an article
 in "Aerotech News and Review" 4/1/94.
 3. "Groom Lake Desert Rat" by Glenn Campbell, various issues.
 4. "The OXCART Story" by Thomas P. McIninch, a declassified history of the
 program from the CIA.
 5. "Los Angeles Times", November 19, 1955.
 6. "Alien Contact", by Timothy Good, published by Morrow, 1993.
 7. Air Force press release 01-04-96
 8. Federal Register
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