And now, with the ever-popular Google Maps site, online users have been taking jabs at Area 51.
Google Maps allows Web surfers to easily find and make maps by offering street maps, route planners and satellite images.
"There was this guy in a black suit there. Said something about swamp gas and light from Venus. The rest is kind of hazy," one Google reviewer recently wrote.
Area 51, also commonly referred to as Groom Lake and Dreamland, is an actual military base, located on the shore of a salt flat called Groom Lake, about 80 miles north of Las Vegas.
Probably the main reason why many conspiracy theorists and UFO devotees have claimed that captured extraterrestrial spacecraft are housed at Area 51 is that there's been high-level secret testing of experimental aircraft there. The extraordinary stealth fighter was tested at the Groom Lake facility, most likely giving rise to eyewitness reports of UFOs in the area.
That, coupled with understandable government secrecy about its Area 51 activities and the numerous signs posted outside the base, severely warning off any intruders or trespassers, has added to the speculation about ET projects going on there.
But it doesn't take much to create a new UFO allegation, especially on the Internet. And, presumably, to have a little fun at the expense of hard-core UFO believers, Google Maps readers have written their own "reviews" of Area 51, with a heavy hand toward aliens, military threats and men in black.
Like this one: "Poor customer service. I came here for a summer holiday with the kids planning to tour the area ... but upon arrival to the area, we were 'greeted' by about 20 armed men. ... They were not very polite and threatened to kill us! We demanded that we be shown to our room but were disgusted to find it had already been taken. ... This ruined our holiday."
Or this: "Spaceship towed. Never park your spaceship nearby. I had a permit (and was legally parked), and they still towed! Now I have no way to get back to my native planet Xenu."
I guess that person didn't get a good Priceline deal on Xenu.
Click here to go to an excellent zoom-able satellite image of Area 51.