On this edition of the program, the debate over the use of straws continues, as we learn of a bizarre case of “death by metal straw” that occurred in the United Kingdom, while environmentally-minded bans of plastic straws are still in the works. Then, after other news that includes the science behind Hollywood’s latest sci-fi “reboot,” we shift our attention over to one of the be best-kept secrets in American Government: the secretive installation known as Area 51.
The famous facility at Groom Lake has long been the subject of rumors and speculation, particularly after it became a household name in the 1990s, following Bob Lazar’s peculiar rise to fame for having allegedly worked there. During the Cold War, the CIA’s top-secret spy planes were tested at the Nevada site, for use in reconnaissance missions over the U.S.S.R. “Much of the testing took place at the facility at Groom Lake,” a CIA history of the operation reads, “a dry lakebed near Las Vegas, Nevada, in an isolated area that came to be known as Area 51 and Watertown. The area was chosen by top officials of the U-2’s Development Projects Staff who flew to Nevada in search of a site where the U-2 could be tested safely and secretly.”
However, how big a secret was Area 51, also known as “Watertown” and a variety of other things over the years? We look at recently declassified information about the highly-secretive site, and why some historians and aviation enthusiasts would argue that America’s biggest secret was never all that secret, after all.