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Area 51

by V.L. Custer

      The following are excerpts from a talk given by V.L. Custer in August 1995. Custer was allegedly an Area 51 worker at the Nevada Test Site for 12 years. From what I can gather, he gave this talk at a meeting in the Black Hills of South Dakota. He is described as an upstanding citizen, a gentleman, and someone who speaks the truth. The interview was forwarded from Dr. Richard Boylan to several on an e-mail list. The original text of the interview may be found at The All Seeing Eye Research and News Web site,

V.L. Custer: I spent from June of 1965 to August of 1977 directly on the Nevada Test Site, worked there full time. I was Radiation - Health Safety... In my job we had responsibility for and access to all of the areas of the Nevada Test Site, which encompasses about 1,800 square miles. It begins north of Las Vegas at Indian Springs, where the bombing and gunnery range starts, and goes all the way to Beatty, Nev. Itís an area that has armed guards around it, surveillance devices, itís a restricted air space, you canít fly over it. If youíre caught on it, things happen to you.

I had a top secret clearance and I think there probably wasnít a square mile of that test site that I havenít been on or seen, part of which is Area 51. One of the things Iíd like to tell you folks right now is that thereís certain things that I cannot and will not talk about. When you quit out there, quitting what used to be the Atomic Energy Commission, itís now the Department of Energy, itís kind of like quitting the Central Intelligence Agency. You never quit. They never let loose of you.

There are certain things that I saw and was part of that I will take to the grave with me without talking about. However, there are a lot of things that I can talk about. And I think the news media has titillated public interest in a very dishonest way, because 95 percent of whatís at Area 51 is totally uninteresting, itís very mundane.

The federal government tests aircraft at Area 51 that they want to keep secret... The reason the government uses Area 51 is because it has a 10-mile-long runway, absolute secrecy, you canít see anything thatís worth seeing from the air or the ground. And that hill that sits away from Area 51, where everybody goes up and looks, all they can see... we used to sit there and look back at people and do this (wave) because all you can see is administration buildings. Thatís all you can see. The government knows that people are out there looking into the area, and because of that a deliberate effort has been made that thereís absolutely nothing to see right there.

Now, if you go a few miles north, thereís a lot of things that people might want to see, but never will. The Department of Energy now has yearly tours on the test site, once a year the families of employees, that belong to certain classifications of workers, are allowed to take bus tours through part of the test site. Itís a very small area that they let people see, itís Frenchman Flat, the flat where the old air bursts, where atmospheric tests were performed. But you canít get within 40 miles of Area 51.

As I told Paul Strassels on the radio the other day, there were things I saw and have seen in Area 51 that would make one wonder where they came from. Iíve also seen things out there that violate most of the laws of physics... Iíve seen things that most aircraft or no aircraft that I know of could do, do...

The federal government is afraid... in fact, we had a whole division of public-relations people to feed the public information that was cleansed. The federal government is afraid that if the population of the United States knew some of the things that we have done and have seen and have found, people would panic. And thatís all I can say about that.

There was a groundswell movement to eliminate nuclear weapons testing. The government didnít want people thinking they were hopelessly contaminating part of Nevada for all times, which they have - itís too late now, it poses no real threat to us, anyway. So they didnít announce those things. I use that as an example of part of which isnít told to the public.

There was nuclear weapons testing I was involved in. I should hasten to say that most of that was stockpile testing. We would take a nuclear device out of stockpile and test it, see if it worked. Itís as simple as that. Nuclear weapons tend to deteriorate when they sit around for periods of time. Degrade is the term.... Area 51 is the most secured area in the United States. Area 51 happens to sit in a place where, as I said, security has to be absolutely tight, because itís nothing but desert, government public lands, itís secured public land.

A lot of what goes on in Area 51 goes on at night, so the Russian satellites canít see whatís going on. Thatís why people from time to time see things... I saw some things in Area 51 that, objects, that were strange, didnít seem to be something that, at the time, we had the capability of manufacturing. I donít know where they came from, I donít know much about them. But I saw what I saw with my eyes.

I did ask, on two separate occasions, one of caretakers, thatís what we called them, and I was told the first time - donít ask. Now, remember, I had top secret clearance. I had a need to know. Our group, 80 of us, could go anywhere. We could ask any questions because of what we did. But that was one subject that I was told, donít ask. The second time I asked, I was warned that if I asked again, some rather dire things might happen. So I never asked again.

Iím familiar with the Roswell Incident in 1947 in New Mexico. I have every reason to believe that the federal government found something there. I have every reason to believe that the federal government will never tell what they found there. We have so much paranoia of humans, anyway, if there was any leak that some sort of life form had visited this planet, the federal government is convinced that people would panic and that anarchy might prevail for a while.

Thatís about all I can say. The government is telling people that theyíre dismantling Area 51. I always found that curious because thereís actually nothing to dismantle out there. Everything thatís out there has been brought there from somewhere else.

Right next to Area 51 is the Nellis/Indian Springs AFB bombing and gunnery range, and thatís where all the armored experiments go on...

There were no nuclear weapons tests that were performed in Area 51. Thatís an area that has been kept pristine, for very good reasons, mostly the other different parts of the test site have, starting with Area 1 and ending with Area 26. Every area out there is numbered. Area 51 somehow got a designation of 51. There is no 27 through 50...

Weíve had a number of accidents out at the test site the public never knew about. Iím not really at liberty to talk about that except it may be interesting for you to know that I now live in South Dakota, I donít live in Nevada anymore. And I will never live in Nevada.

I personally have two body burdens of plutonium 39 in me and if I live long enough and become old enough, I will die of bone cancer. But Iím not worried about that, because I knew what the risk was when I got into the business. A lot of the friends and people I worked with are dead now. Itís a very risky, itís a very high hazardous job.

Nuclear weapons are something that are, well, there are so many of them that... the hazard that a nuclear weaponry poses isnít blasting people off the face of the earth. We could have a war with Russia and they could have one with us and China and everybody could get involved in it, it still wouldnít wipe out the human race. The problem comes after the bomb goes off because of whatís called fission products. And thatís the contamination that ensues...

The only other things I can tell you about Area 51 is that there will never, in our lifetimes, be any information let out about some of the things that are out there. I will say that it has become a storage area for oddities. Thatís where, other than Kirkland AFB, the Roswell debris was supposedly taken. All I can say is sometime, during my tenure at the Nevada Test Site, there was debris from Roswell, N.M., stored away at Area 51. I was lucky enough, or unlucky enough, to see some of it. I donít take any pleasure in that knowledge because it puts a constraint on me I donít like to have...

A question is asked if he can describe what he saw in the Roswell debris.

V.L. Custer: No. Iíll tell you why, folks. I donít know if any of you have been to Leavenworth, Kan., or not, but thatís where the federal prison is. Itís hot, itís humid, and I have no desire whatsoever to go. I still have a real, legitimate respect for the Department of Defense security. When you leave out there, they debrief you. And the debriefing lasted quite a few hours, the better part of a day, and the bottom line was - donít talk or else.

That was the bottom line. And they gave you a list of things not to talk about. I have not violated any of those this afternoon. Since I left out there, I donít believe I ever have. Iím very careful about it.

A question is asked from someone who lived near an air force base and used to see unusual things flying about. Are they terrestial or extraterrestrial?

V.L. Custer: Well, a group of fellows and I were on our way to work one night to the test site. We saw something that to this day... this was an aircraft of some sort, aircraft being defined as an object in the atmosphere that is moving around. There were six of us, we were all trained observers, we were not the type of people who see things go bump in the night. Iím pretty skeptical about things, generally.

That aircraft that we saw land, which was next to the test site, did some things that with the technology we had then and probably with the technology we have now, were impossible to do. We saw it, I saw it, the five other fellows with me, we stopped the car and got out and watched it for 15 to 20 minutes. I have no idea what it was.

I had access to and was privy to a lot of classified information, for instance, the SR-71 was a commonplace aircraft to us, and yet the general public knew nothing about it. But it came in and went and it made a lot of noise, thatís the only thing I didnít like about it. It came in hot and it left hot. It came in over the speed of sound and it left at the speed of sound. So it was always making this horrible noise. That was a very common thing to see. Some of the other things I saw were uncommon...

During the time I was out there (at Area 51), the Soviet Union had an exchange program with us. It was not unusual to see Soviet scientists out at the test site on a regular basis. We shared a lot of information with them. I came to the conclusion, having talked to a lot of them over the years, that they were really not our enemies anywhere near to what the politicians wanted you to believe they were.

We showed them... I showed them things that I couldnít believe we were showing people from the Soviet Union. And I asked about that and was told that we had an exchange program and they were able to see things and become aware of things that I certainly wouldnít have shown them.

A question is asked if the Soviets saw certain things Custer couldnít see.

V.L. Custer: No, they couldnít go to Area 51.

A question is asked why we were told they were bad.

V.L. Custer: Itís always helpful to a nation to have an enemy...

I have MS. I also have degeneration of the retina. Itís probably... the exposure I got, the radio isotopes I have in me. Itís very probable that my medical conditions are because of what I did. But I want to add, I knew what I was doing. I was paid very well for it and I have no regrets...

Everything that goes on at the Nevada Test Site is on a need-to-know basis. There are three words that you will hear over and over, every single working day youíre out there, everything is on a need to know. I was going to bring my security badge with me and I forgot it. I still have it. I had a top secret clearance with sigmas on it. These sigmas denoted what informational areas I was privy to and one of those areas was Area 51.

I got it as a souvenir when I left. I talked the security people into letting me have it. There are all kinds of people in government that do not have the need to know of whatís going on out there, or at least parts of whatís going on out there. And theyíre not told. And that includes the President...

A question is asked about propulsion systems.

V.L. Custer: I can say this, anti-gravity devices exist, where they came from, thatís another matter of speculation. Their unwillingness to talk about things like that within the government stems partly from human nature. If youíre privy to some information that you hold dear, regardless of what it is, weíre reluctant to share it with other people. Thatís part of the problem. The other part of the problem is holding on to the information, so it can be used militarily. We have become so used to having an enemy in this country and the need to have an enemy, another nation state, thatís itís gotten pretty bad.

A question is asked about his personal views of the future.

V.L. Custer: President Eisenhower warned us about the military industrial complex before he left office in 1960. I personally believe that thereís a reason we moved to the Black Hills of South Dakota. Partially because weíre at the top of the food chain here and the water chain. I like to live in a place where the water isnít going to be contaminated.

I personally feel that thereís a good chance, an excellent chance, that thereís going to be limited nuclear war in the next five to six years. And whether that escalates into a global confrontation, who knows. But itís going to happen, just as sure as Iím standing here. The temptation to use nuclear weapons is getting more and more, tactical, not strategical nuclear weapons, the tactical nuclear weapons.

We spent a lot of time out there testing tactical nuclear weapons, 150 kilo tons, 150,000 tons of TNT and less. Small devices, devices that paratroopers can jump out of planes, with them on their back. I can carry one around in a suitcase and the problem with that is, nuclear devices have become so small, so compact, so efficient, that if terrorists ever get their hands on one, and itís amazing that they havenít, absolutely amazing, itís going to make this thing in Oklahoma City look like a walk in the park.

Because the first terrorist group that gets their hands on a nuclear device... you know we all used to say, well, China canít do it because they canít deliver the weapons, that was a bunch of hog wash. You donít need rockets to deliver nuclear weapons, all you need is a suitcase, itís that simple. I can give you the address of a company in San Francisco that would be more than happy to send you the blueprints for a nuclear weapon for $19.95.

A question is asked about crop circles.

V.L. Custer: You know, those crop circles are amazing. I donít know where theyíre coming from. We had places out in Nevada, there were no crops, it was sand and low bushes, with crop circles identical to those at the test site... I can tell you one thing, at the test site, it wasnít some prank. In England, some say it was some pranksters, but at the Nevada Test Site it wasnít a prank. There are no pranks out there... A lot of what we call reality - what we see, we hear, we smell, we taste, we feel - isnít quite the way we think it is.

From a physics point of view, there is no such thing as color. Weíre all sitting around here seeing colors that donít exist. Light is electromagnetic radiation and itís colorless. our brains interpret different wavelengths of color through our optic nerves, what our minds call color - green jacket, brown pants - there is no color there.

Your brain is interpreting color, different wavelengths, and I call it green and I call it brown. We mostly all agree on these things, generally speaking, but we all see different things. There is no color. So you have to stop and think about crazy things you see in the sky at night that may or not be unexplainable. To someone else may be very common, very explainable and very ordinary.

Iím just about to walk over the edge here... they may not be... if you were to see a person, you may not recognize that person as someone you thought might live on the face of this planet. And thatís all Iíll say about that. I swore to God I wasnít going to say that.

If a race of beings had the ability to travel from Alpha Centauri to here, they would certainly have the ability to camouflage themselves, either to where we couldnít detect them, or to look like us. Weíre a diverse-looking race of beings. They could look almost like anything. Thereís creatures on this planet that look pretty strange.

I have a healthy respect for and a fear of my federal government, because Iíve seen my federal government do some really bad things to people. There were people out at the test site that were the subjects of radiation experiments. Iíve seen them tie animals down in areas that were going to be tested.

We had a tower out there, it was called Bren Tower, it was 1,300 feet tall, and at the top of that tower there was a reactor, unshielded, small reactor and around the base of that tower for a half mile or so, we would put experiments out, live experiments, and see how much radiation they could take. How much gamma radiation, how much beta, how many neutrons they could absorb - these were animals...

Something else, we have laser weapons now that make nuclear weapons look pretty weak. We tested a lot of laser weaponry out there when I was there in the í70s, all kinds of laser weapons. Laser weapons are far more selective. A nuclear weapon is just a great big bomb that blows up and you have the radiation and the heat and the wind and all that. Theyíre not as all destructive as people think they are. The new ones arenít as dirty as people think they are...

What I know about anti-gravity devices Iím not at liberty to talk about... Area 51 does not deal with nuclear weaponry.

Physics, folks, is advancing in leaps and bounds. All technology is advancing in leaps and bounds. One of the most dangerous things thatís happening to the human race right now is weíre being left behind. I canít even run my sonís computer as well as he can and technology is going faster than our ability to keep up with it. And when I say our ability, Iím not talking about just us, Iím talking about the people that build it. Weíre a couple of years away from artificial intelligence, computerized, artificial intelligence that has the ability to reason, to think, to comprehend existence. If you stop and think about that, thatís pretty scary. It gets to the point where maybe we become liabilities. When I was a youngster, Buck Rogers and all that stuff was science fiction. And itís advancing exponentially. My mother, who passed away a few years ago, rode on a stagecoach here in the Black Hills. She also saw men walk on the moon.

Now you take another 20 years from now, and when I say itís increasing exponentially, the graph of scientific knowledge isnít going up like this, itís going straight up, practically. Weíre talking about now, this Area 51 thing, the government will hang on until the last dog dies before theyíll tell you whatís going on out there.

Even after it becomes irrelevant anymore, even after it becomes where itís no secret. The government still wonít talk about the things that happened in World World II. Iím not talking about nuclear things, Iím talking about the Philadelphia Experiment, and I shouldnít have even mentioned that. The government will not talk about all kinds of things that they already know about.

A question is asked about all the TV programs about UFOs and the government ready to tell.

V.L. Custer: It isnít the government loosening up, no. I have friends that work in government security. And they absolutely gnash their teeth at the fact that all these things leak out constantly and they lay awake at night, trying to figure out ways to plug leaks.

I think I told you all what I could without laying awake tonight wondering if I told you too much. I hope it was helpful. The best thing you can do to keep the society as free and open as possible is to make sure the politicians we elect to office donít allow themselves to be sucked into the vortex of secrecy that the government always wants to have.

And if you see anything flying around, believe your eyes, and believe it isnít a weather balloon. If the government says itís something, itís pretty safe to disbelieve them.

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