TODAY | August 16, 2013
>> meantime, new information this morning about area 51 . you know it. long thought to be a secret government site in nevada's desert. as it turns out, the conspiracy theorists were right. sort of.
>> they're vindicating this morning. good morning, guys. for the first time, the u.s. government confirmed the existence of area 51 . but while they're acknowledging it and it's location, they make no mention of ufos or spaceships.
>> reporter: conspiracy theory confirmed. the u.s. government has finally recognized the existence of area-51. according to recently declassified documents obtained by the national security archive at george washington university , the military air base is 125 miles northwest of loas vegas. until now it never officially existed.
>> they're no longer pretending the place doesn't exist. that's the first step to getting a lot more information in the future.
>> reporter: that made the site the frequent subject of conspiracy theories . particularly that it was used to secretly hyde alien spaceships.
>> take me word for it, there's no area-51.
>> that's not entirely accurate.
>> no mention of flying saucers in the documents, but, instead, a different kind of flying. turns out area 51 was created as a test site for the u 2, a spy plane used by the cia during the cold war .
>> they didn't want the soviet union to know about it and so ensure that they wanted a facility where it could be tested away from everyone else.
>> area-51 has seen some out of this world action. apollo astronauts trained there for the moon landing . thornton barnes was forced to keep his work a secret from family and friends for decades.
>> my wife was mad at me when she found out i was working only 85 miles from home. she had no idea where we were and thought we were in some other country.
>>> area-51 is one of the worst kept secrets. the map just released matches one you can find on the internet by googling area-51. so much for classified.
>> well, natalie is depressed they don't have ufos.
>> i'm sure they're doing alien autopsies.