Satellite footage captures a dozen mystery ‘vehicles’ jutting out of hangars on the runway of clandestine Tonopah Test Range Airport near Area 51 in Nevada
- Dozens of mystery objects were captured on satellite at the Tonopah Test Range Airport earlier this month
- The base is located on the northern edge of the Nevada Test and Training Range,
- The facility is where aircraft experimented on at Area 51 are made operational
- Satellite footage shows two lines of white objects that could be fighter jets, unmanned combat air vehicles, or stealth helicopters
- Today the shadowy, high-security Tonopah base supports a number of clandestine programs and aircraft testing operations
Dozens of mysterious objects have suddenly appeared at a shadowy high-security Nevada test range airport.
Satellite imagery from December 6 reveals unusual activity captured outside a dozen hangars of the top secret Tonopah Test Range Airport located on the northern edge of the Nevada Test and Training Range.
The base is known as the facility where aircraft experimented on at the infamous Area 51 base become operational according to The Drive.
The objects were snapped by a Planet Labs’ PlanetScope satellite at 10.15am local time, revealing a small fleet of unidentified aircraft in the southern ‘canyon’ of hangars.
The Tonopah Test Range was first created in a program where American fighter pilots secretly flew and tested captured Russian MIGs against their fellow aviators.
Since then the remote airport and range, which boasts over fifty hangars, has become home to the remaining fleet of retired F-117 Nighthawk stealth aircraft.
Today Tonopah and the range support a number of clandestine programs as well as testing, however recently unusual activity has been spotted around a dozen hangars, which has been caught on satellite footage.
But the December 6 satellite image is unique because it revealed some program was active in the hangars that day and roughly fighter-sized jets were pictured outdoors.
However, it’s not clear what type of aircraft those small white blobs in the satellite images actually are.
They could be unmanned combat air vehicles, RQ-179 Sentinel derivative aircraft, stealth helicopters or manned spy aircraft.
As for now it’s still a mystery as to what these objects are and what they will be used for.
One reason they could be out is to troubleshoot any satellite data-link issues before departing. Another theory is that the aircraft may have been out to be fueled.
Another theory as to whey so many secretive aircraft were captured at the same time is that some speculate the planes are going out on a mission together.
It is not thought that the photographed craft are F-117 jets because their profiles do not match and it known that there are only six left at the base – not nearly a dozen
Furthermore the F-117s are not based in a series of hangars further north on the facility that the satellite images photographed.
The base has been pretty busy in the second half of 2019. Much of the visible daytime activity picked up by satellite occurs on the northern end of the ramp by the Blue and White clusters.
The base is also an established testing station for USSOCOM aviation-related initiatives.
According to The Drive, Tonopah is a place where secret aircraft end up after being used in experimentation and development states at Area 51.
Once at Tonopah the aircraft become semi-operational or even fully operational – but often remain a secret as with the F-117 and RQ-179 aircraft.