Tag Archive for Osama bin Laden

The Beast of Kandahar

Area 51 base in the Nevada desert

Area 51 — for over a half a century it has been the subject of fascination. Conspiracy theories abounded. One thing was certain, it was more than a patch of land in the Nevada desert. Area 51 was, and still is, the apparent epicenter of “black programs.”

It is the “need to know” principles of the special-access black programs that are run out of the base that account for the cloak of secrecy. The principle of “need to know” meant that everything was compartmentalized. And amazingly, sometimes even the United States President DOESN’T need to know.

Annie Jacobsen, journalist and author of Area 51: An Uncensored History, has real fears about the “lack of respect for the constitution” that this level of secrecy can entail.

Area 51’s latest known accomplishment has been dubbed “The Beast of Kadahar.”

No one on the ground or in Pakistan’s air defence spotted Area 51’s latest toy as it kept watch on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on the night of the US raid that killed the Taliban leader.

Rather than one of the UFOs that the wilder fringes of the internet believe the military has stashed away at America’s top-secret military site in Nevada, this “toy” was actually the latest Star Wars-type drone, or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), developed at the base whose existence Uncle Sam only barely admits.

Named the “Beast of Kandahar” after it was snapped at Kandahar air base in Afghanistan back in 2009, this stealthy grey batwing-shaped long-distance reconnaissance drone, officially known as the RQ-170 Sentinel, was a throwback to Area 51’s golden age before the advent of the spy satellite put the spy plane out of business.

UK’s The Independent recently posted an article “The (very) secret history of Area 51” that is a fascinating and informative read on the mysterious Area 51. Read it in its entirety here.