The Sheahan family has owned their bone-dry 400 acre Groom Mine property for 130 years. When the government came calling with an offer to buy the land for $5 million in an effort to build a secure zone around the ultra-secret Area 51 facility at Groom Lake next door, the Sheahans said no, according to TV station KSNV.
The Sheahans believe the land is far more valuable than the money offered. Groom Mine owner Joe Sheahan has other issues with his infamous neighbor. "I think that they’re capping off 60-plus years of nothing short of criminal activity," Sheahan told the TV station.
The government appears to want Sheahan's land for a buffer zone—and KSNV reported the Department of Justice is attempting to have Groom Mine condemned, so they can speed up acquisition of the land.
The Air Force statement to the broadcaster indicated that "increasing national security demands have made it impossible to test and train safely while civilians are present."
It basically sounds like the Air Force has finally grown tired of Art Bell devotees, touring UFO true believers and sleuths attempting view test flights of top secret aircraft like stealth drones getting too close for comfort.
The Sheahan family appears prepared to stand fast. "We’re not trying to say that the Air Force is bad, that’s not true," Joe Sheahan told KSNV. "What we are saying is there are individuals out there that believe that their mission is so important that the Constitution and your rights will be pushed aside."
Paranormal radio legend Art Bell might remind the Sheahans of his infamous broadcast that allegedly illustrated just how bad things can get when someone makes the mistake of falling afoul of who—or what—is behind Area 51.
We hope the guy who called Art Bell is fine and got the help or acting career he needed.
But it's likely if the Air Force succeeds in acquiring the land, the increased distance between the base often referred to as "Dreamland" and unwanted observers will only magnify the mysterious zone's continuing allure for the hyper-curious—and the delusional.
Photos by Laura Rauch/AP Photo