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The event, intended as a joke, has nevertheless focused attention of the mysterious base, officially known as Homey Airport or Groom Lake, where conspiracy theorists claim the US Government is hiding technology “reverse-engineered” from extra-terrestrial spacecraft.

Mr Abbott, whose books attempt to take an objective look at UFO phenomena, said: "Too many people over the years have made allegations about what is going on in for one to simply believe it’s a straightforward advanced aircraft design facility.

"If – and it’s a very big if – the US government has come into possession of some incredible material or technology which could not have originated on this planet, Area 51 would be at the top of anyone’s list for researching it."

The USA is not unique in terms of UFO sightings - there have for example been several famous cases in the UK, including the so-called Rendelsham Forest incident centred on in Suffolk.

Consequently, Mr Abbott said there could be wreckage from crashed UFOs "in almost every developed country on Earth".

He added: "It’s not the only place that people believe bits of strange objects might be stored and researched – there are allegations of 'crashed' UFOs in almost every developed nation on Earth.

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Category: Weird Desk