Area 51 was established as a United States Air Force facility, and by the 1950s, was also used by S.H.I.E.L.D. as one of its bases of operation. Around this time, Project Helius was conceived at Area 51 as an attempt for S.H.I.E.L.D. create an ion fusion reactor. Headed by Pascal Vega, numerous S.H.I.E.L.D. scientists lived at Area 51, while others would enter the base every day. However, Helius was eventually mothballed, as S.H.I.E.L.D. believed nothing on Earth was powerful enough to start the fusion reactor.
- "Just when you think the internet can do some good in this world and band together to find some aliens, they fail all over again! Over a million people planned to attend the much-hyped raid on Area 51, but after the dust has settled: initial reports say that only a few dozen showed up!"
- ―The Daily Bugle[src]
In 2024, over a million people were reportedly planning to raid Area 51 in a search for extraterrestrial life, but initial reports later said that only a few dozen showed up. J. Jonah Jameson from The Daily Bugle commented on the outlet that all these people failed to realize that the "real aliens are the super heroes", criticizing the Avengers and recalling all the controversy surrounding purchasable Chitauri technology on the black market in the aftermath of the Battle of New York.
To be added
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- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Thor: The Dark World (mentioned)
- In the comics, Area 51 was used by the United States Armed Forces for a while before being abandoned in favor of Area 52.
- In real life, Area 51 was established in 1955. However, when S.H.I.E.L.D. visits the base in an alternate 1955, Dr. Pascal Vega informs them that he has worked there for a few years. It is possible that within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Area 51 opened a few years before, or that in the altered timeline created by the Chronicoms, that their earlier tampering in 1931 led to Area 51 being established earlier.
Behind the Scenes
- The story about a failed raid on Area 51 published by The Daily Bugle was written by Sony Pictures Studios as a reference to the Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us September 2019 event, where over 150 people had protested at the gates of Area 51 in a futile attempt to storm into the facility.