Janet Airlines flies secret jets out of Las Vegas to AREA 51
Here’s an airline you’ll likely never fly on – no matter how much money you have.
Janet Airlines Boeing 737 planes travel to one of the most mysterious and talked-about places on Earth – Area 51, deep in the Nevada desert.
There, the United States government develops its most secretive military technology.
The ultra-secret base is also rumored to host crashed extraterrestrial spacecraft – and even aliens themselves (although cynics claim this provides a useful distraction from exotic aircraft and weapons development that happens there).
But the Janet jets that take workers and government officials there are altogether more nondescript, with the passenger airliners not believed to contain any particularly exciting features.
Janet – whose letters are rumored to stand for Joint Air Network for Employee Transportation, or Just Another None Existent Terminal – has a fleet of six Boeing 737 jets.
Its pilots also fly seven smaller Beechcraft propeller planes.
Janet planes making the 87 mile trip from Vegas to Area 51 describe their destination as the mysterious-sounding Station 3.
Flight trackers show the jets traveling part of the way there, but they turn their transponders off around 12 miles before they reach their final destination, according to journalist Matt Lillywhite.
Earlier this year, one plane spotter filmed a video of a Janet Boeing 737 returning to Las Vegas airport shortly after takeoff, following an unspecified malfunction.
The Tonopah Test range, which sits around 60 miles away from Area 51, is Station 7, while the Las Vegas Airport terminal itself is Station 9.
Other destinations are also believed to exist, but their station numbers remain secret.
For years, confused tourists at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas have questioned why the fleet of red-striped jets have their own terminal, named Gold Coast.
Those in the know find the jets even more fascinating, and will use flight tracking websites like FlightAware to keep tabs on their comings and goings.
One website even posted what it claims is the schedule of Janet departures and arrivals.
Dreamlandresort.com claimed last year that the earliest flight departs Vegas for Area 51 at 3:40am, arriving just 25 minutes later. Dreamland Resort claims there are 14 return flights each day, with the final plane from Area 51 departing at 8:15pm and arriving back in Sin City at 8:40pm.
Dreamlandresort concedes that the timings remain somewhat unknown, because of the use of transponders to keep the final segment of the flight totally secret.
Although little information is available about the carrier, reports indicate that the airline may not be actually officially named at all.
‘Janet’ is the call sign its jets use when they are in civilian airspace. According to Flight Club , this call sign can change to bizarre names such as ‘bones 58’ when over authorized airspace.
Area 51 has six runways for the Janet planes to land on – including a monster 12,000ft (3,600m) long strip that is among the longest in the world.
Traveling there by Janet jets is secure and convenient. The base is part of a 23 by 25 mile exclusion zone from which regular air traffic is banned.
And while Area 51 has no perimeter fence, its grounds are guarded by secret technology which sees its famous ‘camo guys’ in military fatigues arrive to quickly arrest anyone foolish enough to ignore warning signs to keep out.
They’ve also been snapped by visitors to the Area 51 perimeter who have come too close to the invisible barrier, to serve as a warning to keep away.
The only view regular Americans have of Area 51 is from Tikaboo Peak, a full 26 miles away.
Scaling the peak is no mean feat, and requires a four wheel drive along a rough 25 mile dirt track, followed by a mile-long hike.
Anyone bold enough to make the schlep has been warned to wear hiking boots, take as much water as they can carry for the intense Nevada heat – and a pair of binoculars to catch a fuzzy glimpse of the iconic base itself.
Another Janet destination, Tonopah, serves as the site of stealth aircraft programs like the F-117A Nighthawk stealth jet, alongside stealth drone projects.,
That makes Janet one of the primary routes supporting military programs in the barren West Coast bases.
While many of its jets ping-pong between Harry Reid Airport and Area 51, the nation’s most secretive carrier has also reportedly been tracked to facilities including Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, US Air Force Production Flight Test Installation, and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Understandably, everyday flyers don’t have a chance to hop on board.
The first recorded flights from Las Vegas to Area 51 were in 1972, performed by a Douglas DC-6 that originated the red stripe on the side of the vessel.
But for those who hope to catch a glimpse inside the mysterious aircraft, a top-secret clearance is required.
A job posting allegedly seen by military news site Task & Purpose from Janet Airlines saw the carrier look for a pilot with 3,000 hours experience and an active top-secret clearance.
When questioned by the outlet about the purpose of the base, Air Combat Command spokesman Colonel Todd Vician gave an alluringly vague answer that did little to quell suspicions.
‘There is an operating location near Groom dry lake,’ he acknowledged, adding that there are ‘some specific activities and operations’ at the base that ‘remain classified and cannot be discussed.’
Groom Lake is the historical name for the dry lake bed where Area 51 was constructed.
The US military is notoriously sensitive about anyone even catching a peek at Area 51, and vowed to ‘protect America and its assets’ from its own citizens after thousands threatened to ‘storm’ the military base in 2019.
While the viral craze never materialized, it was likely for the best given the heavily armed security known to roam the boundary of the base.
The mysterious carrier was in headlines in 2017 following the infamous Las Vegas Mandalay Bay mass shooting, where gunman Stephen Paddock murdered 59 people and injured 527 others.
But the spray of bullets were also reportedly aimed at fuel tanks near the government-run airline, fueling theories Paddock had become radicalized, according to the New York Post.
The shooter had also previously worked for Lockheed Martin, one of the US government’s contracted manufacturers, leading to reports of a possible connection.