Oregon Has Its Own Area 51 and It is Fascinating

Area 51 is a well-known secret military base in Nevada, where many conspiracy theories and legends have emerged. But did you know that Oregon has its own version of Area 51? It is called Boardman Bombing Range, and it is a fascinating place to explore.

What is Boardman Bombing Range?

Boardman Bombing Range is a 97,000-acre training site for the U.S. Navy, located in Morrow County, Oregon. It was established in 1941 as a bombing and gunnery range for the Army Air Corps, and later transferred to the Navy in 1999. It is currently used for air-to-ground, air-to-air, and electronic warfare training, as well as testing new weapons and systems.

The range is divided into several areas, each with different purposes and restrictions. Some of the areas include:

  • Impact Area: This is where live bombs, rockets, missiles, and guns are fired. It is the most restricted area, and access is prohibited to the public and most military personnel. It is also the most dangerous area, as unexploded ordnance and toxic materials may be present.
  • Target Areas: These are where various types of targets are located, such as tanks, trucks, buildings, radar sites, and mock airfields. They are used for simulated attacks and reconnaissance missions. Some of the targets are movable, while others are fixed. They are also restricted to the public, but some military personnel may enter with permission.
  • Maneuver Areas: These are where aircraft and ground vehicles can maneuver and practice tactics. They are less restricted than the impact and target areas, but still require authorization to enter. They are also used for wildlife management and environmental studies.
  • Public Access Areas: These are where the public can access the range, either by driving, hiking, biking, or camping. They are mostly located along the perimeter of the range, and offer scenic views and recreational opportunities. However, the public must follow certain rules and regulations, such as staying on designated roads and trails, avoiding restricted areas, and respecting wildlife and cultural resources.

Why is Boardman Bombing Range Fascinating?

Boardman Bombing Range is fascinating for several reasons. First of all, it is a rare opportunity to see a military training site up close, and witness the activities and equipment that are usually hidden from the public. You may be able to spot fighter jets, helicopters, drones, tanks, and other vehicles, as well as hear the sounds of explosions and gunfire. You may also be able to see some of the advanced technology and systems that the Navy uses, such as stealth, jamming, and laser weapons.

Second, it is a place of rich history and culture, as it has been used for various purposes and events over the decades. You may be able to find traces of the past, such as old bunkers, bomb craters, and graffiti. You may also be able to learn about the Native American tribes that once inhabited the area, such as the Umatilla, Cayuse, and Walla Walla, and their traditions and beliefs.

Third, it is a place of diverse and beautiful nature, as it encompasses a variety of landscapes and habitats, such as grasslands, shrublands, wetlands, and forests. You may be able to encounter various wildlife species, such as deer, elk, coyotes, hawks, eagles, and owls, as well as rare and endangered plants, such as the Boardman milkvetch and the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit. You may also be able to enjoy the views of the Columbia River, the Blue Mountains, and the Cascade Range.


Boardman Bombing Range is a unique and fascinating place to visit, as it offers a glimpse into the military, historical, cultural, and natural aspects of Oregon. It is also a place of mystery and intrigue, as it may hide secrets and surprises that are yet to be discovered. However, it is also a place of caution and respect, as it may pose dangers and challenges that require awareness and responsibility. If you are interested in exploring Boardman Bombing Range, make sure you do your research, follow the rules, and stay safe. You may be rewarded with an unforgettable experience.

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