ET Mails Home at Area 51 | NBC New York

ET Mails Home at Area 51

Legendary mystery mailbox serves as marker to UFO seekers



    Getty Images
    365994 03: A warning sign marks the boundary of Area 51, March 12, 2000 in Rachel, Nevada. This sleepy Nevada town is located just a stone's throw from the secret U.S. military base known as Area 51. Locals claim that strange things occur around here such as the appearance of UFO's in the sky and other otherworldly oddities emanating from the military base. Due to these bizarre circumstances, the town's economy has geared up for tourism. The "Little Ale Inn" and the "Area 51" research center are just two of the many tourist attractions the town has to offer. (Photo by Dan Callister/Getty Images)

    There is just one manmade roadside landmark in Tikaboo Valley, Nev, but for many people it's a harbinger of extraterrestrial contact.

    It's known as the Black Mailbox even though it was painted white years ago. The mailbox stands on Highway 395 (popularly known as Extraterrestrial Highway) in between the town of Rachel, Nev. and the huge tract of desert land and dry lake beds that make up Area 51. Since the 1950s, when the federal government began using Groom Lake and the surrounding wilderness as a test area for experimental aircraft, the Black Mailbox has become a point of pilgrimage for those who want to believe in UFOs and aliens from other worlds.

    Now people gather along the road by the Black Mailbox every night, waiting to catch a glimpse of an alien craft or some piece of reverse-engineered military equipment copied from a crashed space craft. The significance of the black mailbox may be that it is the only thing of significance for miles in any direction, so it's become invested with special meaning for the curious who trek to the edges of Area 51.