SPOILER ALERT: no, it's not aliens. Go breathe into a bag.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation's newly-revamped online "Vault" gives the public easy access to formerly-secret documents that detail everything from counter-terrorism investigations to rundowns on prominent individuals and potentially "subversive" national organizations. It's a fascinating resource. For example, we were able to discover that the U.S. government spent actual time and money investigating the mid-1960s make-believe band, The Monkees. The curiously heavily-redacted Monkees dossier summarizes the pretend bands' television show as "four young men who dress as 'beatnik types' and is geared primarily to the teenage market." During a Monkees performance, a (name-redacted) source reports that an onstage screen flashed subliminal "left wing innovations of a political nature." But the Bureau isn't all about keeping tabs on fake boy bands, assessing threatening letters sent to Colonel Sanders, or probing Carl Sagan's tenuous connections to Central American terrorists. They also launched numerous investigations into crazy supernatural stuff! The Vault's features previously secret FBI documents looking into phenomenon usually reserved for Hollywood-style escapism. Here's a look at some of the most fascinating real life X-Files.
Area 51 needs no introduction, yet plenty of explaining. One reporter aims to do just that: Annie Jacobsen says there is a good reason the government has never acknowledged the presence of the base, but it's not because of aliens or super mutants grown in a lab. Well, not exactly.
Thanks to the internet, the concept of a government secret has been rendered little more than a quaint James Bond plot device. For example, in decades past, the public only had conjecture and hearsay to feed its curiosity about the inner workings of the US government's shadowy military base on the southern shore of Nevada's Groom Lake, a site better known as "Area 51." But today, thanks to technology like Google Maps, we can all achieve a clear birds-eye-view of the secret facility conveniently linked with user-submitted telephoto images supplying a ground level perspective. Now anyone with a smart phone can be treated to an unobstructed view into the secret military installation that — officially — doesn't even exist. So, c'mon, X-File with me.