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Who's Looking For ET Now? Government Shutdown Slams Area 51

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This is an image of part of the transport jets sitting on the ground at McCarren International Airport in Las Vegas, Nev. These jets are used to shuttle workers back and forth between Las Vegas and Area 51. | Shepherd Johnson

The government shutdown affects federal employees all over the country, even those at America's favorite top secret military base, Area 51.

Las Vegas TV news reporter George Knapp of KLAS-TV, tweeted that the government's shutdown has grounded the special fleet of passenger jets (seen in the image above) -- known as Janet Airlines -- that normally transport Area 51 workers back and forth between a special section of McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas and the actual secretive base located north of Vegas at Groom Lake.

After decades of official denial, the U.S. government finally, in August, publicly acknowledged that Area 51, seen in the satellite image below, has been the focal point of top secret development programs of high-altitude spy plane technology developed by the CIA.

area 51

Area 51 has also often been the focus of speculation that crashed flying saucers and alien bodies have been examined at this location, but that's not what the CIA acknowledged in August, so that part of the Area 51 legend is still up for grabs.

Knapp told that the regular daily flights of Janet Airlines seem to have halted and that "current employees were sent home until further notice."

"I'm sure there are some contractors still there at Groom [Lake] -- especially security -- but the bulk of whatever they are working on is suspended for now," according to Knapp.

Watch this news report about the shutdown of Area 51:

Does all this mean that as long as the government is officially shut down, work has actually ceased on the production of all of those billion-dollar technologies that promise to protect U.S. citizens from those who would harm us?

Try asking any of the Area 51 employees how they feel about temporarily being out of work.

Also on HuffPost:

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Filed by Lee Speigel