Published on Sep 6, 2015
A family that owns a lead and silver mine overlooking Nevada’s notorious Area 51 claims they have been violently harassed by the Air Force for six decades — as long as the government has sought control of the land. Their allegations range from illegal government searches and checkpoints to the Air Force attacking their property with military jets.
The Groom Mine has been in the Sheahan family since 1889 and has been passed down through several generations. However, co-owners Joe Sheahan, Dan Sheahan, and Barbara Sheahan-Manning told local CBS Las Vegas affiliate 8 News Now that since the 1950s — when the military built the base and started conducting U-2 spy plane tests there — the government has attempted to seize their land, resorting to sordid tactics in their efforts.
The family alleges that the Air Force went so far as to bomb their property, saying they believe an ore processing mill was destroyed in 1954 when an “errant bomb or dropped wing tank” blew it up.
Their grandparents “…went to the poorhouse trying to win their case of the mill that was destroyed by the Air Force,” said Sheahan-Manning. “We have some evidence they absolutely were the culprits in that, and it was never addressed.” News Now reported that “[t]he Sheahans say their buildings have been strafed and bombed by military jets over the past six decades.”
The family also says their land was “…showered by radioactive fallout from numerous above-ground nuclear weapons tests.”
According to the Sheahans, the military harassed them in other ways, as well. “They have driven away prospective business partners and told them, ‘If you buy the place or try to operate, we are going to condemn it, and you’re going lose your money,” Dan Sheahan claims.