Tue. Oct 16th, 2018

A Cyclist Used Strava While Riding Through Area 51

Satellite images of Area 51 are nothing new. We’ve all look them up. But this is cool… Have you ever heard of Strava?

Fitness App Strava

The popular fitness app, Strava, is a great tool for runners & cyclists. But it might actually be a concern for the military. Popular news agencies are reporting that employees on military bases who use Strava have been running the app while on protected grounds.

Now, this is no surprise to me. In fact, it should be no surprise really to anyone. However I was reading through some of these articles and found that The Guardian actually had a heatmap from a cyclist who went for a ride around Homey Airport – more commonly known as Area 51.

The image is below. You’ll have to zoom in to see the thin red line that represents the cyclist’s trek around Groom Lake.

Strava Heat Map Area 51
A thin red line on the map shows a cyclist’s path along Groom Lake | Image Credit: Strava Heatmap

Security Concerns

The employees who work at Area 51 likely undergo a significant amount of training regarding keeping secrets. Folks who work on military bases are trained to hide their badges when they leave. The practice makes it difficult other people in the area to identify them as someone who potentially has access to sensitive information. The fact that someone who works at Area 51 actually didn’t see any issue with mapping their cycling route is surprising.

Annual training for all DoD personnel recommends limiting public profiles on the internet, including personal social media accounts. ~Department of Defense

It’s one thing for runners and cyclists to be mapping their path on military bases that are well-known and mostly open to the public. It’s an entirely different thing to be doing it in a place so infamous for it’s Top Secret activities.

Pixabay Question Big Deal Strava

What’s the Big Deal?

While a Strava heatmap is unlikely to give up the location of reverse-engineered UFOs or alien bodies, there’s still some information to be gleaned. This information could be used by other governments to determine which areas of a military base are ‘hot’.

Twitter users have identified locations including a suspected CIA base in Somalia, a Patriot missile defense system site in Yemen and US special operations locations include a suspected CIA base in Somalia, a Patriot missile defense system site in Yemen and US special operations bases in the Sahel region of Africa. ~CNN

For instance, the above map illustrates spaces that an employee is free to travel during his/her down time. From that, an enemy government might be able to conclude that these areas don’t contain anything of value. Over time, as runners & joggers take different routes, a picture may emerge of which areas are the most high-value targets. The most secret areas, employees can’t even take their phones in with them so you’d see zero Strava activity. It’s these dark spots that, over time, might give away the most sensitive locations.

This is a major security concern for all military bases, especially those on foreign soil.

Conclusion

While everyone needs exercise, leaving your Strava profile public is a mistake. The surveillance state is real. And, if you happen to know where the government keeps their UFOs and aliens, your healthy lifestyle might be giving up the secret!

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