One of the great benefits of being in charge of a magazine like Popular Science is that a lot of doors are open to me. The name and prestige of the title make it possible to walk around the razor wire and see prototypes and experiments generally kept hidden from the general public. But until the National Geographic Channel asked me to do that same thing with a camera crew, I had no idea how secret certain things really are.
"Top Secret," part of Secret Access Week on the National Geographic Channel, is our effort to get inside the world of black-budget, off-the-books military hardware. Many of you are familiar with Area 51, where top-secret planes are tested. What you may not know is that there's another facility, Plant 42, that's even more interesting, and for the show's premiere, that's where we went. Plant 42 is the manufacturing facility outside Los Angeles, maintained by the U.S. military as a place where private companies can build prototypes under military contract.
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