Last Sunday night (the 12th) I drove from Las Vegas to HWY 375 with a friend of mine who is a pilot for United (flys to China and back a couple of times a month). We camped at the site just off of the ET highway that's about 3 miles toward Rachel from the intersection of Groom Lake Road and HWY 375, and 2 miles south of the black mailbox. (My pilot friend is a member of CSETI and a believer in ET contact with some part of the US government.)
We'd just parked and set up a spotting scope and chairs when a brilliant bright white light lit up the area around and a bit behind us for perhaps 3 or 4 seconds.
I assume it was some sort of flair, but no sound was associated with it, and it did not last nearly as long as other flairs I've seen in the past.
That got our attention for awhile. It was as close to a "Beam me up Scotty" moment as I've had.
Nothing else interesting was observed, except for very faint aircraft lights either over the base, or far off in the distance west of the base and a falling star about every 10 minutes or so -- probably early encounters with the Leonids that are due to peak this Friday night at one every minute or so.
The next morning we headed for the groom lake road border to get some photos by the signs. The camo dudes were there at about 9:15 am, not sure if it was for us, or if they are there routinely when traffic is going into the base in the mornings (no vehicles passed us while we were there, but we did see several dust trails that morning from other cars headed west toward the base).
We got to Rachel in time for lunch at the Little A Le Inn. It was sad to see so much of the town "gone" (and how much of it is that new "RV Park." The Quick Pic gas pumps were shut off, and we chose NOT to do business there anyway. Seems an idiotic business decision to kill off the regular income from long-term renters, and to shut down selling gas while "waiting for new pumps?"
Bought some great peanut butter fudge as well as some chocolate cake and a lemmon pie, from the fund raiser for the senior's center, talked with Pat a bit, ordered Alien Burgers and bought a bunch of Christmas Presents for family. Also spoke with Dave (whose Groom Lake Control tower has been moved intact from near the Quick Pic to near the Little A Le Inn.