Family May Lose Private Land Overlooking Area 51

The Sheahan family owns approximately 400 acres of land, including a silver mine. This property, which has been in the Sheahan family for 130 years, lies adjacent to the secret military base known as Area 51, which is about 90 miles north-northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada.

For decades the U.S. Government and the Sheahan family have been able to co-exist, if not completely peacefully, then at least tolerably. Now that the U.S. Air Force has issued an ultimatum—sell your land to the government and move out or else—the Sheahan family is speaking out for the first time.

In their first public interview, the Sheahan family chronicles a decades-long history of tension between their family and the Air Force. They believe a stray bomb destroyed their mill in the 1950s, which ended mining production. They fought the government at the time, but ended up penniless. Potential business partners have reportedly been scared away, sentries have been posted near their property, and according to the Sheahans, at one point they even had to go through a military checkpoint to access their own land.

Now the Air Force is taking the position that because of national security, it is no longer safe to have the Sheahans so close to Area 51. They have offered to pay $5.2 million to purchase the 400-acre lot. If the Sheahans refuse, then they risk losing their land via eminent domain (the government’s right to seize private property for public benefit).

The Sheahans have until September 10, 2015 to make their decision. Read the full story by following the link below.

Zachariah B. Parry is an attorney and founding partner at the law firm Parry & Pfau and is an adjunct professor who teaches torts, contracts, and Nevada practice and procedure for UNLV’s paralegal program. He can be reached at 702-912-4451 or