A group of veterans report having fallen ill from working at a secret base in Nevada that the Government denies

Several soldiers observed that colleagues who worked in 'Area 52' have developed tumors, lipomas or cancers after nuclear weapons tests were carried out in the area.

A group of veterans have reported that their exposure to radioactive material during their service more than 40 years ago at a secret base in Nevada, known as Area 52, has caused serious health issues, including cancers, tumors, cysts, lipomas and serious lung damage. Although the Clinton Administration granted aid to personnel of the Department of Energy personnel who worked in the area during that time for radiation exposure, the same support has not been extended to these former military personnel. This is because the mission was so secretive that even today, the Department of Defense does not acknowledge their presence there.

A veterans' meeting in 2016 made them realize

The veterans realized there was something more after a meeting in 2016, according to the Pahrump Valley Times, when eight soldiers who served in the 80s at what was then called Nevada Test Site, or at the Tonopah Test Range, realized that they suffered from very similar health problems. According to the outlet, "six of them had fatty tumors called lipomas on their bodies, and one of them had a lump the size of a grapefruit removed from his back about 10 years previous. Many also have lung problems or some type of cancer."

The origin of these problems, according to veterans, led by Mark Ely in his search for compensation, comes from his work at the Nevada Test and Training Range, which spans about 2.9 million acres of land, and in which they were exposed to radioactive substances such as plutonium, something of which they were not aware of at the time. Ely has spent the last few years searching for other colleagues who served on the base during those years and said, speaking to CBS, that he has found "all kinds of cancers" among them.

Confidentiality Commitment

Due to the confidentiality agreement they signed regarding their secret mission - they were secretly examining captured Russian planes to look for their weak points - Ely and his companions can barely provide information about their work and what they experienced, which also has an impact on their ability to treat themselves. Beyond the secret mission, which caused problems in their eardrums and other parts of the body,the most serious problems for these servicemen may have originated from nuclear bomb tests conducted near the base. In fact, a 1975 environmental assessment by the US Energy Research and Development Administration detected toxic and radioactive materials in the area.

It scarred my lungs. I got cysts on my liver. I started having lipomas, tumors inside of my body that I started having removing. The lining in my bladder was shed, and I started peeing blood and my bladder even shrunk. I got stage 3 kidney disease. We're told we have to keep that secret. So, when we're on site, you just tell them what the problem is. You let the physician come up with their own conclusion. You don't lead them in anyway. So, you can't say, 'I was exposed to a Soviet MiG [jet fighter aircraft] at 166 decibels and it caused X, Y, Z.' You got to say, 'I have a liquid coming out my chest, what do you think happened?

Veterans feel "betrayed" by the Administration

However, what makes them feel "betrayed" is that other federal officials stationed in the same area, in particular, Department of Energy workers, obtained federal aid worth $25.7 billion, according to Department of Labor statistics. "It makes me very angry and it also hurts me because they were supposed to have my back. I covered theirs and I want them to have mine," Ely said.

All our whereabouts for that period of time is black. We're going places, we're doing things that's beyond the tracking of the military. They're not going to track it. There's no records from it. You're invisible.

The Invisible Enemy

Another of the affected veterans, Dave Crete, created the association " The Invisible Enemy " to publicize what happened and protect those affected and their families, in the event that they die as a result of illnesses derived from their work in Nevada. The group enlisted the support of Republican Rep. Mark Amodei to introduce a bill "guaranteeing medical treatment and financial compensation to all service members who suffered illnesses from exposure to toxic radiation and materials released by nuclear testing at the TNTR."