The Destruction of a Nevada Family
For more than 70 years, the constitutional rights of the Sheahan family have been deprived, violated and desecrated by leaders in the U.S. Government and its agencies. The treatment and actions taken by the U.S. Government and its agencies over the past 70 years are a disgrace to the ideals on which this country was built.
The infringement and subordination of the rights of the Sheahan family
and their operation of the Historical Groom Mine and Residence
The Historical Groom Mine and residence, located in Lincoln County, Nevada has been owned and operated by the Sheahan family and their partners since 1889. The facility, more widely known as Area 51 is located near its boundaries. Through the early 1900s, the family diligently mined the land, living the American dream and paving their way into Nevada and American history.
The Sheahan family consists of ardent patriots who are grateful for the men and women fighting to protect our country. In fact, they have combat veterans among their numbers, who fought for the very rights and liberties they deeply value and believe in. As Americans, they strongly support and believe the mission of our government to protect its citizens and uphold the United States Constitution. In return, they have received constant threats and indignant acts at the hands of those sworn to protect us. For more than 70 years, the constitutional rights of the Sheahan family have been deprived, violated and desecrated by leaders in the U.S. Government and its agencies.
Robert (Bob) Groom established the Groom range in 1864, and set out surveying, prospecting and locating mining opportunities in the area. It was then that the location of the two oldest patented claims, White Lake and Conception and White Lake and Conception 2 were born, predating Nevada’s statehood. In 1889, Patrick Sheahan, a skilled and educated milling and mining engineer heard of the opportunities at Groom and sought out to acquire the rights to the property, thus starting the Sheahan family’s mining roots. Patrick Sheahan believed in a few simple notions: work hard, support your family, run a safe and orderly business and love the land that God has provided. The six, patented mining claims, some of which are hand signed by former President Ulysses S. Grant, granted the Sheahan family, “the exclusive right to enjoyment of all the land within the boundaries, forever.” As was typical with Irish tradition, Patrick Sheahan deeded his majority shares of the Groom Mine Property to his eldest son Dan Sheahan, upon his marriage to Martha Cowan. Dan and Martha Sheahan raised their three children, Daniel (Bob), Patrick and Barbara on the property. Patrick was drafted into the Army in September 1944 and Barbara entered into The Sisters of the Holy Family Convent in January 1952. Dan, Martha and their son Bob continued to live at and work the Groom Mine until late 1954.
Beginning in 1941, the United States Government and its agents set their sights on southern Nevada, scouting land for an aircraft testing facility (Nevadan 5/30/1971). Dan Sheahan felt so compelled to help in the efforts of WWII that he housed and fed the government scientists and researchers who were gathering information about a possible testing location near Groom Mine. It was in this same year that the USAF started performing training combat flights over the Groom Mine Property. The camp was continually bombarded with spent 50 caliber machine gun rounds and many live rounds of which just missed small children playing outside.
The first family driven from their land was Bill and Peggy Smith, owners of the Kelley Mine, (1924-1941) a mere 10 miles south of Groom. He and his family were forced to abandon their homes, livelihood and the life they knew when the USAF began testing at a nearby bombing range, creating an uninhabitable living environment. While the USAF knew of the occupants living and working at the Groom Mine, they did not inform the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) of the residency. Thus, they set off the first nuclear bomb on January 27, 1951, exposing the Sheahan’s and others living and working the property to the radiation and fallout from the detonation. Soon after, they began attaching radiation detection devices to the Sheahan family members. The Groom Mine was profitable and consistently worked from 1911-1951, but was now being showered with nuclear fallout and rouge strafing’s, damaging cabins, windows, roofs and worse of all, creating beta burns on the livestock, animals and the Sheahan family members. A Las Vegas newspaper (clipping attached) published an article discussing the image featured in the June 1953 National Geographic article of a “well-known photo of the Sheahan’s and their cat silhouetted against a 1953 atomic bomb flash, completely exposed to its high radiation, is hardly believable today.”
The Sheahan family’s lives were forever changed on June 23, 1954, at about noon, when the heart and soul of the property, ore processing mill they had built, was destroyed by a bomb or missile. The destruction was absolutely devastating. For three days, the owners, Dan and Martha Sheahan, battled the blazing fire that scorched at more than 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit. The impact and resulting explosion was so violent that it blew all the equipment off of their foundations. They watched decades of hard work, sacrifice, passion and dedication burn, as they felt every last ounce of humanity strip from their souls. Basic Magnesium Inc. (BMI) Fire Chief, Paul Zink, investigated the Groom Mine mill site and stated that the cause of such a catastrophic event was of “outside origin” and that there seemed to be a substance present which accelerated the fire to a great degree. In his conclusive summary (attached) Zink stated, “Buildings of this type as described above are generally known as slow-burners due to the combustible materials being sparsely distrusted throughout, however, in this case there seemed to be a substance present which accelerated the fire to a great degree.” The bombing of the Groom Mill was a clear message from the U.S. Government to the Sheahan family- they wanted them out. And, now the Sheahans saw and experienced what they were capable of.
For years, the Sheahans fought their case in court, but eventually exhausted all of their monetary resources and had to drop their case. In 1959, Dan and Martha Sheahan were financially unable to continue with their suit against the U.S. Government. They wrote a letter to William P. Rogers, United States Attorney General, stating:
“When at the beginning of the atomic test program it was thought to be only a temporary affair, we considered it our patriotic duty to cooperate with the AEC, which we did, and without filing any claim whatsoever. However, when it finally came to the point by May 1952, that we could no longer afford the continual work interruptions and blast damage without being repaid for our losses, we asked them to make arrangements to repay us. Why they did not do this and instead forced us to bring suit to try to protect ourselves, is something only they could explain,” Daniel Sheahan, letter to William P. Rogers, United States Attorney General (March 2, 1959).
Defeated, battered, broken and financially ruined, the Sheahan family quietly moved to Las Vegas, Nevada away from their home and beloved Groom Mine operation. Dan and Martha continued to retain ownership of the six patented and 15 unpatented mining claims, all of which are still owned in present day and cover 400 acres of land. To add insult to injury, in 1978 the U.S. Government illegally placed a guard gate on the Groom Mine access road, a road the Sheahans built with the help from Lincoln County, seizing the lands and completely encircling the Groom Mining Range and blocking entrance to the property. This act was not officially made legal until 1984, when Congress granted a land withdrawal for the area.
Martha Sheahan passed away in 1981 from bladder cancer. According to her daughter, Barbara Sheahan, a Catholic nun, “The doctor told her definitely that overexposure to radiation caused that.”
The heart of the Sheahan family legacy lies deep within America’s roots and core values. The rights, beliefs and convictions that our forefathers so strongly believed in, in 1776, have descended through generations and still hold just as much conviction today as they did then. The first is in our very own Declaration of Independence, “That all men are created equal, and that every American has certain inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The second is stated in the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America that, “…No man shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” U.S. Government officials are responsible for holding unarmed women and children at gunpoint as recent as July 3, 2015, when their security forces held family members, including Martha Sheahan, 62, and her two grandchildren, ages 7 and 15 at gunpoint. Family members have been held hostage on more than one occasion, on their own land at gunpoint. The Sheahan family has been covertly filmed, watched and had vibration detection devices placed on their private lands without consent. Some family members were stopped on their way to their property and coerced by armed security forces to sign inadvertent disclosures for entry to their own land. All possibilities of income have been stolen from them by illegally denying them of their constitutional right to use their land to its full potential. The Groom Mine owners have not been able to bring in potential partners to operate the property because of the threat of access to the land. And, for over half a century, the Federal Government has left a looming threat of condemnation over their head.
The Sheahans are not just standing up for their freedoms, but for the freedoms of all Americans and their inherent rights for justice for all the atrocities and wrong doings the U.S. Government and its agencies have committed. The Sheahan family has been extremely flexible to the unique needs of the Federal Government and the USAF, in particular; and has accommodated their schedule requests on several occasions, knowing that this was for the betterment of the nation. Although not required by law, the Sheahan family has given advance notice of their intended trips to the property to perform legally required, yearly assessment work. In addition to giving prior notice, they have supplied a list of all persons that would be visiting their private property so the government could verify that there was no potential risk to our nation’s security.
On August 14, 2015 owners of Groom Mine received correspondence from the Jennifer L. Miller, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Installations) giving them ultimatum: Sell their land to the U.S. Government by September 10, 2015 for a fraction of what it’s worth or they will seize it through condemnation. In other terms, the United States Government is going to take the land with complete and utter disregard for the patented mining claims that the Sheahan family has exclusively owned for nearly 130 years, and without just compensation. With that, they will also take the state and family history, including infrastructures that cannot be replaced or replicated. On August 28, 2015 Col. Thomas Dempsey of the Nevada Test and Training Range Wing stated, “The Nevada Test and Training range is a unique national asset because the size and remoteness of the area.” The Air Force has developed infrastructure that directly supports range activities that cannot be replicated elsewhere.” Per Col. Dempsey’s own words, we can only interpret that the land in the Groom Mining Range is priceless and far more valuable than the $5.2 million offer the USAF has proposed.
While MS Miller claims that this offer includes compensation for, “all surface interests, mineral and other subsurface interests, improvements, and any other appurtenant rights”, she clearly has not accounted for the location of the property, the views, the value of surrounding land currently protected by the Antiquities Act, the water rights and the pattern of ongoing acts the Sheahan Family has endured at the hands of the U.S. Government.
The treatment and actions taken by the U.S. Government and its agencies over the past 70 years are a disgrace to the ideals on which this country was built: “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” It’s time that the Government upheld this notion. The Government bureaucrats have indicated that the Statute of Limitations has expired on many of these wrongful acts. There has been an ongoing pattern and practice of government directed actions to drive the Sheahan Family off their legally owned land. There can be no Statute of Limitations on these egregious and prolonged abuses of power.
Contact: Amanda Sheahan 702-419-6420 – Rachel Gregory 702-587-9029
Mailing: Groom Mine
284C E. Lake Mead Pkwy #503
Henderson, NV 89015
Website: Groommine.com (coming soon)