Hangar 18

Album: Rust in Peace (1990)
Charted: 26
Play Video


  • Hangar 18 is an Air Force base in Dayton, Ohio where the alien bodies were taken when a UFO supposedly crashed in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. The remains were later taken to Area 51 in Nevada, and many people believe they are still there. Dave Mustaine of Megadeth explained when the album was released: "'Hangar 18' is about military intelligence – two words combined that don't make sense. I can't understand why they're hiding stuff from us. It's our country, too. But see, they run it, and the more I get into politics, the less I become a musician."
  • The video, directed by Paul Boyington, depicts an alien landing in Roswell. The song that plays at the beginning of the clip is another Rust In Peace track, "Dawn Patrol." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Kyle - Montreal, Canada
  • Dave Mustaine, who was a member of Metallica until he was fired in 1983, wrote this song. The main riff of this song is similar to Metallica's "The Call Of Ktulu" which appeared on their Ride The Lightning album. Mustaine had composer credits on that song, but he was kicked out of Metallica before the album was released. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    JT - Tullahoma, TN
  • In 2001, Megadeth recorded a sequel to this called "Return To Hangar."
  • This is featured as a playable song in Guitar Hero 2. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Airk - Skagway, AK
  • Mustaine told Rock Radio that drummer Nick Menza sealed his departure from Megadeth while the band were creating this track. He explained: "I wrote the song and called it 'N2RHQ – it was like the numbers on the side of a plane. It was a future-tech thing. It was kind of sci-fi where I would go someplace in the future into space. Not that I saw an alien. Menza is the guy who believes in UFOs. If you look at his website or if you listen to his solo music, it shows you where he's at in his life. Nick said something that I found really juvenile and offensive. He told me that Jesus was an alien and he could levitate. That was the end of me taking Nick seriously – I believed in God ever since I was a kid."
  • This received a Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance, but lost to Mustaine's former band, Metallica, who won with their self-titled album.
  • Speaking during a December 5-6 Headbangers Con live virtual panel, bassist David Ellefson explained that Megadeth used to open their shows with "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due," before switching to "Trust" for a few years. Then in 2013, Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul suggested they kick off their sets with this song. "That night, we went on stage and opened with 'Hangar 18,' and it was, like, 'Wow!' It really had an excitement about it," he recalled. "So, since then, even to this day, we open with 'Hangar 18.'"
  • Vinnie Paul died in 2018. A lifetime Megadeth fan, the band now open their sets with "Hangar 18" in part to honor the late drummer. There's another reason why they kick off their concerts with this song. "It's nice, because the front-of-house soundman can sort of get our mix together, 'cause there's no vocals, so it kind of gives him a minute to mix the band," Ellefson said. "Of course, we do soundcheck, and stuff is digitally stored on the console these days anyway, but still, it kind of gives him a couple of minutes to get the mix of the band together before Dave starts singing the verse."

Comments: 37

  • Dan Gillespy from Courtenay BcA perfect metal classic about aliens and area 51 a secret base that is 100% real.
  • Jorge from Bronx, NyMany here,knows Aliens is something created in Area 51 to entertain us,If these creatures would have been real,we were doomed a long time,lmao,Now back to Hangar 18,love Dave Mustaine skills on the guitar,in fact I would say he is much better than Kirk Hammet,one thing he lacks is voice,but after all these has made a name for himself!
  • Michael from Seattle, WaThis song was also featured in Doom II, as music for the first map. The song in game was in MIDI format, and slightly modified. The filename was "D_RUNNIN".
  • Liam from Checotah, OkBest damn song in the world. Mustaine kicks so much ass it's unreal!
  • Whiplash from Glendale, NyErmm... so much hate on this epic song. Cant we all agree that Dave's Lyrics and riffs are awesome?! :)
  • Bray from Spartanburg, ScHangar 18 is at Wright Patterson. I get to visit the base in a month or two for a trip.

    Otherwise, this song is really good. I love the chord progressions in it to death.
  • Travis from Charleston, WvFirst of all, this is kind of bugging me, and it's kind of a jerk thing to say, but it's Hangar, not Hanger. Either way, musically, this song and Call of Ktulu are both based off of the main riff of Led Zepplin's Kashmir. It's a D power chrod with a chromatic shift on the G string. I was also of the impression that Hangar 18 was the name of the largest hangar at Area 51 as well. Also, I agree that the thought of taking alien bodies from New Mexico all the way to Ohio, then back again just seemed kind of wrong.
  • Luke from Dayton, OhI'm from Dayton, I thought hanger 18 was in Area 51, why would they take an 'alien' all the way from New Mexico to Dayton?
  • Gabe from Huntsville, AlAnyone who just knows this song from GH:2 please stop posting, we don't care how hard it is to play this song on a plastic guitar.
  • Matt from Cleveland, Tnchris don't forget jump in the fire
  • Luke from Manchester, EnglandDave, Calgary - Hanger 18 is not fictional, it's an aircraft hanger AT Area 51
  • Luke from Manchester, EnglandAt least it was last time I was there... Damn yankee conspiricies...
  • Mud from Sf, CaI wonder if half the people here know this song only from guitar hero. It's kind of cool in a way if it's gotten people into the band, but I sometimes feel like these guitar hero and rock band games kind of patronizes the idea of being able to actually play music and start a band; its very strange when your abilities and ambitions are being seen as a fantasy to some people.
  • Chris from Wrentham, MaActually, it has somewhere around 11 solos. Hangar 18 refers to a hangar at Wright-Patterson AFB that supposedly has evidence from the UFO sightings in Roswell.
  • Chris from Wrentham, MaRikki--Not many people agree with your opinions because you're kind of stupid. Some of their best stuff? Well, there's The Four Horsemen...and...uh...
  • Mike from Mass, MaThis song is impossibbblleee on expert in guitar hero 2. IMPOSSIBLE. that and free bird then i beat the game. The guitar solos are impossible. I can get past one and two, but then im outof star power and crash on three.
  • Brittany from Rainy River, Canadai was told that this song has 18 guitar solos in it (i tried to count them but couldn't keep up) and that is the reason it is called Hanger 18. anyway, it's a kick-ass song, one of my favorite megadeth songs.
  • Mike from Falmouth, MaThis is my favorite song by Megadeth. I think when they play it live they should start it with the first part of The Call of Ktulu. It would sound awesome. I really like how Dave took advantage of his writer's credits. This song makes better use of that riff anyway.
  • Dylan from Olmsted Falls, United StatesHanger 18 is my favorite guitar hero song!! I love all of the solos. Mustane is amazing, and I wonder how Metallica would be like with him still, don't you? Megadeth is still amazing anyways.
  • Sherine from Guwahati, IndiaI wish i could play that.The composition of the song is good-a mixiture of taps,licks etc. The technique shown by changing the beat after the second guitar solo is just great.
  • Paul from California, PaPersonally, I think that Cliff Burton being alive would have more to do with Metallica not having a black album, than if Dave were still in the band.Also,let's not forget the fact that Metallica sold out and brought the whole thrash community down with them, because they were the most influencial. Due to this fact, I think that Dave and the boys got the last laugh by releasing the greatest thrash masterpiece of all time, Rust In Peace. Hanger 18 is just one of nine proofs.
  • Evan from Otway, OhThis is my favorite Megadeth song. Catchy, and if you've ever played Guitar Hero 2, their remake isnt half bad. Personally, i like Metallica better, but not by much. And what's all this about "Mustaine shouldn't have left the band. The Black album would not have existed if he wouldn't have left"? The Black isn't their best album, and it's not their worst. Besides, i really don't think one person is going to have much of an impact on what style of music a band plays. But back to the bottomline; awesome song from an awesome band.
  • Beefcake from Brisbane, AustraliaIt is easy to see in this song that the Mustaine-Friedman line up is a lethal combination of guitar shredding artillery that can and does easily slot along a great metal song comparing with the likes of 'Master of Puppets' by Metallica. However this doesn't Megadeth rank second to Metallica. Great Heavy Metal infused with wicked solos, had a lot of political stand points and messages. One example, Rust in Peace, Holy wars...Punishment due etc!!! :)
  • Jim from Dayton, OhThe illustrious Hanger 18 was located at "Wright Field", which eventually became "Wright Patterson Airforce Base" in Dayton.
  • Sean from Flower Mound, TxWhy did Mustaine wait to use a riff he had written for roughly seven years?

    And I can't say Metallica would be better off with Dave. They didn't kick him out because he was a bad songwritter, they kicked him out because he was crazy when drunk and really ticked off some people.

    And to Rikki, some of Metallica's best stuff is not from Mustaine. Mustaine had almost all his song credits on their first album and after that he had two credits.

    I can name off plenty of songs with good riffs that aren't to his credit.

    Despite all that. Hangar 18 is an awesome song. I love it.
  • James from Hazlet , Nmdave must have been on acid to make this video.
  • Dan from Melbourne, Australia"Metallica were bitches for letting Mustaine go... they'd've never had a black album if they'd kept him"

    Good lord that is an idiotic comment Cliff. You're telling me the guy who wrote the 'Countdown to Extinction', 'Crypic Writings', 'Youthanasia', 'Risk' Albums etc. Is going to have a huge problem with the Style of the Black Album to the point he wouldn't allow it to happen?

    Does that seriously make sense on your planet?

    Mustaine is a great song writer, I don't know why people can't just praise him for that without having to bring the Metallica thing into it.
  • Mark from Ann Arbor, Mipeace sells is better
  • Devon from Westerville, Ohthis song rocks. Dave Mustaine and Marty Friedman have some sweet solos.
  • Cliff from Keller, TxTo Rikki--I agree with you 100%. Metallica were bitches for letting Mustaine go... they'd've never had a black album if they'd kept him, and they'd be rock GODS. But then they got comptetition.

    By the way, this song is awesome. The music video portrays the actual members as aliens, at the end when they're shipped off in cryogenic tubes. Kinda cool. Oldschool alien stuff.
  • Rikki from Ashtabula, OhMegadeth owns Metallica and this song proves it. Marty Friedman is so amazing on guitar! Dave is insane as well. Some of Metallica's best stuff is cause of him. Not too many people agree with me about my thoughts on Megadeth and Metallica, which is too bad.
  • Dave from CalgaryHanger 18 Dayton, Ohio is a fictional place created by Dave Mustaine. the man would not let Megadeth sing about the real place that dave was singing about witch happens to be Area 51, Nevada.

    P.S. Message to Lachlon Yeo Hanger 18, may contain the same chord progression as "Call of Ktulu" but no riffs were taken directly from the song. I'd also like to add the Dave Mustaine created the backbone of "The Call of Ktulu"
  • Andy from Columbus, OhIt is Wright Patterson Air Force Base.
  • Aaron from Canton, OhDayton? That's only a few miles from where I live. I nevr knew that!
  • Lachlan Yeo from Hobart, United StatesHanger 18 contains some riffs from Metallica - Call Of Ktulu, no surprise
  • Alex from St Louis, Mothis song is about five minutes long and it has 11 solos. Eleven Solos!! Thats awesome! best Megadeth song
  • Sunny from Mumbai, Indiathis song was wirtten when people saw the UFO near that miliatary air base
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Fire On The Stage

Fire On The StageSong Writing

When you have a song called "Fire," it's tempting to set one - these guys did.

He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss): A History Of Abuse Pop

He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss): A History Of Abuse PopSong Writing

Songs that seem to glorify violence against women are often misinterpreted - but not always.

Donny Osmond

Donny OsmondSongwriter Interviews

Donny Osmond talks about his biggest hits, his Vegas show, and the fan who taught him to take "Puppy Love" seriously.

A Monster Ate My Red Two: Sesame Street's Greatest Song Spoofs

A Monster Ate My Red Two: Sesame Street's Greatest Song SpoofsSong Writing

When singers started spoofing their own songs on Sesame Street, the results were both educational and hilarious - here are the best of them.

Music Video Director David Hogan

Music Video Director David HoganSong Writing

David talks about videos he made for Prince, Alabama, Big & Rich, Sheryl Crow, DMB, Melissa Etheridge and Sisters of Mercy.

Joan Armatrading

Joan ArmatradingSongwriter Interviews

The revered singer-songwriter talks inspiration and explains why she put a mahout in "Drop the Pilot."