Area 51 raid: people gather near US military base to ‘see them aliens’ – Associated Press Fri 20 Sep 2019 10.58 EDT


Photographer said it was unclear if arrests were made as crowd gathered at 3am Friday in response to hoax to ‘raid’ the base

A woman carries a sign outside a gate to Area 51 in Rachel, Nevada, on 20 September.
A woman carries a sign outside a gate to Area 51 in Rachel, Nevada, on Friday. Photograph: Jim Urquhart/Reuters

About 75 people arrived early on Friday at a gate at the once secret Area 51 military base in Nevada at the time appointed by an internet hoaxster to “storm” the facility to see space aliens and at least two were detained by sheriff’s deputies.

The Storm Area 51 invitation spawned festivals in the tiny Nevada towns of Rachel and Hiko nearest the military site, and a more than two-hour drive from Las Vegas.

The Lincoln county sheriff, Kerry Lee, estimated late Thursday that about 1,500 people had gathered at the festival sites and said more than 150 people also made the rugged trip several additional miles on bone-rattling dirt roads to get within selfie distance of the gates.

An Associated Press photographer said it wasn’t immediately clear if a woman who began ducking under a gate and a man who urinated nearby were arrested after the crowd gathered about 3am on Friday.

Millions of people had responded to a June internet post calling for people to run into the remote US air force test site that has long been the focus of UFO conspiracy theories. “They can’t stop all of us,” the post joked. “Lets see them aliens.”

The military responded with stern warnings that lethal force could be used if people entered the Nevada Test and Training Range, and local and state officials said arrests would be made if people tried.

“It’s public land,” the sheriff said. “They’re allowed to go to the gate, as long as they don’t cross the boundary.”

A music group called Wily Savage erected a stage on Thursday near the Little A’Le’Inn in Rachel and began playing after dark for several hundred campers who braved overnight temperatures about 45F (7C).

‘Alien hunters’ dance to live music in Rachel, Nevada, on 19 September.
‘Alien hunters’ dance to live music in Rachel, Nevada, on Thursday night. Photograph: Bridget Bennett/AFP/Getty Images

The music kicked off weekend events inspired by an internet hoax to “see them aliens” that the Lincoln county sheriff, Kerry Lee, said had drawn perhaps 1,500 people to two tiny desert towns.

Lee said late on Thursday that more than 150 people also made the rugged trip on washboard dirt roads to get within selfie distance of two gates to the Area 51 US air force installation that has long fueled speculation about government studies of space aliens and UFOs.

The air force has issued stern warnings for people not to try to enter the Nevada Test and Training Range, where Area 51 is located.

Lee said no arrests were made.

“It’s public land,” the sheriff said. “They’re allowed to go to the gate, as long as they don’t cross the boundary.”

Authorities reported no serious incidents so far in Rachel and Hiko, the two towns closest to Area 51, on a road dubbed the Extraterrestrial Highway two hours from Las Vegas.

Earlier in Rachel, Wily Savage guitarist Alon Burton said he saw a chance to perform for people who, like Martinez, were looking for a scene in which to be seen.

“It started as a joke, but it’s not a joke for us,” he said. “We know people will come out. We just don’t know how many.”

ARTICLE CONTINUES:

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s