Two small towns in Nevada are gearing up for a weekend of alien madness, while some prepare for a makeshift alien-themed festival, some will no doubt be planning a disastrous attempt to raid Area 51.
Earlier this year a Facebook event gained a lot of attention, with millions saying they were “attending” the “Storm Area 51” event.
The event was reportedly a joke, but it was taken seriously - by civilians and authorities.
The original ‘Storm Area 51’ event, and all the copycats that followed, was scheduled for September 20, at the infamous military base, Area 51.
Instead of the raid, there’s now a rave for the alien-obsessed to gather in the desert and party.
The originator of the “Storm Area 51” internet hoax, Matty Roberts, withdrew from “Alienstock” earlier this month.
Mr Roberts said in interviews Tuesday (local time) in Las Vegas that he was worried the event hosted by innkeeper Connie West in the tiny town of Rachel might not succeed.
However, Ms West has said she hasn’t seen this much excitement in the 31 years she’s owned the motel, telling The Associated Press has 20 musical acts and two comedians booked for her September 19-21 festival at the Little A’Le’Inn.
Her hotel was reportedly fully booked back in July for the ‘Storm Area 51’ event.
“Come and sit back and watch the fun”, the hotel’s website says.
The Little A’Le’Inn reiterated the high level of interest it had seen on September 20, the night of the Facebook event.
In mid-September, Mr Roberts decided to break ties with Ms West. The innkeeper was sent a cease-and desist order over the use of the name ‘Alienstock’ after the two parted ways.
Revelers gather at 3 a.m. to honor the original Storm Area 51 idea outside of the Area 51 rear gate as the Alienstock festival continues in nearby Rachel, Nevada. #stormarea51 #area51 #alienstock #rjnow pic.twitter.com/JRo21KpMIr— L.E. Baskow (@Left_Eye_Images) September 20, 2019
“I’m still doing the festival with the ‘Alienstock’ name on it,” Ms West said. “I’ll just worry about the legalities later.”
“Due to the lack of infrastructure, planning, and risk management, along with concerns raised for the safety of the expected 10,000+ attendees, we decided to transition Alienstock away from the Rachel festival towards a safer alternative,” the AlienStock 2019 website says.
The website says the organisers, from Mr Robert’s camp, didn’t want to be involved in “a FYREFEST 2.0”.
Mr Robert’s held a free event at the Downtown Las Vegas Centre.
Despite the split from Mr Roberts, people are still flocking to Rachel - the town closest to the famed military base.
One of those is Chuck Bench, 72-year-old Vietnam War-era US Air Force veteran, who told The Associated Press he came to Alienstock to find meaning in life.
Mr Bench and his new friend Rusty Satterwhite said they didn’t have any intention of running towards the Area 51 gates.
31-year-old collectible cards seller, Daniel Martinez, drove six hours to catch an event inspired by an internet hoax calling people to “Storm Area 51.”
Martinez said he knew the post was a joke, but he also knew people would show up.
He called it “a contagion, but in a good way. With positivity.”
What will happen if people storm Area 51?
Of course many people who said they were ‘going’ to the event wouldn’t actually try to storm Area 51 - most of them were just there “for the memes”, however the US military were aware of the famous Facebook event.
“Any attempt to illegally access the area is highly discouraged,” Staff Sgt. Joshua Kleinholz of Nellis Air Force Base said, which oversees the area that includes Area 51.
“Just like any military installation, there are different levels of security, depending on what has been picked up and what has been detected. And, obviously, the degree of response may escalate depending upon the perceived threat.”
Classification policy and national security expert Steven Aftergood, said the idea of storming Area 51 was a “social media concoction”, doubting many people would actually turn up to the site.
“Those that try to reach it will find that it is remote, rugged and quite far removed from public roadways,” Mr Aftergood told Yahoo News.
“People will need plenty of water, good health insurance, and possibly a lawyer.”
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