Hundreds descend on Nevada desert near "Area 51"

Mario Rayna center chants with others at an entrance to the Nevada Test and Training Range near Area 51.   John Locher    

While the viral "Storm Area 51" event page started as a joke, what began as a quickly-created Facebook page has now caused concern with some residents as they are said to be "preparing for the worst" when it comes to the September 20 event.

Space 51 had lengthy been shrouded in thriller, stoking conspiracy theories that it housed the remnants of a flying saucer and the our bodies of its alien crew from a supposed ufo crash in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947.

The two towns have a combined population of just 175 people, with many locals wondering whether their community can cope with the influx of people.

Police are out in force as the "Storm Area 51" event kicks off in rural Nevada.

No one knows what to expect, but lots of people are preparing for "Storm Area 51" on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, in the Nevada desert.

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office said visitors should expect "a large presence of law enforcement".

If a spaceship arrives, he said, he was hoping he'd be asked to drive. The chaos is still occurring even though the event page that encouraged people to try to "see them aliens" was already shut down. Another user, Jackson Barnes, also designed an elaborate plan for the occasion, but later on revealed that it was a joke.

George Harris, owner of the Alien Research Center souvenir store in Hiko, said Friday and Saturday's "Area 51 Basecamp" will focus on music, movies and talks about extraterrestrial lore.

They're about a 45-minute drive apart on a state road dubbed the Extraterrestrial Highway, and a two-hour drive from Las Vegas.

Well, it turned out people actually showed up - and they didn't come empty-handed, either.

Eric Holt, the Lincoln County emergency manager overseeing preparations, said he believed authorities could handle 30,000 visitors at the events in Rachel and Hiko.

"However, the event has sparked a response from the U.S. Air Force, who issued a warning to anyone planning to trespass: "[Area 51] is an open training range for the U.S. Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces.

Space 51 sits about 12 miles (19 km) from Rachel, Nevada, a tiny outpost north of Las Vegas that's internet hosting a music competition to entertain any UFO hunters or others heading to the area.

"People desire to be part of something, to be ahead of the curve", Borer said. "I think you are going to get a group of people that are prepared, respectful and they know what they getting themselves into".

Still, neighbors braced for trouble after millions of people responded to the "Storm Area 51" Facebook post weeks ago.

As of early Friday, a number of hundred campsites had been arrange by guests outdoors the Little A'Le'Inn, an alien-themed motel and restaurant that's Rachel's exclusively enterprise.

Neither man said he had any intention of running toward any gate to the once-secret Area 51 military base somewhere over the picturesque mountains.

Those who show up in shorts and flip-flops will find no protection against 'critters, snakes and scorpions'. The concern even made its way up to the Federal Aviation Administration this week as they are said to have closed nearby air space.

"It will get cold at night".



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