“Storm Area 51” hoax has hundreds of UFO enthusiasts descending on Nevada for ‘Alienstock’ (Video)

“Storm Area 51” hoax has hundreds of UFO enthusiasts descending on Nevada for ‘Alienstock’ (Video)

The weekend events reportedly have some locals worried about overcrowding and potential safety issues.

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The idea of gathering enough people to storm a top secret US military base is outlandish and pretty hilarious on the surface, but when over two million people signed up for what started out as a hoax, you can bet there is going to be a turnout, even after the organizer called it off.

“I posted it on like June 27th and it was kind of a joke,” Matty Roberts said. “And then it waited for like three days and like 40 people, and then it just completely took off, out of nowhere. It’s pretty wild.”

Roberts is the college student behind the original Facebook event “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us”, who pulled out of Alienstock event earlier this month, citing fears of a “humanitarian disaster” and a retread of Fyre Fest, the disastrous non-event that left scammed ticket holders stranded in the Bahamas, NBC News reported.

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Even though the event started out as a hoax, the military took the situation seriously.

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Speaking with The Washington Post in July, U.S. Air Force spokeswoman Laura McAndrews said officials were aware of the Facebook event. When asked how authorities might respond to curious explorers who may attempt to enter Area 51, McAndrews said she could not elaborate on specific plans or security procedures at the base.

She did, however, issue a warning to those itching to try their luck.

“[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 America armed forces,” McAndrews said. “The U.S. Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets.”

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Regardless of this starting out as a hoax, UFO and alien enthusiasts are descending to Rachel and Hiko, Nevada, sites of two competing festivals scheduled for this weekend, real-life versions of the “Storm Area 51” event scheduled that went viral on Facebook last month and attracted millions of would-be attendees.

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Alienstock, the festival planned for Rachel, is currently embroiled in a legal battle and was cancelled last week, according to the event website. But that hasn’t stopped Connie West, owner of Rachel’s only commercial establishment, the Little A’Le’Inn, from moving forward, or guests from arriving from all over the world – or the galaxy.

Sheriff, Kerry Lee, Lincoln county, estimated on Thursday that approximately 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.

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.”

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has declared a no-fly zone over the surrounding airspace, including drones, while Lincoln and Nye County authorities have laid out plans of action, complete with “operations centers” that seem hopelessly inadequate for the thousands of people expected to swarm the sparsely populated area.

From NBC News:

Grammy-nominated electronica DJ Paul Oakenfold, who usually sets up his turntables in thumping nightclubs, is slated to headline the Hiko event Friday night, according to the official lineup. The festivities are expected to go down at the Alien Research Center, a gift shop, and include food and drink.

Storm Area 51 Basecamp will also feature two screenings of “Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers,” a 2018 documentary about a self-describer engineer who claimed to a Las Vegas television station that he worked on extraterrestrial aircraft that were stored at Area 51.