‘Storm Area 51’ interests millions, but storming anything is ill-advised

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The number of people who say they are interested in storming Area 51 on September 20 has now passed 3 million.

Nevada’s U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen is among those who are asking the public to refrain from crossing the line into the top secret military facility, or any military base for that matter, because to do so would be dangerous.

No one thinks millions of people will actually show up but it looks like rural Nevada is in for one heck of a weekend.

First rule of Storm Area 51 is don’t storm Area 51.  Senator Rosen is on the same page with the young man who created the Facebook sensation, strictly as a joke. But the idea has grabbed the public’s attention, and now, specific plans for September 20 are being cemented. As we know, Nevada is always happy to host a party, even one with a somewhat serious undertone.

Tour company driver Denis Ryan and four passengers accidentally drove into Area 51 in 2014. (KLAS-TV)

Crossing the line into Area 51 is a really bad idea. A tour bus driver and his passengers learned that when they accidentally entered the base five years ago were quickly surrounded by armed security then were cited by local deputie. Similar results have been documented multiple times in other online videos. 

In January, a man was shot and killed when he drove onto the Nevada National Security Site, which is a separate facility not related to Area 51. 

The Pentagon has already issued a stern warning to would-be intruders. Lincoln County business owners say they’ve been told Area 51’s already-formidable security systems will be beefed up even more for the upcoming event, as will local law enforcement.

“They’ll be there. I’m sure everybody will be on alert that weekend,” said Connie West, owner of Little A’Le’Inn.

West’s little A’Le’Inn in Rachel will be one of the gathering sites. She’s clearing 30 acres of land so visitors can park or camp. Several bands have offered to perform. On the other end of the E.T. Highway, at the Alien Research Center near Hiko, ambitious plans are in the works, but storming Area 51 itself is not in the cards.

“The U.S. military is going to put up with zero nonsense, they will put up with no nonsense whatsoever,” said George Harris, owner of Alien Research Center.

He has met with law enforcement and other Lincoln County businesses to prepare for an influx of as many as 10,000 visitors to the rural community. Harris has already taken more than 3,000 requests from people who plan to park their RV’s or vehicles. He’s arranged for a large stage that can accommodate speakers, music acts, and film presentations being planned and has contracted for security, water and food trucks, and portable toilets.

Local businesses hope visitors will fan out to see the natural beauty of rural Nevada as well as the event itself.

“We have some really great surprises, some important people that are going to come up,” Harris said.

Matty Roberts created the “Storm Area 51” Facebook page. (KLAS-TV)

Matty Roberts, the young man whose Facebook satire ignited the social uproar, is featured in a new video interview released by Newsweek magazine. Roberts is once again emphasizing that no one should try to enter Area 51 but he’s hoping the public will focus instead on pressuring the government to end government secrecy about UFOs. 

Instead of a 3 a.m. invasion of the base, organizers have planned a two-day festival of games, art, music, and speakers aimed at putting pressure on the Pentagon to come clean on what it knows.

Other websites have picked up on that theme as well. And satellite events are planned elsewhere, including a viewing party at the soon-to-open Area 15 entertainment complex in Las Vegas.

No one expects a million people but it could be something akin to burning man for UFO activists, an alien Woodstock.

“Everything’s going really well,” Harris said. “We want to make sure this is safe, number one, because a lot of people are going to show up.”

Again, services are very limited in the rural county. Anyone who walks in the desert at night is likely to encounter snakes as well as armed military security.

Events are being planned for both the September 20 and 21 and there is interest in live streaming the weekend’e events, despite technical challenges out there.

Some surprises are in the works and the I-Team will have more details soon.  

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