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Calling all Earthlings: Area 51 events suffer from low attendance; one concert cut short
Wednesday, 02 October 2019 22:18

From Staff Reports 

RACHEL, Nev. — In a follow-up to the Storm Area 51 event, The Washington Post reported Sept. 25 in its Style section that “at least 2,000 people” attended “a gathering inspired by a viral Facebook event advertising a raid of Area 51, the secretive U.S. military base known among conspiracy theorists and in popular culture as the place the government stashed alien spacecraft.”

The story noted, parenthetically, that “the Pentagon has acknowledged funding UFO research in general, but the U.S. government has said that Area 51 was a secret testing ground for aircraft built by humans.”

The Post added, “The visitors had come to test boundaries. More than 2 million people had RSVP’d to the event, titled ‘Storm Area 51, they can’t stop all of us.’ The meme spread from Facebook to Instagram, TikTok, Reddit, Discord and Twitter, morphing along the way. People joked about how they intended to ‘see them aliens.’

“The town of Rachel, Nev., which is near-ish to Area 51, but about 45 miles from the nearest gas station, braced for visitors,” the Post stated

“It wasn’t totally clear how much of the whole thing was a joke — an Internet meme that got stuck somewhere in the delicate membrane that separates the online world, with its anime-inspired advice for how to sprint in a way that helps you dodge bullets (head forward, arms pointed straight back, it’s called ‘Naruto running’), and real life, where Area 51 is guarded by armed military officers who probably could stop as many people as they wanted to.”

Meanwhile, the promoter of an event set up for those who showed up in the tiny town of Hiko, Nev., to party in the remote desert near “Storm Area 51,” pulled the plug on Sept. 21, citing low attendance, according to a report by Time.com.

However, in the nearby town of Rachel, the host of a festival for several thousand people said on Sept. 21 that her show will go on, Time.com stated.

“Area 51 Basecamp” organizer Keith Wright said that after drawing just 500 attendees at a Sept. 20 event planned for 5,000 at the Alien Research Center sounir shop in Hiko, he had to shut it down.

“We put on a safe event for the people that showed up,” Wright was quoted as saying by Time.com. “But we had to make the decision today (Sept. 21) because it costs tens of thousands of dollars to staff each day....

“It was a gamble financially,” he told Time.com. “We lost.” As of Sept. 21, Wright added that there were several dozen campers at the concert site — and that he has given them permission to stay through Sept. 22, when the concert was to end.

Meanwhile, in Rachel, Little A’Le’Inn owner Connie West told Time.com that she was sad to hear the Hiko festival did not succeed. 

West, in a voice that Time described as “hoarse from stress and lack of sleep,” said a noon-to-midnight slate of “Alienstock” event musical entertainment will continue for the several thousand revelers camping on her property and nearby federal land.

“This is the most fabulous time,” West told Time.com. “I’m just so grateful that people came. This is their event as much as it is mine.”

Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee called activities “pretty calm” early Sept. 21 in Rachel and Hiko, according to Time.com.

In Nye County, Sheriff Sharon Wehrly reported no one showed up at a main entrance and an auxiliary gate at the once-secret Area 51 U.S. Air Force facility.

Wehrly revised to 100 each for the crowd estimate at each of those gates early Sept. 20 near Amargosa Valley, a 90-minute drive west of Las Vegas.

Lee, which is about a two-hour drive north of Las Vegas, said revelers gathered until about 4 a.m. at two gates between Hiko and Rachel, and said about 20 people broke from among revelers and “acted like they were going to storm (Area 51), but stopped short,” according to Time.com.

Lee and Wright reported one arrest — for disorderly conduct, at the “Area 51 Basecamp” event in Hiko.

Earlier, officials reported five arrests, including one man treated for dehydration by festival medics in Rachel, Time.com noted.


 



 


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