Arrests Have Started At Gathering For 'Storm Area 51' Event
Rachel, NV – Two people have already been arrested as thousands are expected to gather for a "storm Area 51" event.
The U.S. military advised the more than one million Facebook users that signed up to “Storm Area 51” that actually trying to raid the restricted military base would be a very bad idea back in July when the idea of the event first went viral.
The event planned for 3 a.m. on Sept. 20 was created as a joke on Facebook title "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us," but the military started monitoring the situation after more than a million people signed up to help breach the military installation long rumored to be where the U.S. military has stored crashed UFOs.
"The U.S. Air Force is aware of the Facebook event encouraging people to 'Storm Area 51,' " an Air Force spokesperson told NPR.
"The Nevada Test and Training Range provides flexible, realistic and multidimensional battlespace to test and develop tactics as well as conduct advanced training in support of U.S. national interests," the official said, referring to Area 51 by its official name. "Any attempt to illegally access the area is highly discouraged."
The Facebook page said that attendees would meet at a nearby “tourist attraction” to coordinate, FOX News reported.
“If we naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets,” the event’s page said, referencing a super-speedy Japanese anime character. “Lets see them aliens.”
The page was created by a 20-year-old man from California who set it all up as a joke.
"I just thought it would be a funny idea for the meme page," he told NPR through Facebook Messenger. "And it just took off like wildfire. It's entirely satirical though, and most people seem to understand that."
The page’s creator has since pulled out of the event completely citing a lack of resources which could make it dangerous for attendees and has been instead been promoting attendance at an Area 51-themed party in Las Vegas, according to the Daily Star.
Although the event might have been created as a joke, a lot of people have arrived in Rachel, little town closest to the restricted area.
The co-owner of a hotel called the Little A’Le’Inn – pronounced “little alien” – located 26 miles from the runway in Area 51 said she’s already booked solid for the big shindig.
"Yes, it sounds like a joke, but there apparently are some people who want to check out the joke," Connie West told NPR.
West's accommodations are the closest place to stay to Area 51.
She said she booked all 10 rooms in her inn, and had already booked countless guests who wanted to pitch tents on her 30 acres of land, NPR reported.
West said that almost everybody who called has asked specifically about the raid on Area 51.
"Apparently, people are taking it seriously," she told NPR. "I think they're stupid if they think they're going to get to the test site, but I'm gonna capitalize on it."
West has a gift shop that sells keychains, t-shirts, mugs, and other touristy items “all featuring aliens and/or Area 51” and she is planning to make the most of the bizarre gathering.
After the original organizer dropped out, the Little A’Le’Inn became ground zero for the Area 51 events.
Sure enough, deputies made their first arrest at the big event shortly after 3 a.m. on Sept. 20 when a woman tried to go underneath a barrier, the Daily Star reported.
A man who urinated nearby was arrested, too.
The original event page proposed the alien enthusiasts would be able to “Naruto run” through security around the Air Force facility, and the runners were gathered even without the guy who initially suggested it.
A “Naruto run” is based on an anime series where the person leans forward and holds their arms straight out behind them at a 30 degree angle from the ground, KTNV reported.
On Friday morning, as KTNV was broadcasting live at the encampment set up near Area 51, the shot was photobombed by a guy doing a “Naruto run” behind the reporter.
The video did not show whether the runner actually attempted to breach the perimeter, but as no deaths have been reported, it may be safe to assume that he stopped before he got to the gate.