'Storm house 51' situations suggested far off county to make emergency plans

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Officials in the remote Nevada county which is home to Area 51 have drawn up emergency plans over fears that up to 40,000 alien hunters could gather at the secretive US military base next month.

More than two million people have committed to the proposed raid of the complex in the hope of seeing aliens – despite the 20 September Facebook event being shut down after its organiser admitted it was a joke.

About 'Storm

'Storm Area 51' events prompt remote county to make emergency plans

About 51'

Even the US air force last month felt compelled to warn those planning to go to the event that it “stands ready to protect America and its assets”.

Rachel in Nevada is the closest town to Area 51
Image:
Rachel in Nevada is the closest town to Area 51

Despite the warnings, the number of people signed up to the event continues to increase.

'Storm Area 51' events prompt remote county to make emergency plans

Now, Lincoln County officials have drafted an emergency declaration and a plan to team resources with neighbouring counties and the state after conditionally approving two events next month tied to the “Storm Area 51” internet drive.

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The spirit of the original plan is now living on in the form of Alienstock – a three-day music festival including a “party in the desert” – which is set to take place on 20-22 September in the nearby town of Rachel, which has a population of about 50.

Connie West, co-owner of the Little A’Le’Inn said she is expecting 10,000 people.

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The Alien Research Centre souvenir shop in nearby Hiko, a town of about 120, is planning an exhibition the same weekend.

The events evolved from the initial online post inviting people to “storm” the military test area in the Nevada desert.

Authorities are worried that with only 184 hotel rooms across the county, a surge in visitors will crowd campsites, gas stations and public medical, internet and mobile phone services.

Alienstock says it is taking over Rachel, Nevada
Image:
Alienstock says it is ‘taking over’ Rachel, Nevada

“Oh, we’re taking this seriously,” Lincoln County Commission chairman Varlin Higbee told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Tuesday.

“With the possibility of 35,000 to 40,000 people showing up, yeah, this is serious.

“The cellphone system is going to go down. You get more than a couple of hundred people there and it’s going to crash. Cell service won’t be available.”

He added: “We don’t want them going down to government property; it will probably be blocked off.

“We don’t want civilian people in contact with the military at all. That will get ugly.”

Huge secrecy surrounds Area 51, which is not open to the public and is under 24-hour surveillance.

The base, located about 150 miles from Las Vegas, was first used to develop U2 spy planes in the 1950s.

That programme finished after the U2 was put into service around 1956 and the base has since been used for testing other military aircraft, but conspiracy theorists say the site is also home to remains of crashed UFOs.

Peter Merlin, an aerospace historian who has written extensively about Area 51, said the facility is “strictly a place for testing and evaluating aircraft and associated weapons systems”.