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Area 51 Festival Wraps Up in Nevada; Earthlings Head Home

Article by Associated Press                   September 22, 2019                    (latimes.com)

• Although more than 2 million Facebook users clicked their interest, and local officials anticipated a crowd of at least 30,000, only about 3,000 people made the trip to the small desert city Rachel, Nevada to “Storm Area 51”. Authorities said no more than 1,000 people visited Area 51 gates near Rachel on Thursday and Friday. No one was arrested there.

• Visitors hailed from France, Russia, Germany, Peru, Sweden, Australia and many U.S. states. A few hundred more camped and attended one night of an abbreviated music festival about 40 miles away in Hiko, Nevada. “It seems like a lot of good people chilling and having a good time,” observed Dave Wells, a 56-year-old stonemason from Cincinnati wearing a Day-Glo green festival T-shirt and taking in the scene Saturday in Rachel.

• Connie West, proprietor of the Little A’Le’Inn at the epicenter of the Alienstock event, said “[W]e found peace and friendship” as campers packed up to leave and volunteers began cleaning up. West wants to do it again next year. “As well as it turned out? Why the heck not?” she said. At a festival clinic in Rachel, one man was treated for dehydration, and one woman was treated for a drug-related issue.

• The “Area 51 Basecamp” at the Alien Research Center souvenir shop in Hiko, didn’t fare as well. Organizers pulled the plug Saturday on a second concert after drawing only about 500 ticket-buyers for a Friday show. Preparations had been made for up to 5,000.

• Sheriff Kerry Lee said he watched about 20 people feign a rush before dawn Saturday toward a base gate outside Rachel, before stopping short. In Lincoln County, six people were arrested for misdemeanors, mostly trespassing beneath the floodlights and cameras of two military base gates and the watchful eyes of sheriff’s deputies.

• Officials had feared unruly crowds would overwhelm water, electricity, food, fuel, internet and telephone service in a county with just 5,200 people covering an area the size of Massachusetts. “I’m going to call it a success from our end. It’s because we got out in front of it,” said Varlin Higbee, a Lincoln County commissioner who signed an emergency declaration to allocate $250,000 in emergency funds. Higbee said they might sue to recoup costs.

• Matty Roberts, a 20-year-old from Bakersfield, Calif., made the Facebook post to Storm Area 51 as a hoax, then promoted it, then broke away from the event just weeks before. Roberts hosted a Thursday evening event at an outdoor venue in downtown Las Vegas, also using the “Alienstock” name. He said he wants to trademark the name and take it on tour to reach people who couldn’t travel to Nevada. “That’s pretty much the plan for me,” Roberts said. “It’s been a ton of fun.”

 

HIKO, Nev. — The festivals are over and Earthlings from around the globe headed home Sunday after a weekend camping and partying in the dusty Nevada desert and trekking to remote gates of Area 51, a formerly top-secret U.S. military base long the focus of UFO and space alien lore.

They left in peace, officials and the host of a free “Alienstock” festival said Sunday.

Visitors hailed from France, Russia, Germany, Peru, Sweden, Australia and many U.S. states — many toting cameras — in answer to an internet post in June suggesting that if enough people rushed a military base to “see them aliens” at 3 a.m. Sept. 20, authorities couldn’t stop everyone.

More than 2 million Facebook users clicked their interest, but in the end only a few thousand made the trip to the tiny Nevada desert city of Rachel, population about 50, more than two hours north of Las Vegas by car.

Campers and festival-goers in Rachel peaked at about 3,000 on Friday, said Eric Holt, the Lincoln County official who headed planning for a feared influx of at least 30,000.

A few hundred more camped and attended one night of an abbreviated festival about 40 miles away in Hiko, population 120.

“It seems like a lot of good people chilling and having a good time,” observed Dave Wells, a 56-year-old stonemason and festivals-seeker from Cincinnati wearing a Day-Glo green festival T-shirt and taking in the scene Saturday in Rachel.

Did anyone find actual extraterrestrials or UFOs? (As if anyone could really tell among the masked and costumed beings posing for photos and cavorting in the desert.)

“We didn’t,” said Little A’Le’Inn owner-turned-“Alienstock” festival host Connie West, proprietor of the 10-room motel and cafe that became the center of the extraterrestrial-seeking universe.

“But we found peace. And friendship,” she said Sunday as campers packed up to leave and volunteers began cleaning up.

4:45 minute video of people interviewed at Storm Area 51 event (Fox News YouTube)


10:16 minute video of the Storm Area 51 event (‘Explore With Us’ YouTube)

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Communities Near Area 51 Brace for Influx of UFO Tourists

Listen to “E57 8-8-19 Communities Near Area 51 Brace for Influx” on Spreaker.

Article by Anita Hassan                        July 27, 2019                        (nbcnews.com)

• A Facebook event entitled “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us” has created an internet frenzy. To date, almost 2 million people have RSVP’d for the September 20th gathering. The event’s organizer, Matty Roberts, claims it was a hoax. The Air Force has warned against anyone breaking into the property at the Nevada Test and Training Range, Nellis Air Force Base, commonly known as Area 51.

• Vern Holaday, 59, owns the Alamo Inn in Alamo, Nevada, north of Las Vegas. Holaday recalls that in the fall of 2009, his hotel hosted an annual UFO conference, and the secretive goings on at Area 51- about 35 miles to the west of Alamo – inevitably came up. A man from Ohio suggested that they storm Area 51 on motorcycles to outrun the military guards. Nothing ever came of it.

• Tourism from extraterrestrial enthusiasts began to boom in 1989 when an Area 51 engineer by the name of Bob Lazar told a Las Vegas television station that he’d worked on extraterrestrial aircraft at the facility. Since then, business owners and residents have welcomed tourists hoping to get a peek at the military facility or spot a UFO in the sky.

• When Holaday heard about the recent Facebook event, “All I thought was, ‘Here we go again.” Holaday has only two rooms still available for the event. Other local motel and campground owners are receiving scores of calls every day. Many are excited for the potential business. Some, though, are concerned about the lack of infrastructure to accommodate the potential crowds.

• “This is the most overwhelmed I’ve ever felt in my entire life,” said Connie West, co-owner of the motel, bar and restaurant called Little A’Le’Inn, located in a small town called Rachel on State Route 375, named the “Extraterrestrial Highway”, about 50 miles northwest from Alamo. She has been inundated with calls about everything from room bookings to bands that want to play on her property during the event. Like Holaday, she’s heard the conspiracy theorists’ talk of invading Area 51 for years, but nothing of this magnitude. “It’s a frenzy,” she said.

• The Little A’Le’Inn being the only bar within 100 miles, Connie West is stocking up on food and alcohol, as well as t-shirts, mugs and other novelty items for the gift shop. West is also in the process of clearing more land to make room for campers. Says West, “… conspiracy theorists, UFO believers and astronomy buffs… All are welcome.”

• But West is concerned about people getting hurt or arrested trying to make their way to Area 51. Some have speculated that local law enforcement will shut down roads leading to the military facility to prevent anyone from getting close. Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee said he could not discuss the details, but that the agency was prepared. Nellis Air Force Base said in a statement that “any attempt to illegally access the area is highly discouraged.”

• Misty Ingram, who works at the Alien Research Center novelty shop about 40 miles south of Rachel, said she hasn’t been able to keep t-shirts on the rack in the last few weeks. The best-selling items are the black T-shirts with red and white lettering that read: “Area 51, Groom Lake Research Facility S-4, WARNING, restricted area, use of deadly force authorized.” Ingram says, “I think it’s ridiculous that anyone thinks they are going to get into Area 51.” Ingram believes the event will morph into more of a makeshift festival than a raid.

• One night a while back, Holaday and some UFO-seeking guests drove down the Extraterrestrial Highway into Tikaboo Valley to a black mailbox in a dusty lot on the side of the road. Holaday said the mailbox belonged to a local rancher, but somehow over the years many came to believe it was a spot where aliens communicated with humans. Although the mailbox has been replaced since then, on a recent visit it was still stuffed with hand-scrawled notes, including one that read, “Dear Aliens, please take Donald Trump.”

 

ALAMO, Nev. — The first time Vern Holaday heard people talk about trying to storm Area 51, he was sitting around a campfire with about a dozen UFO enthusiasts outside the motel he owns in Alamo.

It was the fall of 2009, and the 15-room Alamo Inn was hosting an annual UFO conference. As it usually did, the conversation turned from alien life forms to conspiracy theories about Area 51 — the secretive military facility about 35 miles west of Alamo.

That night, a man from Idaho, who worked on motorcycles for a living, suggested to the others around the campfire that they could rush the facility on motorcycles, believing the military guards wouldn’t be able to stop them that way, Holaday recalled.

Nothing ever came of that scheme beyond campfire chatter, but Holaday, 59, thought of it recently when a Facebook event, titled “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us,” set off an internet frenzy. Even though the event’s creator, Matty Roberts, claimed it was a hoax and the Air Force warned against anyone breaking into the property — located within the Nevada Test and Training Range at the Nellis Air Force Base — almost 2 million people have RSVP’d on Facebook for the Sept. 20 gathering.

“All I thought was, ‘Here we go again,’” Holaday said, chuckling. As of this week, his motel, about 90 miles north of Las Vegas, had only two vacant rooms left for the days of the event.

 Misty Ingram at the Alien Research Center

Tourism drawn by talk of extraterrestrial activities has been a part of the economy for decades in the small towns that dot the valleys near Area 51. The boom began around 1989, when Bob Lazar, a self-described engineer, claimed to a Las Vegas television station that he worked on extraterrestrial aircraft that were housed at Area 51. Since then, business owners and residents have welcomed tourists hoping to get a peek at the military facility or spot a UFO in the sky.

But the Facebook event has ramped up buzz to levels residents have never witnessed, with motel and campground owners receiving scores of calls a day. If the event brings the masses it’s promised, many in the area are excited for the potential extra business. Some, though, are also concerned about the lack of infrastructure to accommodate the crowds that could attend.

“This is the most overwhelmed I’ve ever felt in my entire life,” said Connie West, who co-owns a motel, bar and restaurant called Little A’Le’Inn with her mother in Rachel, a tiny town about 50 miles from Alamo. Since the end of June, her business has been inundated with calls about everything from room bookings to bands that want to play on her property during the event. Like Holaday, she’s heard the conspiracy theorists talk of invading Area 51 for years, but nothing of this magnitude. “It’s a frenzy,” she said.

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FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. ExoNews.org distributes this material for the purpose of news reporting, educational research, comment and criticism, constituting Fair Use under 17 U.S.C § 107. Please contact the Editor at ExoNews with any copyright issue.

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