The viral campaign to “storm Area 51” was scheduled for September 20th, and after months of controversy, the organizers decided instead to set up a festival called “Alien Stock” in the middle of the desert, where all of the Area 51 enthusiasts could gather in a safe and legal way. Unfortunately, locals in the small town of Rachel, Nevada were not very happy about the idea of thousands of curiosity seekers descending on their neighborhood.
After the festival was announced, a warning was posted on the town’s website in response to the news, stating that local residents would defend their property by force if they had to, saying that “the situation could get ugly.”
The website voiced concerns that such an event would attract crooks who sought to “capitalize on the chaos.”
Since the event was canceled, the town’s website was updated with a celebratory post saying that the party was being moved to Las Vegas, and that it was canceled due to poor organization. The website called the event Fyre Fest 2.0, a reference to the now-notorious festival hosted by rapper Jah Rule and con artist Billy McFarland, which ended in a disaster when the organizers weren’t prepared for the event that they advertised.
There have been many other spin-off events as well, and while it is not clear if they will be moving to Las Vegas along with Alien Stock, they were not initially planned to take place in Rachel, but in locations farther from the actual Area 51 site.
While the official plan to storm the secret military base located in the desert was just a joke, it seems that not everyone got the memo.
Two men have already been arrested for trespassing on the Nevada National Security Site, which is a government nuclear facility located 10 miles away from Area 51. The two men, 21-year-old Wilhelmus Jacob Sweep and 20-year-old Ties Granzie, are Dutch YouTubers who had flown all the way to the United States to attend the event.
The Nye County Sheriff’s Office found the pair’s vehicle parked three blocks inside the nuclear site. In the car, police found a camera, a laptop, and a drone. It was also noted that the YouTubers had already captured footage from inside the facility.
Police said that, while Granzier and Sweep do not understand English perfectly, they should have been able to recognize the threatening “No Trespassing” signs all over the property.
If convicted, they could face a maximum sentence of six months in prison, a $500 fine, or both, according to the US Department of Justice.