The Latest: Earthling visitors dwindling at Area 51 event

HIKO, Nev. — The Latest on “Storm Area 51” events in two tiny Nevada towns near the once-secret military research site (all times local):

8:45 p.m.

Earthling visitors are dwindling at an “Alienstock” festival in the remote Nevada desert, and the lights are off where an evening music program spot inspired by a “Storm Area 51” internet post was cancelled.

Lincoln County emergency services chief Eric Holt said Saturday that after crowds peaked at about 3,000, first-responders from around the state were being sent home.

No one knew how many people would arrive in response to an internet meme to storm the gates of a military base long the focus of conspiracy theories about extraterrestrials and UFOs.

Local officials had prepared for up to 30,000.

“Alienstock” at the Little A’Le’Inn in Rachel was due to continue until midnight, but the audience was sparse.

“Area 51 Basecamp” in Hiko pulled the plug Saturday after drawing just 500 attendees at a Friday music event planned for 5,000.


12:05 p.m.

Authorities are scaling back the number of law enforcement officers and medics at ongoing events in towns near Area 51 in the remote Nevada desert.

Lincoln County emergency services Chief Eric Holt said Saturday that officials aren’t getting complacent, but resources to handle up to 30,000 people probably won’t be needed for an estimated 3,000 campers and festival-goers at “Alienstock” in Rachel.

A promoter cancelled an evening music schedule in Hiko (HI’-koh) tied to an internet hoax inviting people to “Storm Area 51.”

A slate of speakers and is still planned Saturday at the Alien Research Center.

But “Area 51 Basecamp” organizer Keith Wright says that after drawing just 500 attendees at a Friday concert planned for 5,000, he decided to pull the plug.


8:40 a.m.

A promoter has cancelled a second day of music, speakers and movies in Hiko (HI’-koh), tied to ongoing “Storm Area 51” festivities in the Nevada desert.

“Area 51 Basecamp” organizer Keith Wright says that after drawing just 500 attendees at a Friday event planned for 5,000, he had to pull the plug.

He says campers can stay until Sunday.

Wright says the event at George Harris’ Alien Research Center was safe for people who showed up, but became an obvious financial loss.

In Rachel, Little A’Le’Inn owner Connie West says a slate of musical entertainment will continue as planned until midnight for the several thousand revelers at the “Alienstock” event she’s hosting.

West says she’s sad to hear the Hiko festival didn’t succeed.


7:40 a.m.

Authorities keeping watch over thousands of Earthlings partying in the Nevada desert, drawn by a “Storm Area 51” internet craze, are reporting no serious overnight incidents.

Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee called it “pretty calm” early Saturday at “Alienstock” events in Rachel and “Area 51 Basecamp” in Hiko (HI’-koh).

Lee says groups gathered until about 4 a.m. at two gates to the sprawling once-secret U.S. Air Force facility between the two towns.

He says about 20 people broke from among revelers and the curious at the Rachel gate and rushed forward, but stopped short.

Lee says one person was arrested overnight for disorderly conduct at the music, speakers, movies and camping event and in Hiko.


9 p.m.

Authorities arrested two men in the rugged mountains inside the perimeter of the once-secret Area 51 military base in Nevada and one woman who made it clear at a busy gate that she was going to trespass no matter what.

Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee reported the arrests Friday and said the number of people approaching base checkpoints near the tiny desert towns of Hiko and Rachel in recent days has topped 1,000.

A man reported missing after heading out Thursday toward an Area 51 gate was found safe Friday evening.

Emergency services chief Eric Holt says one man was treated at a festival in Rachel for dehydration, but no serious injuries were reported.

Lee says crowds have grown to perhaps 3,000 people at internet-inspired festivals dubbed “Alienstock” in Rachel and fewer than 1,000 at “Area 51 Basecamp” in Hiko.


4:20 p.m.

Vincent Dahl of Stockton, California, woke up at the “Alienstock” campground in remote Nevada looking to hitch a ride to the nearest gate at the once-secret Area 51 military site.

John Derryberry and Sarah Shore, a couple from Nashville, Tennessee, happily obliged.

By the time they made it across 8 miles (13 kilometres) of dusty road, the trio in their mid-20s were like old friends.

They came after an internet hoax invited people to “Storm Area 51.” The site is the focus of popular lore about government studies of space aliens.

Dahl was in a tinfoil hat to prevent the government from reading his thoughts, Derryberry wore a Buzz Lightyear costume and Shore danced in a glittery cape. They found dozens of other gawkers at the gate.

Authorities watched people pose for selfies, take in the scene and then head back to their cars.


10:30 a.m.

Nevada authorities say about 40 people gathered overnight at Area 51 with plans to storm the gates before leaving peacefully.

The Nye County Sheriff’s Office said in a video news release Friday that the group initially came together outside the Area 51 Alien Center in Amargosa Valley about 3 a.m.

Authorities say some of the people then went closer to the gates before they left after “heated warnings” from officers.

Everyone was gone by 5 a.m. They were described as being compliant and peaceful.

The gathering occurred about 95 miles (153 kilometres) from the events taking place near the tiny Nevada towns of Rachel and Hiko after an internet hoax posted in June invited people to “storm” the once-secret military installation, the focus of popular lore about government studies of extraterrestrial life and space aliens.

At least two people were detained earlier in the day by deputies at a different gate to Area 51.


9:05 a.m.

Authorities say one person was arrested on a charge of public urination and another was detained at a gate to Area 51.

A group of about 75 people gathered near the site after an internet hoax posted in June invited people to “storm” the once-secret military installation. The place is the focus of popular lore about government studies of extraterrestrial life and space aliens.

The “Storm Area 51” invitation spawned festivals in the tiny Nevada towns of Rachel and Hiko nearest the military site, and a more than two-hour drive from Las Vegas.

Sheriff Kerry Lee did not immediately provide details on the arrest or why the other person was detained. A press briefing was scheduled later Friday morning.


7:15 a.m.

At least two people were detained by local sheriff’s deputies at a gate to Area 51 in Nevada after an estimated 75 people gathered at the site early Friday.

A weekend gathering is happening in the desert after an internet hoax posted in June invited people to “storm” the once-secret military installation. The place is the focus of popular lore about government studies of extraterrestrial life and space aliens.

It wasn’t immediately clear if a woman who began ducking under al gate and a man who urinated nearby were arrested after the crowd gathered about 3 a.m.

An Associated Press photographer saw both escorted away by deputies. A sheriff’s dispatcher declined to comment.

Sheriff Kerry Lee was scheduled to speak to the media later in the morning.

The Associated Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Easter Bunny visiting central Albertans to support food banks

The Easter Bunny has been enlisted to help raise money for local… Continue reading

Home care visits continue, but with challenges

Self-isolation among home care staff means fewer to make visits

Alberta plan to use smartphones to enforce quarantines raises privacy questions

Governments must be transparent about who is collecting and processing the data, says one expert

Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, fear it’s a mistake

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

Alberta Health Services provides COVID-19 prevention tips

Alberta Health Services has a number of recommendations for people amid the… Continue reading

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

Message from RE/MAX Commercial: What to do when ‘sorry we’re temporarily closed’ is part of your business as landlord or tenant

Do you have questions about rent reductions or deferral of lease payments? Experts can help

Red Deer author shares tips with students

Academy of Writers by Sigmund Brouwer is now available to students through a new partnership

Landowners and legal experts criticize Alberta’s well cleanup bill

Critics say bill still doesn’t give energy companies a timeline to clean up their mess

Toronto company expands ventilator production tenfold to meet demand

Toronto-based company would produce at most 50 ventilators in a month

Armed Forces reports 20 military suicides last year, largest number since 2014

Increase comes despite the federal government having introduced a suicide-prevention strategy

Most Read