Storm Area 51 event set to be ‘disaster’ as thousands unprepared for desert – Live News 24


ALIEN fanatics descending in their thousands upon the harsh Nevada desert for Storm Area 51-related events could face disaster, warn nervous locals  Resident Joerg Arnu says that UFO hunters showing up in shorts and flip-flops won’t be protected in chilly -5C overnight temperatures, or “against critters, snakes and scorpions”  Thousands of people are expected to attend two weekend festivities: the Alienstock music festival in Rachel, and the “Storm Area 51 Basecamp” at a gift shop dubbed the Alien Research Center in Hiko  But locals fear that visitors will not be prepared for the harsh desert conditions with inadequate water supplies and improper clothing  Rachel and Hiko are the closest towns to the US installation known as Area 51, which has been at the centre of a cancelled prank Facebook event to storm the military installation  The towns, with a combined population of less than 200, are cashing in on the hype surrounding the now-notorious ‘raid’, and they’re not the only ones  A beer company has produced alien-themed cans, and a Nevada brothel is offering discounts to “E T. enthusiasts”.  Meanwhile, scores of UFO enthusiasts have also been converging on Nevada to get as close as possible to the heavily-protected Area 51 site, which is long rumoured to house government secrets about alien life  This is despite stern warnings from officials that they risk arrest. ‘SEE THEM ALIENS’  Law enforcement officials beefed up security around the military base in response to a recent, viral social-media invitation to “storm” Area 51  In June, California college student Matty Roberts posted a facetious Facebook invitation exhorting the public at large to run into Area 51 on foot to “see them aliens”  When more than one million people expressed interest, the US Air Force warned curiosity seekers not to breach the gates at the military base, which it said is still used to test combat aircraft and train personnel  Five sheriff’s patrol cars were posted on Thursday just outside the Area 51 gate to repel any wannabe invaders  Meanwhile, the towns of Rachel and Hiko near the secret military research site are preparing for a huge influx of people over the next few days, including those disappointed at the cancellation of the prank raid  On the back of the internet hoax, weekend events are expected to draw thousands of visitors to the two tiny desert towns  George Harris, owner of the Alien Research Center souvenir store in Hiko, said Friday and Saturday’s “Area 51 Basecamp” will focus on music, movies and talks about extraterrestrial lore  Electronic dance music DJ and recording artist Paul Oakenfold is Friday’s headliner in Hiko  The event also promises food trucks and vendors, trash and electric service, and robust security and medical staff  Harris said he was prepared for as many as 15,000 people and expected they would appreciate taking selfies with a replica of the Area 51 back gate without having to travel several miles to the real thing  Its Storm Area 51 Basecamp website invites visitors to “get abducted at your own risk”  The two-day event in Hiko – population 119 according to the last Census in 2010 – at the centre on the Extraterrestrial Highway “will be basecamp for believers as prominent ufologists, expert speakers, musicians and artists gather to celebrate the ‘Storm’ Area 51 movement”, the website adds  It says that people can hear from “expert ufologists and stargaze using state-of-the-art telescope technology” There’s also alien-inspired merchandise and art installations. What is Area 51? The top secret US air base steeped in extra-terrestrial intrigueAREA 51 is a highly classified US air base in the remote Nevada desert  It is officially known as Homey Airport, but gained its now famous name from CIA documents that referred to it by the codename Area 51  The exact purpose of the air base is not known publicly, and the area is heavily restricted  Trespassers can face huge fines and lengthy prison sentences for setting foot in the zone  Purchased by the US government in 1955, evidence suggests the site is used as a testing area for experimental aircraft and weapons  But the secrecy surrounding it has led conspiracy theorists to suggest the area is holding extra-terrestrial secrets  Theories suggest engineers examine crashed spacecrafts — and even hold meetings with aliens from across the galaxy  The crash of a weather balloon at Roswell, New Mexico in 1947 sparked wild theories of an alien ship crash  Some have suggested Area 51 is still storing parts of the crashed ship — or even its alien inhabitants ALIENSTOCK FESTIVAL  Over in Rachel, visitors have set up an encampment outside the town’s only business – the extraterrestrial-themed Little A’Le’Inn motel and restaurant Some tourists hung inflatable aliens from their campers ahead of the Alienstock music festival  Situated about 150 miles (240km) north of Las Vegas, the remote hamlet of just 50 year-round residents lacks a grocery store or even a petrol station  On its Facebook page, Little A’Le’Inn said: “Greeting Earthlings! It’s finally here and we’ve got some awesome stuff planned this weekend!  “Lots have already showed up but for those that haven’t, please travel safely and pack accordingly!”  The Alienstock parking website said that “although we are preparing and trying to gather as many resources as possible, Rachel is just a small town in the Nevada desert  “We recommend bringing water, food and appropriate clothing.  “The weather should be nice during the day, but it can drop into the 40s at night ”  But Joerg Arnu, a Rachel resident, told reporters: “We are preparing for the worst ”  Arnu said he installed outdoor floodlights, fencing and “No Trespassing” signs on his 30-acre property  He’s also organised a radio-equipped night watch of neighbours, fearing there won’t be enough water, food, trash bins or toilets for ill-equipped visitors  Arnu added: “Those that know what to expect camping in the desert are going to have a good time, those who are looking for a big party are going to be disappointed ”  He fears that those failing to find full services and shops are “going to get angry” AREA 51 ‘MANIA’  KTNV Action News reporter Joe Bartels, who is at Rachel, said that excitement was building as a result of “Area 51 mania”  Joe said that people from “all over the world” were in the town, including one man who told him: “I’ve seen some pretty spooky stuff in my life, and man I’ve seen some pretty spooky stuff out here ”  However, Joe managed to get upstaged by a photobomber, who ran “Naruto” style behind him, while he was on-air  Organisers of the prank Area 51 raid had called for people to “move faster than bullets” by adopting a Japanese anime style of running, with arms thrust backward and their heads stretched forward  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  Michael Borer, a University of Nevada, Las Vegas, sociologist who researches pop culture and paranormal activity, said the festivities sparked by the internet joke were “a perfect blend of interest in aliens and the supernatural, government conspiracies, and the desire to know what we don’t know  “Area 51 is a place where normal, ordinary citizens can’t go. When you tell people they can’t do something, they just want to do it more ”  Authorities reported no serious incidents related to the two festivals scheduled until Sunday in Rachel and Hiko, located about a 45-minute drive apart on a state road dubbed the Extraterrestrial Highway, and a two-hour drive from Las Vegas

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