LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — What started as a joke on a Facebook page to storm Area 51, resulted in several “extraterrestrial” events in Hiko and Rachel, Nevada. Rachel is about 140 miles outside of Las Vegas in Lincoln County, and Hiko is about 40 miles east of Rachel.
The population in Rachel is less than 60 people, but Lincoln County Sheriff estimates, so far, that more than 2,000 people, some dressed as aliens, cone heads, and flying saucers, have shown up to get a glimpse of Area 51.
“We just thought, ‘hey let’s have a fun time, take a flight, rent an RV, come out to Area 51, have a good time. See what happens,'” said Scott Copus, visiting from Wisconsin.
Copus is camping out in Rachel for Alienstock, which is a three-day Storm Area 51 festival.
“We drove pretty much through the night; we slept for an hour or two, so it was a total 15 hours to get here,” said Jarod, visiting from Washington.
The Little A’Le’Inn planned the event after the Storm Area 51 Facebook page went viral. Its creator said initially, the whole thing was a joke.
“Came out here to see the party, see people get tackled, taken out,” said Jacob Dowdle, visiting from Arizona. “I’m here to watch other people do all the stupid things.”
Law enforcement, first responders, and several agencies are on standy to try to make sure no one crosses a boundary for the mysterious U.S. military base.
“Oh man, I would love to be inside the base, but you know they’re probably just going to disintegrate me with some technology that we haven’t been discovered yet so…” said Allen O’Connell, visiting from Las Vegas.
Jarod, Alienstock festival attendee: “I’m totally going to storm; we’re going to the gate later.”
Vanessa Murphy, reporter: “Really?”
Jarod: “I’m not actually gonna set foot over the boundary because I don’t want to go to jail (laughs).”
Friday was day 1 of the alien-themed festivities, and so far there has been one arrest for alcohol-related offenses and traffic citations and one arrest for indecent exposure. The individual was booked and released with a citation.
According to Lincoln County Sheriff, Thursday night into Friday morning there were approximately 150 people at the Rachel Gate of Area 51. But there weren’t any issues reported at the gate.