148843
143596

World  

Crowd 'storms' Area 51

About 75 people arrived early Friday at a gate at the once-secret Area 51 military base in Nevada – at the time appointed by an internet hoaxster to "storm" the facility to see space aliens – and at least two were detained by sheriff's deputies.

The "Storm Area 51" invitation spawned festivals in the tiny Nevada towns of Rachel and Hiko nearest the military site.

Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee estimated late Thursday that about 1,500 people had gathered at the festival sites and said more than 150 people also made the rugged trip several additional miles on bone-rattling dirt roads to get within selfie distance of the gates.

An Associated Press photographer said it wasn't immediately clear if a woman who began ducking under a gate and a man who urinated nearby were arrested after the crowd gathered about 3 a.m. Friday.

Millions of people had responded to a June internet post calling for people to run into the remote U.S. Air Force test site that has long been the focus of UFO conspiracy theories.

"They can't stop all of us," the post joked. "Lets see them aliens."

The military responded with stern warnings that lethal force could be used if people entered the Nevada Test and Training Range, and local and state officials said arrests would be made if people tried.

"It's public land," the sheriff said. "They're allowed to go to the gate, as long as they don't cross the boundary."

Michael Ian Borer, a University of Nevada, Las Vegas, sociologist who researches pop culture and paranormal activity, called the festivities sparked by the internet joke "a perfect blend of interest in aliens and the supernatural, government conspiracies, and the desire to know what we don't know."

"People desire to be part of something, to be ahead of the curve," Borer said. "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."

Eric Holt, the Lincoln County emergency manager, said he believed authorities could handle 30,000 visitors at the two events. Still, neighbours braced for trouble after millions of people responded to the "Storm Area 51" Facebook post weeks ago.

The Federal Aviation Administration closed nearby airspace.



More World News

World
148300
London Webcam
Webcam provided by webcams.travel
149342
Recent Trending
149115
Soft 103.9
146450
Castanet Proud Member of RTNDA Canada
143301



148788
149324