This is turning into the story that just won’t die. (Though some of the wannabe storm troopers might if they try to bust into the Groom Lake facility.) In case you missed it, the Storm Area 51 event has now been given a new name and, perhaps, an entirely new focus. The unofficial name of the completely unofficial event has now been changed to Alienstock. This is apparently a play on words, setting them up to replace the recently canceled 50th anniversary of Woodstock.
There will supposedly be musical acts coming to perform, vendors and all the usual camp followers you’d see at any sort of large festival, and participants are expected to number in at least the tens of thousands. But there’s a problem, in case you hadn’t guessed. The location of the event is Rachel, Nevada, located at the entrance to “Extraterrestrial Highway,” which leads to Area 51. Rachel is a town of literally fifty people or so. They have no facilities to accommodate that kind of crowd and the residents are not interested in playing host to all of these crazy people. So they’re getting ready to fight back. (From Paul Seaburn at Mysterious Universe)
Doing his best impression of an Old West pioneer whose newly-built log cabin is about to get overrun by a herd of buffalo the size of Buffalo, Joerg Arnu, who has lived in Rachel since 2003 and runs a website for actual tourists, told TIME that he’s fighting tooth-and-nail to block the event formerly known as “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us” from storming Rachel and its 50-some residents on the weekend of September 20th. He and other residents are meeting with the Lincoln County board of commissioners to discuss ways to stop what is now officially called Alienstock. According to TIME, the proposals include shutting down State Route 375 (a.k.a. the Extraterrestrial Highway) and requiring a bond of up to $5,000,000 to hold concertgoers responsible for the damage, destruction and possible deaths they leave behind.
“We have no fire department out here. If a fire started, there’s no way of putting it out. There’s just a lot of reasons not to have this many people here without a serious planned system set up for it.”
The single hotel in Rachel (the Little A’Le’Inn) has six rooms. As mentioned in the excerpt above, they have no fire department. There are something like three sheriffs that cover that part of the county. There will be nowhere to plug in all of the electronics required for a major concert. There is no parking for that many cars.
In short, if these characters try to pull this off, it’s shaping up to be more like their own version of the Fyre Festival than Woodstock. A complete and total disaster. People that don’t pack in enough food and especially water for their own needs are going to start dropping from dehydration pretty quickly and there are no paramedics closer than fifty miles away.
So what can the residents of Rachel do? I suppose requiring a five million dollar bond might discourage the organizers. They’re also looking at simply denying the permit application on the grounds that the planned portable toilets will not be nearly enough to serve the expected audience, currently estimated to be “no more than 25,000.” But there’s only one month to go, so whatever they plan to do, they should get off the stick and get moving.
And quietly, in the background, the military and the Department of Defense have, almost to a certainty, been moving resources into place in case a massive crowd of these maniacs tries to take a run at the gate. And if that happens, this is going to make Woodstock look like a clean, orderly tea party for a few people. And the authorities in Rachel might want to stock up on an industrial-sized order of body bags.