While the festivities will still be going on until tomorrow, yesterday was the designated day for everyone to “Storm Area 51.” I had wondered previously what the turnout might be after some eight million people either RSVP’d in the positive or expressed interest on Facebook. Let’s just say that it fell a bit short of that. Officials in Lincoln County, Nevada (where the base is located) estimated the crowds at Rachel and Hiko to total somewhere “in the low thousands.”
At three in the morning yesterday, the “Naruto Run” to go “see them aliens” briefly looked like it might happen, but only about 75 people actually made it to the gate near Rachel. Some in the crowd expressed disappointment, but mostly they seemed to be having fun. (Associated Press)
Events involving thousands of Earthlings answering an internet buzz about an invitation to “Storm Area 51” in the Nevada desert have been mostly festive, with crowds numbering in the low thousands and few arrests, officials said.
Three more people were arrested Friday on the remote once-secret military base, Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee said, bringing to five the tally since Thursday of accused trespassers during “Alienstock” and “Area 51 Basecamp” events and festivals in the tiny desert towns of Rachel and Hiko.
Several minor injuries were reported, and one man was treated for dehydration by festival medics in Rachel before returning to the party.
While costumed space aliens were a common, dayglow, and sometimes hilarious sight, no one reported seeing actual extraterrestrials or UFOs.
So was it a success? Well, none of the things I feared the most came to pass, at least not to a great degree. There were only five idiots arrested for actually crossing onto base property. One person was reportedly treated for dehydration, but there seemed to be sufficient water and other supplies for the smaller than expected number of people. (Those numbers may grow a bit now that the weekend has arrived.) So long as everyone is having fun, enjoying the music and lectures, and generally respecting the residents’ property rights, I suppose we can call it a win.
There were not, however, any extraterrestrial beings or craft observed. This is my shocked face.
This brief, one minute clip from the AP has a couple of quick interviews with some of the more “colorful” characters who showed up to take part.
The MSM coverage doesn’t really do it justice, however. I was following some live stream coverage from attendees on YouTube and they provided a lot more of the local flavor. This guy was there at three in the morning with the “raiders” and captured some good footage of the people at the gate as well as the security personnel. There were some serious characters there, but nothing seemed to be getting out of hand. It’s a well-edited clip, and they did a great job with it.
Of course, not all of the “coverage” coming across social media was quite so accurate, or at least it didn’t seem so. For example, this report left me a bit skeptical.
In any event, as I mentioned above, nobody died and very few people wound up in custody. They’ve set up some stages and musicians are providing entertainment. If that’s all they want to do then maybe they should turn it into an annual event. All in all, I’m calling it a win, provided it doesn’t suddenly devolve into a total crap storm over the rest of the weekend.