“AlienStock” Instead of Raid Area 51


“Raider” with an astronaut helmet. Courtesy of The New York Times.

“Raider” with an astronaut helmet. Courtesy of The New York Times.

Josiah Cowan, Journalist

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The Area 51 raid was a Facebook event that has turned into much more than that, causing millions of people to make it a huge deal on social media and very prolific in news. Instead of the event being held for thousands upon thousands of civilians storming a military facility in the Nevada desert, (inside of which many people believe that they are holding extraterrestrial life), it turned into a festival similar to the Burning Man Festival and is named “AlienStock.” 

   The government, of course, was not happy about the possibility of people raiding the base. The Air Force issued a statement, “The Nevada Test and Training Range is an area where the Air Force tests and trains combat aircraft. Any attempts to illegally access a military installation or military training areas is dangerous.” 

   The public has said that most people did not intend to go through with the plan, but that doesn’t mean people won’t try. The local police department said that it will do its best to stop people from entering and work with the federal officers on the base to be a deterrent to any attempt to enter the base. Esmeralda County was then put on a state of emergency.

   The military officers on base said that storming the base is an extremely bad idea as the armed guards do have permission to use lethal force and have used it before. Just going past the gate without permission can land you with a felony and a year in prison.

   Even Air Force pilots cannot go into the airspace if they did not originate from Area 51. If they knowingly enter the base, they can be sent back to their base, court martialed, and sent to prison. If they continue, they can, and most likely will, be shot down.

   2 million people registered to attend and many more said they are interested in the event. If the two million people actually showed up and attempted to invade the base, it would be one of the biggest ground invasions in history.

   The “AlienStock” event was held in Rachel, Nevada which is a small town near Area 51. The town has a population of 54, and was definitely not ready for hundreds or thousands of people, so the town is now closed. All hotels in the area were fully booked.

   Many people who live in Rachel didn’t like the idea of the event being held in their small town. The ones who did profit from it were the hotel and motel owners. The law enforcement was not happy about it being there as well, because they would be overwhelmed. Along with many of the townsfolk not excited, there was not enough food, water, and shelter for all of the people.

   Since the event happened, a handful of arrests were made. One was for public urination, a couple for trespassing, and then some other minor crimes. Luckily, no one was injured or killed.

   Around 100 people showed up to the Area 51 Raid, many in costumes and with inflatable aliens or signs telling them to “Free E.T.” One person in a NASA space costume said, “Why would you want to miss it? A bunch of random people in weird costumes standing outside a government base. That’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s like Halloween but we are just annoying people.”

   In Rachel, around 2000 people showed up and had music, food, and parties. Many people thought they would close the small town but it stayed open for people. The police really didn’t do anything and there weren’t many arrests. 

   At the base there was a strong military presence, with hundreds of guards on the border of the facility. They were at every entrance making sure no one breached security; even so, one woman made it about a half-mile into the base, so some did “storm” Area 51.

   The event did not live up to the hype, but many people are suggesting that it becomes a yearly thing. If it does, the government may have to up the security to prevent an actual attempted raid. The people that did show up looked like they had a great time just kind of annoying the government. No one was injured, and people will definitely be talking about it for a while.