The long-awaited weekend where millions of people planned to gather at Area 51 to invade the military base and see what’s inside, is finally here. There was some speculation and confusion as to what was going to happen, because there has been some trouble leading up to the event.
First, residents from the nearby town of Rachel, where the Alienstock festival was originally planned to take place, were not very happy that so many people were planning to visit their small, quiet town. After a notice from town residents warning curiosity seekers that “things could get ugly” if anyone disturbed their property, half of the organizers got spooked and decided to move the event to Las Vegas. This created a rift between the organizers, and Alienstock split into two different events.
Matty Roberts, the college student who originally posted the Facebook event page as a joke, decided to move the event to Las Vegas, which he believed to be a safer location for such a large number of people. The owners of the original venue, the Little Alie’ Inn, in Rachel, issued a press release in response, saying that the event in Rachel was still happening, and that they would ensure that it was entirely safe, with proper facilities and food for the large number of people that could show up.
The event that moved to Las Vegas is expecting up to 8,000 people, and is sponsored by Bud Light, but this week, many of the curiosity seekers said that they would be skipping that event and heading straight to the original location, Rachel, Nevada and the gates of Area 51.
Early on Friday, hundreds, if not thousands of people had already arrived in Rachel, and made their way to the gates of Area 51, where they were greeted by a large number of armed guards. As the Area 51 raiders were gathering, they had fun practicing their Naruto running across the desert. One raider even ran right by a news camera and could be seen Naruto running through the background of the shot.
In another Livestream of the event, dozens of raiders can be seen running in the same fashion.
At the gates of Area 51, in the early morning hours of Friday, the mood was fun and celebratory, despite the large number of police and armed guards. Many of the visitors were wearing costumes like alien masks or tin foil hats. Others were holding signs that said things like “Clap Alien Cheeks,” or “Raid That Alien Booty.” Others joked around with the guards at the gate about their chances of getting killed or arrested.
At time of publishing, there are still a very large number of people standing outside the gates of Area 51. Jody Pendarvis, the founder of the UFO Welcome Center in Bowman, South Carolina, attempted to talk some sense into the crowd about their mission. He told them that even though they had a lot of people out there, they are still a far way from the million people that they thought was going to show up.