More than 2.1 million pledged to storm Area 51 to “see them aliens” but only a handful turned up in the Nevada desert yesterday (September 20). The Area 51 raid began as an online Facebook event organised by California-based internet prankster Matty Roberts, 21, in July this year. The event quickly gained traction among online communities and UFO enthusiasts with 2.1 million confirming their attendance and another 1.5 million showing interest. The original “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us” event was cancelled and moved to Las Vegas but the move did not deter small groups of people from visiting the US Air Force base yesterday.
What happened at Area 51 on September 20?
Despite warnings from the US military about approaching the “open training range” between 100 and 200 people congregated outside the gates to Area 51.
About 2,000 would-be Area 51 raiders also paid visits to the nearby towns of Rachel and Hiko, where they held an impromptu and unofficial Alienstock festival.
People showed up wearing fancy costumes, carrying placards and inflatable aliens.
One UFO enthusiast was seen holding a sign calling on the US Government to release the friendly alien ET.
Another woman held a sign that read: “Jesus was an alien.”
Area 51 is a highly classified US Air Force base in the Nevada desert, officially known as Homey Airport or Groom Lake base.
Conspiracy theorists believe the military installation is home to extraterrestrial technology intercepted outside Roswell, New Mexico in 1947.
Many UFO enthusiasts also believe the remains of alien visitors are being held at the facility.
Whatever the case may be, Area 51 has found itself at the heart of this year’s biggest online prank.
How many people died at Area 51? Did anyone get hurt?
On the morning after the unsuccessful Area 51 raid, the number of people asking online “how many people died at Area 51” has skyrocketed.
Rory Thomasson tweeted: “*Waits patiently for news on the massive arrests and/or deaths at Area 51*”
One person asked: “So what’s the death count for the Area 51 raid?”
Another Twitter user also tweeted: “Was there any deaths with the Area 51 thing like that ever happened.”
Thankfully, no has died or been injured at the events outside the US army base.
According to Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee, the crowds were “very manageable for emergency services”.
He said: “They did threaten that they were going to storm.
“Once officers warned them about the consequences for storming the base, they did have second thoughts.”
The sheriff added: “The crowd has been very good. Officers have been mingling with the crowds and the crowds have been positive and so far it’s been really well.”
According to CNN, the police have made one alcohol-related arrest on the scene and one person was arrested for indecent exposure.
One woman came close to breaching the border but was stopped before crossing over.
Nevada Highway Police also made some arrests without any major incident.