With well over a million and a half people signaling they’ll attend an event called “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us,” residents are bracing for a full scale invasion.
Nobody is expecting anywhere near the promised numbers but the way the local merchant’s phones have been ringing off the hook, it’s obvious that some kind of spontaneous event is brewing. The town will be ready.
Bud Light even came out with an “Area 51 Special Edition.” After initially being “the first brand to formally announce that we will not be sponsoring the Area 51 raid,” they flip-flopped. “Screw it. Free Bud Light to any alien that makes it out.”
According to the label: “Greetings Earthlings. This is the famous Area 51. We know of no space beer by any other life form which is brewed and aged to be more refreshing. Our cryogenic aging produces a light bodied space lager with a fresh taste, a crisp, clean finish, and a smooth drinkability. Take us to your leader…for drinks.”
The first thing the locals tell all the callers, is to be totally self-contained and prepared for limited resources when they arrive. Amargosa Valley, Nevada has a visitor center, a brothel and a fireworks dealer, but no gas station.
The military is not amused. Air force officials are well aware of the Facebook event and say “any attempt to illegally access the area is highly discouraged.” They told the Washington Post, Area 51 is an “open training range for the U.S. Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces.”
Matty Roberts was the instigator behind the whole thing. He just wanted something that would get some clicks on his meme page. He had no idea what he would unleash when he posted “If we naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets. Let’s see them aliens.”
At first he thought it was a flop. “I waited for like three days and there were like 40 people.” Then suddenly it went viral.
“it just completely took off out of nowhere. It was pretty wild. I was just like, the FBI’s going to show up at my house and it got a little spooky from there.”
Screw it. Free Bud Light to any alien that makes it out. https://t.co/AOWOYL3Oyp
— Bud Light (@budlight) July 17, 2019
He never intended anyone to actually show up for his mock event but since all the publicity, Roberts has been talking “with some pretty great people” to plan an “out-of-this-world desert event.”
Area 51 Alien Center sits about 90 miles from Las Vegas. There is nothing but a dirt road between there and a small group of businesses near the gates. Their phone is ringing off the hook. “They call asking, ‘Are we having an event here? Is there a stage?’ We’re also getting an abundance of prank calls. We get at least 100 a day.”
Next door at the Alien Cathouse, “there’s a full bar, a glass case filled with sex toys and a hallway of rooms where patrons fulfill their wildest extraterrestrial fantasies.” Cashier Angela Hoskins has also been getting a lot of calls. “Everybody wants to know what’s going on. I just hope it doesn’t get out of control when they don’t get what they want.”
James Patrick, the owner of Alamo Fireworks, points out that the cluster of buildings is a long way from the base gates. “People think this is Area 51. It’s not here at all. It’s just a tourist trap over there.” Along side U.S. 95 are the charred remains of a Chevron station that burned down only two weeks ago. “Kitchen fire,” Jeffrey Ware explains.
The gates to Area 51 are at the other end of Groom Lake road and it isn’t paved.
The last time there was an event nearby, with only 50 people, problems started at once. “We had an event right at the gates. About 50 people showed up, maybe 30 vehicles on Groom Lake Road on a dirt road, and we had a minor traffic jam on our hands. We had to regulate traffic,” Joerg Arnu recalls. He runs the webpage for Dream Land Resort. “I used to get about 500 to 600 hits a day. Right now, I’m getting up to 3,000 a day. So, there’s a huge spike.”
Over at the Little A’Le’Inn, Connie West exclaims, “It’s been insane.” Her inn has 10 rooms and they are booked solid for the September 20 event date. She’s not letting a lack of rooms keep her from getting in on the action though. She’s “clearing 30 acres where visitors can camp and listen to the four or more bands that say they’re coming.”
She gets along well with the guys at the base and doesn’t want to see trouble. “I’m just a little scared, but bring it. We’ll do our best. I don’t believe they should be doing this and breaking the law. Just don’t believe that.”
When asked if she really thought there would be an attempt to storm the base, she replied, “Of course somebody will try.”
Over at the Alien Research Center, Linda Looney has noticed a sudden jolt of interest. “The customers coming in are all talking about it,” she says. “People come from all over the world, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Russia, everywhere.”
George Harris, who runs his Alien Tequila business from Las Vegas, reports he checked in with the county sheriff about “making plans to accommodate hundreds, maybe thousands of campers and visitors. He’ll have bands, food trucks, and speakers.”
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He thinks the reason for all the interest is because the government is so hush-hush about what they do there. “Someone keeps asking me, well, what caused all this? The cause is the government because they’re so secretive. People want to know what’s going on up there, you know. This tapped into something. It’s tapped into something big.”
“Even if just a few people show up with just the amount of attention that the post has gotten, I think it makes a cool statement that like, hey, we want to know what’s going on in there. People want to know.”