Storm Area 51 is No More

Selina+Wu+%2810%29%2C+Rocky+McCrary+%2811%29%2C+and+Allison+Dunlap+%2811%29+are+prepared+for+the+Area+51+raid.
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Storm Area 51 is No More

Selina Wu (10), Rocky McCrary (11), and Allison Dunlap (11) are prepared for the Area 51 raid.

Selina Wu (10), Rocky McCrary (11), and Allison Dunlap (11) are prepared for the Area 51 raid.

Christine Wu

Selina Wu (10), Rocky McCrary (11), and Allison Dunlap (11) are prepared for the Area 51 raid.

Christine Wu

Christine Wu

Selina Wu (10), Rocky McCrary (11), and Allison Dunlap (11) are prepared for the Area 51 raid.

Christine Wu, Staff Reporter

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The “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All Of Us” movement that captured the internet’s attention over the summer finally took place last weekend. It all began with a Facebook post by college student Matty Roberts stating, “we will all meet up in rural Nevada and coordinate our parties. If we naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets. [Let’s] see them aliens.” Against his expectations, two million users replied to Roberts’ post and promised to participate in the raid on September 20th at three am local time. 

 

Area 51 is officially used by the US Air Force as an open training range, but is more commonly known by conspiracy theorists to be the location of hidden alien bodies and UFOs (unidentified flying objects). It is restricted from the public and is under constant surveillance by armed guards. The number of people expected to show up at the gates of the facility in combination with the US Air Force’s warning against storming the base encouraged Roberts to exchange the raid for an alien-themed festival. WHHS junior Allison Dunlap strongly disagrees with his decision and voices that “the people who backed out of it are cowards. If you commit to something you should follow through.”

Three events held in Nevada resulted from the mania: Alien-Stock in Rachel, Alienstock (also known as the Area 51 Celebration) in downtown Las Vegas, and ‘Storm’ Area 51 Basecamp Experience in Hiko. Matty Roberts reached out to Connie West, owner of Little A’Le’Inn in Rachel with intentions of becoming business partners. Alien-Stock was well underway before concerns that could lead to a “humanitarian disaster” arose. As a result, just two weeks prior to the planned date, Roberts pulled out of the four-day program in the little town 27 miles outside the base. West continued with Alien-Stock and the event peaked with three thousand guests throughout the weekend.  Instead of Alien-Stock in Rachel, Roberts encouraged followers to visit Alienstock in Las Vegas’ downtown event center. Hundreds of individuals visited Alienstock where they had the opportunity to indulge in electronic music, merchandise, and more. Hiko, another rural location in Nevada also hosted a festival known as the ‘Storm’ Area 51 Basecamp Experience. However, it was canceled after a disappointing turnout on the first day.

What happened at the actual gates of Area 51 was an uncanny costume party with approximately one hundred people. Surprisingly, only five individuals were arrested, three for trespassing on the grounds, one for indecent exposure, and the last for an alcohol-related incident. There are mixed opinions regarding the separate events, some of which thought they provided fun and chill atmospheres containing people with the same interests, while others believed it was a complete waste of resources and a major letdown.