what happened when area 51 was stormed this weekend
Screenshot via Twitter
A couple of months ago, a group of people shared their plans to storm Area 51 and free the aliens from the clutches of the CIA. A whopping two-million people clicked “attending” on the raid’s Facebook event, and even Lil Nas X got in on the action, dedicating one of his many “Old Town Road” remixes to the proposed raid. Storming Area 51 soon spawned its own festival, Alienstock, which was scheduled for the same weekend as the planned alien liberation
Usually, things like this remain memes, forgotten about when the next viral video or tweet comes around. But this weekend, on the dates initially proposed, people actually stormed Area 51. According to reports, over 150 individuals travelled from nearby towns of Rachel and Hiko in Nevada through the desert to the gates of the United States Air Force facility. Sadly, none of those in attendance actually breached the enclosure (although there were a number of arrests for trespassing).
Instead, what resulted were a number of miniature festivals where people came together in peace and basically danced around in the desert. According to Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee, there were around 1500 people at various camp sites just miles from the infamous military base, while the Reno Gazette Journal suggests that number was closer to 3000. In fact, Alienstock’s organisers put Fyre Festival to shame — bringing water with them and having appropriate bathroom facilities. In fact, as one attendee told Time, there was a “sense of community” at the event. “I had a lot more fun than I thought I would,” they added.
While there were a number of car accidents, one including the death of two cows, the US military was to blame for the weekend’s biggest hiccup. As per the BBC, the PR arm of the military, DVIDS (the Defence Visual Information Distribution Service) shared a tweet on Friday (Sept 20) suggesting that those who planned to storm Area 51 would be hit with an extreme military response.
“The last thing #Millennials will see if they attempt the #area51raid today,” the now deleted tweet read, accompanied by an image of military men and women in uniform standing in front of a B-2 stealth bomber. On Saturday, DVIDS later apologised for the tweet. “Last night a DVIDSHUB employee posted a Tweet that in NO WAY supports the stance of the Department of Defense,” a representative shared on social media. “It was inappropriate and we apologize for this mistake.”
While the initial plan to free the aliens seems to have failed, the organisers of the raid and Alienstock have capitalised on their viral event. Alienstock is now going on tour and you can get all the Alienstock merch your heart could ever want. The aliens, meanwhile, remain MIA.
This article originally appeared on i-D UK.
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