AP

Rural Nevada not equipped for big ‘storm Area 51’ turnout

Jul 29, 2019, 1:42 PM
area 51 nevada...
In this July 22, 2019 photo, Grace Capati looks at a UFO display outside of the Little A'Le'Inn, in Rachel, Nev., the closest town to Area 51. The U.S. Air Force has warned people against participating in an internet joke suggesting a large crowd of people "storm Area 51," the top-secret Cold War test site in the Nevada desert. (AP Photo/John Locher)
(AP Photo/John Locher)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — At first, the co-owner of the quirky alien-themed motel down a Nevada highway from the mysterious Area 51 site didn’t take a posting for a prank Facebook event too seriously.

Then, her phone started ringing.

“It doesn’t stop, our phone won’t stop ringing,” Connie West, of the Little A’le’Inn, told the Las Vegas Sun.

The 10-room motel is one of few businesses in Rachel, a town of 54 residents now gaining celebrity status among aviation and UFO enthusiasts attracted by the posting about a Sept. 20 event dubbed “storm Area 51.”

More than 1 million people have responded to the internet post calling for people to “Naruto run” at 3 a.m. into the remote U.S. Air Force test area in the Nevada desert that has long been the focus of UFO conspiracy theories.

The face-forward, arms-back running style is favored by characters in the anime series “Naruto.”

“They can’t stop all of us,” the post jokes. “Lets see them aliens.”

The military is warning people not to try to enter the once top-secret Cold War site, which is posted and patrolled as part of the vast Nevada Test and Training Range.

alien area 51 nevada

In this July 22, 2019 photo, alien themed graffiti adorns a rock along the Extraterrestrial Highway, near Rachel, Nev., the closest town to Area 51. The U.S. Air Force has warned people against participating in an internet joke suggesting a large crowd of people “storm Area 51,” the top-secret Cold War test site in the Nevada desert. (AP Photo/John Locher)

After refusing for decades to acknowledge Area 51 even existed, the CIA declassified documents in 2013 referring to the 8,000-square mile (20,700-sq. kilometer) installation by name and locating it on a map near the dry Groom Lake bed.

The base has been a testing ground for top-secret aircraft including the U-2 spy plane in the 1950s and later the B-2 stealth bomber.

“Any attempt to illegally access the area is highly discouraged,” the Air Force said in a statement released by Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas.

West is apprehensive about what might happen if big crowds arrive.

“It’s a little scary to think that many people could descend on a town of 54,” she said. “How can you prepare?”

Down the state Highway 375, dubbed the Extraterrestrial Highway, Linda Looney, at the Alien Research Center gift shop and campsite, told the Sun she also was concerned about the effect of the Facebook post.

“I don’t think it’s just a passing fancy,” she said.

Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee said he doesn’t expect many people to actually show up, and county spokesman Ben Rowley tallied 184 hotel rooms in the county.

But Lee said 500 or 1,000 sudden visitors could create traffic, parking and congestion issues in a jurisdiction with 26 sworn sheriff’s deputies and about 5,200 permanent residents mostly in rural towns including Caliente, Pioche, Panaca and Alamo.

“I think this started out as a joke but there may be enough people taking it seriously and it could be a problem,” the sheriff said. “Someone is going to get hurt and people may go to jail. It’s not anything to joke about.”
___

Information from: Las Vegas Sun, http://www.lasvegassun.com

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

AP

quit their jobs...
PAUL WISEMAN AP Economics Writer

US added a strong 517,000 jobs in January despite Fed hikes

The Fed is aiming to achieve a "soft landing" — a pullback in the economy that is enough to tame high inflation without triggering recession.
2 days ago
Thousands of fraudulent nursing diplomas  were dispersed in Florida. (Canva)...
Associated Press via Miami Herald

Fake nursing diploma scheme in Florida; 25 arrested

The defendants each face up to 20 years in prison.
3 days ago
Microsoft is cutting 10,000 workers, almost 5% of its workforce, in response to "macroeconomic cond...
MATT O'BRIEN, Associated Press

Job cuts in tech sector spread, Microsoft lays off 10,000

Microsoft said in a regulatory filing Wednesday that had just notified employees of the layoffs, some of which begin immediately.
18 days ago
exxon mobil sign pictured...
SETH BORENSTEIN and CATHY BUSSEWITZ Associated Press

Study: Exxon Mobil accurately predicted warming since 1970s

Exxon said its understanding of climate change evolved over the years and that critics are misunderstanding its earlier research.
24 days ago
FILE - Protesters, supporters of Brazil's former President Jair Bolsonaro, stand on the roof of the...
The Associated Press

Brazil and Jan. 6 in US: Parallel attacks, but not identical

RIO DE JANIERO, Brazil — Enraged protesters broke into government buildings that are the very symbol of their country’s democracy. Driven by conspiracy theories about their candidate’s loss in the last election, they smashed windows, sifted through the desks of lawmakers and trashed the highest offices in the land in a rampage that lasted hours […]
26 days ago
President Joe Biden pictured...
ZEKE MILLER AP White House Correspondent

DOJ reviewing potentially classified docs at Biden center

Special counsel to the president Richard Sauber said “a small number of documents with classified markings” were discovered at the offices of the Penn Biden Center.
27 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Rural Nevada not equipped for big ‘storm Area 51’ turnout