Lincoln County, NV, prepares for possible onslaught

Sep 19, 2019, 5:00 AM | Updated: 9:22 am
Hundreds of thousands of people have signed up to storm Area 51 in September

SALT LAKE CITY — It’s been speculated to death, but now the time is nigh.  Storm Area 51 is about to begin.

It’s a gathering of great concern for Lincoln County, Nevada, officials. They tell KSL Newsradio that they’re as ready as they can be for an event that had to be planned in under two months.

“You take Burning Man, for example,” said Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee, “They plan a year in advance. We’ve had about six to eight weeks to plan for this.”

“This,” is a gathering of people that stemmed from a joke posted on Facebook. It was an event that involved “storming” Area 51, or as local law enforcement calls it, the NTTR, the Nevada Test and Training Range.

The post that spawned a movement

The original Facebook event posting turned into a movement that’s become a party on September 20th and 21st.

Original Facebook post that sparked the Area 51  September 20 and 21, 2019.

There are a lot of concerns, says Sheriff Lee, including traffic and waste management. But their top priority, he says, is taking care of the 300-plus first responders who will keep an eye on and, likely, take care of some of the party-goers descending on the small towns of Rachel and Hico.

“It’s just a lot of logistics,” Lee says. “Think about housing, feeding, and watering 300 first responders. That’s a pretty big undertaking.”

Then there are the visitors.

“30,000 is what we were planning for,” says Sheriff Lee. “I do not feel like there’s going to be that many people. But we still have to plan on it.”

The plan includes bringing 150 additional police officers from as far away as Reno and Las Vegas. Lee says they’re calling in additional ambulances from Las
Vegas, too, at least six of them. And don’t forget those 300-plus first responders, who include emergency workers, firefighters, and Bureau of Land Management firefighters and Rangers.

Even if the number of people who show up only ends up being one-third of the estimate, that’s 10,000 people. And that more than doubles the number of people who call Lincoln County, Nevada, home.

So what’s the big deal?

Run by the Air Force, the NTTR is a training area used by the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center at Nellis Air Force Base. It boasts shooting ranges with more than a thousand targets and remote communication sites. The US Military uses the area to practice gunnery and bombing, as well as for nuclear tests and multiple other exercises required for US military readiness.

But that’s not why thousands of people are expected to show up in Rachel, Nevada, this weekend.

Some UFO enthusiasts believe that the NTTR is home to a recovered alien spacecraft. This idea was floated by a man who claimed to have worked at the NTTR in the 1980s.

Enthusiasts refer to the NTTR as Area 51, which is how the area was identified on maps created by the Atomic Energy Commission.  The legend of the secret alien craft gained momentum as more people reported seeing UFO sightings near the NTTR.

What to do if you go

Sheriff Lee has some very specific requests for you if you plan to visit Rachel, Nevada, this weekend.  He says you should be prepared for a lack of resources. He says there will be water and food trucks at the venues, but you should bring water, too.

He says you should expect cold nights and hot days, and that you should be acutely aware of where you can and cannot camp. Also, we’re still in fire season and the wind can quickly whip up flames. Much of the surrounding land is BLM land, and they restrict campers to using only a propane grill, no open fires are allowed.

And what if, as a meme that sprang from the original Facebook event asked, you want to “see them aliens?”

“Don’t cross the boundary of Area 51,” Sheriff Lee says. “It’s just going to cause undue strain on law enforcement. It’s going to cost you a $1,000 citation, probably towing your vehicle, and a trip to jail.”




Today’s Top Stories


Freshly pressed vinyl records are produced in a stamper at the United Record Pressing facility Thur...
DAVID SHARP Associated Press

Manufacturers struggle to keep pace with vinyl record demand

The Recording Industry Association of America says record album sales grew 61% last year — and reached $1 billion for the first time since the 1980s.
3 days ago
Art City Donut Truck's Conner Jensen, left, serves customers sugary desserts during the Food Truck ...
Devin Oldroyd

Eighth annual Food Truck Face Off to be held at Liberty Park on July 16

Utah's largest food truck rally for charity, Food Truck Face Off, is coming back to Liberty Park this July.
7 days ago
Gov. Cox urges safety ahead of firework sales. Photo credit: Lindsay Aerts, KSL NewsRadio....
Lindsay Aerts

‘Utah is a tinderbox.’ State fire leaders urge caution ahead of firework sales

State leaders are, again, reminding Utahans not to "burn down the state" as firework sales start Friday.
7 days ago
Lehi ban fireworks...
Mark Jones

Cities around the state announce fireworks restrictions

Fireworks restrictions have been announced by several cities around the state.
8 days ago
A model wears a creation as part of the Giorgio Armani men's Spring Summer 2023 collection presente...

Gucci unveils ‘HaHaHa’ collaboration with Harry Styles

Gucci has teamed up with Harry Styles for a between-season collection that infuses tailoring with adolescent joy. The collection is titled “HaHaHa.”
10 days ago
garth brooks salt lake city concert...
Mark Jones and Mark Jackson

UDOT, UTA advise travelers to plan ahead for Garth Brooks concerts

UDOT and UTA are asking motorists in Salt Lake City to plan ahead in light of the Garth Brooks concerts set for Friday and Saturday evenings.
14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Lincoln County, NV, prepares for possible onslaught