Only about 75 people with dreams of seeing aliens showed up at the gates of Area 51 on Friday, a far cry from the millions who had said they were going to attend the Area 51 raid.
About 2.1 million people had RSVPed as attending the event on Facebook; however, those numbers obviously dwindled quite a bit between when people clicked that “attending” button and now.
The viral event, “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us” was always scheduled to take place on Friday, though it’s difficult to think that many people actually took the invite seriously. A description of the event on Facebook read: “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.”
— Mick Akers (@mickakers) September 20, 2019
At least one person actually did “Naruto run” — referring to the unique, arms-back form of running favored by the ninja Naruto in the anime of the same name — in the background of a local television station KTNV Channel 13’s live shot.
The FAA issued temporary flight restrictions between September 18-23 for the area due to “special security reasons,” which may have prevented a few from making the trip (or at least bringing their drones).
Originally just an event to storm the gates of U.S. Air Force’s Nevada Test and Training Range — better known as Area 51 — the viral event also spawned a number of festivals in nearby towns. According to the Lincoln County sheriff, Kerry Lee, roughly 1,500 people gathered in the surrounding towns for the festivals, The Guardian reports. Of those, roughly 150 people made it up the rugged terrain to get within “selfie distance” of Area 51’s entrance, and 75 made it to the gate itself.
The area outside of Area 51 is public land, so everyone is allowed to go to the gate. The military; however, warned that anyone trying to go past the entrance would be arrested and that authorities could use fatal force if necessary
Only two people were detained by authorities, according to the Associated Press, but no arrests have been made so far.
According to the Department of Justice, anyone caught trespassing on a military base is subject to a $500 fine, 6 months in prison, or both.
While the event started off as the work of individuals, One of the Area 51 festivals was actually sponsored by Bud Light. That “Area 51 Celebration” took place at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center on Thursday as a replacement for Alienstock, which was scheduled to occur in one of the nearby towns but was forced to relocate.
That event was “Open to all beings 21 earth years and older” and included a “Classified lineup” of musical artists.