It has been building for months after a California man scheduled an event as a joke on Facebook, but the “Storm Area 51” mission began with a whimper today, as only a few dozen people bothered to march out into the Nevada desert to hang out at the front gate of the secure military compound.
The original event listing on Facebook titled “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us” amassed over two million “attendees,” but the actual turnout thus far is much closer to zero. As Reuters reports, the event has featured very little “storming” and was more just a gathering of particularly dedicated memers and alien enthusiasts.
But, while almost nobody has bothered to show up to the military base itself, the nearby town of Rachel, Nevada, is playing host to the “Alien Stock” festival. The gathering in Rachel is what the original event evolved into after people started realizing how bad of an idea it probably was to run into a U.S. military base. Local news reports suggest law enforcement is preparing for as many as 30,000 real-life attendees over the weekend.
The fact that this event spawned from a random Facebook event that was never meant to be taken seriously, it’s not exactly as well-organized as, say, an annual music festival. That said, it’s pretty wild that tens of thousands of people are expected to show up.
Local law enforcement and state officials have urged the public to avoid the “storming” mentality, and we’ll keep our fingers crossed that nobody actually tries to find their way into the military base nearby. It would seem nobody will actually get to “see them aliens,” there’s still plenty of fun to be had.