Between 100 and 200 would-be Area 51 raiders descended on the Nevada desert last night (September 20) in a bid to “see them aliens”. However the number of people was a far cry from the 2.1 million who pledged to attend the cancelled “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us” event organised by online pranksters. Those who did show up, however, appeared in fancy dress, carried homemade placards and danced with inflatable alien dolls. Another 2,000 people descended on the nearby towns of Rachel and Hiko, Nevada, where an Area 51-themed Alienstock festival took place.
No one ended up storming the US Air Force base and instead, revellers held impromptu dance sessions and parties.
According to Daniel Martinez, 31, who camped out in the desert for the festival, the event was filled with “positivity”.
He said: “Here’s a big open space for people to be. One person starts something and it infects everybody with positivity.
“Anything can happen if you give people a place to be.”
Mick Ackers, a Las Vegas Review Journal reporter, filmed a punk rock concert taking place in the desert.
Another group of people built a stage for an electronic dance music (EDM) show.
An “Area 51 Retreat” was also held, where participants were taught how to telepathically communicate with aliens and how to properly identify UFOs.
Despite the many parties, authorities have only made one alcohol-related arrest and one person was detained over indecent exposure.
One woman was also stopped before she could cross the Area 51 border and Nevada Highway Police have said one driver hit a cow.
Overall, Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee said the “crowd has been very good”.
He said: “Officers have been mingling with the crowds and the crowds have been positive and so far it’s been really well.”
Area 51 is the popular name given to Homey Airport – a classified US Air Force base tucked away in the Nevada Desert.
Conspiracy theorists believe the army base is home to alien remains and extraterrestrial technology collected from a supposed UFO crash near Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947.
California-native Matty Roberts, 21, gave birth to the Storm Area 51 event on June 27 this year.
By July, the event gained traction with online pranksters and became the most-talked-about prank of the year, which morphed into a festival.
The Area 51 event was eventually cancelled and moved to Las Vegas where a Bud Light Area 51 Celebration was already taking place due to the unprecedented interest.
Mr Roberts wrote on the Alienstock website: “Due to the lack of infrastructure, poor planning, risk management and blatant disregard for the safety of the expected 10,000+ AlienStock attendees, we decided to pull the plug on the festival.”
The event was moved to Las Vegas and took place on September 18 but a version of the festival was still held in the Nevada desert.
Mr Roberts has sais he aims to take the festival “on the road” following its success.