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What really went down at Area 51 last night?

‘A bunch of random people in weird costumes standing outside of a government base… why would you want to miss that?’

The famed Area 51 Facebook event was cancelled last week, but that didn’t stop a handful of enthusiasts from turning up anyway last night in a defiant attempt to “see them aliens.”

The organisers of the original gathering cited “a possible humanitarian disaster” as reason for cancellation – far too many people were expected to attend and the area simply didn’t have the infrastructure. Instead, ‘Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All Of Us’ was renamed and repackaged as a more official and corporate affair, Alienstock (which sounds extremely wack) and relocated to Las Vegas some 100 miles away.

But the true Area 51 heads don’t care much for drinking alien-themed Bud Light in downtown Las Vegas – they’d much rather see them aliens, and they turned out in force in the Nevada desert to do just that. But what actually happened? Let’s break it down.


People from “around the world” gathered in the small town of Rachel, Nevada, just outside the secret military facility to prep for the official 3am “storming”. Those who made the trip were likely surprised at the lack of numbers. Lines of portaloos were set up to accommodate for crowds that simply didn’t materialise. 

A few famous faces popped up: producer Paul Oakenfold, pornstar Riley Reid, but the gathering was essentially “a bunch of random people in weird costumes standing outside of a government base,” according to a guy in a full NASA spacesuit. “Why would you want to miss that?” he added, “that’s a one-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s like Halloween but we’re just annoying people.”


Naruto is a Japanese anime series in which the protagonist Naruto has a signature run where he flings his arms behind his back and tilts his body forward enabling him to move at superhuman speeds. The original storming Area 51 Facebook event had in its description: “If we Naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets.” One kid who made his way to the desert picked his time perfectly – just as a KTNV news report was concluding, he scuttled across behind the reporter in full view, kicking up dust as he went. A true king.


It’s important to remember at this point that in the months leading up to the storming, a spokesperson for the US Air Force told the Washington Post that Area 51 “is an open training range for the US Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces.”

But no one was shot and there were no fatalities, although one woman was briefly held for “stretching her foot underneath the barrier for the gate” at the entrance where most people were gathered, and a man was arrested for taking a pee on the gate while “intoxicated” according to reports from Buzzfeed News.


Rock band Wiley Savage erected a stage on Thursday near Rachel, where several hundred people had camped overnight in the hope of an extraterrestrial encounter. Guitarist Alon Burton said: “It started as a joke, but it's not a joke for us. We know people will come out. We just don't know how many.”


When the time came, just a small fraction of the several million Facebook event attendees were present, around 20 or so people were gathered at one point near a back entrance, but they were nearly matched in number by law enforcement. 

However, a woman did make a genuine storming attempt – she was filmed calmly walking right through the barriers. Onlookers cried: “Don’t do it!” as she slipped under the stop sign and casually walked into the facility. “She’s the alien,” someone remarked as she kept on walking, “she gives no fucks oh my god” says another. The video cuts off at this point so her fate is unknown.

Despite the numbers being significantly lower than 2.5 million (reports suggest around 200 actually turned up to the gates) the true Area 51 heads seemed to have a good time, and mostly dispersed peacefully after “heated warnings” from local police. Alien nerds, we salute you.