Remembering 'Storm Area 51' - one year on
By T.K. Randall
September 23, 2020 · 5 comments
The event has taken its toll on the local area. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Airwolfhound
12 months ago, what started out as a tongue-in-cheek Facebook post became a social media phenomenon.
Back on September 20th, 2019, somewhere around 2,000 people descended on the small town of Rachel, Nevada for one of the strangest festivals ever - an event that, music and festivities aside, intended to lift the lid on the secrets kept at Area 51 by sending so many people through the gates that the US military would have been unable to stop everyone.
The original attendance figures had been set to be much, much higher to the tune of more than two million - as evidenced by the number of people who had registered their interest on Facebook.
The entire thing started out when Matty Roberts - a student in California - posted up an event entitled "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us" .
He could have never predicted just how much attention the whole thing would get, nor the fact that it would actually take place - albeit without his involvement and having later been renamed 'Alienstock'.
"I posted it on like June 27th and it was kind of a joke," he said at the time. "And then it waited for like three days, like 40 people, and then it just completely took off, out of nowhere. It's pretty wild."
The phenomenon brought with it a major headache for local businesses which, being small establishments, had no way to deal with the potential for a mass influx of people.
In the end, however, those that did show up were relatively few in number and the proposed 'storming' of the base itself fizzled out with barely a handful of people actually showing up at the gate.
As for the town itself, legal issues and disagreements sparked by the event and its aftermath have continued to damage local businesses and to divide the community even to this day.
"Our town that was a very peaceful and quiet place, and friendly place, has changed," said Rachel resident Joerg Arnu.
"At this point, a year after the event, I don't know if it will ever mend, if it will ever go back to how it was."
Source: Review Journal
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