Lincoln County, Nevada, population 5,200, has drawn up an emergency declaration as it prepares for as many as 40,000 alien conspiracy theorists to make contact with their remote Area 51.
As of press time, two million people are marked as “Going” on Facebook to an event on September 20 called Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us, with an additional 1.5 million people marked as "Interested." One would imagine this is a prank, considering the event is "hosted by" a group called Shitposting cause im in shambles, and the event’s invite reads “We will all meet up in Rural Nevada and coordinate our parties. If we naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets. Lets see them aliens.” The official Storm Area 51 website has since toned it down, merely promoting some manner of vaguely described festival near, but not at, the Area 51 Air Force Base that is reputed in conspiracy lore to hold alien bodies and all manner of other top-secret artifacts.
But local officials have become concerned enough by the online interest that they’ve drafted an emergency declaration to deal with the surge of alien enthusiasts, according to the Associated Press. The county realizes it lacks the infrastructure, hotel capacity, medical service and cellphone coverage to handle what Fox News describes as “100,000 people who show up to party and breach a military base where the government is allegedly keeping aliens and UFOs.”
“With the possibility of 35,000 to 40,000 people showing up, yeah, this is serious,” Lincoln County Commission chair Varlin Higbee said at Monday’s meeting, noting the September 20-22 event being held in a county with only 184 hotel rooms. “The cellphone system is going to go down. You get more than a couple of hundred people there, and it’s going to crash. Cell service won’t be available.”
The tenor of the event has switched from a supposed military base-storming to a couple of more mild-mannered festivals. The cult-favorite hotel The Little A'Le'Inn has been granted conditional permits to host a festival called Alienstock. Some 30 miles away, the Alien Research Center will be hosting their own Storm Area-51 Festival, whose organizers note, “neither the Lincoln County Sheriff or the United States Military will tolerate any illegal activity, so in simple terms, check yourself before you wreck yourself.” So, somebody's going to make money off this madness!
Despite all the attention, crowds might not even show up at all for this glorified prank. "We passed this with the caveat that this may or may not happen," said commissioner Kevin Phillips, according to the Reno Gazette Journal. "We're just trying to do the best we can to prepare for something we know not of. We have no pickin' idea what we're going to face — if anything."
Meanwhile, in another part of Nevada, a certain utopian village is currently under construction once more and awaiting its own invasion of tens of thousands of tourists.
Image: Airwolfhound via Flickr