The Latest: Sheriff reports calm night at Area 51 revelry
HIKO, Nev. (AP) — The Latest on “Storm Area 51” events in two tiny Nevada towns near the once-secret military research site (all times local):
Authorities keeping watch over thousands of Earthlings partying in the Nevada desert, drawn by a “Storm Area 51” internet craze, are reporting no serious overnight incidents.
Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee called it “pretty calm” early Saturday at “Alienstock” events in Rachel and “Area 51 Basecamp” in Hiko (HI’-koh).
Lee says groups gathered until about 4 a.m. at two gates to the sprawling once-secret U.S. Air Force facility between the two towns.
He says about 20 people broke from among revelers and the curious at the Rachel gate and rushed forward, but stopped short.
Lee says one person was arrested overnight for disorderly conduct at the music, speakers, movies and camping event and in Hiko.
Authorities arrested two men in the rugged mountains inside the perimeter of the once-secret Area 51 military base in Nevada and one woman who made it clear at a busy gate that she was going to trespass no matter what.
Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee reported the arrests Friday and said the number of people approaching base checkpoints near the tiny desert towns of Hiko and Rachel in recent days has topped 1,000.
A man reported missing after heading out Thursday toward an Area 51 gate was found safe Friday evening.
Emergency services chief Eric Holt says one man was treated at a festival in Rachel for dehydration, but no serious injuries were reported.
Lee says crowds have grown to perhaps 3,000 people at internet-inspired festivals dubbed “Alienstock” in Rachel and fewer than 1,000 at “Area 51 Basecamp” in Hiko.
Vincent Dahl of Stockton, California, woke up at the “Alienstock” campground in remote Nevada looking to hitch a ride to the nearest gate at the once-secret Area 51 military site.
John Derryberry and Sarah Shore, a couple from Nashville, Tennessee, happily obliged.
By the time they made it across 8 miles (13 kilometers) of dusty road, the trio in their mid-20s were like old friends.
They came after an internet hoax invited people to “Storm Area 51.” The site is the focus of popular lore about government studies of space aliens.
Dahl was in a tinfoil hat to prevent the government from reading his thoughts, Derryberry wore a Buzz Lightyear costume and Shore danced in a glittery cape. They found dozens of other gawkers at the gate.
Authorities watched people pose for selfies, take in the scene and then head back to their cars.
Nevada authorities say about 40 people gathered overnight at Area 51 with plans to storm the gates before leaving peacefully.
The Nye County Sheriff’s Office said in a video news release Friday that the group initially came together outside the Area 51 Alien Center in Amargosa Valley about 3 a.m.
Authorities say some of the people then went closer to the gates before they left after “heated warnings” from officers.
Everyone was gone by 5 a.m. They were described as being compliant and peaceful.
The gathering occurred about 95 miles (153 kilometers) from the events taking place near the tiny Nevada towns of Rachel and Hiko after an internet hoax posted in June invited people to “storm” the once-secret military installation, the focus of popular lore about government studies of extraterrestrial life and space aliens.
At least two people were detained earlier in the day by deputies at a different gate to Area 51.
Authorities say one person was arrested on a charge of public urination and another was detained at a gate to Area 51.
A group of about 75 people gathered near the site after an internet hoax posted in June invited people to “storm” the once-secret military installation. The place is the focus of popular lore about government studies of extraterrestrial life and space aliens.
The “Storm Area 51” invitation spawned festivals in the tiny Nevada towns of Rachel and Hiko nearest the military site, and a more than two-hour drive from Las Vegas.
Sheriff Kerry Lee did not immediately provide details on the arrest or why the other person was detained. A press briefing was scheduled later Friday morning.
At least two people were detained by local sheriff’s deputies at a gate to Area 51 in Nevada after an estimated 75 people gathered at the site early Friday.
A weekend gathering is happening in the desert after an internet hoax posted in June invited people to “storm” the once-secret military installation. The place is the focus of popular lore about government studies of extraterrestrial life and space aliens.
It wasn’t immediately clear if a woman who began ducking under al gate and a man who urinated nearby were arrested after the crowd gathered about 3 a.m.
An Associated Press photographer saw both escorted away by deputies. A sheriff’s dispatcher declined to comment.
Sheriff Kerry Lee was scheduled to speak to the media later in the morning.