PHOTOS: Earthlings descend on Area 51 for aliens, parties

The Little A'Le'Inn in Rachel, Nev. (Photo: John Locher/AP)

A call to “storm” the secretive military base in the Nevada desert known as Area 51 attracted several dozen revelers to a heavily guarded entrance early Friday, but most did not attempt to enter the site, which has long been rumored to house secrets about extraterrestrial life.

A festive scene emerged around 3 a.m. PT on Friday, the date and time a Facebook user had jokingly invited people to run into the base on foot to “see them aliens.” Among the UFO enthusiasts and curiosity seekers, one man wore an orange spacesuit and some sported tinfoil hats and alien masks. A sign in the gathering read “Save ET from the government.”

“A bunch of random people in weird costumes standing outside of a government base, why would you want to miss that?” said a YouTube personality who goes by the name Atozy. “That’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Chase Hansen holds an inflatable alien near an entrance to the Nevada Test and Training Range near Area 51, Sept. 20, 2019, near Rachel, Nev. People came to visit the gate inspired by the "Storm Area 51" internet hoax. (Photo: John Locher/AP)

One young woman ducked under a protective gate and was briefly detained by authorities and released. Others stayed outside the perimeter, according to law enforcement officials keeping watch over the crowd.

“They’re just here to see what’s going on,” said Sgt. Orlando Guerra of the Nevada Department of Public Safety Investigation Division. “They’re here to have fun.”

The Air Force had issued a stern warning to the public not to trespass into Area 51, which it said is used to test aircraft and train personnel.

Jason Strand said he had traveled from Utah to the rural Nevada site as part of a group of nine friends to take in the scene. He said he was not inclined to dart into Area 51.

“We came out here to see the dumb people make a run for it,” he said.

Area 51 had long been shrouded in mystery, stoking conspiracy theories that it housed the remnants of a flying saucer and the bodies of its alien crew from a supposed UFO crash in Roswell, N.M., in 1947.

The U.S. government did not confirm that the base existed until 2013, when it released CIA archives saying the site was used to test top-secret spy planes.

A bus arrives for a 'Storm Area 51' spinoff event on Sept. 20, 2019 in Rachel, Nevada. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The documents, however, did not end suspicion about space aliens there.

Area 51 sits about 12 miles from Rachel, Nev., a tiny outpost north of Las Vegas that is hosting a music festival to entertain any UFO hunters or others heading to the region. Some residents had urged the public to stay away because they worried that the town of 50 year-round residents would be overwhelmed with unruly tourists.

As of early Friday, a few hundred campsites had been set up by visitors outside the Little A’Le’Inn, an alien-themed motel and restaurant that is Rachel’s only business.

“I’m relieved it’s here,” said Connie West, co-owner of the inn, who had scrambled to set up a campground, bring in portable toilets and otherwise support the influx of visitors. “It’s happening. There was no stopping it.” (Reuters)

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A man takes a picture of a sign at the Little A'Le'Inn during an event inspired by the "Storm Area 51" internet hoax, Sept. 19, 2019, in Rachel, Nev. Hundreds have arrived in the desert after a Facebook post inviting people to "see them aliens" got widespread attention and gave rise to festivals this week. (Photo: John Locher/AP)
Martin Custodio wears a Pepe mask while standing near razor wire at an entrance to the Nevada Test and Training Range near Area 51, Sept. 20, 2019, near Rachel, Nev. People came to visit the gate inspired by the "Storm Area 51" internet hoax. (Photo: John Locher/AP)
A man in costume walks around an event at the Little A'Le'Inn inspired by the "Storm Area 51" internet hoax, Sept. 21, 2019, in Rachel, Nev. (Photo: John Locher/AP)
A car drives with 'Area 51' written on the back before the start of a 'Storm Area 51' spinoff event called 'Area 51 Basecamp' on Sept. 20, 2019 near Alamo, Nevada. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Alien-themed Bud Light is for sale in a shop before a 'Storm Area 51' spinoff event on Sept. 20, 2019 in Hiko, Nevada. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Mario Rayna, center, chants with others at an entrance to the Nevada Test and Training Range near Area 51 on Friday. (Photo: John Locher/AP)
Traffic on Highway 375 near Rachel, Nev., on Thursday. (Photo: Jim Urquhart/Reuters)
Women are dressed as aliens at a 'Storm Area 51' spinoff event called 'Alienstock' on Sept. 20, 2019 in Rachel, Nevada. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Attendee Daniel Rodriguez wears at tinfoil hat as he and other Alien hunters gathered to "storm" Area 51 at an entrance near Rachel, Nevada on Sept. 20, 2019. (Photo: Bridget Bennett/AFP/Getty Images)
A man sets up a a light near the Little A'Le'Inn on Thursday in preparation for an event inspired by the "Storm Area 51" internet hoax. (Photo: John Locher/AP)
The Alien Research Center in Hiko, Nev. (Photo: Jim Urquhart/Reuters)
A mans holds an inflatable alien at an entrance to the Nevada Test and Training Range near Area 51 on Friday. (Photo: John Locher/AP)
Razor wire and security cameras at the entrance to Area 51. (Photo: Jim Urquhart/Reuters)
People hold signs at an entrance to the Nevada Test and Training Range near Area 51 on Friday. (Photo: John Locher/AP)
The Alien Research Center in Hiko, Nev., features alien-themed beer. (Photo: Jim Urquhart/Reuters)
Police officers guard an entrance to the Nevada Test and Training Range on Friday. (Photo: John Locher/AP)
A man in an alien mask at an entrance to the Nevada Test and Training Range on Friday. (Photo: John Locher/AP)
Military equipment visible from the entrance to Area 51 on Thursday. (Photo: Jim Urquhart/Reuters)
Sheriff's deputies escort a woman who ducked under the gate at an entrance to the Nevada Test and Training Range on Friday. (Photo: John Locher/AP)


A visitor at the Alien Research Center. (Photo: Jim Urquhart/Reuters)
An alien-themed tattoo on Little A'Le'Inn proprietor Connie West. (Photo: Jim Urquhart/Reuters)
Alien-themed decorations at the Alien Research Center. (Photo: Jim Urquhart/Reuters)
People take photos at the entrance to Area 51 on Thursday. (Photo: Jim Urquhart/Reuters)
Dust blows through the desert on Thursday. (Photo: Jim Urquhart/Reuters)
Closed gates at the entrance to Area 51 on Thursday. (Photo: Jim Urquhart/Reuters)
Razor wire and security cameras at the entrance to Area 51 on Thursday. (Photo: Jim Urquhart/Reuters)
A man at his camp across from the Little A'Le'Inn on Thursday. (Photo: Jim Urquhart/Reuters)
A "Storm Area 51" attendee shows an alien-themed tattoo. (Photo: Jim Urquhart/Reuters)
"Storm Area 51" attendees arrive at the Little A'Le'Inn on Thursday. (Photo: Jim Urquhart/Reuters)
A parking sign at the Little A'Le'Inn. (Photo: Jim Urquhart/Reuters)

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