Over two million people RSVP’d to a Facebook event titled “Raid Area 51, they can’t stop all of us”, causing panic among local authorities in the rural Nevada desert.
Towns such as Rachel, one of the nearest to the secretive military installation, don’t even have a gas station. The tiny locale’s only real business is The Little A’Le’Inn, a hotel with only 14 rooms. So, when scores of Facebook users said that they’d be descending on the desert this weekend, authorities took notice.
Now, as the party begins to wind down, it turns out that the “raid” was more of a “dud”.
The promoter of an event set up for Earthlings to party around the “Storm Area 51” internet craze in the remote Nevada desert has pulled the plug due to low attendance, while the host of a festival for several thousand people in the tiny town of Rachel said Saturday her show will go on.
“Area 51 Basecamp” organizer Keith Wright said that after drawing just 500 attendees at a Friday event planned for 5,000 at the Alien Research Center souvenir shop in Hiko, he had to pull the plug.
“We put on a safe event for the people that showed up,” Wright said. “But we had to make the decision today because it costs tens of thousands of dollars to staff each day.”
Other events did continue, however.
In Rachel, Little A’Le’Inn owner Connie West said she was sad to hear the Hiko festival didn’t succeed.
West, in a voice hoarse from stress and lack of sleep, said a noon-to-midnight slate of “Alienstock” event musical entertainment will continue for the several thousand revelers camping on her property and nearby federal land.
“This is the most fabulous time,” West said. “I’m just so grateful that people came. This is their event as much as it is mine.”
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While the weekend was certainly an exciting one for these normally sleepy towns, many are likely looking forward to their far-flung visitors phoning home.
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