A vehicle drives with "Area 51" composed on the earlier before the start of a "Storm Area 51" spinoff event called "Area 51 Basecamp" on September 20, 2019 near Alamo, Nevada.(Image credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)
When a UFO enthusiast posted an event on Facebook about "storming" the army base recognized as Area 51, he expected it together a joke. However, it was no laughing issue to federal and also state law enforcement, that readied a lethal response to prevent revelers from breaching the off-limits area, records recently revealed.

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Area 51 is a U.S. Air pressure installation in southern Nevada"s Groom Lake, a salt flat about 80 miles (129 kilometers) northwest of las Vegas. Because that decades, the base"s remote location and restricted access have sustained speculation about military public official performing an enig experiments top top extraterrestrials there, and also storing proof of extraterrestrial visitors and UFOs.

The basic public is barred native visiting Area 51. However during the summer of 2019, a Facebook event titled "Storm Area 51, they Can"t Stop every one of Us" (now deleted) enticed practically 2 million world to authorize up because that a raid top top the base to take place on Sept. 20. The enormous scale the the proposed occasion raised alarms in ~ local and also federal levels, according to government communications that to be recently obtained by roll Stone. Dozens of legislation enforcement organ mobilized and readied responses come the propose onslaught, including "automated deadly pressure countermeasures," Rolling rock reported Oct. 17.

Related: 15 far-out facts about Area 51

The arrangement for "Storm Area 51", follow to the facebook post, was for attendees to gather in the Nevada desert near Area 51, fee the gateways at sunrise and then, once inside, "see them aliens" and also possibly conduct an extraterrestrial rescue operation, Live Science formerly reported. Matty Roberts, climate a 20-year-old college student in Bakersfield, California, created the post on June 27, and claimed "it was totally a hoax from the get-go," Roberts said the BBC on Sept. 13, 2019.

But law enforcement organ weren"t amused; and they all set accordingly.

"A certain section of the participants may be armed and could expect equipped conflict," review the Nevada department of publicly Safety investigation Division"s operational plan for the "Storm Area 51" event. The 2019 paper was obtained by the nonpartisan government transparency group Property the the People and then common with rojo Stone. Thousands of pages in-depth law enforcement agencies" plans, case reports, explanation of carry for Area 51 employees, and maps of all entrances, Rolling stone reported.

The record also describedseveral unnamed YouTubers" do the efforts to monitor employees as they entered and left the base, follow to roll Stone.

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Even if most of the "Storm Area 51" attendees weren"t seriously planning to attack a restricted military site, "there is a potential because that domestic and foreign terrorist groups to utilize this event to test the protection of sensitive nationwide security web page by infiltrating the teams planning come storm the facility," the plan read. Harsh conditions in the Nevada desert — the risk of wildfires, lack of water and extreme temperature fluctuations — can worsen an already volatile situation, sowing panic and also increasing the possibility of "mass casualties," follow to the report.

In the end, virtual interest in raiding the base petered out, and Roberts canceled "Storm Area 51" with just nine days to spare. As an alternative, the urged people to rather visit "Alienstock," a UFO-celebrating festival in ras Vegas; nonetheless, a couple of thousand civilization still gathered in the city of Rachel, Nevada, around a 20-minute journey from Area 51"s entrance, top top the appointed day, The Guardian report on Sept. 24, 2019.

However, most of the assembled throng were busy documenting their visibility for viewers ~ above YouTube and also Instagram, and also none damaged down the gates to uncover hidden evidence of UFOs, follow to the Guardian.

Originally published on Live Science.

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Mindy Weisberger is a Live Science an elderly writer extending a basic beat that includes climate change, paleontology, weird animal behavior, and also space. Mindy stop an M.F.A. In film from Columbia University; before Live science she produced, wrote and directed media for the American Museum the Natural background in brand-new York City. Her videos around dinosaurs, astrophysics, biodiversity and also evolution show up in museums and also science centers worldwide, earning awards such together the CINE gold Eagle and the Communicator award of Excellence. Her writing has also appeared in scientific American, The Washington Post and How It functions Magazine.