No aliens, no party: Poor turnout for Area 51 raid kills UFO fanatics’ festival

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A planned mass raid on a US military site that was spawned by a joke Facebook post and drew alarmed warnings from the authorities ended in such an extravagant no-show of attendees that sideline events are being canceled.

Area 51, a US Air Force training base, has been the source of tremendous speculation about aliens for decades, centering on theories that the government has long covered up evidence of alien life after carrying out a range of experiments at the Nevada facility. 

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In early July, the Facebook event ‘Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us’ went viral after millions of people signed up to attend. Whether they ever intended to trek out to the desert location is anybody’s guess, but the prospect of a mass invasion of alien-hunters was enough for the county to declare a state of emergency and for the Air Force to impose no-fly zone restrictions over the area.

Locals also reportedly opposed the planned raid and side-events, fearing that people would be ill-prepared for the desert conditions, while the military brought in reinforcements to totally lock down the site to intruders.

Despite all the fuss (and Facebook sign-ups), the ‘Storm Area 51’ event failed to materialize, with only a handful of hardcore enthusiasts showing up on September 20.

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On Saturday, one of the festivals organized to coincide with the raid, which reportedly had expected around 1,000 attendees, was canceled due to lack of interest. 

Some of those who did make the journey out to Nevada have been rewarded for their pains, not by discovering proof of alien life, but by at least finding kindred spirits.

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