Las Vegas (dpa) - Actually they wanted to see aliens - and storm a secret base of the US military. But it did not happen that way on Friday.
However, despite warnings, hundreds of people have come to visit the 50-soul site of Rachel, in the southern Nevada desert, to celebrate and camp for a festival - and at least the highly secure entrance to the mythical world View Area 51.
At the end of June, student Matty Roberts of California created an event on Facebook and called for a storm in the restricted area, which is persistently rumored to be aliens, downed UFOs and military secret projects. The response was enormous - two million Facebook users said 1.5 million were interested. It should have all been just a joke.
Roberts eventually dedicated the event to the "Alienstock" festival, which was relocated to Las Vegas shortly before the event. Due to a lack of infrastructure it could possibly have resulted in Rachel in a "humanitarian disaster", it was said to be the reason. Only one local bar continued to stick to the festival schedule.
Nonetheless, residents like Joerg Arnu did not want to breathe a sigh of relief: they feared "mob scenes" by visitors who had come all the way and hoped for more from the event. As a precaution, they had set up warning signs in front of their houses and set up radio communications between the neighbors. In the end, the situation on the ground but "pretty quiet", an estimated 2000 people came to Rachel, said the native of Lower Saxony on Friday (local time) of the German Press Agency.
A few "crazy types" are there, some visitors have disguised themselves with full body costumes as aliens, from time to listen to music. After all, it is tourists who "look at each other" and keep moving between the village and the gate to Area 51, he said.
There was another event not far from Rachel, the Storm Area 51 Basecamp in Hiko. It was also about the area 51, UFOs and extraterrestrial life - with music, food trucks and documentary film screening. Only without the big excitement.
Area 51 Base Camp
Press release about Area 51 Basecamp
Original Facebook event