Alien enthusiasts are descending on rural Nevada en masse for a pair of festivals celebrating Area 51 and the UFOs it could be hiding – but locals don’t want them there and neither do the military, who’ve called in reinforcements.

UFO enthusiasts have begun making the pilgrimage out to Rachel and Hiko, Nevada, sites of two competing festivals scheduled for this weekend, real-life versions of the “Storm Area 51” event scheduled that went viral on Facebook last month and attracted millions of would-be attendees. The impending human tide has provoked a grim response from authorities protecting whatever the secretive military base holds, but the xenophiles are determined to party anyway.

People are already showing up to the Little A’Le’Inn in Rachel ahead of the kickoff of Alienstock tomorrow. #Area51 #StormArea51 pic.twitter.com/BwEnEUTAQK

— Mick Akers (@mickakers) September 19, 2019

Everyone that signed up to #StormArea51 may have called it quits. Not us!

We found a small group who are still going to make a (Naruto) run for it to set the aliens free… And we’re going in with them. Well, our camera guy is at least. #Staytuned pic.twitter.com/VZVUrDUaUa

— AREA15 (@AREA15official) September 19, 2019

Final preparations underway at the main stage of Alienstock. #AlienStock #Area51 #stormarea51 pic.twitter.com/v5sH6D0R4g

— Mick Akers (@mickakers) September 19, 2019

Alienstock, the festival planned for Rachel, is currently embroiled in a legal battle and was cancelled last week, according to the event website. But that hasn’t stopped Connie West, owner of Rachel’s only commercial establishment, the Little A’Le’Inn, from moving forward, or guests from arriving from all over the world – or the galaxy. 

It’ll be the biggest damn party I ever threw,” West told KTVN-TV, which filmed some of the early arrivals, one of whom claimed to be “sent here from the Solar Galactic Federation.”

An all-terrain alien mobile. #AlienStock #Area51 #StormArea51 pic.twitter.com/O0Jj9volrP

— Mick Akers (@mickakers) September 20, 2019

A group from Pittsburgh setting up an axe throwing both at Alienstock. #area51 #stormarea51 #alienstock pic.twitter.com/PMnzPmcDUq

— Mick Akers (@mickakers) September 19, 2019

Little A’Le’Inn Owner Connie West reflects on the first night of Alienstock. #AlienStock #Area51 #StormArea51 pic.twitter.com/ivwdxsajTC

— Mick Akers (@mickakers) September 20, 2019

So far, so good, according to West.

Art being put together at the Area 51 Basecamp at the Alien Research Center in Hiko. The mound of tires will be a turned into a spaceship dubbed ‘extraTIREresstrial.’ #area51 #stormarea51 #area51basecamp pic.twitter.com/1m5fgODmtc

— Mick Akers (@mickakers) September 19, 2019

The stage is being prepped at Area 51 Basecamp at the Alien Research Center in Hiko, where various events are planned including a performance by @pauloakenfold Friday. #area51 #area51basecamp #stormarea51 pic.twitter.com/OthfBwsLZ5

— Mick Akers (@mickakers) September 19, 2019

A little further from the top-secret base, revelers are getting ready for Storm Area 51 Basecamp, held at the Alien Research Center in Hiko. Organizers seem to have put a bit more thought into planning – there’s a medical team, complete with t-shirt uniforms, and internationally-famous performers including DJ Paul Oakenfold. Fast food chain Arby’s is on the scene with a “special alien-themed menu,” including “galaxy shakes” and “redacted on rye” sandwiches.

The company made special staff shirts for the occasion. #area51 #stormarea51 #alienstock pic.twitter.com/dd2X9vojqf

— Mick Akers (@mickakers) September 19, 2019

A pair of attendees from L.A. “storming” the mock Area 51 gate at the Alien Research Center in Hiko. Something that will be a popular occurrence this weekend. #basecamp #area51 #stormarea51 pic.twitter.com/0Qs7EnZsag

— Mick Akers (@mickakers) September 19, 2019

The FAA has declared a no-fly zone over the surrounding airspace, including drones, while Lincoln and Nye County authorities have laid out plans of action, complete with “operations centers” that seem hopelessly inadequate for the thousands of people expected to swarm the sparsely populated area.

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A sign near Area 51 in Rachel, Nevada. © Wikimedia Commons
‘Storm Area 51’ forces shutdown of Nevada airspace to protect top secret facility

Rachel, the closest town to Area 51, has a population of 54, according to its website – which warns visitors to “STAY AWAY FROM RACHEL,” all-caps included, and hints that “people will get hurt.”

We expect riots when those visitors that may show up and paid good money find out that the reality looks nothing like what they were promised.

The ⁦@NyeSheriff⁩ setting up its operations center in Amargosa Valley for possible influx of people for possible #stormarea51 #nyecounty pic.twitter.com/fb8Xz3AhD8

— Nye County, Nevada (@nyecounty) September 18, 2019

Members of various Sheriff’s and police departments having a morning meeting in front of the Little A’Le’Inn. #area51 #stormarea51 #alienstock pic.twitter.com/QWs4l3fH9K

— Mick Akers (@mickakers) September 19, 2019

The Air Force is “taking it very seriously,” chief of staff David Goldfein told reporters in the days leading up to the festivals. “Our nation has secrets, and those secrets deserve to be protected.” If you don’t want people poking around your top-secret base, that’s probably the worst thing you could possibly say.

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A satellite image of the US Air Force facility known as Area 51, FILE PHOTO. ©  Global Look Press
Area 51 has ‘secrets that deserve to be protected,’ US Air Force top brass warns ‘stormers’

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