The Alien Research Center on SR 375– the Extraterrestrial Highway, near Crystal Springs – is planning a large open air music festival in anticipation of the large crowds who may come to Lincoln County Sept. 20 with the expressed purpose of “storming Area 51.”

But Linda Looney, manager of the research center, said, “We are telling callers and visitors, don’t do that. Don’t try to go there. The Air Force is going to protect it. You can’t get anywhere. Come here to our music festival instead.”

With the event planned for Sept. 20 at 3 p.m., Looney said, “I expect to see people showing up on Sept. 19, if any really do come.”

“It would be a negative thing for them to try to storm that base in mass numbers. Someone will likely get hurt. So we are going to do something positive and hold a music festival that same weekend.”

The owner of the center, George Harris, decided he wanted to do something to keep people from going to Area 51.

Looney said, “We’re trying to change a negative event into a positive festival going on here. We tell our visitors here daily, don’t do it. It wouldn’t be good if all those people really do try to carry out what was rumored. It’s a federal offense if they go on the other side. They would likely be arrested, not just slapped on the hand. It’s a heavy fine per person and whatever else you might be charged with.”

For the Alien Research Center event, Looney said, “We have a man coming with a 30-foot trailer that kids can play video games in. We have a band coming. George Knapp, investigative reporter with KLAS-TV in Las Vegas, is expected to be here also.”

She said, “Even the man who started this whole social media rumor, and claims it’s really just a joke, has said he plans to be here.”

Marty Roberts claims he is the man who started the hoax. In a recent interview with KLAS-TV, Roberts, who did not reveal his age or hometown, said he was amazed how his hoax took off. “I posted it on June 27 and it was kind of a joke.”

Hoax or not, at least 1.5 million have already signed up on Roberts’ Facebook account to descend upon Area 51 on the prescribed date.

Lincoln County cannot handle that kind of invasion. Looney said, “Not even as few as a couple of thousand. It is a big concern.”

Hence the Alien Research Center’s idea of having a music festival. “We just want to have enough to keep them here, not go there.”

To provide parking for campers, RVs and motorhomes, Looney said the research center will level off more of their property to provide space.

“But there are no electrical hookups and no water or dump station, so they will have to dry camp, although we do plan to have a bottled water supplier onsite,” she said. “We are planning to have food trucks and vendors come and will put up Porta Potties and have planned for armed security on site.”

Looney said this invasion idea has been good for business at the Alien Research Center. “We’ve been getting a lot more people stopping in from the United States. Usually this time of year, it’s mostly foreign visitors, but now it’s a lot of people from the states passing through, and instead of just driving right on past on SR318 or U.S. 93, they’re making the curve at the intersections, and coming here to check it out.”

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