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Surviving The Area 51 Events

People mill about various vendors at the Alienstock event Saturday, Sept. 21.
Rachel Christiansen

People mill about various vendors at the Alienstock event Saturday, Sept. 21.

It all started as a joke.  

Twenty-one-year old college student Matty Roberts created a Facebook event one night for people to “Storm Area 51.”  

But it turns out millions of people want, as the event said, to “see them aliens.”  

And just like that, the world turned its attention to the tiny rural Nevada towns of Rachel and Hiko.  

Then …. panic.  

The Air Force warned people not to cross the line. Lincoln County declared a state of emergency.  Some residents even said they would close up shop and leave town.  

Some, however, saw an opportunity, and started planning for the influx of people. So festival plans began.  

But no one knew just what was going to happen, or who was going to show up.  

So, I decided to go find out what was going down in the desert. 

George Harris, owner, Alien Reseach Center; Unicole Unicron, cult leader; Michael Hall, attorney; Connie West, owner, Little A'Le'Inn

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Prior to taking on the role of Broadcast Operations Manager in January 2021, Rachel was the senior producer of KNPR's State of Nevada program for 6 years. She helped compile newscasts and provided coverage for and about the people of Southern Nevada, as well as major events such as the October 1 shooting on the Las Vegas strip, protests of racial injustice, elections and more. Rachel graduated with a bachelor's degree of journalism and mass communications from New Mexico State University.