Rachel, Nevada (CNN) — The day we had all been waiting for is finally here — but it wasn’t as exciting as expected. And that’s probably for the best.
Instead, many of the 3,000 or so people that showed up in surrounding areas decided against storming the mystifying location, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said.
“They did threaten that they were going to storm,” Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee said. “Once officers warned them about the consequences for storming the base, they did have second thoughts.”
There was one alcohol-related arrest and a Canadian citizen was also arrested for indecent exposure, Lee said. One woman came close to crossing and she was briefly detained and released at the scene.
The sheriff said the Nevada Highway Patrol had also made a couple of arrests.
‘Come, look, see’
The crowd was “very manageable for emergency services,” Lee said, adding it was nowhere near the number of people initially expected.
“The crowd has been good,” he said. “Officers have been mingling with the crowds and the crowds have been positive and so far it’s been really well.”
But they expect more people to show up throughout the day and night, the sheriff said, and are keeping their guard up.
Lee’s advice: “Come, look, see what you can see, but just don’t cross.”
Many of the campers told CNN they had no plans to go through with the raid Friday.
Mary Ramirez, sporting an alien-themed T-shirt and alien sunglasses, said she thought storming Area 51 would be a bad idea.
“You think I’m crazy?,” she said.
One Arizona resident said he came out for the fun of it.
“Just like this thing said, everybody’s always wondered, are they really holding aliens down there,” the camper said.
So, how did all the hullabaloo get started?
The creator underestimated the allure
Matty Roberts was just joking. He didn’t believe anyone would take him seriously when, on June 27, he created a Facebook page for an event entitled “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us.”
Roberts said he came up with the idea for the meme page after podcaster Joe Rogan interviewed Area 51 whistleblower Bob Lazar and filmmaker Jeremy Corbell. Lazar claims that he worked with an alien spacecraft while he was employed in one of Area 51’s underground facilities.
There are not enough accommodations
Local authorities and the community spent the past few weeks preparing for Friday.
Rachel has a population of 54 and is surrounded by ghost towns and desert. The town boasts only four businesses in its city limits, and the Little A’Le’Inn is the only one that provides lodging and food.
According to its website, the inn is “booked solid.” The inn has 14 rooms, and camping space is now the last available option.
Early Friday, the sheriff’s office reported there were 2,000 people in Rachel. There were another 250 were in Hiko.
To make matters worse, Rachel’s only gas station closed in 2006, so visitors will have to fill their tanks 50 miles away in Alamo, Nevada.
The back gate of the top-secret military installation known as Area 51 is seen on July 22.
David Becker/Getty Images
So, did anyone Naruto run?
CNN’s Nick Watt reported from Rachel, Nevada, and Douglas Criss and Christina Maxouris reported and wrote from Atlanta. CNN’s Ryan Prior, Maureen O’Hare, Lauren M. Johnson and Jack Hannah contributed to this report.
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