Planning to “Storm Area 51”? Well, you’re in luck. Look at the choices:

The event that’s getting most of the attention is called the Alienstock Festival.  It’s set for September 19-22 in the godforsaken Nevada desert town of Rachel, population less then 100. Rachel is the closest you can get to that top-secret military sprawl broadly known as Area 51. But Rachel’s five dozen or so residents don’t sound all that jacked over the Facebook hordes who invited themselves in for a rock party.

After warning prospective visitors about “no gas and no store” and how “most residents do not like where this event is going and will respond accordingly,” Rachel’s website states the homies are “not on board and will certainly not allow their town to be taken over. This has a high potential of getting ugly. Please consider visiting at another time.”

What disastrous fate awaits the intrepid souls who choose to ‘Storm Area 51’?/CREDIT: reddit.com

However, Alienstock planners – “We’re Taking Over Rachel” – have already signed one band, the first in what they’re promising will be an EDM festival. There’s already a pricing schedule: $140 for RV parking, $60 for general parking, $130 for parking-space camping spots, $80 for individual camping spaces, and $1,000 per vehicle for media parking. Oh, and bring your own shade.

Now, there’s a rumor floating around suggesting that if things really do get skanky, the state is considering shutting down Highway 365, aka the “Extraterrestrial Highway,” to all but local residents. That would suck for Rachel and its only watering hole, the Little A’le’Inn. But that’d be great news for another nearby tourist trap, the Alien Research Center.

Located in equally tiny Hiko, population 119, the ARC is farther away from Area 51, but it would be unaffected by a traffic shutdown because it’s off Highway 318. ARC manager Linda Looney says attendance prices haven’t been set yet, and that they hope to recoup expenses for security and emergency services with vendors’ fees from food trucks, beer stations, Alien Tequila, etc. Not unlike the hullabaloo over in Rachel, ARC’s version of “Storm Area 51” will also feature music and games from Sept. 20-21.

Nobody expects “Storm Area 51” to attract even a respectable fraction of the 2 million FB members who’ve allegedly signed up to attend the event. In a county with a population of 5,000 — “and that might be counting chickens and dogs,” Looney says — ARC might be able to accommodate 10,000 visitors max. But one month out and things are already getting a little portentous, she adds. “We’ve already had four (Area 51) trespassers within the last 10 days,” says Looney. “We don’t get that many in a whole year.”

It’s safe to say that nobody involved in event planning wants to be on the hook if visitors actually try to make a dash for the alien technology allegedly stashed at Area 51. (One “Storm Area 51” FB visitor volunteered a sneak preview of the consequences by posting a “Highway of Death” photo from the 1991 Gulf War). Still, the potential for contributing to a sustainable and unprecedented social movement demanding transparency over UFOs is proving impossible for Baby Boomers like Michael Hall to ignore.

Hall, who’s been following the UFO controversy for decades, was alerted to “Storm Area 51” by his excited 21-year-old son shortly after it was posted as a FB joke back in June. Then it blew up, with hundreds of thousands of page views morphing into the millions. So even if you thought something like this was stupid, you could shrug off the numbers at your own peril. After all, an opportunity to mobilize curiosity into action might never come around again. Too young to persuade his folks to let him go to Woodstock, Hall isn’t about to let another cultural milestone pass without him.

Borrowing a page from Band Aid, Live Aid, and Farm Aid, the Seattle attorney plans to organize his own event, called Disclosure Aid. He has even crafted an anthem — “Free the World: Let Them Know Disclosure Time Is Here” — that employs the same melody, different lyrics, of Bob Geldof’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” Maybe make a monster video spliced with a sing-along featuring the famous and the hoi polloi alike: “There’s a face outside your window/And it’s abducting you with fear …”

Hall grew up watching those Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day telethons live from Las Vegas, so he figured why not find a Sin City recording studio and use that as the launch pad for Disclosure Aid? The place is always jammed with celebs and VIPs, and who knows, maybe some glitterati could drop in and show some love. But Hall envisions worldwide participation, featuring live-streaming, wall-to-wall podcasts from renowned personalities at remote locations beginning at 12:01 a.m. Eastern on September 21 and ending at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. The takeaways, he says would be 1) to pressure lawmakers into convening open congressional hearings on the phenomena, 2) to engage a new generation of Millennials and “Zoomers” into holding them accountable, and 3) to raise money to encourage private researchers to continue and expand their largely thankless work. He’s still working out the details on 3).

“I don’t know if you’ve seen these responses on the Facebook meme,” Hall says, “but literally people are saying ‘I’m from Stockholm, what should I bring?’ or ‘I’m from Azerbaijan, what should I bring to the Area 51 Storming event?’ I mean, I can envision people from all over the planet who might want to be involved in a non-specific podcast event that doesn’t have to be from a live location like the Little A’le’Inn. I remember Jerry Lewis would host his national telethon in Vegas every year and then throw it back to various venues around the country. We can do the same thing here.”

If Vegas doesn’t pan out, Hall says, with the help of promoter Lorien Fenton, he’ll find another cyberstage for a global call to arms, no matter what.

“Even if only a thousand people show up in Rachel over a 24-hour period or even a two-day period, it’ s probably going to impact the community negatively,” Hall says. “What I’m saying is, we can take this same idea and probably do a better job of raising awareness using the technology that’s available to us right now, without even having to go out there.”

Here’s what De Void knows for sure: Geldof’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” is a lot better choice than Michael Jackson’s schmaltzy “We Are the World.”

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