Airspace around Area 51 in Nevada has been closed this week to news helicopters and drones in anticipation of what may happen this weekend if the so-called Storm Area 51 event, started as a joke, really does happen at 3 a.m. Saturday morning.
Published reports note, “The Federal Aviation Administration has posted temporary flight restrictions for two areas near Area 51 controlled by the U.S. Department of Defense and the Department of Energy.”
Even police and medical helicopters are banned from the area without getting special permission, and the U.S. Air Force will likely have drone-jamming equipment ready and available.
Over 2.1 million people initially signed up for a Facebook event that Las Vegas promoter Matty Roberts called “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us,” which essentially encouraged people to break into the restricted military area in order to “see them aliens.”
As the designated weekend arrives, it is unclear how many people might actually come to Rachel or the Alien Research Center near Hiko, despite warnings to stay away and instead attend the two music festivals planned as a deterrent, even after Roberts backed out of the Alienstock event planned in Rachel Sept. 9.
Other published reports state, “The Air Force’s Area 51, roughly 75 miles north of Las Vegas, has served as a long-held fascination for conspiracy theorists who believe that extraterrestrial life forms are currently being kept there. While the site has a messy and complicated history, especially when it comes to nuclear weapons, it’s unlikely that the U.S. government holds aliens at Area 51.”
The facility is just a small part of the U.S. military’s Nevada Test and Training Range, 4,687 square miles of government land that’s only slightly smaller than the state of Connecticut.
The flight restriction notice notes, “The first area with the temporary flight restrictions is on the southern end of the Test and Training Range and will be enforced from Thursday, September 19, until Monday, September 23. Anything flying up to 18,000 feet is prohibited.”
The second area with temporary flight restrictions is close to the towns of Mercury and Rachel, Nevada, and will be in effect from September 18 through September 23. The restrictions for that area only go up to 7,000 feet because commercial planes sometimes fly over the space on approach to the Las Vegas airport.
Air Force spokesperson Laura McAndrews told the Washington Post earlier this summer when the Facebook posting first appeared and so many signed up claiming they would go, that the area “is an open training range for the U.S. Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces. The U.S. Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets.”