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Sheriff: At least 1 arrested after storm Area 51 attempt

Posted: 8:59 AM, Sep 20, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-20 20:40:02-04

NEVADA KTNV/AP) — At least one person was arrested by local sheriff's deputies at a gate to Area 51 in Nevada after an estimated 150 people gathered at the site early Friday.

A weekend gathering is happening in the desert after an internet hoax posted in June invited people to "storm" the once-secret military installation. The place is the focus of popular lore about government studies of extraterrestrial life and space aliens.

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It wasn't immediately clear if a woman who began ducking under a gate and a man who urinated nearby were arrested after the crowd gathered about 3 a.m.

"They just started chanting, what's that thing, from Facebook, clap them cheeks, clap them cheeks, and then for a little bit there was a tell is the truth chant that went on too," Mark McCormick said, visiting from Canada.

An Associated Press photographer saw two people escorted away by deputies, but a sheriff's dispatcher declined to comment.

"The police were pretty cool about it; when they came up, they said you could come to the gate, don't touch the gates. They were all standing at the side, laughing at some of the people," McCormick said.

Authorities reported the crowds were calm and listened to their orders to disperse with things back to normal around 6 a.m.

The Associated Press and 13 Action News contributed to this story