Disappointingly, but also wisely, organizers of the so-called, half-joking “Storm Area 51” event — and the associated music festival — have canceled their plans, stating that they did not wish to become the next Fyre Festival. Still, the creators’ inquisitive spirit lives on in the form of two Dutch YouTubers, who were arrested on September 10 for walking into the secure government site.
According to the Nye County Sheriff’s Office, vloggers Ties Granzier, 20, and Govert Charles Wilhelmus Jacob Sweep, 21, walked three miles (!) into Area 51 before they were detained and questioned. Upon their detainment, Granzier and Sweep granted the authorities permission to review their footage, which I have to imagine means that the footage is now gone forever.
In classic influencer style, Ties posted a photo to Instagram stating his plans to break into Area 51 before going on to break into Area 51. (Many of the comments now read #freeties.) Ties and Sweep told officials they had seen and understood the many “No Trespassing” signs posted at the site, but had “wanted to see the facility” anyway. Can’t argue with that! I remain inspired and smugly annoyed by Gen Z’s renewed fervor for Area 51, the most basic of all alleged UFO bases.
What did Ties and Govert Charles Wilhelmus Jacob see in there? I eagerly await their 17-minute-but-largely-uninformative YouTube video, whenever it is they’re released from alien jail.