LAS VEGAS (AP) — Two men from the Netherlands who said they wanted to post internet video of the once-secret Area 51 military base in Nevada were arrested on suspicion of trespassing onto a secure U.S. government reservation, sheriff’s officials said Thursday.
Govert Charles Wilhelmus Jacob Savage and Ties Granzier told Nye County sheriff’s deputies they were in the remote area to attend events next week near the once top-secret U.S. Air Force test area known in popular lore as a site for government studies of space aliens.
“That’s why they said they were here,” Nye County Sheriff’s Capt. David Boruchowitz said.
Area 51 is the focus of events next weekend in the tiny towns of Rachel and Hiko inspired by a Facebook post inviting people to “see them aliens.”
Savage, 21, and Granzier, 20, were arrested Tuesday on the misdemeanor charges after they were found in a car near a gate inside the Nevada National Security Site, authorities said.
They were at least 20 miles (32.2 kilometers) from Area 51.
Boruchowitz said the men were released Thursday on $500 bail with no order to remain in the U.S. ahead of scheduled court appearances Monday.
Sheriff’s deputies said Savage and Granzier had a drone, computer and camera equipment and acknowledged they disregarded “No Trespassing” signs.
The site is a U.S. Department of Energy reservation that is part of a vast government tract in central Nevada. It is separate from Area 51.
The Air Force has posted warnings that people who try to enter the Nellis Air Force Base bombing range surrounding Area 51 will be arrested.
The land surrounding the range is “austere desert, with little to no life-sustaining services like water, food, gas or medical centers,” Nellis spokesman Nick Janeway said