ON AUGUST 18, Joerg Arnu, a resident of Rachel, Nevada, stepped before his local Lincoln County commissioners. He had come to voice opposition to an event called Alienstock that was set to descend on his town. Starting September 19, an unknown but possibly huge number of visitors were to swarm his hamlet. Said festival had spun off from a joke Facebook event, a suggestion gone viral that a herd of humans could break into Area 51 and learn the military base’s alien secrets. The joke spawned the very real Alienstock and the “Storm Area 51 Basecamp” experience planned for the other end of Highway 375, a stretch of pavement officially labeled Extraterrestrial Highway. The creator of the Facebook post has since moved Alienstock to Las Vegas, but the residents of Rachel are still bracing for an onslaught of visitors.