Anywhere from 250 to 300 concerned citizens are expected to attend this year's People's Rally at Area 51 in Nevada. The three-hour rally will take place on Tuesday morning, June 6, 2000, beginning at 6 a.m. right at the restricted boundary line on Groom Lake Rd. in Lincoln County, Nevada, almost right next to the world's most "famous" and controversial "secret base".
The Area 51 People's Rally was started by Norio Hayakawa, resident of Torrance, California (and formerly with the Citizens' Watchdog Group on Government Oversight) in 1998 to protest the secrecy around Area 51 and the violation of environmental and other laws, which may have led to the death of several former workers at the "notorious" base.
Hayakawa has recently retired from his pursuit of Area 51 research and has passed on his mission to Joerg Arnu, part-time resident of Rachel, Nevada, the closest community to the base, 22 miles north of Area 51. Joerg is also the webmaster of "Dreamland Resort", official homepage of Rachel's well-known establishment and gathering spot, the Little A-Le-Inn: Dreamland Resort http://www.dreamlandresort.com
A press conference will be scheduled in Rachel at noon on Monday, June 5 at the Little A-Le-Inn (Tel. 775-729-2515) and, according to Joerg, that evening there will be a camp-out at the border of the restricted area by Groom Lake Rd. for those who will be attending the Rally on Tuesday morning.
Anthony J. Hilder, former talk-radio host and co-organizer of this year's rally emphasizes that the People's Rally is a legal, public gathering and will take place on public land. The event will be a peaceful get-together of concerned citizens, and there will be speakers at the rally to address several key issues.
One of the issues is the continuing plight of former Groom Lake (Area 51) workers who are still suffering from illnesses caused by long-term exposure to toxic chemicals without their knowledge while working at Area 51, the base that still doesn't officially "exist".
At the rally, the following proposals will be made:
1) that the government, through an appropriate agency and through the public media, give a statement of assurance that all former workers were or are being medically treated for their illness and were or are fully compensated.
2) that the government construct a clearly marked fence along the boundary line by Groom Lake Rd., instead of vague, thin orange posts posted wide apart.
3) that the government construct a new Guard Shack at the restricted boundary line by Groom Lake Rd., instead of the present Guard Shack which is hidden more than a third of a mile inside the restricted area. The current hidden Guard Shack causes confusion, and bears the potential of unintentional violations of the border.
4) that the government admit and name this multi-faceted military base in more concrete terms and not just a vague designation like an "operating base near Groom Lake" which is still being used. The lack of an official name for the base could bring about more problems in the future when dealing with lawsuits should they arise from any future accidents.
Although Norio Hayakawa has recently abandoned his conspiratorial beliefs in regards to the aura of "mystery" surrounding the base (i.e., the belief that the government had purposely concocted, disseminated and manipulated popular theories linking AREA 51 with 'alien' conspiracies and "one-world government" conspiracies in order to discredit any serious scrutiny of this base) he still believes that the Air Force has befenited from such popular misconceptions concerning Area 51.
According to Hayakawa (e-mail: Groom51S4@aol.com) these misconceptions definitely helped to discredit any serious scrutiny of this multi-billion dollar military research and development complex and its programs, some of which may still be in gross violation of environmental statutes.
Area 51 recently regained national attention when new satellite photos (both the 2-meter and 1-meter resolution photos), taken by private satellite firms in 1998 and 1999, were released on the Internet by a Washington-based national watchdog organization called the Federation of American Scientists: New satellite images of Area 51 http://www.fas.org/irp/overhead/groom.htm
The photos seem to clearly indicate that the base is still quite active, even judging from the large number of employees' cars parked around the Operations Building (around 260 cars, even on a Sunday afternoon when the photos were taken), dispersing any rumors that the base had been "relocated" elsewhere.