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Owner of Area 51 website has homes searched, items seized by federal brokers: “I am not a spy”

A Nevada man who operates a website specializing in the distant previously top-secret U.S. army base Area 51 — lengthy an object of UFO and space alien lore — mentioned Thursday that army and federal investigators raided his homes in what he known as a bid to muzzle him.

“I believe the search, executed with completely unnecessary force by overzealous government agents, was meant as a message to silence the Area 51 research community,” Joerg Arnu mentioned in a assertion concerning the Nov. 3 raids at his homes in Las Vegas and the tiny desert city of Rachel. “The question now is: How far will they go?”

“I am not a spy,” Arnu mentioned in an electronic mail to The Associated Press. “I and the vast majority of members of my web site support the military and we understand the need for secrecy to keep our country safe.”

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In a assertion posted on his “Dreamland Resort” website and supplied to AP, Arnu mentioned the searches “happened without any warning.”

“I was only told that the search was related to images posted on my Area 51 web site,” he mentioned.

Arnu told CBS affiliate KLAS-TV he was held exterior whereas brokers searched the house. He advised the station he was proven a few pages from a prolonged search warrant, most of which remained sealed.

“As it is right now, I have no clear understanding of what I’m being charged with or why my property was seized,” Arnu advised the station. “Cell phones, memory sticks, backup drives, my camera equipment that is worth almost $10,000, my drone, everything was taken.”

Arnu advised KLAS-TV that one other staff of brokers kicked within the door of his Las Vegas residence, detained his girlfriend after which performed one other search.

“She was led out into the street — in the middle of the street in full view of all the neighbors, and subsequently our homes were searched,” Arnu advised the station.

Lt. Col. Bryon McGarry, public affairs chief at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, mentioned he was conscious that Arnu’s properties had been searched by FBI and Air Force Office of Special Investigations brokers. McGarry mentioned he might present no further info.

A press official with the FBI in Las Vegas declined to remark. The Air Force OSI did not instantly reply to electronic mail messages.

Arnu mentioned that since 1999 he has owned and operated his web website, subtitled “Secrets of Area 51 Revealed.” A brand new posting on the positioning dubs it “Endorsed by the FBI and USAF OSI.”

The searches had been reported Wednesday by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, describing the positioning as a assortment of YouTube movies taken from drones flown round Area 51, satellite tv for pc photos of the bottom, a dialogue discussion board, and articles about UFOs, take a look at flights and mysterious “black projects.”

Arnu mentioned he was conferring along with his lawyer however declined to supply his lawyer’s title. He mentioned he believes materials on his website “was legally obtained and legal to publish,” however mentioned he has eliminated some of it “in an effort to defuse the situation.”

“Considering how this went down I have no intention of removing any more material unless ordered to do so by a federal judge,” he added.

Arnu mentioned brokers confiscated “laptops, phones, backup drives, camera gear and my drone,” and prompted 1000’s of {dollars}’ value of harm to his homes.

Arnu’s residence in Rachel is one of a cluster of residences in a roadside city constructed round a quirky 10-room alien-themed motel known as the Little A’le’Inn on a seemingly countless straight stretch of freeway about a two-hour drive north of Las Vegas.

Area 51 Webmaster-Investigation
A girl seems at a UFO show exterior of the Little A’Le’Inn, in Rachel, Nev., the closest city to Area 51, July 22, 2019. 

John Locher / AP


The website, close to one of a number of distant gates to the sprawling Area 51 army complicated, drew worldwide consideration in September 2019 after greater than 2 million individuals responded to a Facebook prank inviting them to “Storm Area 51.”

In the top, amid fears that tens of 1000’s of individuals would arrive for unregulated occasions and overwhelm native infrastructure and providers, a peak crowd of about 3,000 gathered at a pageant grounds unexpectedly erected as residence base for what turned dubbed “Alienstock.”

At the time, Arnu advised AP that he believed that individuals who knew little about tenting within the harsh Great Basin desert would get chilly at evening, grow to be pissed off and go residence offended.

“They’re not going to find what they’re looking for,” he mentioned.

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