Nevada police say they arrested a YouTuber and his friend, both from the Netherlands, this week after the pair allegedly defied notices and trespassed at a secure government site near Area 51.
The Nye County Sheriff’s Office said in a public release that two Dutch nationals, YouTuber Ties Granzier, 20, and Govert Charles Wilhelmus Jacob Sweep, 21, were arrested Tuesday after trespassing at the Nevada National Security Site, with the report claiming the two had driven roughly three miles into the property at the time of the arrest.
Despite the fact that both could read signs that warned against trespassing on the property, they informed officials that they wanted to get a better look at the facility, according to police. Granzier, who has a YouTube channel under his first name with more than 730,000 followers, informed deputies that he was a YouTuber, the sheriff’s office said.
After both consented to a search of camera equipment in their vehicle, officers discovered footage they’d recorded while trespassing on the restricted government property.
The arrests come just a week before the ill-fated “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us” joke Facebook event, which morphed into possibly canceled four-day Alienstock that was slated to take place in Rachel, Nevada. The original event organizer—who pulled out of the event this week over concerns it would play out like a Fyre Fest 2.0, as Rachel does not have the infrastructure to support such an event—has since announced a separate event will take place next week in downtown Las Vegas on September 19.
However, Connie West, owner of the Little A’Le’Inn in Rachel, said in an interview this week that the plans for the original festival will move forward. BuzzFeed News quoted Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee as saying the area still expects “numerous people” to show up.
In an interview with ABC-affiliated KTNV Las Vegas from the Nye County Detention Center, Sweep said that the two knew of the event and that it was part of the reason they’d decided to visit the area. However, Sweep noted that he and Granzier didn’t “have any intention to storm it because we leave one day before the actual storming event.”
Sweep told the outlet that he and Granzier are scheduled to return to the Netherlands on September 19, adding that they still hope to visit Route 66 and Los Angeles before they return home. He further said that the two “don’t want to spend every day in jail here.” A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office told Gizmodo the two were still in custody as of Thursday.