A planned mass raid on a US military site that was spawned by a joke Facebook post and drew alarmed warnings from the authorities ended in such an extravagant no-show of attendees that sideline events are being canceled.

Area 51, a US Air Force training base, has been the source of tremendous speculation about aliens for decades, centering on theories that the government has long covered up evidence of alien life after carrying out a range of experiments at the Nevada facility.

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