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Extraterrestrial Highway

["The The Governor of Nevada joins forces with the Fox movie studio to christen State Route 375 the "Extraterrestrial Highway." The Area 51 Research Center raises objection, saying democratic processes were bypassed and governor has not addressed safety and civil rights issues. Tensions escalate as both sides harden their positions. Fox and Governor plan heavily hyped unveiling ceremonies for April 18. Research Center promises "counter-event." Stay tuned for fireworks!

Related Topics: Independence Day | E.T. Highway Unveiling | Area 51 | Lincoln County Justice | Governor Miller | Ambassador Merlin | State of Nevada's E.T. Highway Info | Unveiling Photos

Opposition Manifestos | Event Chronology

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Facts about The Alien Highway

In early 1995, State Assemblyman Roy Neighbors introduced a bill to designate State Route 375 "The Extraterrestrial Alien Highway." A hearing was held but no official notice of it was given to local residents. The State Assembly passed the measure but it was killed in the Senate as "frivolous" and a waste of the Legislature's resources.

In February, Governor Bob Miller resurrected the measure without notice to local residents and it was passed in a meeting of the State Transportation Board, which he chairs. Testimony was heard only from Pat Travis of the Little A'Le'Inn and "Ambassador Merlyn Merlin II" a Northern Nevada man who claims to be an alien. Shortly after passing the measure, the Governor flew to Los Angeles at taxpayer expense to negotiate an agreement with the 20th Century Fox movie studio to jointly market the "E.T. Highway" and Fox's upcoming movie "Independence Day." There is no evidence, however, that the Governor ever visited the highway itself, and he never consulted with any official of Lincoln County regarding this measure.

Independence Day is a big-budget Sci-Fi drama about an alien invasion of earth. According to the producers, Devlin and Emmerich, they wrote the script in four weeks and sold it to the studio in one day. The movie is a thinly veiled remake of War of the Worlds. Billions of people are killed and most of the world's major cities wiped out until the alien mothership is destroyed with a computer virus. The film takes place partly at "Area 51," although this facility in no way resembles the real thing. All of the parts of the film supposedly taking place in Nevada were filmed in Utah and California.

The Area 51 Research Center in Rachel believes the "E.T. Highway" should not be unveiled until issues of visitor safety and civil rights are addressed and county officials are consulted. The "E.T. Highway" is adjacent to the tense and poorly marked border of "Area 51," where many tourists have been arrested and harassed and lost film and other personal property without accounting. The highway renaming also changes the character of the area, and local residents and elected officials should be consulted, not locked out of the process as they have been.

The Research Center also believes that the State of Nevada should not be seen to endorse a commercial product. The join agreement between the governor and the Fox studio is a grave breach of government ethics. The governor is promoting a movie that was not even filmed in Nevada. He consulted with a out-of-state movie company, but never solicited the concerns of his own constituents.

Opposition Manifestos

  • Report to Governor on Alien Highway, 3/6/96. 23-page report outlining civil rights effects and procedural defects in the "E.T. Highway. Although sent to the governor in early March, he has never replied to it.
  • Free Speech Counter-Event, 3/25/96. Proposal to counter the official unveiling ceremonies scheduled for April 18, 1996.
  • Doubletalk on ET Highway, 3/30/96. A Fox publicity manager responds to requests about their movie Independence Day and its involvement with the State of Nevada. Full translation and analysis of PR lingo provided.
  • Campbell Responds to Criticism, 4/2/96. Activist Glenn Campbell explains larger issues behind E.T. Highway protest.
  • Request for Fox Letters, 4/3/96. Campbell requests copies of correspondence between Governor's office and Fox studios.
  • Request for Delay, 4/8/96. Campbell requests that unveiling ceremonies be postponed until pending issues are addressed.
  • "E.T. Highway" Raises Earthly Concerns, 4/12/96. Campbell draws attention to problems inherent in current ET Highway plan.
  • "Independence Day" Exploits UFO Community, posted to USENET 4/14/96. ID4's exploitation of UFO interest to promote film potentially damaging to UFO community.

Event Chronology

Latest items first

Highway Legislation Fails in 1995

  • 7/3/95: News. Alien highway bill fails. Confirmed in Las Vegas Review-Journal.
  • 6/24/96: News Article, "No Hope for Alien Highway Bill." Las Vegas Review-Journal.
  • 6/12/95: Passage by Nevada Assembly reported in DR#27
  • 5/21/95: Ambassador Merlin's support reported in DR#26.
  • 5/19/95: Campbell's opposition submitted to committee.

Relevent Articles

  • 1/5/94: Las Vegas Review Journal, "Seven people arrested in Groom Lake incident," by Keith Rogers. Seven Las Vegans face trespassing counts after they were arrested near the Air Force's secret Groom Lake base. (118 k)
  • 4/13/94: Las Vegas Sun, "Secret airbase no dream to journalists," by Timothy R. Gaffney. Authorities have cracked down on journalists' attempts to photograph the secret air base in Nevada dubbed Dreamland. (94 k)
  • 5/21/94: Las Vegas Review Journal, "Texans say Air Force kept them off public land." Two Texas men who said they were blocked from public land near the Air Force's secret base at Groom Lake filed a complaint Friday with the Lincoln County Sherriff's Department. (86 k)
  • 6/9/94: Las Vegas Review Journal, "Air Force, sherriff, court keeping secrets," by Susan Greene. A Lincoln County sherriff's deputy was responding to complaints by Air Force security officers in April when he seized equipment from a network news team on assignment near the secret base. (139 k)
  • 7/7/94: Las Vegas Review Journal, "No contest plea for Groom duo," by Susan Greene. Two Las Vegans charged with trespassing on land near the secret Groom Lake Air Force base have said they will plead no contest in exchange for Lincoln County officials dropping charges against two others in their party. (140 k)
  • 7/21/94: Las Vegas Review Journal, "Officer arrests man, seizes news videos, " by Susan Greene. A Lincoln County sherriff's deputy arrested activist Glenn Campbell on Tuesday and confiscated videotapes from a news crew working near the Air Force's secret Groom Lake base. (image, 144 k)
  • 7/26/94: Cartoon, "Entering Lincoln County." (67 k)
  • ?/95: Cartoon, "Goon Lake" (74 k)
  • 2/17/95: Las Vegas Sun, "Groom Lake visitors hit with fines." Two Salt Lake City residents accused of crossing the military border near a secret airbase have been found guilty of trespassing. (51 k)
  • 3/7/95: Las Vegas Review Journal, "Group leader convicted in Groom Lake incident." The Pahranagat Valley Justice Court has convicted Groom Lake gadfly Glenn Campbell of obstructing a police officer during the search of a California television news crew. (68 k)
  • 3/9/95: Las Vegas Review Journal, "Groom Lake guru will fight court's judgement," by Steve Sebollus. For Groom Lake secret base gadfly Glenn Campbell, wrangling with the law atop Freedom Ridge has turned into wrangling in Nevada courts on an obstruction-of justice charge. (80 k)

    Other Area 51 Articles: 1996 | 1995 | 1994

Page created: 2/18/96
Page modified: 12/01/96 tm