YouTubers Arrested Near Area 51 With Footage From Classified Site

Two Dutch YouTubers were arrested this week for trespassing at Area 51, the mysterious military base northwest of Las Vegas.

The Nye County Sheriff's office confirmed Wednesday the arrest of Ties Granzier, 20, and Govert Charles Wilhelmus Jacob Sweep, 21, both of the Netherlands. The duo allegedly drove three miles into the Nevada National Security Site, disregarding "No Trespassing" signs posted along the Mercury Highway by the United States Department of Energy. Their trek goal was the classified military facility at Groom Lake, popularly known as Area 51.

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A sign posted at the perimeter of the Nevada Test and Training Range, commonly known as Area 51. David Becker/Getty Images

Granzier and Sweep were found parked near a gate with camera equipment, a laptop and drone. They told police they had seen the signs warning them away, but wanted to look at the facility anyway. In a video released to its Facebook page, the Nye County Sheriff's Office, which contracts with the military to handle arrests on the grounds of the Security Site, said both men consented to a search of their phones.

"Now to crazy recordings of crazy adventures and... Area 51," Granzier wrote in a Tuesday Instagram caption, ending with an alien emoji.

The highly classified U.S. Air Force Base at Groom Lake has been a site for flight testing experimental aircraft since 1955. In popular culture and urban legends its believed to double as a facility for the storage and examination of extraterrestrial spacecraft. Approximately a third of Americans believe that unidentified aerial phenomena — often called UAP or UFOs — have an alien explanation, with spaceships visiting from other planets or galaxies.

Sweep runs a YouTube channel with approximately 308,000 subscribers that features videos of abandoned sites and desolate locations. He also films ghost-hunting expeditions, such as his recent video release, "We Went to a Ghost Monastery." Previous videos have featured Sweep sneaking into Dutch military facilities.

Granzier is also a YouTuber, with 737,000 subscribers to his channel of DIY projects, including building a boat from duct tape and renovating an old trailer.

Charged with trespassing, the duo were booked at Nye County Detention Center. "They are getting the same treatment anyone would," Captain David Boruchowitz of the Nye County Sheriff's Office told Newsweek. Boruchowitz also confirmed the duo had taken footage on-site.

In July, a Facebook event calling for a raid on Area 51 — titled "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us" — garnered more than a million RSVPs. While the event, scheduled for September 20, was taken by most as a joke or meme, local law enforcement officials and the U.S. military have warned people away from attempting to enter the zone.

Asked whether Granzier and Sweep had the Area 51 raid in mind when they trespassed, Boruchowitz said, "It sounded like there were definitely some ties to that."

He added, "Stay away from the test site, please, for everybody's sake."

YouTubers Arrested Near Area 51 With Footage From Classified Site | Newsgeek