LAS VEGAS — Two YouTube personalities were arrested for trespassing on federal property near Area 51 earlier this week — just days ahead of a viral Facebook event that calls for attendees to "storm" the infamous government compound.
The two men, 21-year-old Govert Charles Wilhemus Jacob Sweep and 20-year-old Ties Granzier, both of the Netherlands, were arrested at the Nevada National Security Site, an area in Nevada's Mojave Desert located near Area 51.
Nye County Sheriffs responded to the site on Sept. 10 and found a car parked at a gate about 3 miles into the property. They spoke with Sweep and Granzier, who both speak and read English.
Police say the men understood the posted "no trespassing" signs, and claim they wanted to "look" at Area 51. Sweep and Granzier allegedly had cameras and a drone in their car.
The men were arrested and taken to the Nye County Detention Center.
In an interview at the jail, Sweep said he received instructions from a gas station attendant at Area 51 Alien Center, a tourist attraction near the site, on where to go to get a good view of Area 51. He claims he had no intention of crossing into the restricted federal property.
He also says he intended to leave before Sept. 20 — the day of the viral "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us" Facebook event.
"We didn't have any intention to storm it because we leave one day before the actual storming dates, and we just wanted to go there," Sweep said.
Sweep believes his status as a YouTuber is the reason he and Granzier have not yet been released from jail.
"If I wasn't a YouTuber... I'm just here for trespassing and I think its not normal for such a small thing," Sweep said.
Granzier is a popular YouTube personality in Europe. He has more than 700,000 subscribers to his YouTube page.
The "Storm Area 51" Facebook event went viral earlier this summer. 2 million people have marked that they are "going" to the event, and another 1.5 million are "interested." Federal authorities have warned that anyone attempting to storm Area 51 will be arrested and could be injured.
The creator of the group, Matty Roberts, has said that he hopes no one actually attempts to breach Area 51. He's instead using the event to promote Alien festivals in the Nevada desert, though he recently broke ties with one event, saying it could be a "disaster."
This story was originally published by Amy Abdelsayed on KTNV in Las Vegas.