Tourists tagging along on an Adventure Photo Tour bus on May 28, 2014 got an unexpected welcome from Area 51 military personnel when the tour bus driver accidentally drove the bus onto the ultra-secret military base. The driver and all tourists aboard the bus were charged with trespassing.
Driver Dennis Ryan intended to take the busload full of tourists to the edge of the Area 51 military base where they could take photos of the infamous “Keep out!” signs but instead, became distracted after a tourist asked him a sports related question. Donna Tryon, owner of Adventure Photo Tour, told KLAS-TV of Las Vegas, “Our guys make it a point to tell the passengers that, you know, you can’t go over that line, and if you step over that line, you’re on your own.” But she neglected to explain what would happen if the driver himself took you over the forbidden line.
Distracted by one of the tourists and not noticing the “Warning: No entry!” signs, Ryan drove right over the base’s border and into the restricted area. Within two minutes, passengers noted that a white security vehicle had pulled in behind them. The embarrassed driver then realized his mistake, apologized to the tourists, and explained that they were being followed by the infamous “Men in Black”.
The van pulled over and two fully-armed military personnel removed each person from the bus. Two additional security vehicles arrived from inside the base to assist with the intercept. Lincoln County sheriffs were called to the scene and cited the driver and all tourists with trespassing charges carrying an estimated $650 fine (per person). Among the tourists were a mother and son from the east coast of the United Kingdom who feared a bench warrant would be issued making them “on the run” wanted criminals.
The Lincoln County District Attorney, who appears to be quite the conspiracist, believed the incident was purposeful and claimed the trespassers deliberately entered the base in order to take photographs of the secret facility. When it was discovered that video existed of both the driver and the activity outside the bus, the DA reviewed the video footage and noted that the expression on the driver’s face was one of shock and not mischief. The charges against all parties were dropped although the driver is forbidden to approach the Area 51 vicinity for a minimum of two years. The DA also dictated that the video of the approaching security vehicles recorded by the van’s forward camera could not be made public.