If there’s one thing you need to know about the border, it’s that you don’t want to cross the border. And as it turns out, this is sometimes harder than it should be.
The border is marked, if you can call it that, by 3-foot-orange posts every 150 feet. The problem is that these posts are made of plastic, and many of them have fallen over. So if you are not extremely careful, you will cross the border into Area 51.
What happens if I cross the border?
If you cross the border, you will be stopped, caught, and held at gunpoint by Area 51 border security (also known as Cammo Dudes), until the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department can come and pick you up. And keep in mind that Lincoln County is a big place, so it could be several hours for them to show.
If you are lucky, and they find that you have just accidentally crossed the border, then you will get off with only a $650+ fine, and a letter from the base commander saying that you are not welcome there.
If you are unlucky, and they feel that you were up to something a bit more nefarious, then your punishment can be a lot worse.
What’s the worst that can happen?
Technically, if you do not submit immediately, they can kill you; however, if you just cross the border and surrender you “shall be liable to a fine of not to exceed $5,000 or to imprisonment for not more than one year, or both,” as quoted by the Internal Security Act 50, USC Sec. 797.
Reports from people who have accidentally crossed over the border are not pleasant.
One person reported being treated very harshly, while still having to pay the fine.
How can I make sure to stay on the right side of the border?
While it is unlikely that they will utilize their right to deadly force, it is best to keep your person on the public side of the border. The best way to do this is to always make sure that you can see two posts in your view. If you can see two posts, and do not cross the line that they make, then you will stay on the right side of the border.
The above is an example of what the Groom Lake base uses to mark their borders. If you see this, make sure you are on the right side.
Remember: Always exercise caution when walking near the border, and never hike anywhere around the base at night.
If you choose to walk near the border, you do so at your own risk.