Andrew Maxwell held at gunpoint after sneaking into Area 51
Andrew Maxwell was held at gunpoint after he attempted to sneak into the Area 51 Air Force Base in the Nevada Desert for the latest episode of Conspiracy Road Trip.
Irish comedian Maxwell, who is no stranger to intimidating situations, found himself and his 12 companions staring down the barrel of a semi-automatic machine gun and forced to lie on the ground for three hours while their credentials were checked by the FBI.
The confrontation at the secretive air force base - which many believe to house alien remains from the 1947 Roswell Incident – occurred while Maxwell was filming the latest episode of the BBC Three series Conspiracy Road Trip.
According to Maxwell, he was saved from a possible jail sentence by the intervention of a Lincoln County deputy sheriff who had seen the comedian’s Live At The Apollo show.
Speaking about the trip incident Maxwell said: “It was all tongue-in-cheek’. I’d convinced them [the group] that there was no way we were actually going to see any aliens, so we were forming these geometric shapes, getting so fucking giggly, so excited at being in Area 51.
“We got to the barrier and I’m expecting some soldiers to come out and tell us to “piss off” We’ll have that on camera, job done, that’s enough for British TV.”
The series sees Maxwell host groups of British adults who hold controversial beliefs one week-long tours of the U.S. where they are able to discuss and are confronted over their point of view.
“Surveillance cameras zoned in on us but nobody comes out,” Maxwell added. “Nothing happens. We’re a bit deflated so I stick my hand under the barrier. Then I go into the base. We’re there for about half an hour, dancing. No one comes out.”
The group were only apprehended after one of the BBC film crew spotted guards inside a building watching a basketball game and knocked on the door.
“One of our group knocks on the guard hut door and all hell breaks loose, four soldiers rush out with M16s. ‘On the fucking floor! On the floor right now!’ We spent three, maybe four hours like that. Passports taken, all the footage and equipment.” Maxwell said.
According to one of the ufologists on the trip, Darren Perks, the incident was so serious that the U.S. State Department in Washington had called London to advise that 12 British nationals had ‘breached security at America's most top-secret military base and that we all were at one point going to jail for six months’.
The group were finally released after seven hours, their film equipment was confiscated, and the group claim they were followed by government cars in the days following the incident. The show will be screened on BBC Three on Monday.
- Commissioners and TV executives
- Where there's a Wil (Anderson) there's a way
- The Wrestling takes panel prize at Edinburgh Fringe comedy awards
- Mark Thomas stands up for free theatre
- Sketchfest: Thünderbards select their favourite bards and Thunderbirds
- The Thick Of It heads to U.S. as Armando Iannucci pens show for HBO
- London Sketchfest 2013: What you need to know
- Widdicombe, Christmas, Pappy's and Dommett head to Green Man comedy stage
- Shameless star recreates American Beauty strip pic for Comic Relief
- Good Night: Scrumptious heats up comedy with curry