In a new interview with the UK comedy website Chortle, Irish comedian Andrew Maxwell has described his ordeal of being detained at gunpoint at Area 51, the super-secret US military facility in Nevada believed by some to house extraterrestrial technologies. The events unfolded while Maxwell was filming a UFO-themed episode of the BBC documentary series Conspiracy Road Trip earlier this year.
Maxwell told Chortle:
“We got to the [Area 51] 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.”
“Then, 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.”
According to the BBC, Conspiracy Road Trip is “an effort to tackle the truth” about conspiracy theories, with individual episodes examining various conspiratorial subjects, including state-sponsored terrorism and, in this case, UFOs. However, Maxwell’s statements to Chortle indicate that the BBC series is less concerned with “tackling” uncomfortable truths than with debunking them. In his interview, Maxwell makes no secret of the fact that this particular episode was rigged from the outset to ridicule the UFO subject – a fact that apparently saved him and his group from being incarcerated:
“Luckily, when the sheriffs turned up this deputy had a sense of humour. It had been rung through to him that I was an Irish comedian leading these UFO nutjobs, that I didn’t believe any of it and was there to debunk it for the BBC.”
Conspiracy Road Trip: UFOs will be broadcast Monday October 15 at 9PM on BBC 3.