The operator of an Area 51 conspiracy theory website is demanding answers after federal agents held him at gunpoint and searched his two homes.
Joerg Arnu's residences in Las Vegas and Rachel – a small town on the edge of the secretive US military base in the Nevada Desert – were both raided by FBI and Air Force agents.
The doors of the properties were kicked in whilst items such as memory sticks, phones, cameras and drones were also seized.
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Mr Arnu was held at gunpoint in Rachel and his girlfriend was also detained at his Las Vegas home.
The Dreamland Resort website was launched by Mr Arnu in 1999 and publishes photos and videos of Area 51 which, for almost 70 years, has been a magnet for legions of conspiracy theorists across the world who believe it houses alien life forms.
In an interview with Las Vegas TV station 8 News Now, Mr Arnu described how he was handed a couple of pages of a 40-page search warrant, the majority of which remained sealed.
He also added: "As it is right now, I have no clear understanding of what I’m being charged with or why my property was seized."
In a statement to The Independent, meanwhile, Nellis Air Force Base spokesman Lt Col Bryon McGarry confirmed that the Air Force Office of Special Investigations was involved in the raids.
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He said: "This is an open and ongoing law enforcement investigation between the Las Vegas FBI and Air Force OSI."
Mr Arnu, a naturalised US citizen, added that he respected Area 51’s need for secrecy and refused to publish any material that could compromise its operations, declaring: "I would never do anything to hurt this country."
When, in 2019, up to two million UFO enthusiasts were threatening to storm the base in their search for answers about what goes on in Area 51, Mr Arnu also pointed out that he took an active role in discouraging them.
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