State of Nevada
Carson City, Nevada
For Immediate Release From Contacts: March 22, 1996 Ken Evans Nevada Commission on Tourism (702) 687-4322
Nevada Governor Bob Miller will officially dedicate the newly designated Extraterrestrial Highway, State Route 375, in a public ceremony planned for April 18 at the town of Rachel, 140 miles northeast of Las Vegas in Lincoln County.
"While this project is full of fun, the underlying reason that we embarked on it is quite serious," said Miller. "This is yet another attraction for our state, and during the dedication ceremony, we will announce our first comprehensive promotional plan, which will focus on the highway and on this region of rural Nevada."
Among Governor Miller's guests at the dedication will be Robert Harper, president of marketing at 20th Century Fox Films, and cast members from its latest science fiction-adventure film, "Independence Day." The studio is participating in the event because the movie's story line involves Area 51, the super-secret section of Nellis Air Force base adjacent to the ET Highway. The region has achieved fame for frequent UFO sightings, and is a favorite with UFO watchers.
The Nevada Department of Transportation's Board of Directors, which includes the Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Controller and three citizens appointed by the governor, made the designation official on Feb. 1.
The event gets underway on Wednesday, April 17, when Governor Miller and 20th Century Fox host a kickoff reception for press and invited guests at Planet Hollywood in the Forum Shops at Caesars in Las Vegas.
The following day, a convoy of buses, cars and RVs will depart at 10 a.m. from Las Vegas for the 1 p.m. dedication at Rachel.
A special extraterrestrial-themed highway sign, designed by the Nevada Commission on Tourism and produced by the Nevada Department of Transportation, will be unveiled by Governor Miller. Twentieth-Century Fox also plans to unveil a commemorative monument to mark the dedication and the premiere of the film, which opens July 3. And a special panel discussion involving several notable UFOlogists will be featured.
Coincidentally, the April 18 date falls exactly 34 years after the most notable UFO sighting in Nevada history, a spectacular fireball that was visible from Reno, Las Vegas, and several neighboring states.
The Extraterrestrial Highway stretches for 98 miles in Lincoln and Nye Counties, connecting US Highways 93 and 6. The only town on the stretch is Rachel, population about 100. Fuel is available in Rachel, but due to the high demand on the day of the event, travelers are advised to purchase fuel at the town of Alamo, if driving from the Las Vegas area, or at Tonopah, if arriving from the Reno-Sparks area.