False Amber Alerts Imprison Thousands: 17 year old Missed Curfew, Gate Closed for 3 Hours

2016 exodus line

Image: Reddit

Burning Man was shut down twice when Burners wanted to leave, due to minors that could not be located by their parents. The first Amber alert happened after The Man burn, shutting the gate for at least 30 minutes. Then the Gate was closed on Sunday night for at least 3 hours when a 17 year old girl could not be located.

Here’s what happened:

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It’s a little hard to piece together, since the people here are discussing TWO Amber Alert incidents. Details were reported on BMIR that do not seem to match the actual event.

Reports on BMIR said the 17 year old was last seen at White Ocean. Was this a real incident, or another insider attack designed to “name and shame” those chosen for exclusion from Radical Inclusion?

It is reminiscent of a similar “false AMBER alert” incident in 2012.

Whether the girl was really missing or not, the procedure for “handling” it trapped tens of thousands of disgruntled Burners for most of the night in 18 lanes of Exodus. It foiled the plans of those who chose to skip out early before the Temple burn to beat traffic.

As one Burner said on Facebook “a 17 year old missed curfew! Lock down Los Angeles!”

The age of consent is 16 in Nevada.

Sign the petition to make the largest adult activities event in the world adults-only:

Burning Man exodus on 4 September 2016 was held up for more than three hours with exit to the highway completely blocked by the organization with no evident plan and in a manner that inconvenienced and endangered the lives of thousands queued to leave. Burning Man is a sometimes perilous adventure chock full of adult situations that should only be taken by those who are ready, willing, and able to care for themselves. As the organization clearly does not have well conceived plans for dealing with emergencies involving children and the event is not the place for those who cannot care for themselves, participants under the age of 18 should be banned.

[Sign here]

Why should every adult Burner suffer because of a teenage girl and an inattentive parent? Why should a ranger ignore the wishes of the parent, and punish all Burners?

There are further details on Reddit about the gate also being closed on Saturday night due to an Amber Alert:

Hmmm they had a Amber alert last night as well at 10:10pm after man burn. We got 7 cars from gate. Took about 30 mins. For that situation to resolve.

In 2013, a pedophile was found making plans on Facebook to kidnap a kid at Burning Man. Last year someone was arrested for kidnapping, and there was another arrest for a sex offender failing to register with the police. Then we have this…is it art? Ironic? Or just Creepy AF?

Perhaps it is another one of these frequently occurring coincidences that Hakim Bey, inventor of the Temporary Autonomous Zone and pen pal of Larry Harvey, writes man-boy love stories for NAMBLA. From his Wikipedia page:

Wilson’s freeform poetry, as Hakim Bey, has appeared in Exquisite Corpse, the Panthology and Acolyte Reader anthologies, Gayme, P.A.N., NAMBLA Bulletin, Ganymede,and various samizdat zines. Many of the poems were collected in an unpublished volume DogStar, praised by Burroughs and Ginsberg. Currently his works can be found regularly in publications like Fifth Estate and the NYC-based First of the Month.

self service cult slimEven if you believe that to be nothing more than a mysterious curiosity, the pedophiles have now found out about Burning Man. The annual TAZ city is an idyllic Pirate Utopia for them, as well as a fertile hunting ground for predators targeting impressionable minds of all ages.

We hear “pedophiles” and we think of monsters molesting infants and toddlers. But the real danger is “growing up too fast” teenagers, with hormones raging. It’s dark, it’s dusty, people are wearing makeup and masks and costumes…and let’s face it, 16 year olds want to fuck. Especially at Burning Man, where the 5000-person Orgy Dome is internationally renowned. Let’s not kid ourselves that Burning Man is all face painting and art galleries.

How important are children to our Sacred Principles? As important as nudity? As important as tripping?

Will Flysalen also feature this mix of children, nudity, hallucinogenic culture and self-service cult? Esalen trustee and BMP Director Chip Conley was tweeting from the Playa about bathhouses:

This year, tens of thousands of Burners had to suffer because of BMorg’s vision to mix teenagers, nudity and drugs together in the one government-supported venue.

The first report was on Reddit, approx 9:30pm Sunday night:

They announced it on BMIR. 17 year old with 31 year old boyfriend (?!?!?!) missing since early Sunday morning. Last seen at White Ocean. About 5’5″, 110 lbs, last known items of clothing a white coat and black cat ears.

It seems the boyfriend was 21 or 22, but reported on BMIR as 31. 17 is a minor, and protocol dictates that every single person in the city must be held hostage until the lost minor is found. No medical, family, or work emergency is more important than a 17 year old’s curfew.

Although from Twitter it appears that the gate was only closed for 80 minutes, BMOrg themselves said “3 hours” and Burners who were in the line said “5 hours”, leading to Exodus times between 9 and 24 hours.


The woman just mentioned her missing daughter to a Ranger, thinking she might be able to drive around in someone’s vehicle and look for her. The risk-averse ranger called in the Amber Alert and locked the city down, pooping the party for thousands against the wishes of the parent.

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Burners were not impressed.

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On a lighter note, on Facebook Tim Mehoves came up with

10 ways to know the wrong people are going to Burning Man.

1. They complain about how hard it was to get their ticket…but they got a ticket.

2. They complain about the wait in line to get onto the playa.

3. They complain about the Portos

4. They complain that all the art projects and theme camps aren’t complete by the time they arrive.

5. They complain about the lack of cell charging stations and reception.

6. They complain about the dust.

7. They complain about the inability to sleep because of the sound camp they set up right next to.

8. They complain about the lines for coffee at center camp or ice at Artica.

9. They complain about Larry Harvey not making time to talk to them because “they drove all the way out there”.

10. They complain about the wait in line for Exodus.

TL:DR version…They complain.


77 comments on “False Amber Alerts Imprison Thousands: 17 year old Missed Curfew, Gate Closed for 3 Hours

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  7. It’s not like burners have fake IDs or think the rules don’t apply to them and their children….

    I’m frankly astounded by how many burners think that stupid rules are going to be obeyed by other burners.

    We are all atleast somewhat anarchistic by nature. If a rule makes sense we will normally follow it, but if a rule doesn’t make sense then we’re not going to respect it.

  8. in my experience it seems like it is a certain age rage that causes these problems. Lets not ban kids just anyone who needs a ticket who doesn’t have X number of burns as a child, problem solved.

  9. Are people (Californians?) who think their state’s laws (e.g. age of consent of 18 – it’s 16 in NV as you say) apply in all states the domestic version of USians who think US law applies everywhere in the world?

    • Are you expecting the Borg to ask NV LE about NV law? That acknowledges a deference that the Borg and their comp-ticket cult would not grant, particularly when the alternative is an opportunity to show their power over the event.

  10. Personal experience during the sunday shutdown.

    I was on a motorcycle, I got into the Exodus line at 7:30, I hit Gerlach by 8pm (ish), I was in Reno in a warm hotel bed by 10:15pm.

    My girlfriend was driving the station wagon. She also hit the Exodus line at 7:30. From 8pm to 12:40pm there were no pulses and no exiting. Yeah, that’s a 5 hour closure. She hit gerlach at 4am. I have texts with a timeline.

    Imagine what that means. You are sitting in your car, wondering what might happen, just not moving, hour, after hour, after hour, having no information ( I texted her to turn to BMIR but apparently my FM radio is on the fritz… that is on us … but FM is getting rarer and rarer ). You know it might take a few hours, but…. you’ve made the decision to leave before temple burn, so you think you’re in decent shape.

    Then…. 8 hour exodus. Sitting in your car. Alone. In the cold. All night. At a time when it should be 3-4 hours. No one coming by and telling you what’s happening.

    So tell me HTF a 90 minute gate closure turned into a 8 hour wait? For someone who was already in line? The line was NOT MOVING for **FIVE** hours. It is illegal to turn around, to go back to camp, to find a different exit.

    There’s a whole bunch of questions about whether BM should be 18+ or 21+. And how people should deal with Ranger / LEOs. This can be sorted out …. and needs to. But it was a FIVE HOUR closure and 9 hour exodus times.

    In my opinion, we must be true to radical inclusion. That includes families.

    We do have this event in America, and there are a series of laws now that cause this kind of thing to happen. Spread the word that any report to Rangers MUST be reported to LEOs, and LEOs can take any action they think reasonable. Think of the options they have, as Burning Man is an isolated community. You can only exit through a 20 yard wide corridor – which can be shut down, for weeks if necessary. You have almost no communication – they could ask all cell service be shut down, if necessary. There could be tent-to-tent searches and document checks. Know this. Even though I have friends in the ranger staff, and they are sensible people, they are bound by law to report, as the article points out. Which means we all must be very careful what we say to Rangers, and Rangers will be feared ( just like Police in default world ). If you as a participant don’t like this sense of vulnerability, don’t go to burning man — create a different event elsewhere.

    • As long as they close the BRC airport, I am good with that. …But that won’t happen – they will just “search” the plane, and it will be off to Flysalen, with a banked turn view of the blocked exodus. All it takes is 1 of those 70,000 to report a lost child. Easier than hacking a disco camp.

  11. Burning is an experimental community and always brings new challenges and there are a lot of intriguing, debatable questions around this one. However, I definitely don’t see them (further) modifying the radical inclusion principle to exclude minors. I would guess that Bmorg will discuss this over many meetings and ultimately do nothing.

    Anyone who goes offroad into the desert, let alone BM, should be aware that travel plans are theory. The possibility for delay will just remain a part of the event so prepare to deal with it or leave before Saturday/ after Monday. (Eventually there will be a big rain event on Sunday and everyone will be stuck on the playa for days, low on food, alcohol and water- it will be extremely interesting!)

    The best option is for Bmorg to change their schedule: Burn the man on Friday, temple Saturday and give exodus more time to smooth out. The current schedule is outdated and simply does not account for the massive population growth over 20 odd years. Even after you make it to i80 you have to deal with the ever worsening default-world Labor Day traffic. Cool things will evolve to fill in Sunday after temple burn like Nude Mooping Day, DPW vs. temple crew at Thunderdome, or a mutant car demolition derby…

      • Flysalen could provide an interesting “competition” opportunity. Somehow I think the Flysalen 1%ers will still want to fly in to their luxury BRC digs for the burn weekend so they can say they were there. The Flysalen project will be extra, not in competition with the NV burn. If anything, the Borg hijacking the BRC airport activity from the burners is likely to facilitate manipulation of the flight schedule at the pleasure of the Flysalen patrons, or the highest bidder.

        The NV burn is descending into a chaos that makes the Flysalen fly-in all the more attractive: safe 50-yard seats for the Mad Max experience. Given the mediocre streaming video, I also predict a PPV streaming experience soon – as part of a Flysalen e-membership.

        The rest of the time Flysalen will offer private opportunities, like their Columbus Day Assblast: https://vid.me/pXAX

  12. Burning Man is required to handle missing children reports like this (and yes, a 17 year old is still considered a child according to the law). It would be like if a teacher was informed by one student that another student was being abused…the teacher has to contact the authorities. It’s not up to the parents at that point…it’s called “Mandated Reporting,” and it happens all the time in the real world. Burning Man still has to follow those standards, even if it seems like its own little world.

    For those that think something like this is some dirty trick played by BM (to somehow mess with White Ocean, or anyone else for that matter)…do you have any idea how unpleasant it is for staff and volunteers to deal with this? Trying to find a missing child is an absolute nightmare in BRC. Seriously, it is the absolute worst thing to deal with. If BM really wanted to penalize White Ocean, they could just refuse to place them in the future…end of story. I can assure you that BM does not put hundreds of its own people through hell, just to get a minor dig at some camp. This entire article reeks of ignorance to the various contractual and legal obligations Burning Man must abide by in order to be permitted.

  13. @JV

    Further Future is great, but it doesn’t have the art cars and bicycles.

    The world is waiting for someone to do that. If I was 20 years younger I know what I’d be doing right now.

    Here’s Hakim, aka Peter “Lamb-born” Wilson, dude is a fucking tripper and looks like a pedo for sure. If I found out one of my friends was a pedo I would no longer have anything to do with that person. I wouldn’t even be able to speak to them.

    This is not some peripheral guy to Burning Man. What he’s talking about is the very essence of Burning Man. The words are seductive but there is a darker agenda at his “fractal” core.

    (pirate utopias at 4:50)

    • I’m sure he’s out there and I wouldn’t hire him to babysit. People who suggest new ideas and/or push boundaries are often unsavory characters. I don’t think Larry was interested in Bey’s thoughts on man/boy relations, though, and I haven’t read a single word from Larry that would suggest otherwise.

  14. Well A) people that would prey on teenagers aren’t pedophiles they are efeebophiles, and yes, the distinction is important. B) make Burning Man “adults only” and it becomes exactly what its critics have always claimed it is: a giant party for 20-something Trustifarians. Burning Man is a experiment in community, and communities require people of all ages and abilities. If we believe in the values of BM why wouldn’t those of us who are parents want to raise our kids with those values. I took my son to the regional I am involved with starting when he was 5, and I was never worried about his safety or his impact on other burners. As he grew up there and moved beyond the constant supervision phase of his life, we took sensible precautions. He knew where the No-go areas were, carried and FRS radio at all times, and every one of my fellow rangers and most participants knew who he belonged to and also kept an eye on him. Many strangers came and thanked me for being willing to bring my kid because it made their burn better getting to interact with the kids ( there were about in his age group that ran in a pack)

    The real problem is Burning Man Org’s supine response to increasingly outrageous and unconstitutional demands by Law Enforcement. The Sheriff of Pershing County in particular needs to be told to shut his Mormon ass up, and do something about the child-raping FLDS compunds in his county and leave us the hell alone, and that threat needs to be backed up by several aggressive syaff lawyers willing to sue for civil rights violations of participants

    • Great, allow unlimited young kids and pedophiles, just ban teenagers and efeebophiles.

      The argument that a 22 year old man is “preying” on a 17-year old girl is cute, old fashioned, and nothing to do with the problem here. The girl is clearly old enough to be Self Reliant, and other Burners should not have to suffer for such “teenage allowances”. As far as I can tell nobody is trying to pursue the boyfriend for kidnapping or statutory rape.

      So there’s no crime, and no missing girl. 97% of the city inconvenienced. Imagine if San Francisco said “right, nobody gets off these bridges until we find a lost 17 year old”.

      Your idea of “kids and pedophiles must stay” is argued passionately, and your purpose for them “to keep trustafarians out” suggests you haven’t been to Burning Man for a few years. Why are you so against Family Man? Surely that would be a much more comfortable environment for pedos and efeebos? They wouldn’t even come to Burning Man any more, if the kids went to Family Man instead. I for one would love to go to an experiment in temporary community that wasn’t designed for pedos. Why does our experiment have to be based on a Temporary Autonomous Zone, and so welcoming to pedophiles that we will go to the Supreme Court and sue the government if necessary, to insist that kids and naked adults can freely intermingle.

      • Good news! I got my time machine working!! I picked a Borg “Regional,” Transformus in NC. I had them do two separate events, “Ignite” in June and “Mysteria” in July. Ignite is family, but to enter Mysteria you have to show an ID proving you are over 18 before you get your admission band – which is coded to show that you are not over 21.

        It worked out pretty good. No major paradoxes.

        Also, I had them only allow people to volunteer until after they got their ticket, and set up a great online volunteering web page. I thought that might piss off the Borg and their comp-ticket culture.

        Let me know if you want me to go back and change any of this. (Sorry, but NV and SF are too far away for my time machine. DC is in range, but you can see how I screwed things up when I tried to “fix” the government.)

        • I am fully aware of Transformus, I had a tiny hand in helping it come into being as it was stood up by vets of Playa Del Fuego, the regional I most often attend. PDF has also struggled at various times with an “adults only” policy but, in the end, if you make a seperate even for families, and burners with Kids you are altering the “radical inclusion” principle and self segregating in ways that diminish both experiences. Are kids at a burn sometimes a huge challenge? Yes. One PDF I had the bad luck of camping a few feet away from what turned out to be a camp occupied by a fairly well known figure in the BDSM video world, and Her boyfriend and Girlfriend who were having an *amazing* time from the sound of it. NO, It was not my place to tell them to stop or keep it down, it was my place to control my kid’s exposure , and I did, by moving campsites. No harm, no foul.

          • Awesome, there you go, yet another 18+ festival you have to choose from. Why the desire to make Burning Man like all of those? Especially considering you don’t even go to Burning Man anymore.

          • No, I am good with the disorder that the Borg creates every August in NV. It’s Karma. I was just making an example of how to successfully do the family split, elsewhere. Leave the kids and their parents, and the disco camps at the NV burn.

            Go long on Stanley-Black&Decker.

          • Sure, it’s totally doable, that’s not the issue here. Most of us don’t want a separation like that for Burning Man. We like the fact that kids are included with all the joy and responsibility and, sometimes, inconvenience, that entails. There is no evidential reason for excluding kids from Burning Man, it’s simply a preference.

        • For my fellow time travelers out there, watch out for the floating “clown” paradox. Seems to manifest if you go the the same spacetime coordinates more than once when someone nearby is reading or watching any Stepehen King story. If I find a solution, I’ll let you know.

    • “The real problem is Burning Man Org’s supine response to increasingly outrageous and unconstitutional demands by Law Enforcement.”

      Yes, exactly. As you state, Burnersxxx, there was no crime and your analogy to shutting down LA is apt. There was no official Amber Alert, LEOs did not issue the gate closure, this was all done by the BMORG out of fear of reprisals from out of control local agencies. It does not have to be this way, there are ways to deal with missing minors while not shutting down BRC. And in point of fact, in the history of Burning Man, there has never been a reported case of kidnapping or pedophilia. Just like in the default world, this kind of thing is hyped up far beyond the appropriate concern. And anyway, let’s face it, the people against kids at Burning Man do not hold that opinion out of concern for the kids. You just don’t want kids there so your partying can be made more convenient.

      The rest is a re-post from last year, but I thought I explained my argument pretty well so I’ll paste it here:

      Ever see how kids immediately change a situation on the playa? A group of rowdy, snarky people instantly melt and bend over backwards to gift a fun moment to the kid. I’ve done it myself. THAT is a fucking gift, my friend, one that only can be bestowed by kids. Kids are people, BRC is a city not a party, everyone brings something.

      Kids are resilient, the vast majority of burner parents are responsible, and the helicopter-parent worrying that you are exhibiting is exactly what’s wrong with how our society treats kids “these days.” No more jungle gyms or swingsets on school playgrounds, because what if a kid gets hurt!? No more letting kids roam outside until the streetlights come on because CHILD PREDATORS!! It’s ridiculous. Kids are people, part of society, they not only contribute to but many times elevate a situation by forcing adults to have to think beyond themselves for a second. Viewing that as an inconvenience is narcissistic to the hilt. I’m not saying kids should be allowed everywhere in BRC, nobody is saying that. But if the much vaunted Burner community spirit and hospitality only extends to those who can “contribute” either money or muscle and don’t get in the way of partying, then it’s not worth anything.

      I should add, there are plenty of festivals out there that are 18+ or 21+ only, such as Transformus. Why make Burning Man just another one of those?

      • A) If you say “ravers stay, kids go”, then parents who are passionate about Burning Man will flock to Family Man, since there is nothing else like it.

        B) If you say “kids stay, ravers go”, the ravers will go to all the competition (as you’ve pointed out). Our chance to deliver them something “more than just a rave” will be gone.

        You will be left with Family Man and no Burning Man.

        Plan A is better, because you keep Burning Man and also get a new event, Family Man.

        • ” If you say “kids stay, ravers go”, the ravers will go to all the competition (as you’ve pointed out).”

          I’m sure you know this already, but you just described my ideal Burning Man, ha. Seriously, if all the people truly bothered by kids on the playa decided Burning Man wasn’t for them and started choosing other festivals, there would still be sound camps, and there would also be less people there just looking to party. (And I don’t count you as one of those, FYI). Count me in.

          • Ha. Well Further Future is 21+ only, you’ll like it much better. More ravers, no kids. Same can be said of 99% of music festivals, so you have lots to choose from.

          • I’m sure he’s out there and I wouldn’t hire him to babysit. People who push boundaries are often unsavory characters. I don’t think Larry was interested in Bey’s thoughts on man/boy relations, I haven’t read a single word from him that would suggest otherwise.

        • And by the way, no one is saying “ravers go.” If they and other choose to stop attending Burning Man because there are kids there, that’s their choice. There have been kids at Burning Man since before they, you and I started going, and I believe there will always be kids there, for the better.

          • And there have been pedophiles there from before the beginning … Since it is based on Hakim Bey’s zone ideas

            Larry corresponded with him for quite a while. Check out the “pirate utopia”

          • There are always pedophiles in our midst, on and off the playa. That’s just a sad fact of life. Using that as an excuse to exclude kids at Burning Man is a red herring, and again, I don’t believe for a second that it’s an actual factor in your stance on this topic.

            As for Bey, I’m sure he’s written all kinds of crazy shit, and I’m aware that Larry was in contact with him because of his TAZ writings. Your undying mission to connect dots no matter the yawning chasm in between them is noted.

          • And anyway, have there been any actual reported instances of pedophilia during the 30 years of Burning Man? I’m not talking about 16-17 year old girls, but kids. I don’t think there have been, and even if there were a few, that ratio is still FAR below what happens off the playa, sadly. And I’m pretty sure there have been no kidnappings. So again, where is the evidence for this alleged concern?

          • “So again, where is the evidence for this alleged concern?”

            Uh, how about the exit traffic backup? …Or are you presuming that the Borg will start making rational, non-NPD decisions. Please post any evidence of that!

          • That’s a valid concern and as I stated earlier, the policy around missing kids needs to change. It’s also, to my mind, the ONLY valid controversy around kids at Burning Man. But even if the policy doesn’t change, I would still be strongly in favor of allowing kids. However, that’s not what we were talking about. We were discussing burnersxxx’s selfless concern about the possibility of kids being exposed to pedophiles and/or kidnappers on the playa.

        • Want to add, your A vs. B scenario is totally wrong, anyway. I fail to see how, if the ravers left, we’d lose a chance for them to deliver something “more than just a rave” since the rave aspect is what they mostly deliver.

  15. The Amber Alert is reserved for known abductions. BMorg pulled this a few years back when another angsty teen took off from Kids Camp to sexually liberate herself at the DPW ghetto. Men were detained and searched and treated like pedo kidnappers.

    This abuse of the Amber Alert system by BMorg weakens the effectiveness of the system. When it’s not used for known abductions people will assume the next time is just like the last time – just some girl who got sick of hanging around mom and dad.

    • It would be better to make it an adult event, and have a separate “family Man” event where the Amber Alert system would be required. I’m sure parents would be much more tolerant of sitting in the car for 9 hours while someone’s missing teenager is located, than 75,000 Millenials who’ve been partying for a week. And all the adults who say “kids add so much to the party!” can attend Family Man where they will get much more enjoyment than “Burning Man”, which is a rave.

  16. I think it’s a pretty irresponsible of people to compare the wait times reported by bmir to actual wait times and blame it all on an amber alert shutdown. Every year I’ve left, the bmir time was roughly half my actual wait time, with no amber alerts.

    That being said, I’ve never let my kids out of my, or responsible sitters, sights during the entirity of the event. I wouldn’t even consider bringing them as teens. I know, I’m one of those people so many others hate. However, I accept full responsibility for anything they see, and expect absolutely no one to alter their behaviour or expression because of my choices as a parent. If they see something I don’t want them to, guess what, it’s my fault, and I get to explain it to them. If they get lost, it’s my fault. But, I’ve never had to worry about them getting lost, as explained above. It’s not that hard as kids, and they won’t go as teens.

    I’ve seen some horrible parents out there. The most memorable is the “father” pushing his tenish year old aside (about 10-11 at night), storming off as the kid is crying, screaming “no, dad, please don’t take that, I don’t like you when you take that stuff!”. Coulda meant a toy or privilege, but I’m thinking the kid didn’t want him taking drugs. Just left the kid on the open playa, to find his own way home. Tried helping, but the kid was thankfully wise, and self reliant, and made it home on his own, and didn’t want our help. I don’t blame him, for all he knew we were pedophiles, waiting for our chance.

    But some parents got it, and I’d never worry about them bringing their kids. Others, like the father above, shouldn’t be caring for children, on or off playa.

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