They’re coming to Area 51. Not the aliens, but the alien enthusiasts.Area 51 has long been a rich piece of American pop culture. Are aliens kept there? Super secret spaceships? Men in black with memory-wiping devices?
The event, which was given the name “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us,” suggests that people from around the world gather in the Nevada desert to invade the site. Almost 2 million people clicked the “going” button on a Facebook page set up by a California man seeking to storm Area 51, the super-secret military base in Nevada, to “see them aliens.” The date for this “raid” is Friday.
The page’s creator disavowed the whole thing and Facebook took down the page, but events are still planned, and that’s led officials in Nevada to worry that thousands of people really will try to get onto the base, potentially creating a crisis situation in the middle of the desert.Local residents of Rachel and Hiko are worried unruly crowds responding to the viral Storm Area 51 Facebook event will overwhelm their tiny community.
How All This Started?
In June 2019, Matty Roberts, a 21-year-old Bakersfield, California, college student, created a Facebook page for an event entitled “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us.” He was just joking. He didn’t believe anyone would take him seriously.The supposed joke event urged people to raid the US government facility on Sept. 20.
“We will all meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction and coordinate our entry,” the original text read. “If we Naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets. Let’s see them aliens.” (“Naruto run” refers to an especially awkward way of running depicted in the Japanese anime Naruto, where main character Naruto Uzumaki flings his arms out behind him.)
The highly classified US Air Force base in southern Nevada. It’s long been a topic of fascination for conspiracy theorists and paranormal enthusiasts who believe it to be the location where the US government stores and hides alien bodies and UFOs.
Roberts said he came up with the idea for the meme page after podcaster Joe Rogan interviewed Area 51 whistleblower Bob Lazar and filmmaker Jeremy Corbell. Lazar claims that he worked with an alien spacecraft while he was employed in one of Area 51’s underground facilities.
The US Air Force warned people that storming its property wouldn’t be taken lightly. But with more than 2 million people RSVPing to attend the event, and at least some of them appearing to be serious, multiple events are now set for the weekend. None, however, promises an illegal raid on military property (at least not officially).
The Air Force promised to stand “ready to protect America and its assets,” so Roberts switched tactics. He started promoting a music festival, Alienstock, to be held this weekend in Rachel, Nevada, one of the closest towns to the base. But he pulled out of the festival last week, because he feared it would turn into a “humanitarian disaster.”
“Due to the lack of infrastructure, poor planning, risk management and blatant disregard for the safety of the expected 10,000+ AlienStock attendees, we decided to pull the plug on the festival,” he wrote on a website for the festival. (Roberts set up a separate festival, the Area 51 Celebration, in downtown Las Vegas.)