It’s times like these that we’re reminded of what a weird place the internet can be. What has driven millions of people to sign up for the purpose of “storming” Area 51, the US government’s military base? It’s clearly just a bit of fun by internet jokesters, but the US military isn’t laughing.
Currently, there are almost 2 million people who has signed up to the Facebook event “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All Of Us” taking place on September 20th. The group intends to storm the top-secret government facility with one simple mission: “Let’s see them aliens.”
The truth is out there, but it’s probably not at Area 51, the secretive US military base in the Nevada desert that has been the target of alien conspiracy theories for decades. For non-US based readers, Area 51 is a restricted government base in Nevada that is supposedly believed to be where the government conducts tests on aliens, UFOs, and other extraterrestrial secrets.
Area 51, officially named the Nevada Test and Training Range at Groom Lake, is a high-security open training range for the U.S. Air Force in southern Nevada — though the site is still very secretive. The public found out that Area 51 officially existed in August 2013 after Dr. Jeffrey T. Richelson, a senior fellow at the George Washington University National Security Archive, submitted a Freedom of Information Act Request in 2005 for information on the CIA’s Lockheed U-2 plane reconnaissance program, the secret construction and testing of spy planes used to gather intelligence. The request forced the CIA to declassify documents on the history of the U-2 and A-12 OXCART program and the military base where the planes were constructed and tested — Area 51.Source: TIME
It was probably these planes that led to UFO sightings, although none have been confirmed as coming from outer space.
The creators of the page have stated their plans: “We will all meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction and coordinate our entry. If we naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets. Lets see them aliens.” “Naruto run” is a reference to an anime television show in which the main character is a ninja who runs leaning forward with his arms outstretched behind him. Try it yourself. You’ll look ridiculous.Source: New Scientist
It is plainly a joke, as the posts show how ridiculous the “plan” to storm Area 51. One person, who posted a map of the “planned” attack included a postscript.
“P.S. Hello US government, this is a joke, and I do not actually intend to go ahead with this plan. I just thought it would be funny and get me some thumbsy uppies on the internet.”Source: TIME
But if these millions of people do show up to “storm” Area 51, it has been made announced by a spokesperson of the US Air Force, that it is definitely not welcome.
[Area 51] is an open training range for the U.S. Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces,” McAndrews said. “The U.S. Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets.”Source: Laura McAndrews, New Scientist
Chances are if these people do attempt this, they are not going to find much except for some buildings and it is doubtful that they would find any extraterrestrial beings.
But, do aliens exits. Although it has not been scientifically proven (yet *smile*), but there is always a possibility as there are billions, if not millions, of planets that may sustain life and yet to be discovered in this vast universe of ours. Statistically, there might be a planet somewhere that has intelligent lifeforms. Just maybe not in Area 51.
“Most laughter doesn’t follow jokes and other conscious attempts at humour. It comes from playful interactions with other people. One of the reasons why social media is as powerful as it is, it’s really an extension of the play group,” says Robert Provine at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He studies laughter and how it spreads among people, and says the audience plays as much a role as the jokester. “If there wasn’t an audience, they wouldn’t do it.”Source: New Scientist
This event has given birth to plenty of memes online. Even brand companies are jumping on the bandwagon.
So, will they actually show up in Nevada on September 20th? Will they be held responsible for any civilians who do attempt to storm Area 51? I assume that as we get closer and closer to September, the fad will begin to die out and we’ll become fixated on the next chapter of internet absurdity.
A/N: While I do not condone storming Area 51 on September 20th but for those planning on going, best of luck seeing them aliens.