The Storming of Area 51



Guard Gate at Area 51 (Groom Lake, Dreamland) near Rachel, Nevada (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)

Oliver Jamias, Contributor

During the summer of 2019, a post proposing the raid of secret US military air base, Area 51 on September 20, gained a massive amount of popularity. A multitude of different reactions have been made to this, ranging from memes and jokes to the U.S. military itself sending out a warning to all potential raiders. Nearby animal shelters have taken this opportunity to advertise their animals and to try to give them a new home, while the nearest hotels in the area have all been booked, most likely by people who saw the post. About 2 million people from around the world have “RSVP’d” to the event, making the possibility of a few people actually attempting to raid it a chance. While it is very slime, it is still very present.

The creator of the original Facebook post, Matty Roberts, originally made the post as a joke and has gotten concerned about what will happen, especially since over 1 million people have signed up to the raid.”I don’t want anyone to get hurt. This came up as a pure struck of imagination, it was meant to be funny. “To discourage people from running headfirst into danger, Roberts has stated that he would like to turn the attack into a music festival. During an interview, Roberts stated what he wants to transform the hypothetical raid into, “a bunch of different musical artists, everybody from the EDM world and then maybe some indie rock, maybe some smaller guys that are up and coming.” By doing this, everyone who actually turns up can participate in an event that is once-in-a-lifetime, and not in the same way that attacking a military base is.

At first, the U.S. military did not really care that much, although they have declared that they are willing to use force in the case of an actual attack. In the early stages after the announcement of the raid, U.S. aerospace historian Peter Merlin showed little concern when being asked about the raid. “The security guards could just sit back and wait. They don’t have to do anything if they don’t want to. The desert will take care of these people.”

However, as time went on and more and more people (jokingly) announced their intentions to join the raid, the U.S. military has gotten more and more concerned. U.S. Air Force spokeswoman Laura McAndrews has made a public declaration discouraging people who are planning to charge into the air base. “[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.”

With the post dictating the invasion of the air base gaining a massive amount of popularity, it could either go one of two ways: the original post’s creator succeeds in turning this into a festival for people to celebrate being a part of, or people who actually show up get confronted by the U.S. military and potentially injured. Only time will tell now.