Roughly 1.3 million people on Facebook have enlisted on a mission to uncover the mystery of Area 51: Does the complex have aliens?
A tongue-in-cheek Facebook event dubbed “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us” rested at 1.3 million mark as of Tuesday morning with another million interested, well over double the nearly half-million people who had signed up just a few days earlier to storm the base in the early morning hours of Sept. 20. According to the event details on Facebook, the plan is to meet at the Area 51 Alien Center in Amargosa Valley and coordinate an entry.
“If we Naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets,” the event details stated. “Lets see them aliens.”
The “Naruto run” is in reference to a special style of running of the main character, Naruto Uzumaki, in “Naruto,” a Japanese anime series. The character’s run consists of pointing his torso forward with his arms behind his back and sprinting forward.
In an email, a spokesperson for the Air Force said it was aware of the Facebook post. “The Nevada Test and Training Range is an area where the Air Force tests and trains combat aircraft,” the statement read. “As a matter of practice, we do not discuss specific security measures, but any attempt to illegally access military installations or military training areas is dangerous.”
The event’s organizers maintain the whole event is a joke. “P.S. Hello US government, this is a joke, and I do not actually intend to go ahead with this plan,” part of the pinned post read on the event page. “I just thought it would be funny and get me some thumbsy uppies on the internet.”
For decades, Area 51 has been on a list for conspiracy theorists that believe the complex is where the U.S. government has been studying or keeping extraterrestrial life forms in captivity. According to a report in the New York Times, “The existence of Area 51 was formally acknowledged by the federal government in 2013 when the C.I.A. released a classified report on spy planes that were tested there beginning in the 1950s.”
In another part of the pinned post, it states “to anyone actually thinking of storming area 51, there isn’t any UFO’s or anything of extraterrestrial origin there its a research base, this has been confirmed by Bob Lazar (if you don’t know who he is, Google him).”
According to information in a report from Fox 5 in Washington D.C., “in a 1989 television interview, Lazar famously claimed to have worked on reverse engineering alien spacecraft technology at a site called “S4,” located south of the main Area 51 location.” Lazar called the event misguided in an Instagram post. “I have to comment on this ‘Storm Area 51’ thing,” the post read. “I do understand it was started as a joke by someone, but there are a number of people who are actually planning on showing up,” the post stated. “This is a misguided idea. Area 51 is a classified research base. There are no aliens or alien technology located there. The only place there was ever any alien technology was at Site S4, south of Area 51 proper. That was 30 years ago. S4 may have moved decades ago or it’s possible it’s no longer being used for the project. I do not support this ‘movement’. The last time someone tried to get in to Area 51 he was shot. This is not the way to go about trying to get more information. What is good, is the interest in the subject – the science and technology. That is what would immediately change the world we live in.”
Lazar’s history is highlighted in a show on Netflix: “Bob Lazar, Area 51 & Flying Saucers.”
According to a report in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, some business owners in Nevada are expecting an influx of people to show up on Sept. 20. George Harris, owner of the Alien Research Center in Hiko, is “expecting to be overrun,” according to the Review-Journal report. “Everybody goes, ‘Yeah, yeah, let’s do that. It’s funny,’” Harris said in the report. “Well, it’s a great joke, and now it’s not a joke anymore, because you got 25,000 people that are going to show up to it.”
The attraction typically gets about 125 visitors a day, Harris said in the report.
Co-owner Connie West of Little A’le’Inn is also expecting quite a few people to show up. In the Review-Journal’s report, West said all of her 10 rooms were already booked up for Sept. 20, though she still has 30 acres of campground available as well. “I think a lot more people are going to come out here than some of the locals think,” she said in the R-J story.
Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @MeehanLv
A closer look
See our Facebook page for more on the mystery of Area 51, including a video