A highly-classified United States Air Force facility called Area 51 has been the subject of alien conspiracy theories for decades.
Sure, we do not know exactly what goes on at the Area 51 facility located within the Nevada Test and Training Range, but it is probably not what the Internet believes (or is it?).
Whatever the case, netizens are curious. In fact, they are so intrigued, a Facebook event page called ‘Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us’ has seen a staggering 1.8 million users confirm their attendance. Furthermore, another 1.3 million people are ‘interested’ in joining this unique call to action. Hosted by a page called ‘S***posting cause im in shambles’, the event is supposed to take place on September 20 between 3 and 6am, Pacific Time.
Obviously planned as a joke, this now-viral sensation has become the butt of memes and Area 51 has once again entered the limelight. Be it alien memes or pictures of well-known people holding bb guns with captions stating ‘let’s storm Area 51’, the Internet is certainly having a load of fun. Another example is of viral videos where aliens are dancing to Bhojpuri numbers and the text states, ‘Me introducing Bhojpuri songs to aliens in Area 51’.
The creator of the page, Matty Roberts, started the plan by posting “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. Let’s see them, aliens.” Naruto-run refers to a superhumanly fast style of running associated with the main character of a popular Japanese anime. The Area 51 map, marked with the point from where everyone will be entering the restricted zone, was also shared.
It is often a tendency of the Internet to go for zany, oft-ridiculous trends, which make for millennial-friendly humour. It is a bit tricky though with Area 51, as it might actually encourage people to attempt entry into the high-security premises. Roberts commented on Facebook, calling this a joke, but expressing concerns that government agents might show up to his house.
Over the years, people have associated the place with secret government projects and alien technology, much inspired by science fiction, while the US Government is quick to dismiss it as an Air Force testing ground. Many claim to be eyewitnesses to ‘the truth’, such as Area 51 whistleblower Bob Lazar, who told podcaster Joe Rogan who allegedly worked with an ‘alien spacecraft’ in one of the Area’s underground facilities. He also happens to be the inspiration for the event.
Now, whatever happens on September 20, the power of social media has yet again found expression and a regular meme-maker has, once again, made it to the front of the trending tab.