Storm Area 51

Calista Self, Staff Writer

What started out as a joke and a widespread internet media meme, became a huge event that influenced businesses in both Nevada and around the United States. The “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us” was an event created on Facebook on June 27, 2019 by Matty Roberts. He publicly announced that the event was for pure fun and comedic, but the event attracted a very large amount of people. Over 2 million people responded to the Facebook event with “going” while another 1.5 million people were “interested” on the event’s page. Because of this massive response, the event received coverage from the widespread media and then became an internet meme.

The Raid Area 51 event’s purpose was to raid Area 51, a United States Air Force facility, on September 20, 2019 in attempt to search for extraterrestrial life. The history of Area 51’s military facility containing alien lifeform began in 1947 when an unidentified flying object landed in Roswell, New Mexico. The US government quickly stated that this unidentified object was an Air Forces weather balloon that had crashed. However, local newspapers in Roswell had information about the object including the announcement of the “capture of a flying saucer”. Conspiracists remain puzzled because the local news should have known it was a weather balloon. The theories suggest that after the crash of 1947, the US military received the object and transported it to Area 51 where it is to this day.

Since the Roswell incident, many people have claimed to witness UFO accounts. Most people claim to see UFOs flying around the air. The spaceships always have a sort of light pattern. Another people have claimed to have been abducted by aliens. In 2014 Paul Hellyer, Canada’s Ex-Defense Minister who was responsible for reforming their military and served years prior, stated at a government related conference that aliens are real, and that the US government has been working with two different kinds of alien species since the 1960s. He also stated that the US should inform its citizens of its operations with the alien lifeform. Bob Lazar worked for the United States government at Area 51 and claimed that he had work on alien spacecrafts and that the government wanted to learn how the spacecraft operated.

The Storm Area 51 event may have started as a joke, but quickly turned into a large event. The US Air Force discouraged people from attempting to enter military property. Nevada Law enforcement also warned people in the event against trespassing. Many businesses profited from the event by making t-shirts and other products for visitors who were attending the event. Even businesses like Bud Light and Arby’s profited from the event by creating special alien themed products for the event. There were two music festivals planned with the Raid Area 51 event. One festival was in Lincoln County, Nevada and the other was Alienstock in Rachel, Nevada. Alienstock was relocated to Las Vegas due to planning issues. On the day of the event, about 150 people showed up to the entrance to Area 51. No one successfully entered the site; however, seven people were arrested due to indecent exposure, alcohol related reasons, and trespassing. There was an estimated 1,500 people that attended the music festivals on the day of the raid.

Despite the original plan to raid Area 51, September 20, 2019 will be remembered as a fun day dedicated to aliens and to show just how big a Facebook event can elevate to. As of now, there are no plans for a annual raid.