We’ve all heard the conspiracy theories about Area 51, the US Air Force facility in Nevada. It’s long been a spot frequently discussed by extra-terrestrial enthusiasts, and excitement had been building up all across the summer of 2019.
This summer, the Facebook event “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us” went viral, with millions of users responding to the event planned for the 20th September. It was just a joke though, right? Right?
Area 51 – a joke or serious?
While most people took the event as a joke and stayed home as normal, hundreds of people actually arrived at the facility – in some cases, literally wearing tinfoil hats. About 1,500 people actually turned out in an attempt to ‘storm’ Area 51, but for the most part, the event passed without controversy. There were just a handful of arrests as it was largely all in good spirits.
Of the 1,500 people who turned up, 150 actually got near the gates to Area 51. Technically, they were allowed to do so – they would have only been trespassing if they’d have gone through the gates, in which case the event could have proved disastrous. A woman in her 60s did actually get arrested after doing so; she told her husband and nearby security guards that she was determined to do it regardless of the consequences, and that’s just what she did.
The creator speaks
Two music festivals were also planned alongside the event, in nearby communities to the facility. Most of the revellers stayed at these rather than actually attempt to storm the gates of Area 51, something probably for the best.
Matty Roberts, the creator of the Facebook event, revealed that it was all a joke, and that there was no intention on his part to actually storm Area 51. Nevertheless, some people clearly didn’t get the memo – perhaps because Facebook actually removed the event at one point.
Unfortunately, no aliens or UFOs were seen. However, that probably won’t be enough to put off these alien-hunters. Will they be back again? Or will they stay at home, finding aliens in their video games?
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