Area 51: A Raid in Review

Were we able to "See them aliens"?


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RACHEL, NEVADA - JULY 22: An Extraterrestrial Highway sign covered with stickers is seen along state route 375 on July 22, 2019 near Rachel, Nevada. State officials drew inspiration from the alien legends at the nearby top-secret military installation known as Area 51 and dubbed the 98 mile route from U.S. highway 93 to U.S. highway 6, the Extraterrestrial Highway in February 1996. A Facebook event entitled, "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us," which the author stated was meant as a joke, calls for people to storm the highly classified U.S. Air Force facility near Rachel on September 20, 2019, to address a conspiracy theory that the U.S. government is conducting tests with space aliens. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Unless you’ve been living under an asteroid for the past few months, I’m sure you’ve heard of the Area 51 Raid. For those who haven’t, the raid on Area 51 is an internet meme sparked by a comedic Facebook event, which was posted by a college student by the name of Matty Roberts. His post, which was obviously intended to be a joke, soon went viral after blowing up on Reddit, and over the months leading up to the planned raid date of September 20th, 2019, over 2 million Facebook users RSVP’d to the event. The original post, which was titled “Storm Area 51- They Can’t Stop All of Us” encouraged Facebook users to storm the top-secret U.S. military base together in an attempt to “See them aliens”.  Roberts also joked that “if we Naruto run, we can outrun their bullets”, a reference to the popular anime show Naruto. However, despite the harmless intentions of the post, the number of people who responded raised concerns that led the U.S. Air Force to make a public statement warning people to stay away from Area 51. However, what really happened on the morning of September 20th is still a mystery to many, and so that’s what we’re going to talk about next.

The raid on Area 51 not only attracted thousands of alien hunters and conspiracy theorists from across the nation, but it also led to several other alien-themed events planned around the same time. Primarily among these was Alienstock, which was supposed to be an alien-themed EDM (Electronic Dance Music) concert in the desert. Matty Roberts, the original creator of the event, created Alienstock as an alternative to actually trying to storm Area 51 and attempt to channel the alien-loving energy that millions of people shared into a music festival. However, due to the difficulty of hosting a music festival in the middle of the desert as well as the fake reports of an Alienstock cancellation, the event didn’t go quite as planned. Several lawsuits are now pending against Matty Roberts for his involvement in the event, but nothing has been determined as of now. Around 100 people showed up to the actual raid, but unfortunately, they were not able to “see them aliens” as they had hoped. However, there was still plenty of action for the spectators, as one of the attendees of the raid was arrested for urinating on the fence of the top-secret Air Force base during the early hours of the morning.

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Attendees dance as a DJ plays music at Alienstock festival on the “Extraterrestrial Highway” in Rachel, Nevada on September 20, 2019. (Photo by Bridget BENNETT / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRIDGET BENNETT/AFP/Getty Images)


All in all, the raid on Area 51 was for the most part a failure. No aliens were confirmed to have been freed from the base, and the celebrity alien ET is still officially designated as MIA (Missing in Action.) It did, however, prove that no meme is too small, and no dream is too big. If a college student can convince millions of people around the world to want to storm Area 51 and “see them aliens”, then there truly is no limit to the abilities of the human race. With this in mind, we can hope that one day, we will actually be able to free the aliens and learn all of the secrets of our universe.