Should everything go according to plan, more than half a million strangers will gather in a remote Nevada town in mid-September, united by a common goal: raid Area 51 in the wee hours of the morning – using a strength-in-numbers approach to reveal any extraterrestrial treasures stashed within the notoriously clandestine government base.
Or, put more simply, “Let’s see them, aliens.”
By Friday evening, more than 540,000 people from around the world had signed up to attend the joke Facebook event: “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us,” – and just as many had indicated they were “interested.” Planned for Sept. 20 in Amargosa Valley, an hour’s drive away from Las Vegas, the event page is currently filled with thousands of posts theorizing the best way to break into the top-secret facility.
“We will all meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction and coordinate our entry,” reads a brief description of the event, which was created by popular video game streamer SmyleeKun. “If we naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets.” The latter part of the description references anime ninja Naruto Uzumaki, whose notorious head forward, the arms-behind-the-back running technique has led some to believe it makes them run faster. (It doesn’t).
Most people discussing the raid, including various news outlets that have written about the Facebook event, recognize it’s not intended to be taken seriously. But what about those who don’t? It is not clear exactly how many people, if anyone, will actually show up to lead a blitzkrieg on the Nellis Air Force Base Complex, which houses the land containing Area 51.
Some who’ve posted on the event’s page in recent days have considered that possibility.
“P. S. Hello U.S. government, this is a joke, and I do not actually intend to go ahead with this plan,” wrote user Jackson Barnes, following his rather descriptive proposed game plan. “I just thought it would be funny and get me some thumbs puppies on the Internet. I’m not responsible if people decide to actually storm area 51.”