It all started with a small joke — someone created a Facebook event called “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us.”
And while the post was an obvious joke — even including instructions like using the “Naruto run” to avoid guards’ bullets — many people seem to have missed that part, and have taken the idea to heart.
Area 51, part of Edwards Air Force Base, has been the subject of media attention for quite some time, also being featured in various works of fiction.
The common legends surrounding the base vary wildly, but most claim that this is the main holding facility that the US Government uses for captured extraterrestrial lifeforms and technology.
Other speculations claim that Area 51 contains top-secret experimental weapons and serves as the primary research and development center for their production.
Officially, the base is used for testing experimental aircraft and does indeed have an air of secrecy around it.
The event has now gained over a million followers, leading to an official response from US authorities.
The military has reminded people that this is one of the few military installations with standing “shoot on sight” orders for trespassers, and it does not look like they are planning to make any exceptions for a Facebook meme.
Air Force spokesperson Laura McAndrews told ABC News: “The United States Air Force is aware of the Facebook post. The Nevada Test and Training Range is an area where the Air Force tests and trains combat aircraft. As a matter of practice, we do not discuss specific security measures, but any attempt to illegally access military installations or military training areas is dangerous.”
Others have pointed out that the location of the base could make the whole point moot in the first place.
Surrounded by kilometers of harsh desert in all directions, getting to the base without following the official roads is likely going to be quite the challenging trek for anyone interested in taking part in the “assault” on September 20.
Over 1.5 million conspiracy theorists have signed up for the event.
However, some critics do not find the joke funny and wish people would drop it.
A commenter stated: “Area 51 is so stupid like what parent would let their kids near a government property?”
It will be interesting to see how far this joke will go.