Earlier this month, a Facebook event titled “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us” began circulating on social media before breaking into mainstream media. Within days of the event's creation, tens of thousands of Facebook users had marked themselves as “Going” to the event, which will reportedly consist of curious seekers meeting up at the Area 51 Alien Center in Amargosa Valley, Nevada before proceeding to Area 51 itself in order to storm barricades and, as the event puts it, “see them aliens.”
At the time of writing, the event now has close to a million people marked as “Going” and another some 800,000 “Interested” in the event. Are we finally going to see what’s in those hangars?
Don’t count on it. We all know what happens when people attempt to storm past the security checkpoints at the Nevada National Security Site. The site is ringed with signs warning would-be intruders that security forces will use deadly force if necessary, and they mean it.
Still, with so many hundreds of thousands of Facebook users claiming they want to storm Area 51, the risk of at least a small fraction of people going through with their pledge and showing up on September 20, 2019 is fairly high. To attempt to mitigate the risk of having to use force against civilians, the U.S. Air Force has finally issued a warning to anyone thinking that rushing onto a heavily-armed military base is a good idea.
In a statement given to the Washington Post, Air Force spokesperson Laura McAndrews said that Air Force officials are monitoring the event and will respond with whatever force necessary to keep the base off-limits to the public:
[Area 51] is an open training range for the U.S. Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces. The U.S. Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets.
As usual, anything related to disclosure of secret technologies or possible stranger things is framed in terms of “national security.” Whatever may be at Area 51 and other highly classified sections of Edwards Air Force Base and the Nevada Test and Training Range, the U.S. government and military really don’t want you or anyone else knowing about it. Many of the U.S. Armed Forces’ most cutting-edge weapons and aerospace technologies are tested at the site - weapons and technologies the U.S. government would prefer its adversaries remain unaware of.
Will the USAF be forced to deter, arrest, or possibly harm thousands of people this September, or will this movement fizzle out? Maybe we’ll get to see a real world test of the military’s new “Active Denial System” which can blast crowds with skin-searing microwave radiation. Witnessing that alone may be worth attending.
Book your Airbnb now, and start working on that tin foil suit. A hat won't cut it against all those microwaves.