What started as a Facebook event joke has turned into something the United States Air Force felt the need to address. Through the magic of the internet, the Facebook event Storm Area 51 got so much attention that the U.S. Air Force issued a response to anyone who plans on raiding the training base. Unlike the original event, the U.S. Air Force doesn’t have the humorous angle to its words, saying the military “stands ready” to defend the base and discourages anyone from trying to enter.
The event, titled “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us” was created on June 27 and has since had over a million people respond with “going” and over 900,000 “interested” in attending. The event’s description calls for attendees to meet at the “Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction” on September 20 and “Naruto run” to move faster than the military’s bullets, referring to a style of running with arms stretched backward and head tilted forward. The event ends with the summary, “Let’s see them aliens.”
Area 51 has long been a place of controversy, with many believing it’s where the U.S. military hides knowledge of extraterrestrial life. Rumors escalated following the 1947 Roswell balloon crash, where people believed the military found a crashed UFO and took it to Area 51 for research. The entirety of Area 51 was kept under tight secrecy until 2013, when the U.S. military finally acknowledged its existence as an Air Force research base. Despite the insistence that no aliens exist there, the top-secret nature of all Area 51 activities keeps people curious and fuels the imagination of UFO enthusiasts.
As the event grew in popularity, so did the jokes and engagement. One Facebook user, Jackson Barnes, even formulated an invasion plan that has since been pinned to the Facebook group discussion. The plan details several “battalions” charging the base, with the “Naruto runners” serving as the left and right flanks. The frontlines would be made of up “Kyles,” a slang term for a stereotypical angry white male teenager.
The post came with the following disclaimer:
“Hello US government, this is a joke, and I do not actually intend to go ahead with this plan. I just thought it would be funny and get me some thumbsy uppies on the internet.”
With the event exploding across the internet, the U.S. Air Force issued a statement to those who would potentially take the event seriously and try to raid Area 51. While the internet has found humor in every form from the situation, the U.S. Air Force didn’t take the event quite as lightly:
“[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.”
It would be wise to err on the side of caution and take the military at its word. There are multiple signs posted at Area 51 authorizing the use of lethal force against trespassers, and breaking into a military base is illegal at best and a death sentence at worst. Even this past January, a man was shot and killed for driving past the gate of a Nevada National Security Site and refusing to listen to orders.
That said, if the memes are to be believed, even bullets won’t deter thousands of devil-may-care alien enthusiasts, as Redditor frozen_pope pointed out with a well-placed Sonic movie reaction image.
Though most people will take the event as the joke that it is, there are usually some out there who go too far. On behalf of the former, please exercise caution and do not die Naruto-running onto a U.S. military base.
[Image Credit: Waldesanto_ and sadfilipinokid on TikTok]
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