In the middle of the Nevada desert, there is a dusty and barren road which leads to the front gates of a remote facility known commonly as Area 51.
This top-secret military base has long been a favorite for conspiracy theorists all over the world, with many people speculating covered-up government work and intel on UFOs and out-of-space weapons.
And, as you are likely to have heard, a group of alien-enthusiasts recently agreed to storm Area 51 in an attempt to uncover its secrets once and for all. The mission, which was ever so professionally organized over Facebook (obviously...), quickly became an internet sensation, with over 3 million people across the world signing up to "see those aliens." Boy, that escalated quickly...
The infamous Facebook group was actually created by Matthew Roberts, who insists that the group was simply one massive joke that got a little out of hand. Well, he tried to insist. Because, obviously, our government wasn't having any of it, and the FBI reportedly turned up at Roberts' home to quiz him about his real motives.
Okay, this must have been pretty damn scary. Keep scrolling to find out why the FBI turned up on his doorstep, and what will be done about his joke-gone-wrong...
Our solar system is a mysterious place.Conspiracy theorists have, for years now, been trying to crack the code of the universe to discover whether there are any other forms of life out there.
The existence of aliens has been speculated for years.Because come on. The universe is so vast that there's no way that we have it all to ourselves.
There are some people who are certain of the possibility of extraterrestrial life.From the Great Pyramid of Giza to the lost city of Atlantis, there are many different mysteries of the world that enthusiastic conspiracy theorists have put down as evidence of alien activity. Though, quite understandably, they are often dismissed as being completely bonkers.
And some believe that our government knows more about aliens than they are letting on...Many conspiracy theorists have long claimed that the U.S. government has a much larger involvement in the hunt for extraterrestrial life than they let us believe.
There's one area in particular that grabs their attention...
via: ShutterstockArea 51 has, for years now, been an alien-enthusiast hot spot. And what exactly goes on inside the compound has lead to decades of wild speculation from UFO fans all across the world.
So, what exactly is Area 51?
via: ShutterstockArea 51 is a United States Air Force facility which is a classified and remote detachment of the Edwards Air Force base, located at Groom Lake in the south of the Nevada desert.
It is a notoriously classified compound.Like any top-secret military facility, few people are allowed to enter the premises, which spurred more suspicion over what goes in within the compound. The borders of Area 51 are not fenced but are marked with orange poles and warning signs which state that security is authorized to use deadly force on people who insist on trespassing. Yikes.
And, as a result, many rumors about the compound's activities have been circulated.
via: ShutterstockThough its only confirmed use is flight-testing, there have been many other speculated happenings within the facility. While it was used by the Army Air Corps as an ariel gunnery range during World War II, there were many reported sightings of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) around the area.
Though the military, of course, attempted to put these rumors to bed.
via: ShutterstockThese mysterious sightings were typically spotted by commercial airline pilots who, back in the 1950s, would only fly at altitudes of around twenty thousand feet. The military claimed that the UFOs spotted by these pilots were actually the U-2 spy jets being tested, which would fly at much higher altitudes than the commercial airplanes.
People remained suspicious, however.Because we've never really trusted our government, have we? The speculations continued, with some people making outlandish claims that the facility was building and repairing crashed alien spacecraft rather than military planes.
And some people have even claimed to have been inside the facility.
via: GettyScientist and American businessman, Bob Lazar, who released the documentary, Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers, in 2018, is credited to be the main whistleblower on the whole Area 51 operation. Lazar briefly worked on the compound and claims to have seen aliens and to have helped to reverse-engineer alien spacecraft during his time on the base.
Though, of course, the government swiftly put his allegations to bed.
via: ShutterstockThe government quickly claimed that Lazar is simply a hoaxer and scam artist who never actually worked anywhere near Area 51. Though, obviously, such a confidential area doesn't have any records, so it’s impossible to prove anything either way.
But now, more people are attempting to access the facility than ever.
via: ShutterstockArea 51 has become somewhat of a tourist hot spot, with thousands of keen alien-hunters traveling across the country (and sometimes the world) to catch a glimpse of the secluded compound.
And one group has taken things to a whole new level...Clearly bored of discussing alien conspiracy theories over the internet in their basements, a group of extraterrestrial enthusiasts have formulated an actual, real-life plan to find out the truth once and for all.
They are planning on breaking into Area 51.Though they may need to remember that storming a top-secret government facility, which may or may not be riddled with aliens, is probably a lot easier said than done.
It started with a Facebook group.
via: FacebookThe Facebook group, which was titled, "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All Of Us," plans on breaking into the secluded compound in the early hours of September 20th this year.
And, believe it or not, millions of people signed up.1.4 million people showed an interest in the event, while a further 2 million actually vowed to attend the movement for alien liberation.
Their inter-planetary war has been rigorously organized.
via: ShutterstockThe ringleader of the group states in the description: "We will all meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction and coordinate our entry. If we Naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets. Let's see them aliens." For those who don't know, "Naruto running" is a meme inspired by an anime character called Naruto Uzumaki, who has a distinctive running style.
The break-in has been carefully plotted out...Because gaining access to one of the most secretive facilities in the world ain't no walk in the park. The last time that someone tried to speed past the site, he was shot. In January, a man carrying an unidentified cylindrical object was shot by the local sheriff’s office after attempting to drive into the site. Though hopefully, their "Naruto running" will solve the problem of flying bullets.
A strict plan of action was drawn out...
via: FacebookLiterally. The group's creator, and overall master strategist, Jackson Barnes, outlined his plan of action and, let's just say, there is plenty of "pebble throwing," "drywall kicking," and "Naruto running" involved.
It was planned for the warriors to be split into 3 groups.There will be the rock throwers, the Naruto runners and the "Kyles" (a team of buff, slightly emo teenagers who frequently kick in drywall). As for the other 500,000 people? Well, I'm sure that they'll enjoy watching the festivities unfold from the sidelines.
And eager members were quick to share their military expertise.One member wrote: "Get the aliens on your side and you might have a chance with some “inside support" like sabotaging the guns.", while another commented, "We use the rock throwers and naruto runners to distract them and the rest of us go underground."
People online were taking it all very seriously.
Storming #Area51 would be irresponsible, illegal and potentially dangerous. Besides, once a secret base is routinel… https://t.co/g3h1gmaiF3— Nick Pope (@Nick Pope)1562796111.0
Most people found the funny side, however.
This is getting so ridiculous and I love it. 😂😂😂 #StormArea51 #Area51 #Aliens 👽 https://t.co/1UzZMl3Z6l— Traumahawk (@Traumahawk)1562587012.0
The creator of the group revealed that he had been trolling people all along.
via: FacebookHa! At the end of his post in the Facebook group, Jackson wrote: "P.S. Hello U.S. 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. I'm not responsible if people decide to actually storm area 51."
But this didn't stop people from wanting to go ahead with the raid.Some of the most dedicated alien-enthusiasts were still taking the event very seriously. So much so that over millions of people remained signed up to the page.
But, finally, their plans were brought to a sudden standstill.Because Facebook removed the infamous page. Uh oh.
It took the group's founder by surprise.Matthew Roberts shared a screenshot of a notification that he claims to have received from Facebook that said that the event had "been taken down by Facebook" because content posted to this event "went against" the site's community standards. The message also said the event creator is able to request a review if they feel this decision is "wrong." But let's be honest, are we exactly surprised it goes against guidelines? After all, encouraging masses of people to meet up at the U.S. military site to "uncover the mystery" and, of course, "see aliens," is probably something that Facebook will want no part in.
Despite creating the Facebook group as a joke, Roberts did set up another page after it was taken down.
via: YouTubeRoberts told CNET that he's been planning an Area 51 festival in Rachel, Nevada, for 20 September - the day that the raid had been scheduled for - which would take place at a site that's not a secret military base/alien habitat. He then said that he created another Facebook event for this, but that the new page was also taken down by Facebook. "I think it's pretty reckless of Facebook, especially because I'm trying to direct people away from storming the base," Roberts explained. "And now I've lost my entire audience." Despite his losses, however, Roberts still expects around a staggering twenty-thousand people to attend the festival.
His festival will happen in Rachel, which is the closest town to the secretive compound.
via: GettyThe newly restored page has a link to the website, Storm Area 51, which has more information about Matthew's festival. The event looks like it will be packed with sci-fi fun, and there’s even Naruto running-related merchandise for the truly dedicated followers to get their hands on. The website explains, "We’re meeting in the town of Rachel, NV- the closest town to Area 51! We traveled out into the desert to speak directly with land-owners about creating an event for people to celebrate the unnatural… they’re totally on board! ‘They’ can’t stop us all from meeting out there… let's have fun! Music, camping, and arts will occur over the weekend until Sunday – we hope to see you there!"
But, despite Matthew's efforts, people still seem set on raiding Area 51.After Roberts announced that the event had been removed, one Facebook user wrote: "We don't need an 'event page' to do work. Everyone is still down, Facebook or not," while another said: "F*** that! We're still going."
Though the majority of people managed to find the funny side.Like one Facebook user, who claimed that "Mark Zuckerberg is one of the alien experiments from area 51." Well, that's a theory I can get on board with.
But there were some people who didn't see the funny side...
via: GettyThe U.S Government, to name one. Since the birth of the "Storm Area 51" revolution, our government has been pretty vocal in their distaste of the event, and have continuously urged people to stay away from the compound.
They have reminded people of the dangers of attempting to raid the site...
via: GettyThe United States Air Force spokeswoman, Laura McAndrews previously said in a statement to the Washington Post: "[Area 51] is an open training range for the US Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces. The US Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets."
And, last week, Matthew had some surprise visitors...
via: GettyEvery person's most dreaded doorstep dwellers... the FBI.
Investigators turned up at Matthew's mom's house.
via: Youtube"So, the FBI showed up at 10 a.m. and contacted my mom, and she calls me like, 'answer your phone the FBI is here," Roberts explained in an interview with ABC. "I was kind of scared at this point."
But Matthew admitted that the FBI's visit wasn't as scary as he had anticipated.
via: Youtube"But they were super cool and just wanted to make sure that I wasn’t an actual terrorist making pipe bombs in the living room." How sweet.
They were also checking up on his own well-being.
via: GettyThe FBI reportedly wanted to check that Roberts wasn’t receiving death threats and that nobody has been trying to radicalize the event. Though Matthew still insists that it has all been a bit of harmless fun: "It’s insane, and I just created a joke while I was playing video games and it has taken off to this wild monster. I want to make this something as a positive, enjoyable, safe, and profitable for the rural area of Nevada."