Man Who Started ‘Storm Area 51’ Did It as a Joke and Now He’s Freaking Out | 22 Words

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. Though what actually happens behind the gates has always remained a mystery... Until now.

One group of alien-enthusiasts have announced their plans to storm Area 51 in an attempt to uncover its secrets once and for all. The mission has been ever so professionally organized over Facebook (obviously), and a staggering number of people have since signed up to uncover one of our country's most talked-about secrets.

And now it seems what started as a joke may have become very serious as the U.S. Air Force has issued a "stern" warning to those who are brave enough to embark on this quest to hunt down aliens.

As for the guy who initially started all this? Well, he's finally revealed his identity and is apparently freaking out... keep scrolling to find out who he is and why he's so worried.


Our solar system is a mysterious place.

Conspiracy theorists have, for years now, been trying to crack the code of the universe and 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.

Though 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 US 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...

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Area 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?

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Area 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.

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Though 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.

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These 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.

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Scientist 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.

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The 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.

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Area 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.

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The Facebook group, which is 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, hundreds of thousands of people have signed up.

At the time of writing, 309,000 people have shown their interest in the event, while a further 283,000 have vowed to actually attend the movement for alien liberation.

Their inter-planetary war has been rigorously organized.

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The 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 has been drawn out...

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Literally. 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," "dry wall kicking," and "Naruto running" involved.

The warriors will 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, we're sure that they'll enjoy watching the festivities unfold from the sidelines.

The other members have been 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."

And some people online are taking it all very seriously.

Like this Twitter user, who shared his concern about breaking into the facility. Oh, and his dismay over the fact that the aliens have most definitely been moved already. Duh.

Most people found the funny side, however.

Because come on. The whole thing is obviously a bluff!

The creator of the group was trolling you all along.

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Ha! At the end of his post in the Facebook group, Jackson wrote: "P.S. 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. I'm not responsible if people decide to actually storm area 51."

However, people have taken this plan seriously...

This is not a joke to some, as news is spreading that some people are actually planning on going ahead with the alien hunt!

Over 1,000,000 people have signed up for the group titled "Storm Area 51, they can’t stop all of us."

Let's be honest, if you were planning on going ahead with such an outrageous plan, you'd at least try to keep the whole thing a secret just in case the government or the army found out, wouldn't you?

Because that's exactly what happened. The army found out.

Laura McAndrews, Air Force spokesperson, has released a warning to all of those involved in the plan. "[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," she warned.

She also added this:

"The US Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets." We honestly don't understand how people think that they could actually get away with something like this. It was all good and well when it was a joke, but, obviously, there are some people that just have to take it further.

Well, after that stern warning, we can't help but wonder how the guy who actually started all of this is feeling.

If that were us, we'd be pretty worried.

But it seems like we don't have to wonder any longer, as the guy who initially started the raid campaign has revealed himself.

After his page exploded online, sending the internet into an alien-inspired frenzy (that's probably an understatement), he's been left feeling rather uneasy about the situation (also another huge understatement).

So, who is he?

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Well, Matty Roberts from California has admitted to being the one who started the storming Area 51 page and launching the raid campaign. Roberts spoke to CNN about his page; he claimed that he only began it as some light-hearted fun. In his interview, he filled us all in on his motives and how he initially came up with the bizarre idea...

Although he was reluctant to do so, and with very good reason...

He was said to be terrified of being tracked down by the authorities. And we don't blame him, they seriously aren't a force to be reckoned with, especially after their warning to potential raiders.

And we can't help but think that he's revealed himself out of "insurance."

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Roberts didn't reveal his age or hometown, presumably out of a fear of the government coming to his house and issuing him another stern warning.

He likely agreed to reveal his identity for insurance. After all, it's a common notion that, if the public knows that you exist, they’ll know if you go missing.

Obviously, we're all wondering how he came up with the idea for the event, and it turns out that it has something to do with this guy.

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Was he a huge alien-enthusiast, avid conspiracy theorist, did he simply fancy himself as a bit of a joker? No, it seems that he was just really into his podcasts... Remember how we mentioned Bob Lazar? Well, Roberts said that he came up with the idea for the raid event after listening to Joe Rogan’s podcast interview with Lazar and filmmaker, Jeremy Corbell. Lazar is a well-known figurehead among the Area 51 conspiracy theorists, as he claims to have worked on alien spacecraft during his time working at the base, so we aren't entirely surprised that he was a source of inspiration.

But he didn't actually set up the page because he was passionate about the conspiracy theory.

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Well, not completely anyway. Speaking with NPR under the pseudonym Val, Roberts admitted that he set it up because he "thought it would be a funny idea for the meme page."

And Roberts has since been quick to emphasize that the page is entirely satirical.

"It just took off like wildfire. It’s entirely satirical though, and most people seem to understand that," he explained. The keyword here is "most," because, as we know, some avid supporters still plan on going ahead with the raid.

Of course, some people think that him showing is face is a conspiracy in itself.

Although, let's be honest, it's a bit of a stretch. Ultimately, all we can do is wait until September to see what happens. Despite warnings, will some of the event's enthusiasts still attempt to carry out the plan? Who knows? We hope not though, as it would definitely be quite a dumb move. At least one thing we do know is that Roberts certainly won't be joining them on their quest.

And while the whole thing may have gone a little south, it has been the source of some phenomenal memes.

Roberts may be sat in his bedroom paranoid that the FBI are going to come knocking, but he did fulfill his main purpose of creating the event... memes. Since the page went viral, it has been a source of countless memes, and some of them are utterly incredible. Check out the very best below.