Matty Roberts, a college kid living in Bakersfeild California did not expect his meme to get as much attention as it did. On June 27, 2019 Roberts posted to his Facebook page an event called “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop Us All.” On the event page it said that the storming would take place on September 20, 2019 and “If we naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets. Let’s see them aliens.” Naruto running refers to a style of running used by a fictional character from an anime. It is characterized by leaning your body forward and stretching your arms out behind you.
Within a few days “Storm Area 51” meme became national news. It was covered by multiple media sources, like TIME Magazine, the Washington Post, and CNN, and hundreds of memes were being made based on it. “Memes. Like instantly, the second it came out that was the first thing I saw. I had no clue what was happening, so I had to google it for context,” said Jordan Clark, a Junior at Terra Linda High School.
The idea of storming this Air Force base appealed to so many that by the time the Facebook event page was taken down it had over a million people signed up or interested in attending. However, despite the post being taken down, the public kept the thought of the raid alive. Mostly with memes… lots and lots of memes.
This joke caused so much stir within the public that a government spokeswoman, by the name of Laura McAndrews, had to make a statement. She said that the US Air Force has been briefed on the event and then issued a warning to any of those foolish enough to try and raid the government base. McAndrews said, “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.” Despite the warning the public was still ready to head to the infamous Area 51 in September.
So for the next four months people waited in anticipation to see what would happen at this base. The day of the event around 3,000 people(men, women, and children alike) gathered at the gates of the military base. But it was all in good fun.
There were many ‘protesters’ outside holding signs that said stuff like, “Save ET from the government.” “Jesus was an alien.” and “Run faster than their bullets.” For the most part it was peaceful, only a few people were arrested in the end, not for trying to raid the classified base but for public urination.
One may ask: “But why did the idea of raiding this random government base in Nevada get so much attention?‘What makes Area 51 so special?”
Area 51 is a top secret government base historically shrouded in mystery. It wasn’t even formally acknowledged by our government until June 25, 2013. Its secretiveness has caused a lot of people to come up with many conspiracy theories about its operations, the most popular being that aliens or alien technology is being housed there, and on the less extreme end, the government builds and tests advanced weapons there.
Mr. Lubamersky, a history teacher at Terra Linda High School had this to say about Area 51 and its secrets, “I thought it [the Area 51 Raid] was awesome! Let’s find out what the government is up to. What have they been hiding?”
Despite all of its hype, the Raid Area 51 event was no more than a few people goofing around and no aliens were rescued. But if you really think about it, the government knew about the raid for months so if we did storm the base they would have moved all of the top secret stuff. So in the end, Area 51 and all of its secrets remain elusive.