“They can’t stop us all”: Meme creates a frenzy to storm Area 51


Out of a poll of 101 students, the belief of aliens in Area 51 beats the disbelief by 2%. In June, a twitter craze created an event to storm the government facility to prove or disprove the theory.

About 120 miles northwest from Las Vegas, there is a highly classified, government restricted area for the testing and training of combat air crafts for the United States Air force. It is heavily guarded by armed guards and it cannot be entered unless one has permission from air traffic control. 

However, Twitter sees this extremely hidden area as a way to make extraterrestrial friends. 

“It only had a few thousand people on it (when I first saw the meme) and then it suddenly blew up,” senior Savannah McCracken said. 

It all began in June when 21-year-old college student Matty Roberts posted the idea to “storm Area 51” on Sept. 20 to find aliens. So far there has been millions of retweets, multiple trespassers arrested, and an abundance of memes made about the Area 51 “raid”. 

“I think it’s really stupid that it took over the internet so fast, but it shows how we don’t trust the government,” junior Kyle Iving said. 

The mass media coverage by Fox News and the LA Times brought it to the surface and began to scare those that control the government facility. The raid has since been cancelled by the founder, but people still plan on coming.

“I think it’s going to turn into a protest outside (Area 51) and nothing much is going to happen, because they won’t actually make it in there,” Iving said. 

Some have used this event for social media fame or even for votes. 2020 democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang used the phenomenon in his campaign. His promise is to reveal the secrets of Area 51 in order to promote his view on government transparency. 

“If he goes into detail about what’s going on in there, it is an act of treason,” Astronomy teacher Steve Russillio said. “He doesn’t seem like a serious presidential candidate.”

Every country that is serious about their military has top secret bases,”

— Astronomy teacher Steve Russillo

The Air Force responded to the internet storm by saying they will not discuss the exact security measures, but warned those of the dangers of a raid. They then sent reinforcements on Sept. 17, since they must take any threat seriously. 

“Every country that is serious about their military has top secret bases,” Russillo said. 

Similar to Russillo, the government argues that the nation deserves to have its secrets protected. 

“I am very (pro government transparency),” McCracken said, “but also, governments keeping secrets from civilians makes sense, especially when we’re in the age of technology where anyone can post anything.”

The possibility of American technology getting into the wrong hands can be a disaster, so the government takes the necessary precautions to keep such things hidden. 

On September 10 two youtubers from the Netherlands showed up early to make a video, but were immediately arrested for trespassing on the grounds. This threat was easily neutralized, but there could be anywhere from 10,000 to over a million more on the way. 

“They’re going to neutralize whatever threat they perceive you to be,” Russillo said. 

However, the current severity of the event that was once an innocent joke on twitter may deter alien-searchers.

“If anybody does go, I feel like it won’t go very well for them,” McCracken said. 

Like many others, McCracken believes that there is something other than air crafts in Area 51.

“I think that if there’s nothing in (Area 51), it’s just a distraction for the secret facility that actually has the aliens,” McCracken said.

On the other side, those like Russillo and Iving see the event as blasphemy and disbelieve the possibility of alien research at the facility.

The internet craze to see the aliens could go very badly for those that attempt the intended raid, but the possible success of finding extraterrestrial beings keeps the searchers interested. 

“I don’t trust the government 100 percent, but I don’t think there are aliens in there,” Iving said.