Area 51: From viral to Vegas


Ava Charnley , staff writer

Soon after the iconic “Storming Area 51” post by Matty Roberts went viral on Facebook on Aug. 10, 2019 at 10:28 p.m,. people started taking this post seriously. This joke was taken farther than any one of us could have imagined. People were setting up times to actually storm Area 51. The government frowned upon 2 million people storming Area 51 and worried about the other 1.5 million who were interested in the raid. It is understandable why though: no one really needs to be storming a government facility. 

Area 51 is a remote government facility that has only been confirmed to be a test flight area for The United States Air Force. The government  did not acknowledge that Area 51 existed until the year 2013 when they released that Area 51 was just a facility for test flights. People all around the world have created theories and  conspiracies all revolving around the idea that aliens and alien technology (a.k.a. UFOs) are being held there in secret underground bunkers.  

What ensued was hard to predict. Social media went crazy with more “storming Area 51” memes than we can count, and soon it became evident that many people were foolish enough to actually consider storming the area. “Free the Aliens!”and “I’m gonna get me an alien” has also been a dominant trend in memes and YouTube videos around the world.  The United States Air Force spoke up and strongly advised the public to stay away. In response to the United States Air Force’s warning, the mind behind the original meme decided that he wanted to create Alienstock.

 As Matty Roberts said, “Alienstock is a brand that stands for unity and concern for like-minded people.” That may be true, and this new idea was supposed to be intended for people who were interested in extraterrestrial life. Unfortunately, the first location for Alienstock was not exactly ideal considering that over 100,000 people planned on coming. 

The plan was to have it in Rachel, Nevada the closest town to the secret government site, which has exactly 54 live-in residents. The town only has one hotel and it was already completely booked before the idea of Alienstock was mentioned. It also has very few public restrooms; space and sanitation could have been a big problem if Alienstock was hosted there. Not to mention a town that small may not even have enough supplies or gas for all the people who were wanting to attend Alienstock.

After those main issues were addressed, Matty Roberts realized he was going to need a bigger place to host Alienstock. It will now be hosted at the Downtown Las Vegas Event Center on September 19 at 8 p.m. You have to be 21 years or older to attend the event, and admission is free of charge.

However, even with this new plan for people to go to The Downtown Las Vegas Event Center, people still showed up in Rachel, Nevada, ready for Alienstock and setting up basecamps. The Las Vegas Channel 8 news says that over 2,000 people showed up for Alienstock in Rachel, Nevada. At least five people have already been arrested for attempting to “storm Area 51.” With the festivities still going, what is going to happen by the end? And what do the people of Rachel, Nevada think? One can only imagine.

 Just think about it like this: in 100 years people will look back at these memes and probably have some of the strangest questions. This truly shows that you never know what is going to go viral on the World Wide Web. Even the idea of storming Area 51 can become a worldwide sensation.