January 25, 2021

Storm Area 51

“Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us”, commonly referred to as Raid Area 51, Storm Area 51, or Area 51 Raid, was an American Facebook event that took place on September 20, 2019, at Area 51, a United States Air Force (USAF) facility within the Nevada Test and Training Range. The event, created by Matty Roberts on June 27, 2019, would involve raiding the site in a search for extraterrestrial life. More than 2 million people responded “going” and 1.5 million “interested” on the event’s page, which subsequently attracted widespread media reaction and caused the event to become an Internet meme. Roberts later stated that the event was purely comedic, and disavowed responsibility for any casualties were there any actual attempts to raid the military base.

On the day of the event, only about 150 people were reported to have shown up at the entrance to Area 51, with none succeeding in entering the site. Two music festivals were planned to coincide with the event: Alienstock in Rachel, Nevada and Storm Area 51 Basecamp in Hiko, Nevada. An estimated 1,500 people attended these festivals, according to state and local law enforcement. Air Force spokeswoman Laura McAndrews stated government officials were briefed on the event and discouraged people from attempting to enter military property. Nevada law enforcement also warned potential participants in the event against trespassing. The event had an effect on businesses both locally in Nevada and around the United States, which prepared products for visitors and those attending the event.

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