One of the worst things about Facebook is that it gives you a front row seat to how incredibly stupid and gullible many of your friends and family members can be. We all know people who are constantly falling for hoaxes, sharing impossibly dumb memes, and treating Babylon Bee articles seriously. Chances are, many of us probably also know someone who has joined the Storm Area 51 event scheduled for September 20. Not only would it be a really bad idea to participate in the event, it’s also a joke.
In an exclusive interview with the Las Vegas CBS affiliate KLAS-TV, the creator of the Facebook page spoke publicly about the event for the first time since it went viral.
Matty Roberts chose to stay anonymous after Storm Area 51 began picking up steam because he was afraid he would get in trouble with the authorities. He explained to the reporter, “I posted it on like June 27th and it was kind of a joke. And then it waited for like three days, like 40 people, and then it just completely took off, out of nowhere. It’s pretty wild.” He added that he thought, “The FBI is going to show up at my house and it got a little spooky from there.”
At publishing time more than 1.5 million people had pledged to attend the event, with another 1.1 million saying they’re considering it.
On the event’s Facebook page, Roberts wrote, “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. Lets see them aliens.”
“STORM AREA 51” a joke that became a viral sensation. (Video) https://t.co/SPJCwbSNR4
— George Knapp (@g_knapp) July 18, 2019
Many people are probably unaware that “Naruto run” is a reference to a popular anime show. Even if you were unaware of the reference, the event page is obviously intended as a joke. However, and unsurprisingly, many people have taken it seriously, forcing the U.S. Air Force to issue a warning.
During the interview with KLAS-TV, Matty Roberts explained that:
He got the idea after watching podcaster Joe Rogan interview Area 51 whistleblower Bob Lazar and filmmaker Jeremy Corbell about alleged UFO technology hidden in the Nevada desert. That story about the secret base has spawned its own mythology, along with the world’s only state designated extraterrestrial highway. Joke or not, businesses on both ends of that stretch of road are now preparing for an invasion of visitors.
While the Facebook event may be a boon for business in the small town of Rachel, Nev., that borders Area 51, it may also prove deadly for those who participate. Not only is the U.S. government fully capable of stopping any number of idiots who try and storm the secretive military base, but the harsh climate could prove fatal to those unprepared. As the article warns, “People who go need to be self-sufficient, have water, food and a reliable vehicle because services are limited.”
Public interest about Area 51 has only grown since the Pentagon revealed that it once funded a UFO study in Nevada. The renewed interest in UFOs helped spur on the Storm Area 51 event going viral. Let’s hope that none of our friends and family members are among the idiots taking the Storm Area 51 event seriously.