Students share thoughts on Area 51 Raid

Luke Taylor, Staff Reporter

Logan Raschke

One of the most popular memes across the internet this summer has been the concept of a raid on Area 51.

The Air Force base is known for being highly restricted and secretive, and many conspiracy theorists believe that the government is using it to hide evidence of aliens.

This theory has been around for years, but the sudden popularity of a meme centered around it was caused by one man: Matty Roberts.

This June, the college student made a Facebook event: “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us.”

The event description was “We will all meet up in Rural Nevada and coordinate our parties. If we Naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets. Let’s see them aliens.”

Millions of Facebook users indicated that they were “Going” or “Interested” in the event, and the meme quickly spread to other social media platforms.

Roberts told the LA Times that the whole thing was unintentional.

“I sparked a movement while I was bored at 2 a.m.,” Roberts said.

He scheduled the event for Sept. 20, but the effect of the joke has been felt far before the actual day, from “my alien I stole from Area 51” jokes to statements from the U.S. Air Force warning civilians not to go through with the raid to television news reporters worrying about the state of younger generations.

College students at Eastern do not seem so concerned.

Maddie Monan, freshman neuroscience major, feels it brought people together this summer.

“I think it is the most wonderful display of camaraderie this country has ever seen,” Monan said.

Becca Nation, freshman history major, mostly agreed.

“It’s a beautiful representation of culture and working together, but it’s also a death wish,” Nation said. “Let’s clap some alien cheeks.”

“Clapping alien cheeks” is slang for having intercourse with an alien.

While many students may hold the same sentiment, it is hard to say whether the turnout will be good for the event itself.

Two YouTubers have already made an attempt to get into Area 51, but it ended in their arrests.

Ties Granzier and Govert Charles Wilhelmus Jacob Sweep  were detained by the Nye County Sheriff’s Office.

In a press release, sheriff’s officials said they found the two men about three miles inside the site and found a phone, laptop and drone inside their car.

Sweep and Granzier’s arrests may deter some alien hunters, but others argue they should have followed the plan and waited for the right day; as the Facebook event said, “they can’t stop all of us.”

Mickayla Upton, sophomore digital media major, was all ready to go.

“I’ll be there, I’m honestly there for a good time,” she said, but later said she realized she might need some gas money.

From all outward signs, government officials are taking the situation seriously, and the Federal Aviation Administration has banned flights over Area 51.

There will be a much more legal event happening 150 miles away in Las Vegas for anyone who makes the journey out.

The Area 51 Facebook event has been renamed “Official Alienstock Tour,” and the description boasts, “Now you can party with Matty Roberts and meet the guys who were visited by the FBI, who forced the government to respond to a meme!”

While the party may be enough for some meme connoisseurs, others feel that not going through with the raid at this point would be a letdown.

Whether the raid happens or not, Friday will go down in both cryptid and meme history.

Olivia Davis, freshman Psychology major, shares popular excitement.

“It’s very entertaining—I’m just going to sit back and watch,” Davis said.

Luke Taylor can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].