660,000 Sign Up to Take Area 51 By Storm and ‘See Them Aliens’
As of today, there are almost 660,000 people who’ve signed up to attend a Facebook event on September 20. What’s all the fuss about? They are (mostly) joking about a proposed “plan” to get inside the heavily guarded Area 51 military installation.
The event is called "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us" and it jokingly tells people: “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. Let’s see them aliens.”
‘Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us.’ (facebook.com)
There are certainly people out there who are curious to see what Area 51 holds, but, if you hadn’t guessed it already, this event isn’t going to provide them that knowledge. As C|net concisely states, “It's not going to happen. Unfortunately, the event is fake. Fortunately, the memes are real. In an instance of the internet unifying over a key issue of our time.” And the memes are flowing in for it!
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Alien warning sign in a desert. (Pixabay License)
Despite the tongue-in-cheek nature of the event, there is some concern that people may actually go through with it. U.S. Air Force spokeswoman Laura McAndrews said officials were aware of the Facebook event and warned that before anyone consider it, they should remember:
“[Area 51] is an open training range for the U.S. Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train America armed forces. The U.S. Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets.”
Why Area 51?
For decades, Area 51 has had a strong reputation in alien conspiracy theory circles. It was only confirmed to exist as an aircraft-testing facility in 2013, further fueling the mysterious nature of the site and lending credence to the idea that the US government was hiding something (ie. aliens for the conspiracy theorists interested in the same).
A warning sign at Area 51 Groom Road gate. (Tim1337/CC BY SA 3.0)
The super-secret military installation is located in southern Nevada at Groom Lake and access to the site is forbidden to civilians. However, as NDTV points out, “the area around it is filled with alien-themed motels, museums, and restaurants” – reflecting on the popular suggestion that Area 51 is where the US military has housed aliens and their spacecraft. NDTV also reports that “The CIA has since published information about test flights that took place there, and the alien aspects in many of those theories have been debunked.”
A Long History of UFO Sightings
As reported in a previous Ancient Origins article, “In the 43 years since the National UFO Reporting Center began keeping track, 104,947 have been reported, including historical events back to the beginning of the 20th century (Monfort, 2017). The majority of sightings occur in the United States, though Canada, Australia, and the Nordic countries also have significant numbers of unidentified flying object sightings.”
That same article explains that,
“the oldest recorded sighting of an unidentified flying object took place in 1440 BC. The incident was documented by the royal scribe of an Egyptian Pharaoh. Before the modern-era, UFOs were also recorded by ancient Greeks, Romans, Indians, Chinese, Japanese, Mexicans, and more. These sightings cannot be as readily explained as airplanes or fireworks.”
Woodcut by Hans Glaser documenting what some people interpret as an aerial battle between UFOs. (Public Domain )
One of the most interesting ancient cases of a UFO sighting comes from the Tulli Papyrus. This document claims to report an odd event which occurred during the 18th dynasty, around 1480 BC. One popular translation of the text, as provided by Prince Boris de Rachewiltz, says:
“In the year 22 third month of winter, sixth hour of the day the scribas of the House of Life found it was a circle of fire that was coming in the sky (Though) it had no head, the breadth of its mouth (had) a foul odour. Its body 1 rod long (about 150 feet) and 1 rod large, It had no voice… They hearts become confused through it; then they laid themselves on the bellies They went to the King ..?) to report it. His Majesty ordered has been examined as to all which is written in the papyrus-rolls of the House Of Life His Majesty was meditating upon what happened. Now, after some days had passed over these things, Lo! they were more numerous than anything. They were shining in the sky more than the sun to the limits of the four supports of heaven. Powerful was the position of the fire circles. The army of the king looked on and His Majesty was in the midst of it. It was after supper. Thereupon, they (i.e. the fire circles) went up higher directed to South. Fishes and volatiles fell down from the sky. (It was) a marvel never occurred since the foundation of this Land! Caused His Majesty to be brought incense to pacify the hearth, what happened in the book of the House of Life to be remembered for the Eternity.”
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A copy of the Tulli Papyrus using hieroglyphics. (Lifting the Veil Forum)
But obviously odd things have been seen in the sky since then and much more recently, The Independent reports that:
“The Pentagon provided a very real classified briefing to members of Congress about reported encounters by US navy pilots with unidentified aircraft, some of which were said to have no visible engines and could reach hypersonic speeds. Earlier this year, a number of pilots reported seeing the objects on an almost daily basis from the summer of 2014 to March 2015 while flying navy jets off the East Coast. Some of the encounters were captured on video and lead the navy to announce it had updated the way pilots were to formally reports the incidents.”
And according to NDTV, “in 2017 the Pentagon confirmed the existence of a $22 million government program to analyze "anomalous aerospace threats" - a.k.a. UFOs.”
Top Image: Area 51 sign on a road with dramatic lighting. Source: fergregory /Adobe Stock