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The Daily Planet's Opinion: August 2019
Tuesday, 06 August 2019 22:33

Could ‘Storm Area 51’ joke be a trap by aliens to engorge on 1M conspiracy theorists?

It would be the ultimate irony if the “Storm Area 51” Facebook joke gone awry turns out to be the story of the century with an actual storming of Area 51 — with who knows what consequences — by hordes of conspiracy theorists.

Indeed, “more than 1 million people have RSVP’d to ambush Nevada’s famed Area 51 this September, an affair whose jokey premise is so deadpan, it has gained some serious mainstream attention,” reported July 15.

“Per the event description,” continued, “attendees are invited to fly out to Lincoln Country, Nevada, and ‘all meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction and coordinate our entry’ at 3 a.m. Pacific on Sept. 20. The goal is supposedly to break into the highly secretive and secure military compound, which has often been characterized in fiction as a place where the U.S. government houses and researches alien technology. The thinking goes that if a bunch of people head toward the high-security base at once, the military won’t stand a chance of stopping them.“

For added measure, the event description notes, ‘If we naruto run’ — a reference to a highly particular, frequently meme’d style of running from the long-running anime ‘Naruto’ — ‘we can move faster than their bullets. Lets see them aliens.’“

The ‘Storm Area 51’ event has gained traction online for its absurdity, drawing reactions across multiple social media platforms. On Twitter, for example, one post that omitted the creators’ names — which make it clear that the event is just a high-concept gag — led people who were unfamiliar with its origins to take the idea quite seriously.”

As noted, “the posting ends with a plea to any government officials following along: ‘Hello U.S. government, this is a joke, and I do not actually intend to go ahead with this plan. I just thought it would be funny and get me some thumbsy uppies on the internet,” it reads. “I’m not responsible if people decide to actually storm Area 51.’”

Meanwhile, television’s CNN reported on July 29 that people are seriously planning to go to Area 51 on Sept. 20, but that the meeting destination, Rachel, Nevada, already is booked up and has no hotel rooms available. “The small town was shocked when it realized people were coming, as satirically suggested by a Facebook page titled ‘Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us.’ The Air Force Base in the desert has spurred conspiracy theories as a UFO and alien holding site for decades,” CNN noted.

In speaking with CNN, Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee said, “I cannot believe it’s gotten this much attention. We deal with this on a weekly basis, but nothing to this scale...“

To make matters worse, Rachel’s only gas station closed in 2006, so visitors will have to fill their tanks 50 miles away in Alamo, Nevada,” CNN stated. “The next closest town to get lodging is also Alamo, and most of the hotels are already booked or have very low availability....“

Lee, along with the Air Force, urges people not to storm the facility. He encourages people to come ‘see the stars’ or take in the terrain, but not to try and get into Area 51. If they do, they may be meeting Lee and his officers because they could be called to help with trespass,” CNN reported.

From our distant vantage in Asheville, we wonder if “them aliens,” who the conspiracy theorists are certain are being kept hidden at Area 51, have — in a clever twist — turned the tables on them by conspiring to plant the Facebook invitation, so that they can entice the tinfoil hat crowd into a place where they can enjoy eating them for a late-night snack.

This could be a case of the truth being stranger than fiction. Should be interesting....


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