By Jessie Garrison
Head Copy Editor
Associate Opinion Editor
The Area 51 Raid was originally supposed to be a joke according to the 21-year-old college student, Matty Roberts. According to USA Today and CNN, the joke was first posted in June of 2019 by Roberts on Facebook. However, when it was first created a Facebook group called “Storm Area 51-They Can’t Stop Us All” in June it did not catch the attention of many viewers. It was not until the first week in July when the Facebook page was posted on a Reddit thread that it went instantly viral. The event blew up and had over 2 million followers before the site was recently taken down.
On the site, you could find memes about “clapping alien cheeks.” Which in hindsight means that people were talking about having sex with various aliens that supposedly are held at Area 51. According to Time Magazines’ article “Area 51 and the Aliens,” located in the Separating Fact From Fiction section, “Conspiracy theorists believe that the remains of crashed UFO spacecrafts are stored at Area 51…” Further explaining that Area 51 is “…an Air Force base about 150 miles from Las Vegas, where [supposedly] government scientists reverse-engineer the aliens’ highly advanced technology.”
While Roberts, claims the event was originally supposed to be a joke, hundreds of thousands of people have agreed to go to storm the base. The event has created a national uproar for the safety of those living near the base.
An Area 51 spokeswoman, Laurie McAndrews spoke to the Washington Post “urging” those who wanted to “try their luck” in entering Area 51. She further states, ““[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 American armed forces,” McAndrews said. “The U.S. Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets.”
While the public uproar from the event was hilarious, very fun to follow, and definitely made my summer break.
While there were many people who posted in the Facebook group, “I am just here for the memes” in an attempt to keep the FBI from showing up at their house, something Roberts had to endure, there were a lot more people who seemed to be very serious about the event. The memes consisted of making fun of those named Kyle, Karen, baby boomers, and parent permission slips.
I personally think, whether this actually takes place, is proof that our generation, Millennial and Gen Z, have the ability to change and make a difference in the world. What started out as a joke, and some may very well take it seriously, as a generation we were able to get national attention, Australia news covered the story. If what once started as a joke can reach national news, imagine what we can do with actual issues we care about.