TRAVEL UST-NEVADA-ALIENCENTER 5 SA

Attempting to trespass could result in the deaths of many.

Humans are obsessed with the unknown. They pour over murder mystery books, investigative TV series, conspiracy theories and the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Most recently, the latter two have gained serious social media attention. 

A well-known conspiracy theory reports that the Nevada Test and Training Range, otherwise known as Area 51, is home to some of the government’s darkest secrets  including aliens. People want to find out if they’re real so badly they’re willing to storm the Air Force base. Here’s why that shouldn’t happen.

The theories around Area 51 began around the time of the infamous Roswell UFO sighting. After that event, outsiders believed the new technology being tested at the Nevada site was developed with the help of the remains from the supposed Roswell crash, as well as possible alien intelligence and maybe even live aliens.

The most recent buzz around this conspiracy came just a little while ago when someone began a Facebook event called, “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop Us All” with the intention of rallying a group of people to storm Area 51. The event is scheduled to take place on Friday, September 20, at 3 a.m. PST, and over 1.9 million people have said they are “going.”

What started as an obvious joke — as the description reads, “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” — caught the attention of the U.S. Air Force. There are many reasons to not take part in this meme, but these are just a few.

Reason 1: It’s actually incredibly dangerous. From cameras to sensors in the road and most importantly, armed military guards, serious injury or even death is a strong possibility after disregarding the “No Trespassing” signs. A man was recently shot dead this past January for attempting to enter the base. This is no joke.

Reason 2: There probably aren’t UFOs there. Just because the government wants to keep the area closed off to the public doesn’t mean they’re hiding aliens. The base is a flight test facility for some of the military’s newest. Perhaps that’s the reason so many people have reported seeing UFOs.

Reason 3: Even if there were UFOs, you probably wouldn’t be able to find them. Even the people who work there don’t roll up to the front gate and type in their code. A private commuter airline transports employees from the Las Vegas McCarran Airport to their place of work. Try navigating the desert terrain in the dead of night as the event touts it will — not smart.

Reason 4: The U.S. Air Force is literally telling people not to. Spokespeople from the base have spoken to various news outlets warning people against the raid. Laura Andrews, an Air Force spokeswoman, said to The Washington Post, “The U.S. Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets.”

If these aren’t enough reasons to dissuade people from going, take it from the creator of the event, who said, “P.S. Hello US government, this is a joke, and I do not actually intend to go ahead with this plan.”

Despite all this, some people may still expect the raid to go on, and the military is sure to be on high alert on September 20. Better stay put and search for aliens elsewhere.

Ryann Sheehy is a junior theater and media arts and design major. Contact Ryann at sheehyrl@dukes.jmu.edu.