US Air Force warns against joke event to 'storm Area 51'

Published: Jul 18, 2019, 09:18 IST | mid-day online desk

Nellis Air Force Base said in a statement that the Air Force is aware of the Facebook posting and says "any attempt to illegally access the area is highly discouraged."

US Air Force warns against joke event to 'storm Area 51'
An alien sculpture on the side of a road in Baker, California, which is known as the Gateway to Area 51

Las Vegas: The US Air Force has warned people against participating in an internet joke that is trending on social media suggesting a large crowd of people "storm Area 51," the top-secret Cold War test site in the Nevada desert. A prank event that went viral on social media platform, Facebook attracted more than 1 million interested people suggesting that a mass of people attempt to run into the mysterious site at 3 a.m. on Sept. 20.

The site is part of the vast Nevada Test and Training Range and has become the centre of UFO conspiracy theories. The Facebook event jokes "they can't stop all of us" and "Let's see them aliens." Nellis Air Force Base said in a statement that the Air Force is aware of the Facebook posting and says "any attempt to illegally access the area is highly discouraged."

The Air Force stated it does not discuss its security measures and that the test and training range provides "flexible, realistic and multidimensional battlespace" for testing and "advanced training in support of US national interests." After decades of government officials refusing to acknowledge Area 51, the CIA released in 2013, declassified documents referring to the 8,000-square mile installation by name and locating it on a map near the dry Groom Lake bed.

The base has been a testing ground for a host of top-secret aircraft, including the U-2 in the 1950s and later the B-2 stealth bomber. But the secrecy surrounding the site has fuelled conspiracy theories among UFO enthusiasts and sprouted a small, alien-themed tourist industry in surrounding desert communities, including alien-themed cafes, an alien-themed brothel and an alien-themed motel.

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Edited by mid-day online desk with inputs from AP

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