Creator of 'Storm Area 51' event says not to take it seriously
A Facebook group that's gotten a lot of attention since its creation called "Storm Area 51: They Can't Stop All of Us" is a tongue-in-cheek call to storm the military base that's been the subject of decades of conspiracy theories.
The creator of the page says not everyone realizes it's all a joke.
Matty Roberts says he has a message to everyone who may be taking storming the military base too seriously.
"Please don't," he said with a laugh. "I don't want anyone to actually get hurt with this. It was just -- it started out as just from a pure stroke of imagination. It was meant to be funny. I want to do something cool out there, now that we have a bunch of people, but I don't want anybody to get hurt."
The Bakersfield College student, who is majoring in petroleum engineering, says the Facebook group was created on June 27. By day three, it had over a million people interested in finding out what mysteries lie inside the base.
"I don't know. People kind of want to know what's in there. I think a lot of people are going to show up because it's kind of a meme," said Roberts.
Now the event has close to 3 million people who say they will attend, and more than 8.9 million people have viewed it.
Roberts says he and friends will now morph an out-of-this-world experience for their followers.
"I want to make it like a festival of sorts. I want to have a bunch of different musical artists, everybody from the EDM world and then maybe some indie rock, maybe some smaller guys that are up and coming. I've had a lot of people DM'ing the page saying their bands want to play there, which would be super cool," Roberts said.
Roberts says he has been in contact with local inns near Area 51 who tell him they are already booked for their scheduled exploration of the Air Force facility in Nevada on September 20, with an anime twist.
"It's relevant to the story because in the description of the event, it says if we 'Naruto run,' we can run faster than their bullets," he said.
Roberts says, for the most part, everyone is enjoying the parody but says he has gotten a few extremists that he had to tell that it's just for fun.
"A few people that are really serious and I'm kind of worried about that. I've had a couple people DM the page where they're like, 'I'm willing to die for the government. Let's do this.' And I'm just like, 'Oh my God.' They're all like hardcore strength in numbers, that kind of thing, but if there's only like two of those guys out there, I think we'll be OK."
He hopes that this event will be educational and have art installations, all while letting people meet new friends.
"Like, I figured the FBI would be knocking on my door right about now, but nobody has shown up, nobody's tried to contact me, nobody's messaged the page. It's interesting, for sure," he said.
The Air Force warns against attempting to visit Area 51 because it is an open training range for armed forces.