Nearly 300,000 UFO Sleuths Vow to ‘Storm Area 51’ in Search of Alien Secrets

By Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'
July 11, 2019 Updated: July 11, 2019

More than 285,000 people have signed up to a “Storm Area 51event on Facebook that claims plans to raid the secretive military facility in September and “see them aliens.”

Area 51, the mysterious United States military base nestled between mountain ranges north of Las Vegas, Nevada, has for decades been a lightning rod for UFO buffs and believers in government-led alien coverups.

While in 2013 the U.S. government admitted to the existence of Area 51 in a declassified CIA history of its U-2 spy plane program, no acknowledgment was made of interstellar spaceships or little green men.

Access to the facility remains highly restricted. According to, about the closest place interested parties can get to on land to catch sight of Area 51 is Tikaboo Peak, around 26 miles away.

area 51 sign
This photo taken on March 12, 2000, shows a warning sign marking the boundary of Area 51, in Rachel, Nevada. (Dan Callister/Getty Images)

And now the Facebook group headlined “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us” wants to get far closer. According to the event page, the alien sleuths will meet at 3 a.m. on Sept. 20 “at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction and coordinate our entry.”

The assembly point is a restaurant and souvenir shop located near the intersection of US-95 and Nevada State Route 373 in Amargosa Valley, has 3.5 stars out of 5 on Trip Advisor and such glowing reviews on Google as “Such a cute stop in the middle of nowhere!” and “the restrooms are clean & neat” and “had one of those put your head on/in alien figure for photo things.”

alien center area 51
This July 19, 2014, photo shows the Alien Center souvenir shop and restaurant near a junction that leads to Area 51, at Amergosa Valley, Nevada. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

After assembly at the Alien Center, the group will supposedly “Naruto run” toward Area 51, referring to Naruto Uzumaki in the Japanese anime series “Naruto,” who runs with his arms stretched behind him, and can therefore “move faster than their bullets.”

Besides the hundreds of thousands that have signed up to take part in the raid, which is likely a joke, a further 310,000 have expressed their interest in joining the already formidable force looking to lift the lid of mystery on Area 51.

area 51 on map
Area 51 on Google Maps. (Google Maps)

Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) contractor T.D. Barnes, who allegedly served at Area 51 as a radar expert, was cited by The Las Vegas Review-Journal as saying that besides Area 51, other unofficial names used for the facility include Dreamland, Home Base, Watertown Strip, Groom Lake, and Homey Airport.

CIA Declassifies Area 51 Documents

After decades of extreme secrecy surrounding the site, the CIA lifted its veil on Area 51 in 2013 in response to a public records request from George Washington University scholars in Washington, D.C.

The university’s National Security Archive released the 400-page CIA history containing the first deliberate official references to Area 51, also known as Groom Lake, as a site developed by the intelligence agency in the 1950s to test fly the high-altitude U-2 reconnaissance plane.

Other top-secret aircraft were tested there later, including the supersonic reconnaissance A-12 aircraft, code-named OXCART, and the F-117 stealth ground-attack jet, said archive senior fellow Jeffrey Richelson, who asked for the CIA’s U-2 history in 2005.

“It’s the first time that there must have been a senior-level decision to acknowledge the term ‘Area 51’ and its specific location,” he told Reuters.

The CIA has also declassified a trove of UFO-related documents and published them online, inviting interested sleuths to “Take a Peek Into Our X-Files.

A separate CIA catalog headlined “UFOs Fact or Fiction?” contains decades of documentation relating to the agency’s dealings with reports of alleged alien spacecraft.

“Most of the documents concern CIA cables reporting unsubstantiated UFO sightings in the foreign press and intra-Agency memos about how the Agency handled public inquiries about UFO sightings,” the agency said.

Report: Russian Plane Flew Over Area 51 in Nevada

Area 51 was in the news recently when a Russian aircraft flew over it as part of the Open Skies Treaty, according to a report.

The Drive reported that a Tu-154M was captured flying over several military bases in the western United States, including Area 51. The flight occurred on March 28, starting at Travis Air Force Base in California.

Next, the plane flew over Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California, Fort Irwin National Training Center in San Bernardino County, and Nevada’s Creech Air Force Base, The Drive reported, citing FlightRadar24 data.

The Drive စာစုတင်ရာတွင် အသုံးပြုမှု ၂၀၁၉၊ မတ် ၂၉၊ သောကြာနေ့

The Russian plane then went to Yucca Flat, a nuclear test site.

“It then headed over the pockmarked Nevada Test Site. Area 51 sits just to the east of this location. The aircraft’s panoramic cameras can collect fairly wide swathes of imagery along the Open Skies aircraft’s flight path,” The Drive reported.

It was the first Open Skies mission over the United States in 2019.

The United States already flew several Open Skies sorties over Russia in the early part of 2019, Air Force Magazine reported.

The Open Skies Treaty went into effect in January 2002 and has 34 states that signed on.

Jack Philipps and Reuters contributed to this report.

Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'