The identity has been revealed of the creator of a Facebook spoof calling for the public invasion of Area 51, the top-secret military facility some UFO buffs believe harbors alien secrets.
California resident Matty Roberts told KLAS-TV that he is the one behind the satirical Facebook page “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us.”
“I posted it on like June 27th and it was kind of a joke,” Roberts said. “And then it waited for like three days, like 40 people, and then it just completely took off, out of nowhere. It’s pretty wild.”
“STORM AREA 51” a joke that became a viral sensation. (Video) https://t.co/SPJCwbSNR4
— George Knapp (@g_knapp) July 18, 2019
The joke raid on Area 51 Nevada has attracted 1.6 million people “going,” with the about section of the Facebook page noting plans for a Sept. 20 public invasion of the secretive Air Force facility to “see them aliens.”
“I just thought it would be a funny idea for the meme page,” Roberts said. “And it just took off like wildfire. It’s entirely satirical though, and most people seem to understand that.”
Roberts said as interest in the joke Area 51 raid grew, he became worried the FBI would launch a real raid.
“The FBI is going to show up at my house and it got a little spooky from there,” he said.
The event sparked enough online buzz for the Defense Department to take it seriously.
“[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,” Air Force spokeswoman Laura McAndrews told The Washington Post on July 12. “The U.S. Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets.”
UFO Expert: Area 51 Raid a “Recipe for Disaster”
A UFO expert said the plan to storm Area 51 has gotten “somewhat out of hand” and is a “recipe for disaster.”
Nick Pope told Fox he doubts whether the people who’ve vowed to raid the secretive Area 51 military facility in search of proof of aliens will actually proceed with their plans, adding that he believes the ploy could spiral out of control.
Pope, whose alien-hunting credentials include investigating flying saucers for Britain’s Ministry of Defense, told “Fox & Friends First” that even if people do break into Area 51, it’s unlikely they’ll find any green men.
“They won’t go, of course. … I think this just shows the huge level of interest in this subject,” Pope said, according to Fox. He added that if they were to go, what the Area 51 raiders would find would probably be drones and “next-generation aircraft.”
Pope also spoke to the British news outlet Metro, saying, “‘Storm Area 51’ clearly implies illegal trespass onto a military installation and that’s a recipe for disaster. I utterly condemn such an action. It’s irresponsible, illegal, and potentially dangerous.”
“Trespass on a military base is a federal offense and people run the risk of getting jail time, a fine and a criminal record,” Pope continued. “Warning signs at Area 51 even state that the use of lethal force is authorized.”
Pope said it’s unlikely guards would shoot to kill, but added that in the extreme case that they believe they’re in imminent danger, things could “get out of hand.”
Rival ‘Storm Bermuda Triangle’ Raid
A new Facebook event to rival “Storm Area 51” has been launched, with tens of thousands vowing to storm the Bermuda Triangle because “it can’t swallow us all.”
But while “Storm Area 51” has been revealed to be a joke, Anthony Dominick Carnovale, who created “Storm The Bermuda Triangle, It Can’t Swallow All Of Us,” insists his is for real.
“I’m contractually obligated to only use the money for the event. If I somehow can’t, I have to give everyone their money back,” he added, referring to the terms and conditions underpinning the GoFundMe campaign he set up to fund the Bermuda Triangle raid.
When Fox 10 asked if his event was a serious endeavor, Carnovale replied, “Absolutely.”
“Basically organizing a beach party at the tip of the Bermuda triangle,” Carnovale wrote. “Gonna be a safe party and I am going to hire an event organizer to help plan the party and rent boats and hire live music.”
Like Area 51, the Bermuda Triangle has long been veiled in mystery, with hundreds of ships and airplanes vanishing there over the years without a trace.
To help make sense of the unexplained, the group says that it hopes “to come up with a strategy to clap sea monster cheeks and find lost pilots and the hidden islands in the mysterious triangle.”
The event scheduled for Oct. 1 at 8 a.m. and “if 25,000 people give even 3$ this party is legit happening my babies,” Carnovale wrote. “Free live music and entertainment. Drinks. Good vibes.” So far, 18,000 people have said they’re “going” and another 25,000 are “interested.”
Carnovale told Fox 10 that storming the Bermuda Triangle is also a far safer alternative to the “Storm Area 51” event, which he says “is dangerous.”
“Honestly, everyone thinks I’m trying to scam people with this GoFundMe thing,” Carnovale wrote on the event’s Facebook page, “but I’m legit trying to [throw] a party for everyone so they’ll come to my thing and not get murdered or arrested at Area 51.”
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.
The university’s National Security Archive released a 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.
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.