A Closer Look into the Viral Area 51 Meme that has Taken Over the Internet


Media by Mason Kellerman

Alien of area 51 looking at a phone with updates on the meme.

When 21-year-old Matty Roberts from Bakersfield, Ca.,  created a Facebook page titled “Raid Area 51: They Can’t Stop Us All,” the last thing he expected was the wave of people who would RSVP to the event, claiming that on Sept. 20, they would raid Area 51 in large numbers in order to uncover the truth that the government was hiding aliens, UFOs and other extraterrestrial forces. 

It created a large stir, and sure enough, became a viral meme among teens within days. Hundreds of people have posted videos and photos with the hashtag #Area51, playing along with the thoughtful idea of breaking the aliens free; it was ET turned to life.

The FBI visited Roberts’ home and advised him not to go through with the event, in which he explained that it was all a joke that had gotten out of hand. Since then, the event has been cancelled, but many still plan on attending. 

“A part of me wants to see the aliens, but I think the percentage of people that are actually going through with it is small,” Emmie Foley, sophomore, said.  

She highly doubts the large flood of people who promised to attend will actually show.  She said aliens are likely to exist, but it is difficult to meet them. 

“There are so many planets out there, it’s hard to believe that there isn’t something going on,” she said. “But the chances of coming in contact with them, I think, are very slim.”

When 1,000 Americans were asked about cryptids such as bigfoot and the boogeyman, 62 percent believed that aliens were real, according to a survey by Halloween Express. In fact, one in five Americans believe in extraterrestrial life.

Thomas Miltchev, sophomore, loves the idea of the Area 51 Raid and enjoys talking about the topic.

“People deserve to know what’s going on,” he said. “I think that people who are really into the cause and cut throat will definitely be there.”

He said Area 51 is covering up UFOs, aliens and technology.

Whether the whole fad is a wise idea or not, Miltchev simply said he thinks it is worth it.

Senior Master Sergeant Gary Wamble, gave his view on the situation from a military standpoint. 

“Area 51 used to be a secret location,” he explained. “The American public is very curious. But the military is always prepared every day with contingency plans and they know what’s coming at all times.”

Some followers are concerned the event will turn into a massacre once invaders set foot into the base. Wamble said he doesn’t believe the government will shoot at civilians unless they fear that they are endangered. 

Wamble signed a disclosure about sensitive info when he retired from the military, but said that, “Yes, I know what is there. The public has no need to worry about it,” Wamble said. “If there were a potential threat to National Security, it would be taken care of.”