By Staff Writer Maddie Kenn
A majority of citizens had suspicion that Area 51, a secret Air Force base located in Southern Nevada, was in contact with extraterrestrial entities. These suspicions led to a festival on this past Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, September 2019 in the towns of Rachel and Hiko, Nevada.
The event originated from a Facebook user by the name of Matt Roberts, who posted about planning to raid Area 51 on September 20th, 2019 . Roberts originally created the event, “Storm Area 51, they can’t stop all of us” as a joke, and was surprised to see that over 2 million users had responded to the post. The group planned on “Naruto Running” as a method to evade capture on their way into the government air base
Planning an attack on a military facility in hopes of finding hidden information held by the government was unsettling to most, including the FBI, who actually entered Roberts home to investigate his motives.
As far-fetched as the idea may have been, Roberts internet fame got the best of him, and he decided to organize the event. He began to encourage people to meet in Rachel, the town nearest to the Area 51 base. He even decided to name the event, and it soon became commonly known as “Alienstock”, a play on the well-known music festival “Woodstock”, on social media platforms.
Two weeks before the event was supposed to take place, Roberts bailed on his plans. He cited “security concerns” as his main reason regarding his exit from the event. Although the man behind the meme was no longer involved, alien enthusiasts were still eager to attend the Area 51 celebration. Many of them even invested in alien themed t-shirts and a special edition Bud Light, inspired by the cultural phenomenon that is the Area 51 Raid.
The local sheriff’s department of the area stated that throughout the weekend, approximately 6,000 people attended the event, and a majority of them traveled in RV’s or pitched tents. Even though 6,000 people made the pilgrimage to Nevada, only one of them walked away with any kind of fame. An unnamed individual Naruto ran behind a news anchor during a live segment covering the raid. The video of the fateful run was captured by another attendee of the event and was quickly spread around the internet. This instance of Naruto running is the only substantial effect of this raid.
Fortunately for some, and unfortunately for others, the base wasn’t raided, and no property was damaged. The suspicions about the government were not proven, but those who attended the celebration mentioned that the festival was memorable. Guests set up their own entertainment, including games that resembled beer pong, but were constructed out of trash bins and basketballs, and were accompanied by performers who played music of the guest’s choice.
Although some may say that the festival was a disappointment, others claim that they are thankful for the experience they had and the bonds they made. Some may even say that they were upset about the absence of extraterrestrial activity but would admit that hoping for aliens to show up to this event was a stretch. In terms of figuring out whether this meme-based event was successful, or a bust, it depends on who you’re asking!