Tag: Nevada

How Military Base Area 51 Became the Heartland of Alien Conspiracy Theories

Article by Jayden Collins                                   September 4, 2020                                     (happymag.tv)

• A secret military base sits in the middle of the Nevada desert, about 82 miles northwest of Las Vegas known as ‘Area 51’. It has become the subject of endless pop culture references and memes, as well as the epicentre of the world’s most famous alien conspiracies. How did this Air Force facility become linked with extraterrestrial folklore, and are they really holding tea parties with alien lifeforms inside the base?

• The government used the desolate Nevada desert region as a weapons test range during World War II. In 1954 it was commissioned Area 51 by President Eisenhower as an Air Force base that tested spy planes, such as the U-2, far away from the public and Soviet spies. Perhaps today’s conspiracy theories are rooted in the base’s history of Soviet espionage.

• In 1947, there were reports of a weather balloon crashing on a ranch in southeastern New Mexico near a town called Roswell. But rumors abounded that the US military had taken a crashed UFO craft to Area 51. Then in the late 1980s, Robert Lazar came forward to claim that he had been one of the scientists reverse engineering alien spacecraft at Area 51. Lazar even claimed to have seen an alien himself. Lazar became a cult hero among conspiracy theorists, and while his credentials were pretty quickly discredited, it was his interview that would forever link Area 51 to the unknowns of outer space.

• The phenomena of Area 51 grew in the ’80s and ’90s, and took on a life of its own within popular culture. The science fiction television series The X-Files continually referenced the facility and the government’s agenda to keep the existence of extraterrestrial life a secret. In 1996, Area 51 was prominently feature in the film Independence Day, about an alien attack on Earth. In 2011, the comedy Paul depicted an extraterrestrial who has escaped from Area 51. The secret base was even referenced in the kids’ movie Lilo & Stitch, with the aliens in the film choosing to name planet Earth, Area 51. Barack Obama was the first US President to publicly acknowledge Area 51 in 2013.

• In June 2019, 20-year-old student Matty Roberts created a Facebook event called ‘Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All Of Us’. The event was set for September 20, 2019, and quickly turned into a trending meme, with 2 million people clicking ‘going’, and 1.5 million clicking ‘interested’. What was initially intended as a joke turned into a serious issue for the US government. The military’s public relation office made a Twitter post with a photo of military personnel and a B-2 stealth bomber. The caption read: “The last thing #Millenials will see if they attempt the #area51raid today.” The tweet was later deleted. However, only 1,500 people showed up to the hastily assembled music festivals, while only 150 people ventured to the gates of Area 51.

• So, what is really going on at Area 51? Apart from the creation of U-2 and A-12 aircraft and an early spy mission, we don’t officially know. However, according to Annie Jacobsen, author of the book Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base, it’s a whole lot of reverse-engineering – and not just of alien craft. Foreign technology captured on battlefields is often brought back to the facility to be tested and re-created. Jacobsen believes that Area 51 is still the location used by military intelligence to create counterterrorism tactics, weapon systems, and surveillance platforms, all of which are hidden from the public.

• Yet in July of this year, the Pentagon released three videos of UFO-like objects moving quickly through the air. They were accompanied by a report which stated the objects were “off-world vehicles not made of this world.” Since then, the Pentagon has set up a UFO task force in an attempt to discover the nature and origins of these objects, further fueling the fire of UFO-related suspicions surrounding Area 51.

 

Located 134km northwest of Las Vegas is a dirt road leading out from Nevada’s ‘Extraterrestrial Highway’ and down towards Homey Airport, the home of a notorious US military base.

              ‘Storm Area 51’ revelers

What lies within this military base is mostly a mystery to the public. It goes by various names including Paradise Ranch, Red Square, Nevada Test and Training Range, and of course, the one most commonly used in myth and legend, Area 51.

This secret base sits in the middle of the Nevada desert and has become the subject of endless pop culture references and memes, as well as the epicentre of the world’s most famous alien conspiracies.

But just how did this air force facility become linked with extraterrestrial folklore, and are the United States really holding tea parties with alien lifeforms inside this bewitching base?

A Soviet spy station

Commissioned in 1954 by President Eisenhower, Area 51 was created in order to test spy planes far away from the public eye, with the ultimate goal of infiltrating the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons program.

The area within the Nevada Test and Training Range was already used for nuclear weapon testing back in World War II, and as such, it was the perfect location to ensure the public would keep their distance. What came out of the espionage work done at Area 51 would ultimately be significant in maintaining the United States’ superpower status.

First up was the commissioning of the U-2 spy plane, an aircraft that could fly as high as 70,000 feet in the air (an unfathomable feat at the time), travel across the US without needing to refuel, and carry cameras that could spy on Soviet land below.

       The movie “Independence Day”

From its expeditions, the U-2 plane discovered that the Soviet military was not as advanced as what was claimed by its leaders, leading the United States to believe that they weren’t too far behind their military rivals. However, the plane was shot down in Soviet airspace in 1960. Both the pilot and aircraft were recovered, keeping them out of the hands of the Soviet Union; however, US authorities were forced to admit the purpose of the mission.

This lead to the creation of the Lockheed A-12, an aircraft that could fly across the US in 70 minutes at an altitude of 90,000 feet, photographing objects on the ground that were just one-foot long. With the number of A-12 flights coming in and out of Area 51, reports of unidentifiable flying objects grew in the area. The aircraft’s titanium body and bullet speed resembled nothing seen in the US before.

With the nature of these military aircraft, coupled with the secrecy surrounding these espionage missions, it’s easy to see why conspiracy theories arose around the goings-on inside the military base.

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Area 51 Raiders Could Find ‘Underground City’ Below Top Secret Base

Article by Zara Muradyan                     August 3, 2019                    (sputniknews.com)


• Over 2 million Facebook users have RSVP’d to the “Storm Area 51” event in Nevada, where they plan to invade the US military’s most secretive base. Conspiracy enthusiast Blake Cousins of the YouTube channel ‘thirdphaseofmoon’ describes what the invaders might find if they successfully breach the fences, armed guards, and internal security.

• Cousins says there is a huge underground city beneath the Nevada desert at the expansive military base. “The subterranean level (of Area 51) would have to be at least 50 stories down, from what I hear, and they extend up to the Pacific Ocean and other parts of the United States”, Cousins told the Daily Star newspaper.

• Cousins also took the opportunity to mention an alleged alien named J-Rod that survived the Roswell crash of 1947 and was housed at Area 51.

• The “Storm Area 51” Facebook meme apparently began as a joke. But it has struck a chord with the public and has ‘gotten out of hand’. Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee warns that the invasion idea is dangerous: “Someone is going to get hurt and people may go to jail. It’s not anything to joke about”.

• The existence of the Area 51 base, which was established in the 1950’s, was officially denied until the CIA acknowledged it in 2013 in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. The mystery surrounding the base has spawned rumors and theories of UFOs and extraterrestrials being kept and studied there.

 

Over 2 million users have RSVP’d to an alien-hunting Facebook event encouraging to storm the most secretive military base in the United States where, per passionate conspiracy theorists, the government is housing ETs. Now, another

       Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee

truth-seeker claims there might be “an underground city” beneath the notorious Area 51.

Blake Cousins, a renowned conspiracy enthusiast from Hawaii running the YouTube channel thirdphaseofmoon, claims that former Area 51 employees confided in him that there was an “underground city” below the famed US military base, which is located in the Nevada desert.

“If one person or a group of people were able to get in and open the doors into the subterranean levels, you will see a huge underground city that has never been seen before on our planet. This is something so big that the

           alien ‘J-Rod’

ground-level Area 51 is just the tip of the iceberg. The subterranean level would have to be at least 50 storeys down, from what I hear, and they extend up to the Pacific Ocean and other parts of the United States”, he told the Daily Star.

During the conversation with the media outlet, the alien hunter, whose channel bursts with videos about the US military facility, further asserts that ex-workers entered into contact with an “alien” at J-rod, an ET base that was supposedly held at Area 51.

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“Let’s See Them Aliens”: The Comic Futility of #StormArea51

Listen to “E43 7-27-19 “Let’s See Them Aliens”: The Comic Futility of #StormArea51” on Spreaker.

Article by Kate Knibbs                      July 17, 2019                      (theringer.com)

• Believing in aliens used to automatically catapult a person into kook territory, but things have changed. Prominent public figures are treating the UFO and extraterrestrial phenomenon seriously, from Harvard astrophysicist Avi Loeb, to aerospace billionaire Robert Bigelow, to the New York Times, to members of Congress demanding briefings. All of this has lent credence to a Facebook event called “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us.” (see previous ExoArticle) Well over a million Facebook users have pledged to show up at a Nevada tourist spot, to invade en masse the secret military base known as ‘Area 51’ at 3 am, September 20th.

• A similar online phenomenon happened in 2017 as Hurricane Irma approached the Florida coastline. Ryon Edwards created a Facebook event called “Shoot at Hurricane Irma.” Over 80,000 people responded with interest in attacking the hurricane, though no one did. It was a way to diffuse a frightening situation with a lighthearted meme.

• Like the Irma event, this is an obvious stunt. The post reads: “If we naruto run (like an animated video game character), we can move faster than their bullets.” And the Facebook page itself is called “Shitposting cause im in shambles”. Many attendees responded tongue-in-cheek: “I only RSVP’d for the memes” and “Let’s see them aliens.”

• Samantha Travis, the manager of the Little A’Le’Inn tourist spot where the invaders are scheduled to convene, said people have been calling “nonstop, all day,” and all of their rooms are booked. University student, Jackson Weimer, imagines that it will turn into a big party. Travis noted that there is plenty of available campground space.

• While the vast majority of participants are openly kidding around and not seriously planning to attack a military base, the military itself appears to be treating this as a matter of real concern. An Air Force spokesperson told the Washington Post that it is “ready to protect America and its assets.”

• There’s a good chance “Storm Area 51” will be a distant memory by the time September 20th actually rolls around. In the same way that people took a moment to laugh at the concept of attacking a hurricane, the punch line to “Storm Area 51” is how cartoonishly futile life can feel. It is the sort of joke that can puncture the terrors of climate change and evil governments. The popularity of “Storm Area 51” reflects a larger mood of low-grade fatalism and hyperbolic violence that is percolating online this summer.

 

Over a million people have RSVP’d to an event on Facebook called “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us.” The military has warned people to stay away. It’s just a gag—but one particularly well-suited to this summer.

In 2017, as Hurricane Irma twirled menacingly toward the Florida coastline, a young Floridian named Ryon Edwards coped with storm-related anxiety in a very modern way. He logged onto Facebook and created an event called “Shoot at Hurricane Irma.” Over 80,000 people responded that they were interested in staging an attack on the “GOOFY LOOKING WINDY HEADASS NAMED IRMA.” No one ever opened fire on Irma; at least, there is no documentation of such an event. The Facebook post was a joke, a way to diffuse a frightening situation with a lighthearted meme. Despite some hand-wringing by local authorities, it wasn’t actually worth fretting over.

In recent days, a similarly playful Facebook event has reached an even greater height of popularity. “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us,” an event scheduled for 3 a.m. on September 20 at the famously mysterious Nevada military base, has racked up over 1.4 million RSVPs over the past week, with more than a million other people expressing interest in storming Area 51 en masse. “We will all meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction and coordinate our entry. If we naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets,” the post reads. (“Naruto” is a reference to Naruto Uzumaki, an anime character who runs with an awkward stride.) “Lets see them aliens.”

Like the Irma event, it’s an obvious stunt. The viral appeal is equally obvious, as it is fun to imagine a ragtag group of strangers liberating Martians from one of the most notoriously locked-down places in the country, like the plot of a pleasantly stupid action movie.

“Honestly I only RSVP’d for the memes,” one event attendee told me via Facebook Messenger. A Discord chat room created to “strategize” about the attack is filled with memes about adopting aliens and chatter about role-playing. “I think we need a division of vapers. To make an escape cloud,” one participant suggested. “I don’t think no one is going to this,” another said. When I identified myself as a journalist and asked people on the event page whether they’d speak with me, I was repeatedly called a “Fed”—exactly what I deserved for posting on an event page co-created by an account called “Shitposting cause im in shambles.”

But for all the jokes, the event has sparked real-world uptick in interest in traveling to the Area 51 region. People have been calling the local hotel and bar Little A’Le’Inn, for instance, “nonstop, all day,” manager Samantha Travis told The Ringer. “Our rooms have been booked for a few days now.” (Travis noted that the area does have plenty of available campground space.) “I think that people actually might go and have a party,” Jackson Weimer, a University of Delaware student who runs a popular meme account and accepted that I was not a cop, told me. “Some idiots will probably take it too far and try and rush the base but I hope everyone is smart enough to realize when a meme is a meme.” While the vast majority of participants are openly kidding around and not seriously planning to attack a military base, the military itself appears to be treating this as a matter of concern. An Air Force spokesperson told the Washington Post that it is “ready to protect America and its assets.” (The Air Force did not respond to The Ringer’s request for comment.)

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