More than a million people have responded “going” to the Facebook event to storm the infamous Area 51 in Nevada thanks to a myriad of articles, memes, and GoFundMe pages on the topic.
Now, the quickly growing RSVP list has caught the eye of the U.S. government and U.S. Air Force spokeswoman Laura McAndrews appears to be taking the “threat” seriously, despite the many signs—including a post admitting as much—that the event page is just a joke.
“Hello US government, this is a joke, and I do not actually intend to go ahead with this plan. I just thought it would be funny and get me some thumbsy uppies on the internet. I’m not responsible if people decide to actually storm area 51,” the post reads.
Still, McAndrews is discouraging people from “trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces,” telling the Washington Post:
“The US Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets.”
McAndrews’ warning, however, has only served to increase attention—and RSVPs.
Area 51 is a highly classified remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base within the Nevada Test and Training Range. Its existence was not acknowledged by the CIA until 2013 and the facility’s primary purpose remains unclear.
Due to the secrecy that has and continues to surround the base’s existence, it has long been speculated that the U.S. government engages in secret research of alien technology at the base. Area 51 has fascinated UFO enthusiasts for years, with many making a pilgrimage to the Nevada desert to get as close as possible every year.
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