The prospect of being shot at does not appear to have deterred the plucky group of would-be alien rescuers from their plans to storm Area 51.
At the time of writing, nearly three million people have shown interest in storming the United States Air Force facility on September 20, united beneath the shared banner of ‘let’s see them aliens’.
For decades, those fascinated by the possibility of extraterrestrial life have wondered about the goings on within Area 51; an area long beset with rumours of captive aliens. This summer, a full half century since man first set foot on the moon, our collective cup of curiosity has overflowed…
— #Area51 Memes 👽 (@AreaMemes51) July 17, 2019
This heightened, insatiable appetite for all things Area 51 has led to a renewed interest in the strange and secretive history of the facility, with rare and intriguing images being scrutinised online.
The most extraordinarily detailed images were captured two years ago, when alien investigators Tim and Tracey Doyle – from alien investigation YouTube channel UFO Seekers – nearly got close enough to Area 51 to give the (alleged) aliens a tickle.
In the summer of 2017, Tim and Tracey headed out to the Nevada Dessert and hiked to the very top of the 1.4-mile high Tikaboo Peak, approximately 25 miles east of Area 51. From this unique vantage point, they were able to snap some pretty clear Area 51 pictures using a long-distance lens.
You can check out the resulting footage for yourself below:
Area 51 is closed off to anyone without top level security clearance, and so there are precious few clear, close-up images of the site. That we know of at least.
Using their telescopic lens, Tim and Tracey were able to snap what many experts believe to be the closest images ever taken of Area 51.
From the isolated mountain top, the pair were able to capture what appears to be a water tower, several complexes, and various moving vehicles.
Although there was no sign of any little green men toddling about, this tantalising glimpse fired up imaginations across the planet. We all wanted to know exactly what was inside those carefully guarded buildings.
— Alexander Venegas (@boyalexvenegas) July 17, 2019
Two years later, and people are formulating plans (and memes) around the idea of breaking into Area 51 and setting the supposed resident aliens free.
According to the Facebook group ‘Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us’, the ‘game plan’ for September 20 will involve the ever-growing group meeting up at ‘the Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction’, before coordinating their entry.
So what is it they hope to find within this intensely secretive site? And do these wild plans go beyond the world of internet humour?
Tom Jenane, a Nutrition and Fitness Expert at Nature’s Health Box, told UNILAD about why he signed up to the ‘Storm Area 51’ event:
I joined the Facebook page for a laugh, then it started going crazy, with hundreds of thousands of posts on Tik Tok.
Eventually I decided it would be amazing, but I’ve already used all my annual leave this year. The company I work for has allowed me to go during work time, providing I bring my laptop and work while out here.
I don’t reckon we will manage to get inside if I’m honest. If a gunshot fires off, I’m running for the hills. I think it is more just about meeting up with people and having a laugh. But if we manage to bust an alien out of there then that will make my holiday special, imagine the holiday snaps!
— Kate (@ksc3825) July 13, 2019
Although I personally haven’t plucked up the courage to ask my UNILAD bosses for time off to join an alien rescue expedition, I can certainly understand the pull Area 51 has for so many people.
The US government only confirmed the existence of the base in 2013, when documents in relation to Area 51 were released under the Freedom of Information Act. Even after its existence was acknowledged, the goings on at the site remain highly mysterious.
This reveal came after years of reports of UFO sightings at the base, dating back to the 1950s. As reported by TIME, secretive flight testing has taken place at Area 51 since 1955, when the military began testing U-2 CIA spy planes.
The Air Force have strongly discouraged people from attempting to break into Area 51, stressing such action would be illegal.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.